I have been here before and have been subjected to the full history lesson, none of it sticks. The Royal Palace is impressive, the Parliament substantial and all is surrounded by busy waters which unlike Venice, present no threat to the city – this place is permanent and solid. There are too many tour buses and always there is renovation such that the idealised view of the city is never quite achieved – always and everywhere this unequal struggle to remember. None of this is of significance though because the abiding memory is not of the city but the arrival and departure. The approach by sea to and from the city threads itself between hundreds of small islands, some so close to the ship that a softly hit wedge shot could pitch a golf ball straight down a log cabin chimney – the passing of these floating megaliths must put the fear of God in the local residents, particularly the Italian ships. On the evening we departed we watched the sun set across the islands from the eighteenth deck, a breath taking sight. I have not mentioned that the weather has been perfect since arriving in Oslo.