JavaZone 2005... or, an excuse to write about Oslo

I'm in Oslo, Norway, for the next four days, ostensibly to speak at the JavaZone 2005 conference, but the truth is, I don't really care why I'm here.

Truth is, I've discovered that Oslo is quite possibly the closest place on the planet to claim being a real-life Norman Rockwell scene.

The drive from the Oslo airport to downtown Oslo (to the Radisson SAS hotel) is quite possibly one of the most beautiful drives I've ever had the pleasure of making--it really is like driving through a Norman Rockwell painting, with the farm fields off to both sides, thick lush forests rising on the hills, and the buildings just barely visible, nestled in amongst the trees and rising slopes. If it weren't for the fact that I know this place is going to be just buried in snow in the next month or two, I'd seriously consider living here for a while.

Oh, and I've also discovered that Norway is one of the western European nations that doesn't (yet?) take the Euro--tip to American travelers, don't take cash out at the Amsterdam airport when you're headed off to a non-Euro country. It's an expensive mistake. :-)