Sunday, 31 October 2010

Tatou's trips: Oslo

Do you remember my armadillo friend Tatou? She was my travel companion in Southeast Asia, my own little totem animal. Together we travelled through Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, China, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. Tatou protected me from wandering spirits, black magic and tourist scams. She showed me little details I would have missed otherwise - flowers, butterflies, roadside shrines. She shared with me her peculiar mix of Shaivism and animism, and her passions for photography and religious architecture. She wrote travel accounts on my weblog, and posted pictures on her facebook page.

But she has not been very active online recently, so some of you might wonder if something has happened to her. Don't worry. Tatou is still with us, and she is doing fine. She loves Oslo, as the city is so clean and full of nature. She has been to the forest to pick mushrooms and collect chestnuts. She also says she met some nissen (Norwegian gnomes) while she was wandering around there, and I have no reason not to believe her. Although she sometimes misses Southeast Asia, she seems very happy to be in Norway.

The main reason she has not been active on this weblog or her facebook profile lately is that she has been very busy setting up her own travel agency. It is called 'Reisbureau Gordel Om', which literally means 'Travel Agency Fasten Your Seatbelt', but also refers to the fact that she is an armadillo (called gordeldier in Dutch). She specialises in sustainable ecotourism and cultural trips for small groups. Any (stuffed) animal with travel plans can contact her for information and personal offers.

Although she has her own company now, Tatou still loves to travel. Hans Christian Andersen's famous expression 'to travel is to live' is her personal motto, so whenever she has the opportunity, she hits the road. As she also likes photography, she has requested me to occassionally post pictures on Rotsblog. Of course, I agreed. Thus, this is the first in a new series of posts, entitled 'Tatou's trips'. In the future, whenever she visits a new place, she will post new pictures here. Feel free to leave comments, or add her as a friend on facebook!

These are all pictures of Oslo: the Vigeland sculpture park, Aker Brygge, the city hall, the Nobel Peace Center, Akershus fortress, the Oslofjord and the Opera House.


  1. I would like to register as a permanent member at your office. Here are my details: Lu Nguyen Nhung, email:, favourite ecotourism and cultural trips would like to do frequently: Temples and gardens in Japan, farms in the Netherlands, forests in Norway, Laos, South America and Africa.

  2. Hi Nhung! Of course you can work at my office! Let's visit many places together - work trips, of course, to organise new tours...! ;)

  3. Yes, of course I am! :)