Sunday, 25 July 2010

A very rainy day in Oslo.

We arrived in Oslo, and made our way to the centre of town.  Our hotel was tricky to find, and on the same street there were 3 different hotels of the same chain.  We got the right one on the 3rd go!

After dumping all our bags in our room, we headed out to see the sights of Oslo.  It was raining just a little bit.  The kids had rain jackets, and Phil and I thought we would be OK...

First stop was to head towards the Nasjonalmuseet, which was only a short walk from the hotel.

Nicole really wanted to go in to see Edvard Munch's painting, "Skrik", more commonly known as "The Scream", 1893.
It was surprising to see that the colours were not as rich as she imagined they would be.  Munch's other works were very impressive as well.
We also liked Harald Sohlberg's paintings, Sommernatt, (Summer Night), 1899 and Vinternatt i Rondane, (Winter Night in the Mountains), 1914
Nicole loved Harriet Backer's paintings as well.
No photos in the gallery as usual, so we bought a few postcards instead.

We walked to the train station from the Nasjonalmuseet to catch a train to the Sculpure Garden.
Along the way we passed the University of Oslo main building.

Opposite the University building is the National Theatre
In front of the National Theatre is a statue of Ludvig Holberg, 1684 – 1754) .
He was a writer born in Bergen, Norway
Next to the National Theatre was this water fountain that the kids enjoyed seeing.
Cameron and Alexander loved this water fountain

We worked out how to use the train system and the ticket machines (not easy, but we got there eventually), and caught the train to the Vigeland Sculpture Park.
By this time the rain has started to get a bit heavier...but we kept going.
The park is incredible and well worth getting very wet to see the amazing sculptures and gardens.
Gustav Vigeland (1869 – 1943) was a Norwegian Sculptor.
The park is enormous, and is home to over of his 200 bronze and granite sculptures. Vigeland also designed the layout of the gardens.
The sculptures of human fugures were incredible, and showed so many different feelings and human interactions.
The following sculptures were on pillars along the bridge.  These were some of our favourites.
We all loved this baby having a temper tantrum.

Past the bridge was a large water fountain with more amazing human figures.

Up a couple of flights of stairs was the most amzing granite scuplture we had ever seen.
A 17 metre monolith carved from one single piece of granite, with 121 figures.
Surrounding the monolith were groups of figures carved from granite as well.
Even the gates had figures formed in the iron rods.

The flower beds were full of yellow and orange flowers
It was well worth getting thoroughly wet for.
Then the rain just kept getting heavier and heavier.
By the time we got down to the harbour, Nicole was starting to have a bit of a temper tantrum like the baby in the sculpture park.  The mousse from her hair was running into her eyes and causing them to sting, and she was wet through.
We were all starting to get very uncomfortable, and being a Sunday after 4pm, there were no shops around that were open to find an umbrella (but at this stage we were all fairly wet).

We caught a tram to Aker brygge, and saw the Nobel Peace Centre building.
But we thought we were far too wet to be going inside, and I am sure they would not appreciate us dripping water all over their floors.  So we will have to look at the website instead to see this one.

The Harbour had some lovely views.

The medieval castle in the background, Akershus Fortress.  Built in the 1290's
Next stop was the Central railway station where the boys loved this sculpture of the Tiger, by Elena Engelsen, 2000.
Around 1870, author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson referred to Oslo as the Tigerstaden (the City of Tigers) because he thought the city was a cold and dangerous place.

Then the tiger bit off Cameron's head and Alexander's arm.

We walked up Oslo's main street, Karl Johans gate, and had dinner at the Cathedral Cafe next to the Domkirke
A simple and delicious meal of meatballs, chicken pieces and sausages.
Then it was back to our hotel for warm showers, and trying to dry off our clothes and shoes for the following day.

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