On gigantic boat which to me looked more like a building tilted on its side and plunked into the water than a sea-craft we sailed for 17 hours to the chilly capital of Norway, Oslo. At the end of a sixty mile fjord- the city rests with many wonderful places and museums just waiting to be explored. We went to all in all seven museums in the 54 hours we were there- which was fun- but a bit crazy- and I’d be lying if I were to say my feet didn’t hurt by the end of it- which along the way just got me thinking about how if I felt anything like a foot ache anywhere else on my body my first thought would be extreme bruising- which then got me thinking about horribly bruised feet- not the best idea if you are going to be spending much of your time for the next two days in a foreign city walking. But all in all it worked out well- and although it went by in a rush it was still a wonderful adventure.
On our first day after getting off from the ferry at 9:30- we took our bags to the Comfort Hotel- and left them in storage so we could bring them to our rooms later. Our first trip was to the Vigeland Sculpture Park- which was very fascinating as I have never seen that large a collection of statues decorating one area- I definitely do not know the historical significance of the specific statues or even the centerfold purpose of the park- I can just say it was all visually stunning- especially to see the monolithic pile of human bodies stacked at the peak of the hill which the park rest on- which all became even more impressive when we went to the Vigeland Museum and learned that all of the major statues in the park were designed by one person…
After that we went to the National Gallery- and we saw The Scream- by Munch- that was neat:
After a brief stop to move our bags into our rooms, we went to a very nice Indian restaurant- after-which we returned to our hotel to rest after our days’ adventures.
The next morning we got up and went on the bus for a twenty or thirty minute ride to a viking ship museum which was very interesting. This particular museum houses the oldest known viking ships retrieved to date- or so I believe. The craftsmanship and artistic nature of the decoration on the boats was fantastic- do think that such vessels could have not only been built and built well- but decorated with such lavish carvings over a thousand years ago is absolutely enthralling. Not only the artistic nature of they’re exterior- but also the sheer size of the boats was amazing- they were so long that I couldn’t get a full vessel in the picture. I find myself with a wish for the stories behind these boats- the things they’d seen… the places they’d been…
After the viking ship museum we went to the open-air folk museum and look about at many different buildings from various times in Norwegian history. I found the museum fascinating- and the grounds are so enjoyable to walk around that you could spend a whole day just exploring the land and the buildings on it. We unfortunately had a tight schedule- but it was truly a beautiful place. Here is a schoolhouse:
The inside was also very interesting:
There was an old church which had been moved to a hilltop in the museum- it has a very mysterious and almost crystalline or otherworldly look to it:
You can walk inside the building as well as along out walkways which stretch around it’s entire outer edge:
The whole place felt very mysterious- I enjoyed going there greatly!
Later in the day we went to the Fram museum- which describe the journey of the first ship to successfully bring its travelers to the south pole- as well as previous journeys. To build the building, they grounded the Fram, and then constructed the museum around it. A method which I found very interesting. The whole place reminded me greatly the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman- as the exhibit related to the polar regions- as well as the mysterious and eerie lighting the place had to it- all purples and greens.
We went to a select few other museums- and explored the city a bit more, after-which we returned to our hotel for the night.
The next day was Halloween, and we packed up our things, but them into storage and returned again to our adventures through Oslo. After another day of museums and walks a collected our baggage and embarked on the ferry at 3:30 in the afternoon (or should I say 15:30?). I was somewhat disappointed to be spending Halloween on a boat- but the journey had been quite and adventure- so I guess it had been worth it. Oslo is a fascinating city- perhaps one I will someday return to- although if I do return to Norway I feel I will be more intrigued by the mountains than the city- whatever the case- the journey was good- and I’m glad I got the chance to have it.