jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 96 [05 May 09] – Oslo

Posted in Oslo by jn82 on May 5, 2009

As we had until 12pm till the 24 hour public transport pass that we bought yesterday for the ferry expired, we decided to head to Vigeland Sculpture Park in the morning. Vigeland Park is part of Frognerparken, a city park with expansive green spaces, duck ponds and rows of shady trees. The park is lined with life-sized statues by Gustav Vigeland (1869 – 1943). In nearly 200 highly charged works of granite and bronze, Vigeland presents the naked human form in a range of emotions, from screaming pot-bellied babies to entwined lovers and tranquil elderly couples.

Kid on man’s head.

Angry baby!

Damned kids!!!

Errr…

In the centre is the most impressive piece which consists of a monolith of writhing bodies. The circle of steps beneasth the monolith is lined with voluptous stone figures, and the form of the complex recalls Egyptian funerary monuments.

Writhing bodies.

Could not help mysef.

Pretty interesting morning hanging around all these statues. Headed back to the hotel after for a short rest, and then on to Akershus Fortress and Castle around 1pm.

Akershus Fortress and Castle is an old castle strategically positioned on the eastern side of the harbour and the grounds offer a decent view of the city and Oslofjord. The castle was renovated in the 17th century by Christian IV into a Renaissance palace, although the front remains decidedly medieval. We walked around the inside of the castle on a self-guided tour with an audio guide, and learnt a bit about the history of the castle, its rooms and what they were and are currently used for.

The castle church.

Christian IV Hall.

The prince’s chamber, used nowadays for entertaining purposes.

After the tour, we headed back into the city via the castle wall perimeter, and I was able to get a pretty good shot of the harbour and the city.

View of Oslo harbour.

Spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the city a bit, and headed back to the hotel early to rest.

Will be on the train the entire day tomorrow for a 467km train ride to Bergen, supposedly one of the most scenic train rides in all of Norway.

Today’s pictures here.

Day 95 [04 May 09] – Oslo

Posted in Oslo by jn82 on May 4, 2009

Totally overslept this morning, and got up at 9.30am instead of 7.30am as intended. Thankfully there was still 30 minutes to go before breakfast ended at 10am, so we managed to eat our fill before heading out at 11am.

The plan for today was to head to Bygdøy, a small peninsula on the western side of Oslo. Here, there are four museums, of which we intended to visit two of them. To get to Bygdøy, we had the option of going by bus or ferry, both part of the Oslo’s public transportation network, so for novelty’s sake we took the ferry, which was also just a stone’s throw from the hotel.

The first museum was the Vikingskipshuset (Viking Ship Museum), which contains three actual viking ships excavated from the Oslofjord region that were preserved since the viking age.

Outside Vikingskipshuset.

These ships had been brought ashore and used as tombs for nobility, who were buried with all they were expected to need hereafter, including jewels, furniture, food and servants. Built of oak in the 9th century, these Viking ships were buried in blue clay, which preserved two of them amazingly well.

The impressive Oseberg ship, buried in AD 834 and festooned with elaborate dragon and serpent carvings, is 22m long and took 30 people to row it.

Oseberg.

A second ship, the 24m long Gokstad, is the world’s finest example of a longship.

Gokstad.

Of the third ship, the Tune, only a few boards remain.

Tune.

I had come here expecting to see viking ships of war that they used in battles, but it was ok just to see these smaller ships which were probably used for just transport and other non-battle purposes.

Afte Vikingskipshuset, we headed over to Norsk Folkemuseum (Norwegian Museum of Cultural History). Here, dirt paths wind past old barns, stabbur (storehouses on stilts), rough timbered farmhouses with sod roofs sprouting wild flowers and 140 other 17th and 18th century buildings. There is also a permernant exhibition of Norweigian folk art and clothing, which is pretty boring.

Traditional Halling dance.

Old building.


Old street.


Timber stabbur.

Sod roofed wooden house.

The highlight was probably the restored stave church, built around 1200 in Gol and brought to Bygdøy in 1885.

Stave church.

We left Bygdøy around 5pm after the museums closed, and got back to the hotel around 6pm after an early dinner in the city.

Today’s pictures here.

Day 94 [03 May 09] – Copenhagen to Oslo

Posted in Oslo by jn82 on May 3, 2009

Today was spent on the trains from Copenhagen to Oslo via Gothenburg in Sweden. The Danish train from Copenhagen to Gothenburg was from 8.23am – 12.15pm, and most of the ride was okay except for the last hour when two young kids and their dad got on and sat behind me. The kids kept making so many weird kid noises apart from just shouting and banging the table, and the father did nothing to shut them up. Sometimes I really just want to punch these young kids on planes and trains. The Norwegian train from Gothemburg to Oslo was from 12.45pm – 4.15pm, and totally peaceful, and extremely scenic with the lush green fields. Just over right hours total travel time in all.

Everything is closed in Oslo on Sunday, so we just got to the hotel and had an early dinner. Hope the weather over the next two days in Oslo will beclear as it was a bit overcast today.

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