An Afternoon in Vigeland Park

Our last full day in Oslo, we made a mad dash through several amazing museums.  My favorite as you may recall was the incredible Viking Ship Museum.  After an expensive pizza lunch we headed out for our afternoon adventures: the Munch Museum and Vigeland Park.

IMG_9490

My motivation of course for going was to see Munch’s masterpiece The Scream.  Unfortunately, after its second theft and subsequent recovery, it is not always on display.  The painting was damaged as a consequence of the second theft and is undergoing restoration.  In hindsight, I would have instead opted to peruse Oslo’s National Gallery that has The Scream on display (there were 4 copies.)

image1 (6)

After our brief visit, we headed to a more kid friendly location.  The Vigeland Sculpture Garden, which is on the opposite side of Olso was our next stop.  Thanks to the Oslo’s incredible public transportation system it is easy to get anywhere in Oslo.  We took the T-bane (Olso’s Subway) to the nearest station and walked down the hill to the park.

image2 (1)

Vigeland Sculpture Garden is a must see if you ever travel to Oslo.  First of all, it is free.  This is great because you’ll spend a lot of money on food in Oslo.  For other attractions and free public transportation, your best bet is to buy an Oslo Pass.  You can buy an Oslo pass for 24-48-72 hours.  It definitely pays to have the Oslo Pass.

image1 (7)

Back to the Vigeland Sculpture Garden, which displays the life works of Gustav Vigeland.  The city of Oslo gave Vigeland a studio, where his eponymous museum is now located. Vigeland Park is home to Vigeland’s sculptures and incredibly beautiful gardens.

IMG_2172

The Monolith was carved out of a single block of granite and is located at the highest part of the park.  This is where our Vigeland experience began.  The kids were able to run free and explore the sculptures surrounding the monolith.  There were plenty of giggles emanating from the kids as all of the sculptures representative of man’s life cycle were nude.

While the kids giggled and climbed on the sculptures exploring the cycle of life, we were happy to photograph them as we took in the beautiful sculptures.  As they climbed, we ambled through the various sculptures.  Vigeland’s sculptures truly captured all of life’s cycles in beautiful and honest depictions.  The monolith is truly an exquisite piece of art.

IMG_2172

The kids got thirsty quick since it was a bit hot, by Oslo standards, the day we visited Vigeland. Near the bridge there was a tourist shop that sold water.  As the kids caught their breath and rehydrated, we were able to take in the beautiful sculptures on the bridge.   The sculptures on the bridge depict the children, men, women and their relationships.  The most popular sculpture is the one of the crying boy.  My favorite sculpture was the one that depicted a father juggling his children because it reminded me of my Hubby and my boys.

IMG_2176.jpg

IMG_2068.jpg

If you find yourself in Oslo, Vigeland Park is an absolute must.  It would be the perfect location for a picnic lunch between museums.  Lastly, Vigeland is great for families with kids. Parents can enjoy the artistry of Gustave Vigeland while the kids can run freely about the park.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

The Viking Ship Museum

My favorite museum in Oslo was the Viking Ship Museum on Bygdoy Island, where you can see actual Viking ships recovered from burial mounds in Norway.   Growing up in Minnesota, we would see a replica Viking ship in Leif Erikson park up in Duluth.  The replica was impressive, but seeing actual Viking ships up close was beyond pale.

IMG_9414

The construction of the Viking ships showcase a level craftsmanship that is astounding on its own.  However, when taken in tandem with the wood carvings on the ship, the craftsmanship of the Vikings is unparalleled.   The intricacies of the carving are astounding considering the lack of modern tools.

IMG_9396IMG_1913

The Vikings present an interesting paradox.   Historians, and the people they conquered,  considered the Vikings to be barbaric marauder, but the Vikings were also expert seafarers and sophisticated craftsmen.  Inside the museum, a part from the ships, there are sleds, wagons and other vestiges of the Viking Age on display.   The Viking’s expertise is on full display through each exhibit.

IMG_9401

The ships at the Viking Ship Museum were constructed in the traditional fashion.  The Vikings passed on their ship building knowledge, a tradition, from generation to generation.  As a consequence, Viking ship builders picked very specific types and shapes of trees for their ships.  If you are a fan of the show Vikings or find yourself in Oslo, this museum is a must see.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Stopping to Smell the Roses

When I’m back home, my allergies are horrendous.  Here in Norway, they’ve been much better to the point where I can even stop and smell the roses.  My allergies have been present in Norway as there is a lot of pollen this time of year here as well, but they’re significantly less severe.  I enjoyed stopping to smell the roses.

IMG_2144

Even on the worst allergy day here, I can still smell the roses and flowers as I walk by them.  The fragrance of the roses, in particular, is very strong.  The smell is absolutely magnificent.  There is not a candle or potpourri on earth that can replicate the smell of these roses.

IMG_2170

Not only is the aroma amazing, but the flowers on the plants are gigantic, brightly colored and numerous.  Thank goodness for the close up feature on my Canon, which did a pretty good job of capturing the beautiful blooms.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Exploring Oslo

After the long drive from Trondheim, we quickly settled into our AirBnB and headed out to meet our family.  We spent time along the waterfront and picked up some dinner at the food trucks on near the Nobel Center.  Jake, Goalielocks, Dad and I enjoyed a tasty fresh crepe while the Mayor had a spring roll.

We walked the waterfront heading up to Akershus Fortress to get a better viewpoint of the Oslofjord.  The vistas from the fortress are absolutely amazing. If you ever make your way to Oslo, you must make a stop as the Akershus Fortress.  The grounds of the fortress were equally impressive.

FullSizeRender 5

Most of the museum close by 18:00 and it was well after this, but the grounds of the fortress were still open or so we thought.  Never low on drama or shenanigans, we (along with some other tourists) did have a run in with the military police, who informed us the grounds were now closed.   The only problem was, of course, so too were all of the exits.

IMG_8444

Thank god my older brother speaks Norwegians and was able to speak to the guards, who were willing to let us out their guarded entrance.  The youngest kids made their way out of the turn-styles, which locked after each individual exited.  The MPs seeing this and understanding the struggle, opened the main gate so we could quickly exit the grounds.

IMG_8421

We ended our night at the magnificent Oslo Opera house where you can literally walk up and down the side and roof of the building.  The kids had a blast skipping rocks and running around on the building’s roof and near the water line.  We were crossing our fingers that they wouldn’t slip into Oslofjord, which at this point is shallow, but would have made for an incredibly chilly walk back to the hotel.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

True Grit and Determination Wins the Day

After a transatlantic flight with little to no sleep for everyone, we hopped on a train, the T to get our rental.   For the next eight hours we hit the road from Oslo to Norway.  I’m not convinced that Waze sent us the best route, but hey nothing wrong with a little adventure.  Who doesn’t like driving on two lane mountain roads on no sleep and with three boys fighting in the backseat over the lack of legroom.

IMG_8329

IMG_8332

Adventures and travels don’t always come easy,  they call from tenacity and grit sometimes, but that is also what makes them worthwhile.  There was a payoff was the view for the two-lanes drive.  The scenery has been absolutely breathtaking and we’re no worse for the wear.   Time to get some grub before calling it an early night.  Sending much love from Trondheim.

FullSizeRender 4IMG_8303