Oslo gave us a warm welcome… It was the first time on our trip that we were able to pop on shorts and a T-shirt and head out for the day. The weather reached high 20’s and I know it’s really not a heat wave but walking through the streets of Oslo you would of thought so.. There were men walking down the street with their tops off, children splashing in park water fountains and quite a few young women basking in the sun with just a bra. The cafes were full and the city park had many families and couple set up picnics for the day.
Oslo is one of the oldest capitals in Europe and is thought to have been originally settled in Viking times. It’s original name was Christiania when Norway was still under Swedish rule. It was renamed Oslo in 1925. It is still relatively a small city with approximately 600,000 inhabitants. We were so lucky to experience such wonderful weather here as average temperatures in Summer are around 20 Celcius.
The highlight of our time in Oslo was visiting Vigelandsparken (Vigeland Sculpture Park). This sculpture park houses the life work of the famous Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland.
Gustav donated all his sculptures to the City of Oslo in 1921 and in return he received a studio and home. The park was created to house his sculptures and he worked on these until his death in 1943. There are over 600 people shaped out of bronze and granite. All his work depicts different aspects of human life from birth to death and emotions from fear, anger, love and jealousy.
Vigeland worked on the theme of “The tree of Life” a large fountain that is held up by six giants who give water to life, nature and mankind. From the tree of life hang children, fathers, mothers, the old and the dead. The huge basin of water in the fountain is a symbol of the burden of life. It represents life’s struggles. It is though that the man struggling under the weight of the dish was Vigeland himself. Vigeland had lost contact with his children after he separated from their mother.This is the oldest part of the park. It was built between 1906 and 1914, but was not erected in the park until after Vingeland’s death.
All paths to the park lead to the Monolith Plateau and the wheel of life. Three stone carvers worked fro 13 years carving the Monolith. It is 17 metres tall and is hewn from granite. It depicts 121 figures which coil around each other with a child on the top.
The Monolith is described as a human tree. It is like a big, solid tree trunk of human bodies. Some bodies are pushing up others are pushing down and some are helping others up. Vigeland was very fond of children, and chose to position them at the top of the Monolith.
After our fabulous art lesson we took a stroll through the park to get away from the heat. The kids were delighted to come a across a local walking her pet pig! You can guess what they’ve been asking for since?
We hopped on the typical Hop On Hop Off sightseeing bus which took us for a one hour tour of the sights. A must for Lucas was a stop at the Viking Museum.
We spent the rest of our time in Aker Brygge and the old part of town enjoying the architecture, a spot of shopping and lots of yummy food ( mussels and shrimp salad).
I’m sure we haven’t even touched the surface of this amazing country, but we did enjoy the sweetest strawberries, the best organic hand picked by the Higgs’ blueberries, the most mouth watering crab, shrimp and salmon. We gasped at the enormity of those amazing fjords and waterfalls and filled our lungs with fresh, crisp, air. We enjoyed the 20 hours of daylight. Gazed at the beautiful coloured houses in quaint little towns.
We did feel sea sick on the Hurtigruten, lost the feeling in our fingers and toes then stripped out of our thermals one hour later as the sun peeked through the clouds. Yes, we couldn’t believe how expensive it was and thought we’d made a currency miscalculation when we were quoted $300.00 for a taxi to the airport.
Would we come back…Absolutely!