Thursday, May 26, 2011

Scandinavia Trip Day 6: Oslo

According to our tour guide, Oslo is an old, old city founded in the year 1046. Then after about 600 years, the city was destroyed by fire and rebuilt by King Christian IV as Christiania. Christiania is such a nice name for a city. I don’t know why they had to rename it back to Oslo in 1925.

Anyway, today is Oslo City Tour Day. After an early breakfast at Bocca, we hop on the bus for a ride around town.

oslo city hallOslo City Hall

oslo city hallCarving above the entrance door

oslo city hallBuilt in 1950, Oslo City Hall houses the city council, city administration, art studios and galleries. On display are splendid murals by some of Norway's most respected artists.

olso city hallThe Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is also held here on December 15 every year

226545_10150172570904570_510889569_6594481_965059_nThat’s a beautiful tapestry and we covered it, hehehe

A glass structure/art installation of some sort.
Our tour guide doesn’t have a clue what it is, too.

Oslo Opera House. Or at least a portion of it.

227490_10150172574884570_510889569_6594574_427348_nThe pointing finger fountain?

Yellow and pink buildings

vigeland parkOur next stop is Vigeland Sculpture Park

229175_10150172571014570_510889569_6594484_6874212_nThe gate’s circles signify eternity, the dragons signify luck

223040_10150172571329570_510889569_6594491_5206477_nVigeland Park is the world's largest sculpture park by a single artist. It showcases 
Adolf Gustav Vigeland's lifework with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite
and wrought iron.

vigeland parkThe park’s theme is Life. Each sculpture portrays Vigeland’s vision of the cycle of life,
and the relationships between man and woman, adults and children.


228257_10150166344042293_718632292_6928323_2000442_n 227270_10150172571714570_510889569_6594499_7238993_n

225952_10150166344117293_718632292_6928326_5498251_n vigeland park

vigeland park

vigeland park

vigeland park

Taking photos of the sculptures becomes boring after a while, so we decide to do some fun shots by imitating the statues.

224137_10150166343577293_718632292_6928312_4444694_nFrances chooses an easy one and still manages to do it all wrong

231195_10150172572004570_510889569_6594507_7367594_nFelisse wants to be a playful dad

And I am a crazy woman!

Florence hasn’t got a clue how she’s gonna accomplish this


vigeland parkThe Fountain (that has no water)

vigeland parkThe 20 tree groups surrounding the fountain portray the life of man, from cradle to grave


229115_10150172572429570_510889569_6594516_3224030_nHere they go again, this time copying a granite sculpture

226555_10150172572469570_510889569_6594517_5553874_nGroup photo on the Monolith Plateau

vigeland parkThe Monolith, with 121 figures and standing 17.3 m high, was carved from
one single granite block. This column with people drawn towards heaven
is said to represent man's longing and yearning for the spiritual and divine.


This little girl wants to be everywhere!

230435_10150166345642293_718632292_6928365_3025365_nBehind Frances is the Wheel of Life. The wheel, a symbol of eternity, is executed
as a garland of men, women and children holding on to each other. This sculpture
sums up the dramatic theme of the entire park: Man's journey from cradle to grave,
through happiness and grief, through fantasy, hope and wishes of eternity.

viking ship museumNext stop is the Viking Ship Museum.
Trivia: Do you know that Vikings are tall, dark and handsome men who only take baths on Saturdays? To this day, Saturday is referred to as "washing day" in Scandinavian languages.

viking ship museumThe Oseberg Ship was excavated in 1904-1905. Numerous grave goods and two female human skeletons were also discovered in the burial mounds. Yikes. Although seaworthy, the Oseberg Ship is relatively frail, and it is thought to have been used only for coastal voyages.

viking ship museumThe Gokstad Ship is the largest ship in the museum. It is clinker-built and constructed largely of oak, making it unsuitable for long voyages. It is thought to have been made for warfare, trade, and transportation of people and cargo.

The Tune Ship was excavated in 1867 and believed to be built around AD 900

Bored with Viking ships, Frances decides to kill her sister

Oslo Tramway

Lunch is at Sofie’s Mat-Ol og Vinhus

                                    Interiors                                                                        House salad

                    Salmon in cream sauce                                                        Crema caramel

Auntie Babie and Auntie Atis enjoying lunch

city bikes osloOslo Bysykkel has more than 1,200 bikes all over the city. Buy an annual bike card for
90 Norwegian kroner and you can use it to get and return bikes from any of over
100 bike stations in the city. How convenient is that!

We spend the afternoon walking around the famous Karl Johans gate.

karl johans gate





Big dog

227375_10150172574129570_510889569_6594559_3762188_nLike owner, like dog Smile with tongue out

225364_10150166350752293_718632292_6928449_3653836_nWhere there’s souvenirs, there’s us!


oslo central stationOslo Central Station

Oslo is nicknamed Tigerstaden or City of Tigers. This large bronze tiger sculpture by Elena Engelsen was erected in 2000 to commemorate Oslo’s 1000th anniversary.

223130_10150172573589570_510889569_6594547_4917372_nLittle kid hanging on the tiger’s tail

                          Color block fashion                                            That’s a loooooooooong woman

Al fresco cafe

It is so nice to just sit out here, enjoy a cup of coffee and watch the world go by

223193_10150166352847293_718632292_6928489_6696210_nWith lovely music playing in the background, too

222550_10150172573994570_510889569_6594556_5737419_nBut we have to rush back for dinner so…

I grab a bottle of my favorite dark chocolate milk from the convenience store
and enjoy it while walking. Cocio is love.

229695_10150172573934570_510889569_6594555_1445923_nThe 7-Eleven in Karl Johans is so sosy!

oslo national theaterNational Theater

226463_10150166353632293_718632292_6928504_4774891_nWe make a quick stop at Freia to buy some chocolates

I guess Felisse and I aren’t the only chocolate lovers here. That’s Ernest and Auntie Anita stocking up on supplies

My stash. It’s actually just Kitkat in more colorful packaging 
with a name I do not dare to pronounce.

Dinner is at Kinesisk Peking Szechuan Restaurant

                       Hot and sour soup                                                            Beef with onions

                                Mapo tofu                                                              Chicken with peppers

             Steamed salmon Chinese style                                 This is actually quite delicious

                    Chinese pechay                                                                           Oranges

After dinner, we walk around the city to burn off the calories.

Blair Witches

Shit Shop

We got lost for a bit

But found our way back. Whew.

Red beetle

Villa Paradiso

After burning off the calories from dinner, our tummies are ready for some midnight snack

Pollo Bianco pizza

Prosciutto di Parma pizza

Me, Frances, Felisse, Ernest and Erwin at Olivia

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