Travels

Autumnal Oslo

Monday 8 October. It’s been a glorious mild and sunny autumn day in Oslo, lovely weather for getting acquainted with the city.

I’m on a good campsite in the north of the city, and once I’d got myself settled in I downloaded an app, bought my ticket, and travelled by bus and metro to the city centre. It was a half hour journey and cost just £3.24 each way. It was also the first cheap thing I’ve found in Norway, but an indication of where Oslo sits with matters environmental; there loads of electric cars and charging points and low levels of vehicles in the city centre.

As usual, it was no museum Monday but, which is more unusual, I’d done a bit of preparation and had a list. That list identified places to wander around and I headed for the first one, the Vigeland Sculpture Park, in Frogner Park. I didn’t know this (well, actually, I knew nothing about the artist!) but Gustav Vigeland (1869 – 1943) designed the Nobel medal. Anyway, he lived and worked in Oslo and in return for his studio and home, donated his works to the city, most of which stand in the glorious surrounds of Frogner Park.

His work is almost exclusively human figures; some conventional compositions,

others less so.

The centre piece is his monolith, surrounded by figures,

Vigeland has been accused of having a fascist aesthetic but I found his work insightful, tender and wacky. When I saw this baby I realised it had registered with me before.

From Frogner Park I just followed signs to the centre, which took me through pleasant residential streets, shops, to the palace, where they were changing the guard.

At the waterfront I found the opera house.

You can wander over roof, which gives good views of the city.

Time was getting on so I went in search of a metro station, coming across this by Finnish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen,

whose exhibition I’d visited in Aalborg, Denmark. I also diverted through the grounds of the Akershus Fortress,

to end a busy day of great variety. And there’s very much more to see.

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