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Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Oslo--Wish We Had More Time Part I

The Regal Princess passing huddled homes along the coast
as we sail into Oslo, Norway

Our next stop is Oslo, and it is a wonderful drive through the city as our guide explains that much of Norway’s history involves learning how to deal with the extremely harsh climate. 

When Norway began to modernize, it looked to German design for insight, and we can see that influence along our route.  

However, as time passed and the Norwegians developed their own style, we can see the changes as Norway came into its own.
Colorful and attractive.  It was a pretty ride through the city.
The trouble with cruising as opposed to a land journey is there is limited time in each port, and we would have loved to spend more time in Norway.  Nevertheless, Princess’ “The Best of Oslo” tour was jam packed with goodies.

On this lovely Spring day, the highlight for me was the Vigeland Sculpture Park, an amazing collection of 212 bronze and granite sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland over a period of 30 years, depicting the life of man and set in the gorgeous natural setting of a park. 

The theme of the sculptures is the circle of life, and all stages are represented by single groups of sculptures, a wheel of life, fountains, and a monolith.  It is Norway’s most visited tourist attraction, and it does not disappoint.  Most of the sculptures are set along a long axis, and you just have to look at the WOW expressions on visitors’ faces to see how impressive the park is. I really enjoyed the family sculptures the most.  The joy in them was almost palpable.

We could have spent the day at Vigland, but our next stop was also amazing--the Cultural Museum of Norway.  I love this type of museum, particularly when they have some of the original buildings.  I recently posted on the cultural museum we visited and then joined here in North Carolina, Old Salem, and Rob and I have visited others that are memorable, particularly one in Ireland.  At any rate, this was quite an eye-opening experience.

Once again, Norway’s harsh climate made the number one challenge that of survival. Buildings were clustered, and animals were carefully sheltered in the severe winter months, often right with the family, Our guide explained that some misinterpret the living arrangements as primitive, but it was necessary. Animals must be kept alive. The sauna was important too, and in this museum, there is one built as it was in those early times. 

Houses were sturdy, close together, and the barns and animals were kept close by.

 The Norwegians also used grass on their rooves as an insulator as well as a sustainable fixture.  Once the roof was completed, the grass grew but was of a type that did not need cutting.  It also offered food for birds and climbing animals.  Our guide explains that a roof as we see demonstrated might last 50 years.  In fact, as we drive through Norway’s countryside, we see that these rooves are still in existence.  They’re quite beautiful.

This is actually a schoolhouse for the village.
Notice the grass roof.
There was a schoolhouse in the village as well. 

The most stunning building was the church.  No seats inside.  No windows.  Quite dark.  The building is beautiful.

A beautiful and impressive building.
It sits on the top of a hill and can be seen almost anywhere in the village.

Once again, I am going to post an Oslo Part II because the rest of the day was excitingly compelling and fascinating.  So much to share with you.

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