Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Redux: Oslo, Norway
Okay! This wasn't my initial plan for the retelling, pictorially, of our recent cruise, but I've decided to do this piecemeal as each photo album is finished. It'll be easier for you, if you want to take a look, rather than having all 6 albums at once. And it'll give a break in-between albums. I do NOT expect anyone to go through all the photos because there are too many. This Oslo album alone is 225 pics! My suggestion is to open each album as it comes and just scan the thumbnails or pick-n-choose what you want to see. This is really more for Donica and me, as a memory of our trip.
We first went to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump (on our shore excursion) and got a panoramic view of the city. But from there we immediately went to Vigeland Park, the culprit for so many of my photos. I've chosen this one scupture to give you a taste of what this incredible artist (Gustav Vigeland,1869-1943) did in his lifetime. One section of the park is in granite sculptures and the other in bronze, depicting the cycle of life. On the 80 acres, there are 192 sculptures with more than 600 figures, all modeled in full size and all nude. I would go back to Oslo for this park alone. It absolutely stunned my Soul!
From the Vigeland Park we went to the Viking Museum, where you'll see a few pics of the 2 ships. Literally next door (we could have walked there!) was the Open-air Folk Museum where you'll see a whole set of buildings from various districts around the country, depicting what life was like hundreds of years ago. The Gol stave church,orginally built in 1200 AD, is the museum's greatest national treasure. The house pictured here, with grass on the roof, is a typical dwelling.
After our excursion, and while Donica headed off to the Hard Rock Cafe, I went back to the pier and did my own tour of the City Hall area at the neck of the port as well as of this Akershus Fortress across the street from where our ship was docked. It's the fortress that has never been conquered and was built circa 1300 AD. I actually took this photo from the balcony of our room on the 10th deck of the ship shortly after we docked in the morning. It made sense, then, to take pics of the ship from the fortress, which was just as fun, later in the afternoon.
One of my favorite photos of the time in Oslo was this one of these two girls at the fountain. I don't know if they're school girls or sisters but I like what they symbolize: standing side-by-side, both looking in the same direction, viewing the same thing. Whether it's all of us around the world watching the same soccer/football games, or the same world news, or the same full moon, I like that we are brought together by common threads that show how similar we are than different.
One last thing: I heard on the news last night that Norway has created a "doomsday vault" that will hold 3 million of the world's crop seeds, carved into a frozen mountainside. "Its purpose is to ensure the survival of crop diversity in the event of plant epidemics, nuclear war, natural disasters or climate change, and to offer the world a chance to restart growth of food crops that may have been wiped out."
I knew I loved Norway the second I laid my eyes on her! Enough reasons to last a lifetime!