We made great use of the Oslo passes on our second day in the city by trying out the transport network. It’s a very straightforward system but the Burgess family still managed to get it wrong by not realising there were two entrances to the T-bane (Metro) at the National Theatre: we were standing on the eastbound platform when we were planning to travel west. A quick exit followed by a short dash to the other entrance and we had cracked it. From then on, it was a breeze. The trains were efficient and regular, even on a Sunday and, as expected, spotlessly clean. Such was my excitement and eagerness to capture this on film, I whipped out my camera to take a photo of my boys sitting opposite. I sensed from their expressions that they were not happy. They are used to me snapping away on holiday but I broke a rule, apparently, by using it on public transport. Just look at their faces, and the chap behind who seems to agree that I had committed a serious faux-pas.
|If looks could kill…|
Our stop was Holmenkollen, location of the world’s most modern ski jump. Going to see it in the summer is to be recommended as the views from the top are superb plus, if you’re an adrenaline junkie, they have a zip-wire attraction at weekends so you can fly down. Unsurprisingly we passed on this but it was great fun to watch other people. Seeking a small thrill, we had a go in a ski-jump and slalom simulator and I embarrassed my boys yet again by squealing throughout the whole ride. We also visited the Ski Museum here and managed a quick, inexpensive lunch before descending.
|First place for…erm…observing?|
|Can you spot the person on the zip-wire?|
Having spent a morning up in the hills, we took the Metro back to the city and alighted at Majorstuen in order to visit Frogner Park: a beautiful expanse of public space that is a magnet for residents and tourists alike. In the middle is the Vigeland Installation, the most extraordinary collection of over 200 bronze and granite sculptures designed by Gustav Vigeland. The bronze figures located on the bridge were delightful, happy, carefree figures – family groups, parents with children, lovers, old and young – together forming the ‘Human Condition’ theme. Along the bridge is Oslo’s famous Angry Boy whose left hand has been touched so much, it glows oddly against the green patina.
|Vigeland’s sculptures including the Angry Boy|
Further into the centre of the installation is a totem-like monolith, surrounded by other granite works to demonstrate the Circle of Life. These figures, like the bronze ones on the bridge, are quite remarkable in their accuracy and, indeed, quantity – the lifetime’s work of an artist whose ability to capture the human form was quite astonishing. Using our Oslo Pass we had a quick canter round the the Vigeland Museum to find out more about how Vigeland created his pieces.
|Two examples of the granite works by Gustav Vigeland
Keen to try another form of transport in Oslo, we hopped on a tram just outside the park and that shortened the journey back to the hotel or at least it would have if we hadn’t turned the wrong way after getting off. Just a small diversion…
Chill time back at The Thief before the usual ‘where shall we go for dinner?’ routine. Having had a blow out the previous evening, we plumped for just one course at Jacob Aall in the harbour. Sitting outside once again as it was still balmy, but enjoying the sheepskin throw snuggling into my back nonetheless, we had excellent burgers and chips and an enjoyable chat with the waiter who used to live in Somerset. They served Caipirinhas too and as that’s now my favourite tipple following our Brazilian meat-fest in London, I pretended not to notice the price…and sucked the lime wedges dry.The Oslo Pass gave us free transport on the metro and tram, free entry to the Vigeland Museum, plus the Holmenkollen attraction and discounted rates for the simulator. For details about the Oslo Pass, please see previous post : 72 hours in Oslo – Part One