Morning brought the ferry's arrival in Oslo. We noted that Sven had stocked up at the duty free shop. That aquavit is powerful stuff.


Sven recovered from his big night and worked his magic with Sol, the Scandinavian sun goddess. We docked at the head of Oslofjord and disembarked. Cerulean skies lit our morning ramble through the city center.


Oslo City Hall

We were amused to see a Burger King on every corner - but, shockingly, no Starbucks. That was okay, as the local brew was more than satisfactory. Not to mention pastries that aren't called "Danish" by anyone but the Americans. We looked forward to our morning wienerbrød (literally, Vienna bread). More walking was prescribed, lest the contents of our suitcases become too snug for comfortable wearage.


Our walk took us along the city's waterfront, past the Nobel Peace Center and a slew of historic buildings. Art was everywhere.


We wended our way to the Akershus Fortress in downtown Oslo. The fortress contained a castle, ramparts, and the Norwegian Resistance Museum.

The Resistance Museum was fascinating, if sobering. Sue got left behind and had to hunt through the streets of Oslo, searching for the rest of the group. It was actually kind of a fun adventure.

The ramparts provided a good vantage point for taking pictures of the harbor.


The highlight of the day was a trip to Frogner Park, location of Gustav Vigeland's sculpture park. Vigeland was an artist and craftsman who devoted his life to the creation of the statues that fill the park. Apparently, this all started with a fountain that was supposed to go in front of City Hall. At some point, the whole thing got out of hand, and the city gave the man an entire park to fill with his large, anatomically correct statues.

We were given time to explore the park at our leisure. It was a fantastic day for a stroll amongst the fantastical artwork, which culminated with a hike up to the large monolith in the center. People stood around it, slack-jawed or whispering about what it  might signify.



We took a bajillion pix of the park - too many to put them all on one web page. Here's a sampling in a photo-gallery format. Click on any of the thumbnails to see larger photos. Be warned: If you click, you're going to see statues of naked people. In all their glory. It was sort of mind-blowing to see all kinds of folks wandering among these statues with nary a blink. Back home, there would be letters to the editor, graffiti, and general outrage. But not here. Ah, the joys of traveling.


Jerry with the "Angry Child," one of the more famous statues



Sue took advantage of the opportunity to do a little sunbathing. Not very dignified, but oh so pleasant...

Refreshed, we boarded the bus for a climb up the local mountain. Our destination: The Holmenkollen ski jump. Visitors are allowed to climb up the tower and peer down the jump. This was made extra exciting by the winds that howled around the upper reaches of the tower, making it shake and groan during the walk up. It's hard to imagine how anyone would actually scoot out onto the little perch and then just let gravity take its course. The simulator ride at the base of the tower let us experience the thrill without fear of the "agony of defeat."


It was with some relief that we got back on the bus for the trip down. We happily checked in to the Hotel Stefan and began our search for the perfect place to have a pre-dinner social hour.

The next morning, we explored the Bygdøy Peninsula, site of several appealing museums.


The Oslo Viking ship museum had some ships that were much better preserved than the ones at Roskilde. The intricate carvings were intact down to the most minute detail.


Jerry didn't believe that some of the statues in Oslo were actually living, breathing human beings. Some of them were so realistic that pigeons perched on their heads and arms. To prove the point, Sue suggested throwing some kroner in the bucket at the base of one of the statues. Jerry did, and the statue came alive! And shook Jerry's hand! And saluted! Jerry says, "That's a little hoky." Well, yeah. Amusing, the first time you see it. But what a way to make a living...

These are Sue's favorite pictures from the whole trip. No, it has nothing to do with her childhood equine fixation!

Oslo street art