An Unexpected Oslo

What did I expect of Norway's capital city?  Certainly not this elegant, thoroughly modern metropolis, with an integrated transport system that runs like clockwork, wide streets, designer shops and beautiful museums.
Apartment Buildings

The Museum of Modern Art

New developments on the waterfront
The opera house is stunning, with marble sloping roofs like ski slopes.

All marble and glass
I'd been warned that Oslo was expensive, but didn't find it much more punitive than central London. We were staying in a borrowed apartment in the centre, which made it more affordable, buying food in the local supermarket and eating with friends.  Norwegians are helpful, friendly and hospitable.  It's a country with a low population density and you can feel the relaxed atmosphere.  Apparently it's become a little more cautious since the terrible events of 2011, when Anders Breivik killed 77 people.  The prime minister and the royal family no longer wander around the streets freely without a posse of security guards.
Tumbling babies in Vigeland Park
Our friend Caroline, who's an architect, invited us to lunch and then took us to Vigeland Park - one of the big attractions of the city.  Vigeland was one of Norway's most famous artists and created a huge park full of nude sculptures.  It's supposed to be a meditation on life and death and all the human stages in between and is very impressive.

Vigeland - elderly compassion
A mother giving her children a piggy-back, with a few extra!

The central pillar carved with human bodies piled on top of each other.
Sculpture was the reason we were there - for our friend Julia Vance's big exhibition. It was the first time I'd seen many of the pieces - particularly one big alabaster like a space ship, with the interior carved like honeycomb.  I loved it - and so did someone else, because it sold straight away.


It was a great party!
Wonder what these two ladies are saying to each other?
Having got out of bed at 3am to catch the Ryanair flight from Pisa to Oslo, we didn't manage to last out the evening - collapsing into our borrowed bed and asleep before midnight.  I wanted lots of energy for the Viking Museum - 1st on my list of "must sees".  It didn't disappoint, but I'll post the pics tomorrow.


  1. I have to say that from what I can see of Julia's alabaster piece, I love it too!


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