Daily Archives: 2009-06-09

Sculptorades – Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

One day I decided to go visit the Royal Palace where the king and queen (who are apparently quite personable and friendly) reside. I was just in time for the changing of the guards which was a lot less crowded than the one in England. It was pretty cool but not much unlike the whole process that happens in all the other countries. I think once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

One of my highlights of Olso was my visit to Vigeland Park. Covering 80 acres and featuring 212 bronze and granite sculptures, we certainly had our work cut out for us. The park is divided into six sections: The Main Gate, The Bridge, The Children’s Playground, The Fountain, The Monolith Plateau and the Wheel of Life. I personally liked best The Bridge which showcases nicely the “human condition”.

I took a million pictures here and I still don’t think I took enough. Kat told me it was a statue park but I was not prepared for the level of emotion conveyed by them. Who knew that a large hunk of rock or metal could evoke such depth of emotions in me?

A certain favorite is “Sinnataggen”, the little Angry Boy on the bridge. I could understand that…he was pretty cute and reminded me of that cheeky dancing baby in the Ally McBeal series.

But one of my personal favorites was the little old woman nestled between the two younger, more robust women. Though many may have thought her to look squished and frail, I experienced something quite different. In her sunken eyes and toothless grin, I felt pure happiness, something no one could touch. It came from within. I could almost hear her chuckle at finding the secret to life that the rest of us seem to be in endless search of.

Grateful for solid emotion.

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A laid back space and slower pace – Oslo, Norway

It was nice to be able to slow down and live a somewhat local life rather than be the traveling tourist. The sun ended up coming out periodically which made for some lovely walks. I was amazed at the vivid blooms gracing peoples gardens as I strolled down to the market. The parks and every green space was packed with Osloians taking in the sun and doing a whole lot of nothing. It was refreshing to visit a country where people know the importance of leisure.

After doing some shopping at the foreign markets, where Kat said I would find the best deals, I ventured further into the center. By chance I came upon a hippy peace type gathering from which some ear-catching tunes were wafting. I was drawn in by the music but was kept by the atmosphere of gentle acceptance. There were free trade organic treats for us to snack on as we watched the unique fashion show that was taking place before us. The stunning young and younger ladies sashayed by playfully in their flowing costumes. It was all I could do not to get up and dance along with them.

Grateful for freedom.

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Scandinavian Rain – Oslo, Norway

When we arrived into Norway, it was raining. All I could think about was how cold it was and how surely it would warm up. Lucky, I was wearing a rain jacket but that alone didn’t protect me. It was the fact that I had to trawl my rolling suitcase up and around and through the cobblestone steep Olso streets. Kat said it was only a 10 minute walk but after about 22 minutes, I realized that maybe her sense of time has been skewed. Possibly her year here studying had dampened her internal clock. Who can know for sure. But if I may have been chilly that was quickly remedied by the sweat that was forming on my brow. Clackity clack clack rumbled my luggage as I tried my best to keep it from tipping over. Why don’t they put those giant wheels that so many baby hummers have these days? That would be sweet. And functional.

After snaking through a humongous graveyard shortcut, we finally arrived at Kats residence. It seemed to be at the very top of Norway and I was pretty proud of myself for climbing the mountain. It was neat to meet the many different cultures who surrounded her room. She described them all in very colorful terms except for the one guy who she didn’t even want to name. Apparently all her floormates were tolerable, even delightful at times, save for this unfine young man. Curiously, he was the one I craved to meet the most.

I ended up sleeping quite a bit now that I felt at “home” and comfortable. Even though it wasn’t my home, it was someone’s home and she had decorated it with her personal effects in a very charming way. It made it comfy and cozy inside even though the weather was gloomy out the window. I did spend some time perched by her window admiring her spectacular view of the town.

Later we took a trip to the grocery store, which is for me a definite highlight of any new place. I took in all the strange and fascinating choices including the bizarre selection of cheeses and cereals. Those are always a good indicator of how a country is run. If they value their variety, then they can be considered for a return visit, in my books.

Grateful for hominess.

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