Thursday, 25 September 2008

2003 Scandanavian Circle - Oslo, Part II

Ian is woken to a chorus of Happy Birthday as the rain falls outside the cabin. Guzzisue gives him a card and small present before proceeding with some washing. This will probably not dry so will have to be placed in the very expensive dryers on site.
We all get fed up of listening to the rain and watching the returned cable tv that we decide to catch the bus into Oslo again. On the bus there was a group of teenagers full of high spirits and when they realised that we were English we had introductions all round and continued talking until their stop. Another passenger apologised for their behaviour but compared with some we have encountered back home this group were very subdued.
Having got off the bus at the Central Station we once again walked to the booking office for a sailing over to Denmark. First we tried with DFDS but they didn't have any berths for the next day, however we finally had success with Stena and blew the expense and got ourselves a 4 berth cabin with porthole, which Guzzisue insisted on. Tomorrow we sail for Denmark!
After a bite to eat we take the advice from the Tourist Information Centre and buy Day Rider Tickets for 60 KR and take the Metro to the Munch Museum. The main reason for going here was that Ian had always wanted to see "The Scream" painting and this was in the first gallery on the right as we walked into the museum. This may have changed since the painting was stolen and recovered some time later. Ian was surprised to find that this masterpiece was painted onto card. We all enjoyed the visit finding different works of the artist to discuss.
Our next stop was to Vigeland Sculpture Park And Museum. We arrived by bus and when our stop was reached six people in uniform boarded. Ian thought they looked like firemen, but were in fact ticket inspectors. No quarter was given as three of the group blocked the bus doorways whilst the others inspected all passengers' tickets. If anyone had not paid then they were issued with a fine notice without the chance to pay the fare on the bus. Identities and home addresses were checked of the non payers and they were not permitted to leave the bus until these had been verrified!
Having shown our tickets to the inspectors we were permitted to leave the bus and proceeded to enter Vigeland through the main entrance. The park covers an area of 80 acresand functions as both a sculpture park and a public park, open to visitors all day everyday.
The park contains 192 sculptures with more than 600 figures, all modeled by Gustav Vigeland. He also designed the architectural setting and the layout of the grounds.
From the entrance there is a walk to the bridge which is 100 metres long with 58 sculptures along it plus one at every corner. One of the most photographed sculptures from this area is the one titled "Angry Little Boy, Crying"Just below the bridge is a circular area titled "The Children's Playground", containing 8 bronze sculpyures of small children placed around the circumfrence. In the centre, mounted on a small granite coloum is the figure of an unborn child with its head down.

Moving on from the bridge we next arrived at The Fountain, the earliest sculpture unit in the park. The centre of this piece has a six men holding up a large saucer shaped bowl from which water spills down. Around the edge of the sculpture there are more figures in each corner while on the fountain's wall there are many small scenes depicted.
Leaving the Fountain behind we carry on a little further and go through a set of gates to the Monolith.
This column consists of 121 figures and is so named because it was carved out of a single block of stone and its total height including the plinth is 17.3 metres. Three stone carvers worked on the colum daily from 1929 to 1943 and it was completed just before Vigeland died.
Around the steps leading up to the Monolith there are 34 more sculptures, one of which is below.
Carrying on from the Monolith we pass through another gate
and reach the Sundial, mounted on a 12 sided granite pedestal bearing circular reliefs depicting the signs of the zodiac.

The final picture is a view from the Monolith looking down the park towards the main entrance.

Monday, 22 September 2008

2003 Scandanavian Circle - Oslo, Not In A Day

Hello everyone, it's great to have my computer back, devirused and upgraded. It was being set up by my friend Roy as Ian and myself returned home from the Squires Rally in Scotland. It was great to catch up with our friends in the north and wonderful to go up to Scotland for the first time in several years. I will endeavour to do a post on the rally in the near future, but for now I shall complete the Scandinavian Circle adventure.

We have a full itinerary for today and catch the bus into Oslo from the campsite with our first stop being at the Stena ticket office, which was closed! There is a ferry service that takes people across the bay and we caught this to go and do some sightseeing at three of the museums.
Our first museum was the Kon-Tiki Museum that houses both the Kon-Tiki and Ra II. The Kon-Tiki balsa raft crossed 5,000 miles of the Pacific Ocean in 1947, taking 101 days for the achievement. A documentary film was produced of the adventure, winning Thor Heyerdhal an Oscar, which is on display in the museum. In May 1970, Ra II sailed from Morocco to Barbados in 57 days, manned by a crew of eight men from eight nations. Also in the museum is a video presentation and information about the restoration of the Easter Island Stones. For the Viking Ship Museum it is a good idea to look in the car park to see how many coaches are there before entering as coaches + people = very litte looking space. We therefore decided to have a look in the Folkemuseum, which is similat to the Weald and Downland Museum back home.
Within the grounds of the museum there are rescued buildings from across Norway, including a Stave Church from 1200AD,

various town buildings and shops, selling a small selection of wares, woodland areas and exhibition halls thatconcentrate on Norwegian immigrants.

While we were there the exhibition was about the Pakistani people that had made the journey across land with one of their colourful vehicles on display.

Looking on the museum's website there is a mention of cricket, one of Ian's favourite sports. It appears that cricket has been brought to Norway with the immigrants. One day there may be an international match between England and Norway in this wonderful sport! We spent about three hours looking around the folkemuseum before heading back to the Viking Ship Museum. There was now only one coach in the car park, so in we went. The museum itself is quite small but inside there are two well preserved long ships, the Oseberg and the Gokstad, along with a textile gallery that kept Guzzisue quiet for some time.
The Oseberg was found in a large burial mound in Veatfold and excavated in 1904. It was built between 815-820 AD and is 22 meters long. It was used as a grave ship for a high ranking woman.
Likewise the Gokstad was also found in a burial mound in Vestfold and excavated in 1880 and was built around 890 AD. Again it was used as a grave ship, this time for a Viking Chieftain and is slightly longer at 24 meters.
As the next coach parties arrived we departed and caught the water ferry back and tried the Stena ticket office again. This time it was open but we cannot buy a ticket as they only sell them in the early afternoon and not when the ferry is in port, so we will try again tomorrow and also have a little think about any alternatives incase we cannot get on board.
Back at the campsite we pick up a large pizza and sit down for some serious tv watching, that is until the cable network went down.