Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Norwegian Experience: Day 7

We’ve got the latest from the 2010 Norwegian Experience winner, Bruce Johnson, as he concludes his first day of sightseeing in Oslo. Below you’ll find some of the highlights of the day’s tour, including a visit to Vigeland Park, Holmenkollen and the Norsk Folkemuseum.

Today we had a four hour guided tour of Oslo. Our guide was Gro Steimler. Gro's former husband was the 1st employee of the Sons of Norway and his name is Asle Thorseth and he was the General Manager for the SON in Norway in 1982 so Gro was really happy to be giving a tour to people from the SON.

We first went to the Vigeland Park. We had visited here on our trip in June but with the guide we learned so much more than just walking in the Park. The Park opened in 1950 but the sculptor, Gustav Vigeland died in 1943 before the park was open. He lived at the park and worked for 40 years. The park has 5 sections, The Gate, the bridge where the famous angry boy statue is made of bronze, then the fountain, the monolith and the wheel of life. The sculptures represent the wheel of life and relationships. The statues start with babies and children and progress to the end of life.

Our driver and guide then took us to Holmenkollen. The museum is currently closed for construction but we
were able to walk close enough to see the new ski jump being built for the Feb competition.

We next went to the Norsk Folkemuseum and we saw the Stave Church that was moved here from Gol. It was built around year 1200 and relocated here in 1884. We viewed a few of the other buildings but due to lack of time will hopefully return tomorrow.

We visited the area known as Aker Brygge and saw the Fortress built in 1299 to protect Oslo from the enemy which was Sweden at that time.
Gro then took us to see the old part of Oslo and gave us a lot of history on the area and of Norway which became independent in 1905. She told us about the present monarchy and the future Royal family.

We then visited the Oak Hill area and saw the building that once housed the school for maritime studies but today is a school called Atlantis. One room was painted by Per Krough and depicts life in the country and in the city in all four seasons. Oslo has
a lot of new development underway. They are building a new cultural center and park and a new sculpture park with only sculptures of women. One man is paying for the new sculpture park and building a gondola to get up to the park. If people come here next year it will look a lot different.

Our trip includes the Oslo pass that we would highly recommend for anyone spend 48 hours in Oslo. It includes transportation and admission to most of the attractions in Oslo. The City Hall was closed today and tomorrow as the prize for technology was being presented.

In the afternoon my cousin and his wife also named Gro, their daughter and granddaughter met us and we went to the Norwegian resistance museum. After a great dinner we walked up the famous Karl Johan pedestrian street and saw the law school where Susanne attends school. My cousin's name is Gro Hillestad and her aunt lives in San Diego and is a member of SON. Her name is Kanneola Mreing.
It was a beautiful sunny day and if anyone comes to Oslo it was great having a guide to show us the city. I tried taking lots of notes but know I did not capture everything she told us. I will pass on the name of her company tomorrow. She donated a really nice book on the Open Air Museum to our Lodge and her name is Gro Steimler.

We’ll have more stories and final thoughts from Bruce as he enjoys his last full day of the Norwegian Experience trip and returns to the U.S. on Thursday.

1 comment:

Maria... said...

Im was born in Spain but I LOVE NORWAY. You can see in my blog many pictures about one amazing bloguer meeting in Oslo last moth!