Saturday, July 7, 2012

Farmers and Sailors!

This was our first full day in Oslo. It got off to a lazy start, as we planned what to do, over breakfast. I wanted to see Vigeland Sculpture Park and we also wanted to visit the museums on  the Bygdoy Peninsula.

We decided to go to the tourist information office near the main train station and ask the best way to get from one place to another. The offıce runs on a ticket system. We worked out how to get our ticket and waited our turn. The girl who dealt with us was extremely helpful and using a map outlined the different ways to travel, bus, tram or ferry. She also recommended the 24 hour public transport ticket at the cost of 75 kroner. This proved to be extremely good value as the ferry alone was 50 kr. Hubbie surprised me by electing to go by ferry. He goes green just at the mention of a boat. But the ferry would only take 15 minutes. We had to take the No. 12 tram from outside tourist information to take us  to the harbour area of Aker Brygge. From there we would catch the ferry. We did well, found it left from Platform B. We went and waited.....and waited. No tram. We eventually noticed a sign that told us, due to roadworks our tram was going from Platform F. It's just a well we decided to make these a relaxed few days. We were now about 3 hours behind my original schedule.

We'd found our way, now Hubbie checks the time of the next ferry.
Next, to the ferry. While waiting we were approached by two men,  each given a bar of chocolate and a leaflet, explaining that this was because we were celebrating the Dalai Lama's birthday today.

The ferry? No, not this one
This one.
We boarded the ferry and in no time at all we reached our destination. There was a "toy" train if we wished to take it to the musuems but we elected to walk. Better for our health and our pocket! On our way we passed some beautiful houses. This area must be like Ailesbury or Shrewsbury Road in Dublin, the dearest roads on the Monopoly Board!

Beautiful houses on the Bygdoy Peninsula

Most of them were white.

.....with a few exceptions

We arrived at our first stop, the Norwegian Folk and Culture Museum. You could easily allocate a whole day to spend here. It is an outdoor musuem. They have brought over 140 buildings from all over Norway, mainly from the 17th and 18th centuries, and reconstructed them here, according to region.

A typical farm.

I can't get away from it...........the schoolhouse!
An outdoor theatre

A signpost.

The Presbytery Garden

The grass roof covered in wildflowers was prevalent.

A storeroom
A farmhouse built in the 1800's and modernised inside in the 1950's

Part of the barn and farmyard.

Does anyone remember these tractors?
Of course it wouldn't be a farm without livestock.

Fancy washing the clothes in this machine?
 Going back in time again. A guest house from the 1800's. Inside all the walls and ceilings were painted in a rose design. This is now preserved behind glass
The Gamlebyn, the Old Town is a reproduction of an early 20th century Norwegian town.
The Old Town
A street in the Old Town
But it was this old garage that really caught our fancy.

This transports us back in time!

The most impressive building for me was the Stave Church, built around 1200 and shifted to Bygday in 1885. These churches are named for their  vertical supporting posts  and are also noted for their detailed carved designs, dragon headed gables, like the prow of the Viking ships and their beautiful almost Asian forms.

Gateway to the Stave Church

Stave Church
The entrance.
Finer Detail
The dragon heads and elaborate carving
The inside is very dark. This is some of the detail inside.
As the day moved on we decided there was only time to visit the Viking Ship Museum and we would leave the Sculpture Park until tomorrow. Aching feet, flat camera battery (my head is really bad these days, two spare batteries were in the apartment) and once again, no tripod. I hadn't thought I'd lug it around the city, this meant I was struggling with trying to find a setting to deal with burned out skies. Sometimes I despair of ever learning to find my way around this camera.

The Viking Ship Museum

The museum though small is impressive. It holds the Viking ships Gokstad and Oseberg as well as a few boards of the Tune. They were built in the 9th century and later pulled ashore and used as tombs for nobility. It is mindboggling to think of the seafaring skills of these sailors as they sailed all the way down to the Mediterranean. Off course, they stopped off in Ireland, plundering, trading, settling and leaving a large number of their genes behind them.

The remains of the Tune

The Oseberg from floor level

Reproduction of the prow.
Cart found buried on the ship


Yet another one.
We had one last task for the day. Hubbie had to buy a new cap. He forgot to pack his and the sun is not kind to his receding hairline!

Hubbie's Viking cap.


  1. I love the architecture Mary, and the church was gorgeous, but I have to ask...what is the point of putting grass on top of a building? It looks whimsical to my eyes. I am sure there is a reason but if my hubby saw it, he would groan, as he already mows several acres of grass here. :D

    As for the camera, the photos are good. I hear you about the settings though. I still struggle with mine, and despair of ever really understanding all this technology. Most of the time if I get good photos, it is serendipity. :D

    1. Oh, and the shots of the ferry were priceless! I laughed out loud when I saw them... love your sense of humor Mary.

    2. I'm not sure, but I will find out. This week we started a house swap with a Norwegian family. Later on towards the end of the month we are going to stay in their "cabin" in the mountains. It too has a grass roof. If I haven't found the answer before then I will ask them, because I will meet them in Bodrum at the beginning of August! I don't think they cut it though, I have seen several roofs that look quite shaggy and more that have wildflowers among the grass. They are so pretty.

  2. Grass roofs are durable, environmentally sound (not that that would have historically been a concern but in today's climate it certainly is) and provide adequate insulation and stabilization.

    Loved the pictures, especially the cruise ship/ferry depiction. Funny!

    Great post :-)

  3. I love your pictures! It certainly doesn't look like you are in Ireland any more.
    As for being 3 hours behind schedule, I wouldn't worry. That's what holidays are about!

  4. Oslo looks so beautiful, and your daytrips have given me plenty of food for thought. I remember being mocked, are ye afraid of melting like a sugarlump, if I made a face when told to go out and play.


Thank you for stopping by. Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.