Friday, August 21, 2009

Our first day in Oslo was full of surprises – the first being the weather. Contrary to all forecasts we were greated by sunshine and bright blue skies. Then John discovered the tall ship SORLANDET, originally built for the Norwegian merchant marine in 1926, it is now operated by a foundation and, luckily for us, was offering a fund-raising cruise that evening. Our day was further enhanced by the people we met onboard. In addition to the friendly and knowledgeable crew, we encountered several men who all had a personal connection to the ship. The first, a seaman, had been a member of the last merchant marine class to train aboard the Sorlandet was making a nostalgic tour.
The others (pictured below left to right) were Jan , a local architect whose grandfather was the ship’s original captain; Ole Johan whose grandfather served as comptroller during the ships construction, and his son, an elementary school teacher who had joined his dad for this evening's cruise.
While we regard having a “tall ship” in port as a special event, they are prevalent in every Scandinavian port, and not just at museum sights...
Of course, you’ll see ships of every size, type and age when you visit these waters and often in close proximity... Do you see the sailboat just a few feet from the cruise ship?
If you suffer from vertigo you may not want to take this visual trip up the roof of the Oslo Opera. Yes, you can walk on the steeply slanted roof for a view of the waterfront. This opera house is unique, not just because of its roof, but because it was built to attract visitors, not just opera-goers to spaces like a café, restaurant and terrace that are open to the public even when there are no performances going on. In addition, a pedestrian bridge spans a main highway connecting the opera building to the main railway station. Come take a look…
And here are a few interior views...


Oslo’s celebration of summer was in full swing with music festivals ranging from Chamber to Rock; a “Mela Festival” encompassing a mélange foods and traditions from many nations when the rain moved in and shifted our focus from outdoors to museums.

We got weather-lucky again Sunday morning and took advantage of it by visiting Vigeland Park Here are a few images of the gates and sculptures….

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