Three Days in Oslo
July 13 -17
with Elston and Jackie
Oslo has been a very pleasant place to visit.

We had the good fortune to book our hotel next to the train station and directly across from the Oslo Opera House. The
Opera House was completed in 2007 and has won numerous awards for its architecture.

As you can see in the pictures below, it is a very popular tourist attraction.
Oslo has some great museums. The first we
visited was the Kon-Tiki museum where one can
see both the
Kon-Tiki (pictured below) and the
Ra II (pictured right).

In 1947 Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl and five
fellow adventurers went to Peru where they
constructed a raft from balsa wood and other
native materials, a raft that they called the
Kon-Tiki. The Kon-Tiki expedition was inspired by
old reports and drawings made by the Spanish
Conquistadors of Inca  rafts, and by native
legends and archaeological evidence suggesting
contact between South America and Polynesia.
After a 101 day, 4,300 mile  journey across the
Pacific Ocean, Kon-Tiki smashed into the reef at
Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands on August 7, 1947.

In 1970, Thor Heyerdahl sailed a papyrus boat
called the Ra II  across the Atlantic Ocean to
prove that the Mayan cultures could have been
influenced by Egyptian culture.

For more on Thor Heyerdahl, click this link to
Wikipedia
Ra II
Kon-Tiki
At the Viking Ship Museum, we saw the best preserved of the Viking Ships called the Oseberg. The Oseberg ship was
discovered in a large burial mound at the Oseberg farm near Tønsberg , Norway, and was excavated in 1904-1905. The
ships internment into the burial mound dates from 834 AD., but parts of the ship date from around
800 A.D., and the ship
itself is thought to be older. It was built of oak wood with iron nails and was rowed by 30 men.
Close to the Viking Museum and the Kon-Tiki Museum is the Fram
Museum which was built in 1936 to house the
Fram. This ship was
used in expeditions of the Arctic and Antarctic  regions by the
Norwegian explorers Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup, Oscar Wisting,
and Roald Amundsen between 1893 and 1912. It was designed for
an 1893 Arctic expedition in which the Fram  was supposed to freeze
into the Arctic ice sheet and float with the ice sheet across the North
Pole.

The Fram (meaning Forward) is said to be the wooden ship to have
sailed farthest north (85°57'N) and farthest south (78°41'S), a record
it holds a century later.
For our three days in Oslo, we purchased the Oslo pass which is good to most of the museums and historic places including
the Akershus Castle which was built starting around 1300.
The Norsk Folkemuseum has a large open
air museum. It was established in 1894 by
Hans Aall and contains 155 buildings which
have been relocated from different locations
in Norway.

Its most significant building is the
Gol Stave
Church
from the 13th century (pictured
right).

A
stave church is a medieval wooden
church with a post and beam construction
related to timber framing. The wall frames
are filled with vertical planks. The
load-bearing posts  have lent their name to
the building technique.

All of the surviving stave churches except
one are or were in Norway, but related
church types were once common all over
northwestern Europe.
The several century year old  
wood homes and buildings were
fascinating to view.
We also enjoyed watching some Norwegian children dressed in traditional clothes
play traditional children games.
The The Holmenkollen ski jump is located at the top of a hill on the edge of Oslo and can be easily seen from downtown
Oslo. It is been rebuilt in order to host the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
We took an elevator that climbs the underneath of the ski jump
to the top to get the view that ski jumpers get when they take
off down the slope. That little blue dot at the end of the jump
area is a large blue bus!
Vigeland Sculpture Park  covers 80 acres  and features 212
bronze and granite sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland
(April 11, 1869 – March 12, 1943). Vigeland personally
sculpted every figure out of clay and individual craftsmen were
contracted to fabricate the pieces into what they are today.

Most of the statues depict people engaging in various typically
human pursuits, such as running, wrestling, dancing, hugging,
and holding hands..The park is a very popular place with
Norwegians and tourists and attracts many families.
We had a great tour of the
Royal Palace which was  
built in the first half of the
19th century as the
Norwegian residence of
Norwegian and Swedish
king Charles III  and is used
as the official residence of
the present Norwegian
Monarch. It is quite
spectacular inside, but
unfortunately we could not
take any pictures inside.
Prior to taking the tour, we
watched the changing of the
guard and thought we
recognized one of the
guards..
Norway is a very blond country.

It is a small country. The population of the country is less
than the population of Philadelphia.

At the Winter Olympic Games, Norway has won 303 medals
(107 gold) — more than any other nation — with cross-
country skiing and speed skating as the top sports.

During our 3 1/2 days in Oslo, we did not meet a single
Norwegian who did not speak English. Indeed, most speak
English better than most Americans.

Norway also has a large population of Muslims. Eight  
percent of the population of Norway is of the Muslim faith.

A vey popular radio show in Norway is Garrison Keller's
Prairie Home Companion.
In addition to the above, we visited very interesting museums including the Edvard Munch Museum, the Henrik Ibsen, the
Nobel Peace Center, and the National Gallery. It has been a very nice three days. This is it for the big city. In the morning
we are off to Bodo which is located above the Arctic Circle.