Monday, September 21, 2009

The Sun Came Out in Oslo

Connor and I put Kirk on the express train to the airport early. He flew from Oslo to Prague for work. Our Brussels flight wasn't until afternoon so Oslo Day #2 stretched in front of us to make our mark. And unlike our previous drenching day in Bergen we were basking in bright sun and blue sky. Thankfully!
The day just called out for a power walk! We admired the soldiers keeping guard at the Royal Palace. For some reason Connor really got a kick out of these guys. I had to promise to bring her back to the soldiers later to negotiate our departure! My sights were set on returning to Vigeland Park. As much as I loved it before - I knew with the blue sky and lesser crowds, it would and could be even better.I was right. We walked there - a strong 30 minute trek; I was proud that I was able to navigate from the palace to the park through Oslo's residential neighborhoods. Sunday brunches were in full swing with clinking silverware and it put an extra spring in our stroll to be independent and successful in our jaunt.Vigeland Park was spectacular again. I think I probably RE-photographed every single statue. They are expressive and popped out from the sky. I wanted to jump up there on the perch to strike a pose with them!That Vigeland was pure genius with his work. I felt the full range of emotions and life stages again in his park.The "childhood" clump of trees has kids laughing, telling secrets and climbing trees. It won't be long before Connor is one of these little girls soaking in the wonder and imagination of school-aged childhood.
These statues near the monolith glowed in the clear day. It made them feel almost real in their yoga-like poses.The works of humans in their elder years were particularly well done. They were realistic with all the wrinkles and rolls of old age. But beautiful too. You would think it would feel weird for these figures to be without clothes, but especially in this case the nakedness fed into the beauty.
Back in downtown Oslo we walked up the main shopping drag of Karl Johans Gate. At the Grand Hotel I spotted this lady lounging in her bathrobe on the balcony. It was odd with so many tourists below but strangely relaxing and spa-like. Wouldn't it be fun to stay at the Grand Hotel and gaze aimlessly around in your bathrobe?We grabbed a picnic lunch from the 7-11 store and sat in the sun to eat and people watch. On this street there are many street performers. This Viking guy was just getting to "work" and he was sure to smoke a long cigarette right there "on stage" before assuming his position. Something about a man in costume puffing away that had me in stitches.I was surprised Connor wasn't scared of the trolls. I think she was more perplexed than anything!I adored Oslo. Great to end our Scandinavian adventure on a high note. And alas this is my last blog about it. Farewell Scandinavia. Thanks for surpassing every high expectation I had about you. Definitely a trip we will be talking about for generations to come.

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