Steve and Leslie's 2010 Baltic Sea Vacation

Day 3, August 6, Oslo, Norway

This was the day the Mela World Music Festival was to open, so we walked down to the dock area in the morning, only to discover that it didn't actually start until that evening. Being a nice day, we decided to walk to the Oslo Opera House and see what was along the way. More parks and sculptures, and lots of people enjoying both. We did find this unusual sculpture, made even more unusual when the plaque revealed its title to be "Marriage". And here I thought it was a monument to Tetris....

Oslo sculpture titled "Marriage"

Akershus Fortress was built along the water and sits up high. A lot of it has been reconstructed over the centuries, so very little "original" remains. This extends to the furnishings inside, many of which are reproductions or pieces donated from other collections. The self-guided audio tour was enjoyable and explained things clearly and, it seemed, honestly.

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress

Small electric cars seemed to be very popular in Oslo. I saw these everywhere in the city, often plugged into public recharging stations along the street. The car bodies were usually plastic and owners often decorated them wildly.

Electric cars recharging in Oslo

Electric car in Oslo

As we approached the Oslo Opera House, I stood for a bit looking at a giant floating stage being prepared in the water. It had large video screens positioned so that people on the Opera House roof could watch - there was going to be a concert shown there the next day. While I was looking at this, Leslie nudged me and whispered, "don't stare!" I was very confused until she mentioned that she thought I was watching a woman emerging from the water after skinny-dipping with some friends, just to the right of the stage. Typical me, I had not even noticed her until after she had pulled on some clothes. Ah well....

Oslo Opera House

The inside of the Opera House was as striking as the outside, with the large glass walls and bamboo-lined theater ramps. We arrived just as the rain started, and it poured for the next 40-50 minutes. Luckily, this was all while we were having a delightful lunch in the building's restaurant, and the rain had stopped by the time we went back outside.

Inside of Oslo Opera House

Oslo Opera House

Oslo Opera House

As you can see in the pictures above, the sloped roof is covered in marble tiles that are different colors, textures and shapes. It is not a flat slope, there are small jogs and steps. I had thought some of the stones would be slippery from the remaining rainwater, but they were not. The structure must be very strong as I imagine the roof is extremely heavy! Signs warn against bicycles, skateboards, and non-motorized wheelchairs. If you're uncomfortable walking up the slope, steps are available. The view from up top is quite nice, and there were many enjoying the clearing skies. I was amused, when I got back home and looked through my photos, to find that I had snapped a couple whom we met later on the cruise!

In the water, just off the Opera House, is an interesting-looking sculpture of glass and steel. You have to view it from the correct angle to see that it is supposed to be a sailing ship.

Sculpture at Oslo Opera House

We then walked back to the hotel, again via Karl Johan's gate, and passed a statue that had been curiously decorated. Oslo liks statues and sculptures - there seem to be dozens if not hundreds of them throughout the city, and largely in areas accessible to the public, such as at the edges of fountains and pools.

Interesting statue headdress

That evening we went for dinner to a cafeteria-style restaurant nearby that specialized in "authentic Norwegian" food, including elk, reindeer, etc. Unfortunately, we both considered it inedible and left most of it on the plate. Most of it was tasteless glop and not very appealing.



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