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Monthly Archives: January 2019

One of our favorite walks while visiting Oslo was along the harbor. Oslo now has a harbor walk that covers about five miles along the harbor.

Generally we started our walk in Sørenga. This is a relatively new area and features many restaurants and cafes. It is probably best know for its saltwater swimming pool featuring a beach, children’s pool and a large recreational area. The areas is open to the public year around.

 

Sørenga is connected to Bjørvika by a floating bridge. The Bjørvika area us undergoing a huge renovation transforming from a container port to an arts center. It is the home of the Oslo Opera House, a new library and a huge housing development.

Munch Museum

Deichman Library

Just across the fjord from the Opera House is a popular location for kayakers although most of those we saw seemed to be practicing how to get back in the kayak.

This was also an area where we notice several floating saunas that could be rented.

 

A short distance down the harbor we found SALT is a nomadic art project with pyramidal constructions called “hesjer”, which are based on traditional coastal construction methods. It appears to be modeled after traditional fish drying racks. It will be in Oslo until 2020. This area also houses the cruise line terminals.

Vippetangen used to be a fish market and now houses a food and entertainment area.

In back of the current commercial seafood market we frequently found fishermen hanging out. I don’t ever recall anyone catching any fish.

Akershus Fortress dominates the eastern side of the harbor. Outside Akershus Fortress cruise ships were normally tied up. One day we noticed a US warship tied up and guards and security all around the area.

Moving westward along the harbor we encountered Police boats, and tour boats before reaching the City Hall and Oslo City Harbor. In this area you will find the ferries that serve the island in the Oslo fjord. It also houses the Noble Peace Center.

Oslo City Hall sits at the head of the harbor. If you ever get a chance it is well worth taking a tour. This area has symbolic significance, as this is where the royal family arrived in spring of 1945, after five years as war refugees in London.

Oslo City Hall

The area also serves as a major transportation hub of the central harbor area.

Ferry Terminal serving the Oslo Fjord.

A street Performer in front of the Noble Peace Center

Oslo Peace Center

Sad to say but this passes as the Oslo public fish market.

Aker brygge was the first are development in the old dock along the harbor. It is part of the city center and is noted for its pier and eateries. In the summer most everyone is eating outdoors. Ferries also depart for the Oslo Fjord. The area also houses the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. It offers great views of Akershus Fortress and pleasure boat docks.

Tjuvholmen is a neighborhood located on a peninsula sticking out from Aker Brygge into the Oslo Fjord. It is one of the first areas of harbor development and a very expensive area. In addition to housing it includes trendy shops, a bathing area and a sculpture park.

Continuing west on the harbor Promenade we find Filipstad. Currently Filipstad houses cruise lines, industrial facilities and a recreational boat harbor. This is the next area of the Oslo waterfront that is slated for development. The goal is to make the harbor more accessible for the citizens of Oslo and visitors.

As you reach the end of the harbor walk the area is next to a major highway and is more open. There is a park with exercise equipment and a skateboard facility. A number of adults were using it of the day we walked by.

It is possible to continue walking past the end of the Harbor Walk all the way to Bygdøy where some of the major museums are located.

 

One of our favorite walks in Oslo was the Akerselva River Walk. There are walking tours of the area but we enjoyed it on our own. The walk is about four miles depending upon how many detours you take. Typically we would take public transportation to Nydalen then walk down to the harbor. On this beautiful warm day many people were our enjoying sunbathing and swimming in the river at Nydalen.

More photos from our time in Oslo can be found on my website.

There were many nice housing developments along the river. Most had play areas for the kids to enjoy.

Mathallen food hall was a nice place to stop for some refreshments and food as we walked along the river.

Wandering around Mathallen we found these interesting dog parking facilities.

Another area along the river that we enjoyed stopping at was Blå. It is an art community and hold a thrift sale every Sunday. Every time we walked through the area we found some new art.

Sometimes the trail didn’t seem to follow the river. During our detours we often found interesting areas. On this weekend they were giving rides on wagons pulled by a team of horses.

Unfortunately graffiti was common along the river walk. I suppose some people view it as art.

This was an insect house build near a restaurant along the river. We encountered these a number of places in Norway.

A famous bridge crossing the river and statue along the river.

In the past the river area was heavily industrialized. This was a museum that told the  story of the mills that developed in the area. Unfortunately it was so hot on the day we visited that we were only able to make a quick tour. Air conditioning has yet to become popular in Norway although we discovered that air conditioners were flying off the shelves during what was a very hot summer.

Of course the river was our main focus. Lots of waterfalls along the river as well as some nice reflections.

We were able to follow the river from Nydalen to Grønland where the river went underground.

It went under the central station before appearing again near the Munch Museum and the Oslo Opera House. It was a popular spot to float down the river.

We found that a popular variation of our walk was to take public transportation to Our Saviors Cemetery then walk over to Old Aker Church. From there we walked to Telthusbakken before connecting with the Akerselva River Walk.

Our Saviors Cemetery

Old Aker Church

telthusbakken

 

 

We were looking for a day trip from Oslo and ran across the Fetsund Lenser lumber museum Fetsund, Norway. We discovered that it was an easy train trip from Oslo so we headed out of a beautiful summer day. When we arrived it took us a while to figure out how to get to the Museum from the rail station. We could see it on the other side of the tracks but there was no clear way to get across the tracks.

Log driving on the Glomma River began in the 1300s, but increased when frame saws were introduced in the 16th century. When the railway bridge in Fetsund was built in 1861, the Log booms were moved to Fetsund. At Bingen, catch booms were set up that could release timber as needed at Fetsund.[5]

Today the Fetsund Booms are protected as Norway’s only remaining log-driving facility. The Fetsund Booms are also believed to be the only preserved log-driving facility of their kind in the world. They are preserved as outstanding cultural heritage and a living museum with workshops for traditional crafts, cafes, and museum shops. The Fetsund Booms are located in an attractive natural area at the entrance to northern Europe’s largest inland delta. There is also a nature trail with cultural highlights in the area.

This photo shows an overview of the operation. There is a museum but the most interesting part is the Fetsund Booms which can be seen stretching across the river.

 

It is possible to walk on the floating walkways that extend out into the water.

There is a replica of a sawmill on the site.

It appears that a rowing club also uses the site.

We couldn’t leave without having some Norwegian waffles and coffee.

It was an interesting day seeing how logging operations took place. Our home town was founded on logging so it provided an overview of how logging was done in the old country.

We had been in Oslo for almost six weeks and were starting to look for something different to do. We decided to try and find some parks that we had not visited previously. We picked up a tram for Saint Hanshaugen park and found it without any problems. There were some nice views of Oslo and the Fjord from the park.

There were a number of unusual statues in the park.

This building with a fountain and reflecting pool was at the top of the hill in the park. At one point the park had been bare rock so all of the landscaping has been added.

We found this small vegetable garden in the park. Not sure what the purpose of it was.

 

 

After flying back from Stavanger we caught the metro out to our condo. It had been a long day and we turned on the TV to see what was happening. We noticed there were some youth football (soccer) games on from the Norway Cup. I had no idea what the Norway Cup was so I looked it up. Turns out it is the largest youth football tournament in the world. It was going to be on all week and best of all, many of the matches were taking place at Ekeberg Park, which was a short bus ride from our condo. The football players are put up in schools and hotels and they are provided access to public transportation and many points of interest.

We decided to take the bus to Ekeberg Park the next morning and find out more about the Norway Cup. We were amazed to find a portable laundry setup as well as a hair salon. We soon found out that getting around Oslo was going to be a bit different this week. The bus to Ekeberg park stopped at several schools and it was soon standing room only on the bus. A ticket inspector got on the bus but is was so crowded that he gave up trying to check tickets.

There were many activities available for the participants including concerts, games and shopping opportunities. There were also amusement rides available.

Most of the girls teams were carrying around a boom boxes with songs blaring. It was great lively music. I wished I had gotten a copy of what they were playing. There were teams from all over the world playing at the tournament. One morning we were on the bus with a team from New York.

There were first aid stations around the park and there were more than a few kids waking around on crutches.

During the tournament we encountered football players everywhere. This team was on the metro for Holmenkollen National Ski Arena. All but one were sleeping. In the second photo we encountered a team from Nepal on a ferry ride. We started talking with them and giving them tips on what to see. They proudly displayed their flag for us. We encountered another girls team on our metro line and they were singing their football songs.

On the last day of the tournament we found some little kids playing football. We attended a couple of the final championship matches. They were being televised but it was a lot more fun attending in person.

We encountered this group of kids riding their bikes around the football complex almost every time we stopped at the tournament.

It was a great to experience the energy and enthusiasm of all of the young people at the tournament.

Old Town is a historic area of the city of Stavanger. The area consists largely of restored wooden buildings which were built in the 18th century and in the beginning of the 19th century. It owes it’s existence to Einar Hedén City Architect of Stavanger. After WWII a new city plan was created that included razing most of the old wooden buildings and replacing them with modern structures. Hedén spoke up and in 1956 the city council voted to conserve part of the old city center.

The area selected for conservation was the one considered the least desirable, consisting of small rundown wooden buildings located on the western side of Vågen, the inner harbor area of Stavanger. This area has a selection of preserved wood houses dating from both the 19th and 20th century. Over the years the area has changed from seedy to trendy, and today is considered a choice location.

The harbor, Vågen, can be seen a block away.

At the end of the street there is a small park.

A little of the local flavor. We encountered several cats during our walk through Old Town.

We toured the Norwegian Canning Museum while in Old Town. It was a very interesting tour and worth the visit. My wife remembered this picture on the sardine cans.

 

This is perhaps the most colorful street in all of Norway, and is referred to locally as Fargegaten. The area experienced a renaissance in 2005 when hairdresser Tom Kjørsvik envisaged doing something totally unique with it. All the houses along the street were painted in different hues, in accordance with a color scheme suggested by the artist Craig Flannagan. As you wander along Øvre Holmegate, you will find several niche shops as well as charming cafes and pubs. Flannagan encountered a number of problems with the project. “The problems started with pink. Some of the house owners would not accept pinks at all, (guys) others (girls) who rented apartments in some of the houses asked specifically for maximum pink. Every time I had to change a color I had to rearrange the entire street.”

We visited the street several times during our visit to Stavanger. More photos from the colorful street can be found on my Website.

An indication that it was also a residential street all of the buildings had this sign posted in their windows.

 

 

 

 

We were in Stavanger for to view the Tall Ships when we received a text from my wife’s cousin suggesting that we tour Flor og Fjære.  We had never heard of it but decided to follow up on her suggestion. We stopped in at their office near the harbor. As it turned out all of the tours were booked but they had added a special late evening tour that still had some openings. After pondering it a bit we decided to book the trip. We met the tour boat at 6pm and had a Pleasant boat trip out to the island of Sør-Hidle. Flor og Fjære is a collection of man-made tropical gardens on what is normally a barren island. In 1965, the founders, Aasmund and Else Marie Bryn, bought a farmstead on the northern tip of the island Aasmund moved to the island due to poor health conditions. As his health improved, he started the gardens. Aasmund had been a florist in Stavanger so he had a background in creating floral landscapes. He planted pine trees around the property line of the garden to protect his plants from the wind common to the for the region. The island is currently run by Aasmund’s son, Olav Bryn, who opened the gardens for tours and plants and redesigns the garden every year. He continually tests new plants to see if they will adapt to the northern climate. Bryn also tests different arrangements. Gardens on the island range from roses to cacti and each garden contains exotic plants from all over the world. The tour package includes a boat trip to and from the island, a tour of the gardens and a dinner at the restaurant with a rotating buffet prepared by their chef, Andre Mulder.

More photos from our visit to Flor og Fjære can be found on my website.

It was late in the day when we arrived and we were met by the owners and given a tour of part of the grounds. The weather was great when we arrived but we could see clouds building. We took a break for a very nice buffet dinner.

It started to thunder and rain while we were eating. We decided to postpone desert so we could tour more of the grounds so we grabbed an umbrella and walked around between downpours.

This is definitely a place I would like to spend a lot more time at. Normally we would have been able to enjoy the grounds more but as it turned out this was the only time we had rain in the entire seven weeks we were in Scandinavia.

It was dark when we arrived back in Stavanger. When we walked along the harbor we noticed everyone looking up into the sky. We were puzzled as to what they were looking at when the fireworks started. We found out later another of my wife’s cousins was at the same location but at this time we had never met them.

 

We picked a beautiful day to take the Pulpit Rock Boat Tour out of Stavanger, Norway. We talked about doing the hike to the top but my wife doesn’t like heights and we didn’t have a lot of time give all of the events surrounding The Tall Ship Races. There were a lot of people on board the ship. The girl with the red jacket apparently considered herself quite the model. She kept me entertained for a good part of the trip posing for photos all around the ship.

 

I don’t recall having a smart phone when I was in a stroller. Oh, I forgot they hadn’t been invented yet.

 

We passed a cruise ship heading toward Stravanger.

Lots of summer cabins along the Fjord.

A ferry dropping off passengers and autos.

The rock faces along the Fjord were spectacular. Pulpit Rock was featured in the movie “Mission Impossible Fallout” There was a pre-premiere at Pulpit Rock. The odd thing was that Pulpit Rock was in India in the movie.

 

The tour boat pulled up to shore and with a blow of the horn attracted some goats.

There was even a waterfall even though it was late in the summer and there had been a long drought.

On the way back the tour boat stopped to let hikers to Pulpit Rock off.

We passed a fish farm on the way back.

We arrived back in Stravanger after a beautiful relaxing ride to Pulpit Rock.

 

 

 

Walking around the ice on Lake Menomin I found a few items of interest. There were a few leaves on and embedded in the ice.

I found a partially eaten Crappie on the ice. Not sure where it cam from. Once when I was watching ice fishing the fishermen were throwing the fish out on the ice and a dog was picking them up and walking away with them.

This is an old ice hole that was drilled in the ice and has since frozen over.