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Tag Archives: Akershus fortress

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.

 

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One of our goal for our stay in Oslo was to revisit Akershus Fortress. We had walked through when we were in Oslo last year but had less than an hour  in the Resistance Museum. We took the metro into Central Station then walked over to Akershus Fortress. It is so nice to live in a town where it is easy to walk to most places or take public transportation. The origins of the fortress go back to the 13th century. It was besieged by invaders many times but never captured. In 1940 it was surrendered to the Germans after the Norwegian government fled the country. During German control Norwegian resistance fighters were executed at the Fortress. After the war a number of Norwegian traitors were executed at the Fortress.

More photos from Akershus Fortress can be found on my website.

Our first stop was the Resistance Museum. We spent several hours walking around. It is well worth the visit.

As you can see the grass is brown on the Fortress grounds. It was a very warm dry summer in Oslo. The last rainfall was in May and it was the end of July when these photos were taken.

One of the cruise ship docks are located right outside the Fortress. It makes for some interesting shots when the cruise ships are in port.

 

It seems like we are up early every day and today was no exception. We caught the train out to Holmenkollen National Ski Arena. It was the weekend and the train was full of bikers and hikers heading out to the forests, that surround Oslo, to enjoy nature.

When we reached Holmenkollen we walked past the lodge that serves the ski area.

The ski jump was impressive from the bottom. I remember watching the jumping competition held at Holmenkollen. Great to be standing where some of the worlds greatest jumpers stood.

The views from the top are even more spectacular. There was still snow around the ski jump. Folks living in Oslo really have it nice being able to get to sites for skiing within a short time.

There was a zip line from the top of the jump to the bottom. My wife is always wanting to go on a zip line so I offered to pay her way. For some strange reason she wouldn’t go. Maybe the fact that she can’t stand heights has something to do with it. There were a group of young ladies ahead of us on the elevator and they were all going to go.

We walked down to the bottom of the ski jump and watched some of the people come down the zip line. We also noticed there seemed to be some kind of running competition taking place. We noticed that no one seemed to be carrying water bottles. We also noticed this earlier. We never saw a jogger with a water bottle.

After returning from Holmenkollen we walked along Karl Johan’s Gate. There was a much different atmosphere on the weekend where more people were around and more demonstrations being held. Even though we were wearing our down jackets there were lots of people dining outside. We Would have like to gotten a bite to eat but there were too many people smoking.

The weather seemed to be improving so we walked down to the harbor and boarded the Jomfruen. It was a small boat that was included in our Oslo Pass. It allowed us to hop on and hop off at various locations in the harbor. It was a great way to see the harbor area and get a different view of some of the places we saw from land.

We sailed past some of the yacht clubs around the harbor.

There were a wide variety of boats in the harbor ranging from cruise ships to Kayakers. It was a weekend and a beautiful spring day so lots of folks were out on the water.

We sailed by some of the summer homes located on the islands in the harbor.

As I had mentioned in an earlier blog Oslo is making a major push to revitalize  the harbor area making it a great place to live, work and play. New housing developments are going up all along the waterfront.

There are also plenty of restaurants along the waterfront. We thought it was a bit cold to be eating outside but the was probably one of the better spring days so far this year.

We sailed past the Opera House and Akershus fortress both of which we visited by land.

Although we didn’t get off and any of the stops we had an enjoyable sail around the harbor. After our harbor tour we walked back to Akershus fortress looking for the Resistance Museum. It took a while to find it and we only had a half an hour before it closed. We really needed more time and hope visit it at another time. As we exited the Museum we noticed this bride having her picture taken.

For dinner we stopped at a traditional cafe, “Kaffistova”. It services simple, traditional Norwegian meals. This is was my favorite (Norwegian meatballs, potatoes, and cooked, mashed peas.). We actually stopped at this cafe twice while in Oslo.

After dinner we hopped a tram that took us out to Vigeland Sculpture Park. It was late in the day but still light out in Oslo.

We had time for one more stop so we caught a bus out to University of Oslo site at Blindern. My wife had stayed in a dorm at the University when she first arrived in Norway on her study abroad program. We won’t mention how many years ago that was. Needless to say she didn’t recognize any of the buildings. Our son talked about attending the University for graduate school. We were very encouraging but so far it hasn’t happened.

I should mention given all of the public transportation that we used we did purchase an Oslo Pass which allowed us to use the buses, trams, underground, boats etc. The interesting thing we found is that you board on the honor system. No one checks to see if you have a pass. Apparently they do spot checks but no one ever asked us for a ticket. Of all of the places we visited we found Oslo the easiest to get around using public transportation.

 

It had been a 15 hour day so we took public transport back to our Airbnb.

 

 

We met up with Linda’s cousin, Tonje, and toured sights around Oslo. First we took a tram up to Ekeberg Sculpture Park. On the way to the park we encountered a group of children out for a stroll.

The Sculpture Park was great place with some interesting sculptures some of them rather graphic.

 

The spring wildflowers were out in the park. They seem to be some of the same flowers I had been photographing before I left for Norway. Maybe that is why the Norwegians came to the Midwest.

The views from the Sculpture Park were very good. If we had a better day they would have been spectacular.

We walked down from the park and past Oslo Hospital. Just past the hospital we walked past the Ruins of Clemenskirken.

As we entered the harbor area there were construction cranes everywhere. The harbor area is undergoing a major revitalization. The goal is to create an environment where people can live and work in the area as well as a place that tourists will want to visit. In addition to the new buildings that are going up the city is removing parking ramps. The goal is to discourage people from bringing their car into the city. The major roads through the city are being placed underground.

The next stop was the Oslo Opera House. For some reason Scandinavians love large glass building for their opera houses. It is a great place for outdoor concerts although I would think it would be a little warm during the day.

A renovated office building with walkways, shops and restaurants nearby.

A sculpture in the harbor next to the Opera House.

We walked through part of the Akershus fortress complex. It is still a military base but the public is welcome. There are museums and war memorials as well as a prison and castle on the grounds.

There was a large cruise ship next to the fort. I had to take a panorama in order to get the full ship in the photo.

Oslo city hall which is often referred to as the “brown cheeses” due to its blocky exterior (Norwegian geitost or goat cheese is brown and blocky).

We took at ferry out to one of the many islands in Oslo fjord. This is Hovedoya (Main Island). The Cistercian monastery, Hovedøya Abbey, was built on the island, and opened on 18 May 1147. These are some of the ruins.

Cannons on Hovedoya Island with Oslo in the background.


Lindøya island Idyllic island in the Oslo Fjord with around 300 summer cottages in red, yellow and green. I suspect they are quite pricy since they are just a short ferry ride from Oslo.

On the ferry ride back to Oslo we had a great view of a cruise ship in the harbor as well as some nice views of the harbor.

When we returned to Oslo Tonje headed home to make our dinner and we headed back to our Airbnb. Before parting Tonje suggested an app that allowed us to access public transportation schedules. Wow did it work great. Wherever we were in the city we could indicate where we wanted to go and it listed all of the transportation options, where to connect with them and their schedule. With one exception, we only had to wait 5 minutes to catch a ride to our destination. Good public transportation is great!

In the evening we took the train out to their Tonje’s condo. Really nice. Their condo was at the end of the train line. All we had to do was walk up to the Plaza and their place was right there.