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Tag Archives: Oslo Opera House

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

 

 

During our stay in Oslo we had walked past and into the Opera House on a number of occasions. They had public restrooms so it was a convenient stop. On our last visit we decided to take a tour of the Opera House. It was well worth the time.

More photos of the Oslo Opera House can be found on my website.

The wide walkways round the Opera House offer a great stage and seating for public events.

The floating She Lies Sculpture can be seen from the Opera House.

In the lobby there is a restaurant, a glass sculpture depicting a glacier and the wooden facade of the performance area.

The back stage ares were very interesting. They had a number of performance stages as well as rooms where sets and costumes were under construction for the upcoming season.

My wife had visited the Hadeland Glassverks Factory many years ago when she was a student in Norway. We had been in Scandinavia for about a month at this point and during that time she had been a little obsessed about getting out to the factory. Just about every time we were at the visitors center she would ask about it. Each time they explained that it was a difficult place to visit using public transportation. She spent a good amount of time over two days plotting how to get to the factory. The day finally arrived to begin our great adventure. We started off the day with some fresh Raspberries which we had picked the day before.

More photos from Norway can be found on my website.

We took the train to Gardermoen Airport. When we arrived we asked where we could pick up the bus for the Hadeland Glassverks Factory. A friendly person at the information booth gave us we could take bus 260 and told us when and where we could catch it. We found the bus stop and waited. About 10 minutes after the scheduled departure a mini bus pulled up to the departure point and a few people got on. The bus didn’t have a number and the sign in the drivers side window said Gardermoen Airport. After about 10 minutes my wife asked the driver if he stopped at Hadeland Glassverks. Turns out it was one of his stops and it would be about a 45 minute drive. It was a nice drive through the countryside.

We asked the driver to let us know when we arrived at the factory. The bus stop was only a short distance from the but stop but it was out of sight. We spent several hours at the factory. They had animals and places for kids to play. Clearly this is a place that people drive to. We were the only ones that took the bus everyone else drove.

The glass works was founded in 1762 and the initial production used skilled craftsmen from Germany. The production was mainly medicine jars and bottles and some household glass. In the mid 1800’s production switched to household items such as crystal, wine glasses and dishes. In the 1920’s it started developing its own designs. It is the oldest industrial company that can claim continuous operations since its founding. Today most of its production is done overseas but they still maintain a group of artisans that operate on site at the visitors center.

We watched them blow glass and visitors were allowed to blow their own glass.

I think the real goal was to purchase something from the factory outlet. The fact that we were traveling light with only a backpack for the 2 month visit to Scandinavia limited what we could purchase. We ended up with some small glass birds.

 

We thought we found the bus stop to catch the bus back to Gardermoen Airport. There was a small sign that indicated the bus stopped at this location but buses came and went. Finally my wife notice a mini bus approaching at a high rate of speed. She knew that, if you wanted a bus to stop you had to flag it down. She stepped out and waved it down. Fortunately she did or we would probably still be standing waiting for the bus. Back at Gardermoen we caught the train into Oslo Central.

It was late in the day but we still had plenty of light so we decided to walk over to the Opera House. The new Deichman Library is being built next to the Opera House.

We had never walked to the top before so we decided to do that. From the top we had a good view of the new Munch Museum which is being built behind the Opera House. We also had an excellent view of the many apartments and condos that were being build in the area. There were construction cranes everywhere. This is clearly going to be the new trendy area in Oslo.

This is a shot toward toward the central harbor area of Oslo.

 

 

 

 

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.