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Oslo, Norway ... again ... and Frogner Park     

   

June 16

A man did not show up for his Thon Hotel reservation and they gave his room to us for two nights. Now we could relax and see some more of the city. After a slow morning ... recouping from the long tour/travel day yesterday ... we walked over to the National Gallery (no photos) to view the works of Norwegian painters including a room with paintings by Norwayís best known artist, Edvard Munch, whose "The Scream" made him world famous. When we emerged back into daylight it was dulled by some heavy bottomed clouds. Our plan had been to go to Frogner Park but we decided to postpone. Instead we did some more walking around town until it started to rain.

June 17

Fatherís day. A day off. A vacation from our vacation.

      

June 18

We check out and stored our luggage with the hotel then took a tram to Frogner Park. We were so pleased we waited, because the day was bright and sunny with mounds of white clouds.

Frogner Park was designed by Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) and covers 30 hectares (80 acres). Vigeland made a deal with the city; if they gave him a studio, state support and land on which to place his statues, he would work the rest of his life designing and building a legacy for himself and the city of Oslo.  They agreed and in 1924 he moved into a large red brick building as a studio and future museum. Here Vigeland lived and worked until his death.

 

Most of the 212 sculptures in the park are placed along the parkís 860 metre main visual corridor. Vigeland did not name or explain his pieces ... all are nude and carry the theme of the four stages of life: youth, young adulthood, middle age and old age. As we walked down the main corridor and over the bridge, passed the fountain and up to the obelisk, we appreciated that the pieces were not named and that we were able to interpret the emotional impact which each brought to us personally.

Near the centre of the bridge is one of his best known sculptures. It is of an angry toddler. There are four sculptures of this little fellow but the angry one seems to have captured peopleís attention. The reaction was supposedly acquired by Vigeland giving the young child model a chocolate and then taking it away.

 

The large round fountain, held up by six muscular men (statues ... not real guys), is impressive on its own but the square pool at its base is cornered by more sculptures with each carrying one segment of his theme on the four stages of life. Surrounding the fountain and pool, there was a lower pool where a girl took off her shoes and dangled her feet and a father showed his young son that a wood twig would float.

At the end of the corridor soars the obelisk ... a fifty foot high monolith carved with a tangle of humanity which took three of Vigelandís stone-carvers fourteen years to carve. Surrounding it are steps and stone sculptures. The park, like most parks in Norway, is a people place and the stone sculptures are a part of the experience with children and adults climbing on them and becoming part of the life within the artistís work.

 
 
 
 

We strolled back to the main gate, took a tram the long way back to town, picked up our luggage from the hotelís storage room, walked to the train station, and caught our train to Larvik to board the overnight boat to Denmark.

We settle into our cabin for the night.

 

  

click here to continue to June 19 and Aero Island, Denmark ...

    
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