Yesterday, our second full day in Oslo, we decided to see a few more things on the ‘What to do in Olso’ lists. We drove into the city because Greg had purchased a wireless broadband modem and it hadn’t been registered properly when he bought it, so he took it back to Netcom shop for them to sort out. We found parking on the street surprisingly inexpensive, ranging from $1.60/hour to $4.00/hour depending on where we wanted to park, and we found empty spaces with no trouble. We didn’t venture into any parking stations, so I’m not sure how much they cost.
First tourist stop of the day was the Viking Ship Museum on Bydgoy Peninsula, which is also home to several other museums and 2 beaches. Every major Scandinavian city we’ve visited has a Viking museum, so we thought we’d better go and see one. This one was excellent with just enough (and not too much) to see, and we were surprised that the entry fee was just $12. The museum has 3 Viking ships, which were all pulled ashore and used as burial tombs for people of high rank. They were all buried at least 1000 years ago, and then unearthed in the late 19th-early 20th century. In addition to the ships, a lot of Viking artifacts, tools, implements, 3 sleds and a carriage were unearthed from one ship which contained the remains of 2 women, one of whom was thought to be a queen, the other thought to be her maid.The Vikings believed that the dead needed to take things with them to the afterlife and provided everything they could think of, including horses and other animals. I did wonder if the maid had been dead or alive when she was buried with her mistress. You can read more about the ships and their contents here. As most of you would have guessed by now, we’re not great museum-goers, but this one was really good and I’d strongly recommend it to anyone visiting Oslo.
Next stop was Vigeland Park, a very large green space near the city centre that showcases the sculptures of Gustav Vigeland. There are over 200 granite and bronze sculptures depicting people at all stages of life, doing and feeling a wide range of activities and emotions. We sat under a row of trees and ate lunch and did some people-watching. There seem to be a lot more (mostly) women out and about with babies & toddlers in pushers here than we see at home. I guess it’s a combination of good weather and a generous paid parenting scheme.
And so on to our last touristy thing for the day, up to the hills just above central Oslo to see the beautiful old timber Holmenkollen Hotel and the terrifyingly high Holmenkollen Ski Jump, where the annual World Ski Jump Championships are held in March. The Ski Jump is also used as a concert venue.
Dinner last night was what our Lonely Planet guide tells us is Norway’s national dish - Grandiosa, a brand of frozen pizza. I think they were only partly joking. Those things are stacked up high in every supermarket we’ve visited. We bought one, but when we went to heat it up, of course it wasn’t as big as the box, so I nipped down to the Kiwi supermarket on the ground floor of this apartment building and bought another one. They tasted fine, although it’s a long time since I’ve had a frozen pizza at home.