HAL 2019 World – Days 97 Oslo, Norway

May 2, 2019 Paul Groves

It was a short overnight trip from Copenhagen to Oslo, the capital of Norway.

Our excursion to was “Vigeland Sculpture Park and Picturesque Drøbak”

The first part of our excursion was a visit to the small town of Drøbak.  

The main tourist attraction here is the Christmas Shop.  The shop had two floors of Christmas decorations in the Nordic style.  Santa used to live here but he has retired and his replacement setup shop somewhere else in town.  

After the Christmas shop we went on a 1/2 hour walking tour of the town.  One of the stops was to see the old church.  In the graveyard we saw a lot of tombstones with lanterns built in. For many families, the knowledge that their loved one will not be left alone in a mysterious and dark cemetery is a great comfort.  Apparently this is a new trend.

After we finished our walk, we had some free time to explore the town.  We wandered off in different directions and each of us found a different great bakery.  We bought pastries for the other and decided to eat them for breakfast the next day.

We reboarded our bus and left Drøbak for Oslo.

We took a quick tour of the city viewing some of the public art along the way.  The best artwork was the city’s opera house.  This was designed to look like an iceberg.  With a little effort we could actually see that.

However Oslo is mainly famous for one thing:  the Nobel Peace Prize. The winners for all the other Nobel Prizes are announced and presented in Stockholm, Sweden.  But for some reason, Nobel specified that the Peace Prize should be announced and presented in Oslo.  

We drove by the Norwegian Nobel Institute where the Nobel Peace Prize laureate/winner is announced on the Friday of the first full week of October.

We also drove by the Grand Hotel in the center of Oslo, where the Nobel Peace Prize banquet is held.  The Laureate is often greeted by a torchlight procession in his or her honor.

Later we went for a walk to Starbucks and saw the Oslo City Hall where the prize is awarded.

After our drive around the city we visited Frogner Park where the Vigeland Sculpture Park is located.  The entrance is a bridge lined by bronze figures celebrating family.  We loved the statue of the mother and child.

This is a large collection of over 212 life sized granite/bronze statues celebrating the cycle of human life, from birth to death.  The main tower area is entered through a couple of very beautiful metal gates.

Around the base are granite statues both amusing and touching.

We spent about an hour here looking at the statues before we headed back to the ship.