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Day 25, We Couldn’t Resist It!

Sunday August 18th

sunny 18 °C
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Today was to be our last day in Oslo so we were out of bed early to make the most of it. We raced down through the sculpture park, to catch a tram to…… the other sculpture park!

I had been looking forward to this, and so had Lyn. We were going to the Vigeland Sculpture Park, which only has sculptures by the artist Vigeland. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but had read that they were the “weirdest sculptures in the world” according to the Daily Mail. We got there at about 9.06am and there were already 11 coach loads of Japanese tourists there. I kid you not. 11 coach loads!

We wandered in through the main entrance, and could see the famous monolith ahead at the centre of the park. We walked through an avenue of sculptures and I immediately fell in love; hence many many photos. Sorry not sorry.

There are more than 200 sculptures in the park, and it’s the largest sculpture park in the world by a single sculptor. The sculptures are in bronze and granite and are all consist of naked human figures, in a huge variety of poses and situations; from fighting, to cuddling, to playing etc. I found them quite beautiful, although they left Lyn completely cold!

Here are some of my favourites.


My favourite sculpture was probably the most famous in the park; the one called Angry Boy. For some reason, it just reminds me of work!!


The monolith at the centre is made out of a single huge piece of granite, 46 feet tall, covered with 121 human figures, all fighting their way to the top.


The park is as peaceful as it could be, with the many tourists there, plus the joggers etc. I’d love to go back if we ever return, and I will definitely find out more about Vigeland as his work made such an impression on me.

From there we caught another tram to see the Royal Palace. This was quite similar to Stockholm’s palace, and again quite open to the public in lovely grounds. It was strange to see female guards on sentry duty, happily having a chat to tourists.


From there we went on the search for a proper cup of coffee, as opposed to the many chains about like Starbucks and Expresso House. Lyn found us one just behind City Hall, a wonderful little vegetarian café, with the utterly fabulous name “The Fragrance of the Heart”. They had fantastic raw/vegan cakes there, so Lyn had a coffee with a raw caramel slice, whilst I had an iced coconut milk latte with a coconut cream slice. It was all lovely, and set us back 19 pounds. Gulp! The Inside of the café was filled with books etc about Sri Chinmoy, and a huge photo of him. Lyn had no idea who he was, and asked whether he had anything to do with the café. Shamed! (He was an Indian spiritual leader if you have no idea either!!)


We were quite nearby to the final museum we wanted to visit. The Norwegian Resistance Museum cost us about 5.50 each to get in, but it was well worth it. It is housed in a German WW2 fortress on the sea front, and at first glance looked tiny. When we got inside we realised it was mostly underground. (No pun intended!!)

I had been doing some reading last night as I realised I knew next to nothing about the Norwegian Royal family, and whilst reading I had come across some really interesting facts. (Well, to me anyway, you might disagree!)

The King of Norway at the time of WW2 was Kong Haakan. When the Germans invaded Norway on 9th April 1940 they planned to capture the king and government in order to force the country to surrender.


The German heavy cruiser Bucher sailed into the Oslofjord in the early hours of April 9th, but was sunk by cannons and torpedoes, with the loss of 1300 men. This gave the royal family and government time to flee before the occupying forces reached Oslo. The King headed north. The next day he met with the German envoy. The Germans demanded the government step down and the King appoint a government headed by nazi sympathiser Vidkun Quisling.

The king felt he could not comply with this, and would rather abdicate. The government supported his decision and maintained it’s oppositional stance. It was soon clear that Norway could not withstand the German forces and the allies withdrew, leaving King Haakan with a difficult choice. He decided to leave the country with Crown Prince Olaf and the government, and form a government in exile in Britain. For the next 5 years he became the symbol of the Norwegian people’s will to fight for a free Norway. Crown Princess Martha and her three children crossed the border into neutral Sweden and stayed with her Swedish family until they travelled to the US in the August at the invitation of President Roosevelt. They Royal family returned to Norway to huge crowds 5 years later at the end of the war.

We both loved the museum, which told the story of the resistance movement in Norway throughout the war. As ever Lyn loved the strategy information and I loved the human stories.


It was time for lunch then, and we walked to find what Trip Advisor had called “Oslo’s best burgers”, on the sea front. A burger each, with one portion of fries and one of onion rings cost us 39 pounds, which was better than we thought. No drinks; we made do with water!


It was time to catch the tram and bus back to the camp site then, ready to leave Oslo on the 7.30pm Stena ferry to Frederikshavn, Denmark.

Posted by CariadJohn 09:38 Archived in Norway Tagged museums oslo history norway war harveytherv travelswithharvey

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