Now that it was clear I was well smitten with my Viking it was time to visit Norway and see where he called home. I landed in Oslo in July of 2007. We would spend a few days in the city seeing the sights and then make our way by train to his family’s cabin near Voss. It was overwhelming not only because we were reunited after a two month separation but because of the sheer beauty of the country.
Our hotel was on Bygdøy Allè in Frogner and the location was perfect for getting to all kinds of attractions in the city. We were within walking distance of Vigelandspark with its myriad of sculptures, Karl Johans Gate, the main street in Oslo with Oslo Central Station at one end and the Royal Palace at the other, as well as museums, art galleries, restaurants and shops. It was perfect.
We strolled around Oslo and some of the buildings were just beautiful. I constantly had my camera at the ready, oohing and ahhing at every corner, every twist of almost every street we walked.
This imposing figure in front of the National Theatre is Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, who along with Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie, and Alexander Kielland, make up “De Fire Store” or The Four Greats. In the late 19th Century, these four were considered the most influential Norwegian writers. Both Bjørnson and Ibsen flank the entrance to the theatre with Ibsen standing to Bjørnson’s right.
While Frogner Park and the Vigeland sculptures within can be quite busy with camera toting tourists vying for the best shots there are plenty of quiet corners to take a moment and truly enjoy what’s around you.
The artist responsible for the more than 200 sculptures in the park is Gustav Vigeland (1869 – 1943) who also designed the Nobel Peace Prize. Along with creating the bronze, granite and wrought iron sculptures he also was put in charge of the design and architectural layout of the park.
You’ll notice the famous Angry Boy statue’s left hand is a different colour than the rest of him. That’s because it’s become tradition for those taking a picture with him to hold on to his hand. All that hand holding is wearing away the patina and details on the poor tots hand. No wonder he looks so annoyed.
The statue of Karl Johan in front of the Royal Palace bears the inscription of his motto “Folkets kjærlighet min belønning” or “The love of the people my reward”.
With our time in Oslo at an end we hopped on a train to take us north to Reime where his family has a cabin. I say cabin but it’s really a century old two story house. Set in the mountains near a roaring river the scenery took my breath away.
It was my first trip to Norway and over the next few years I would return, visiting my future husband, spending time with his family, getting to know this country. I would wait, splitting my time between Norway and Canada, missing one when I was present in the other. Waiting until the day when I would finally call Norway home.