Our Wonderful Welcome To Oslo, Norway
We woke up in the morning and heard the ship docking. Most of the time the ship was docked in industrial ports or not in the city centres. So when the curtains of our cabin opened I was surprised. Right out the window we had the most awesome view of the Akershus Fortress. We spent some time exploring this large fort after we headed off to enjoy the Vigelandsparken (Vigeland Park) outdoor sculpture garden in Oslo.
We had no formal tour booked in Oslo. It meant we started our day slowly. With our view of the fort, we sipped our morning cappuccino.
Map in hand, we started our short walk to town.
Much To See In the Port
It was an easy stroll along the port. We got a pleasant surprise when we found an interesting array of street art right in front of our ship. As we continued along the port, we stopped often to admire the boats in the harbour.
We were delighted when we reached the main port area and found a giant market. Local markets always a treat when we are in a new town. The first thing we saw was a pig roasting on a spit. We were sure that the pulled pork was the freshest you could find when the pig was fully cooked.
There were a wide variety of food stalls in the market. We could get hot pancakes, fresh goat cheese, produce or local specialities including “reinsdyr” reindeer burgers.
From the market we had a great view of the twin towers of city hall and the Nobel Peace building.
It was good to start our day in the port area before we headed to the outdoor sculpture garden in Olso.
Riding the Tram in Oslo
We often use public transit to explore a new city. The fares are normally reasonable. If you can figure out the transit map, it was generally easy to navigate.
We were surprised to find that there was a different currency in virtually every stop on our cruise. Generally we tried not to exchange money and be left with a purse full of strange currency. If we could use credit cards, that was our choice. Sometimes we were able to use Euros but the change was always in local currency. We were not sure what we would ever do with the Norwegian kroner we got as change.
In Oslo we didn’t exchange money but it was easy to buy a transit ticket. Tickets were available at 7 Eleven stores or at any transit ticket stop marked with a hash tag (#). All of these spots took credit cards. There was also a way to get tickets or a pass using a phone app.
We were certainly glad we did not try to ride for free. Ticket checkers travelled in pairs and were dressed in everyday plain clothes. On our two tram rides we saw them catch 3 different people who had no tickets. The fine for not having a ticket was 1150 NK (close to $200CND). We were sure that not even dumb tourists would get away with no fine!
Once we figured out which station and line we wanted, we were off to enjoy the outdoor sculpture garden in Oslo. The best bet was to take the #12 tram right from the waterfront. The stop for the garden was right at the front door. If you take the #19 you will get close but have a short walk.
A Great Day To Enjoy The Outdoor Sculpture Garden in Oslo
We exited the tram and had a short walk to the Vigeland outdoor sculpture garden in Oslo. It was after 2pm when we arrived and we noted that the garden activities closed at 4pm. Luckily, most of the bus tours had visited in the morning. So we had much less tourists as we wandered around the gardens.
We like to visit outdoor statue gardens. One of our favourite was the NOMA Outdoor Sculpture Garden in New Orleans. The entry gates for Vigeland were large iron artistic portals. Just inside the gates we found the statue of Vigeland who the sculpture gardens were named for.
There was a long walkway to get down to the main fountain with the single monolith standing high above it. This monument was being restored and there was a large crane at the top of the park.
There was lots of green space around this park. A children’s park was close to the entrance. Lots of park benches sat amidst the trees and flowers. Ducks swam in small lakes. And everywhere we found the start of the changing colour of the fall leaves reflected in the water.
The Statue Walk
As we approached the main fountain, we crossed a bridge. All along the bridge we saw a wide variety of statues of people at play.
Many of the statues included families at play. It was a bit odd to see that every statue was naked.
We went in search of the cranky baby statue. When we researched things to do, we got a list from Julie and Charles (@FunInFairfax and @CharlesMcCool). We were amused at their pictures of the cranky baby statue. Of course, David had to try out his best cranky face.
There were several statues that wrote their own tag lines for me. I was sure to mark these statues for later use on Twitter. Whenever I wanted to stay I was “pulling my hair out” or “on my way”, I would have the right picture at hand.
The interesting status on the bridge were a definite way to enjoy the outdoor sculpture garden in Oslo.
The Central Fountain
There was a large fountain at the end of the statue walk. We had seen some beautiful fountains when we visited the Peterhof Palace and fountains. The fountain at this park was not that interesting. But the statues around the fountain were very fascinating.
As we walked around the fountain, we caught views of a wide array of characters that played in the fountain spray.
The fountain statues were a great stop when we visited the outdoor sculpture garden in Oslo.
Walking Up To the Monolith
There was a climb to get up to the top of the park and the monolith. The bottom levels still contained flowers well in bloom.
A series of steps took us up to the monolith. A huge pile of naked bodies spiralled upwards in a tall tower like sculpture. Interesting statues encircled the monolith. The large circular platform at the top was adorned with metal gates and more ‘people’ art.
Looking further into the park you could see the ‘Soluret’ sundial and finally far off the ‘Livshjulet’ Wheel of Life sculpture. From this high vantage point, there was a great view back to enjoy the ‘Fontenen’ and ‘Broen’ sculptures within the Vigeland garden in Oslo.
We slowly made our way back through the almost empty park well before closing. It had been a great day to enjoy the outdoor sculpture garden in Oslo.
Exploring the Akershus Fortress
We took the #12 tram back to the port. We got off at the fort stop and headed up. Little did I know how long this path would take us along rough cobblestone paths. The first thing we saw was a field of food trucks. Exploring the fort must be a hungry venture!
As we strolled ever higher we got to see this well preserved fort and the different buildings. We found a lookout spot that gave us a view of the harbour.
We finally hit the top point close to the ship. This was the view that I had when we first entered port. And which stayed with us as we left.
The path finally wound its way back down and we walked back to the ship.
A Great Day Exploring The Outdoor Sculpture Garden In Oslo
We enjoyed our day as we explored Oslo. At our slow pace, we may not have seen as much as people who took formal tours. But we wandered at our own pace. We mastered the tram system to get further out to enjoy the outdoor sculpture garden in Oslo. Along the way, we got a small view of the city of Oslo. The day ended where it had started, back at the Akershus Fortress.
Oslo was our last port on our Baltic cruise. We had a lazy sea day before we arrived in Amsterdam. Since we stayed on the shop for the next cruise, we had little to do but enjoy a day in Amsterdam.
We were excited when we booked another cruise to see the Norway fjords. Our trip started from Oslo. We we got a chance to see more of Oslo.
Did you enjoy the Vigeland Outdoor Sculpture Garden in Oslo? What was your favourite sculpture? What else did you do on your visit?
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I am so impressed that you managed to see so much of Oslo in just one visit and that you did it all so economically – Norway is a rather pricey destination. Their public art scene looks amazing – and I think the ‘grouchy’ face imitation was pretty spot on!
Vanessa, We were happy it was so easy to get around Oslo by tram. The second time we visited we stayed in downtown and mostly walked places. We were amazed at the public art we found. Linda
What a wonderful destination and I love the local markets I usually Bring home consumables as souvenirs so I am sure I would have bought a few things there. I could not believe the cost of a ticket if caught without on the trams – that should certainly discourage people from not purchasing their own. It seems they make it easy to buy and that it is not expensive so there is really no excuse to being caught without. I am hoping I will get to visit one day and will definitely deputing the sculpture garden on my list,
Joella, I hope my blog post is a good reminder about always getting a transit ticket. Especially when it is cheap and easy like Oslo. It was the perfect way to get around the city. And a great treat to make it out to the statue garden. Linda
I love sculpture gardens and this one looks so unique. Love the naked statues and cranky baby. The fountain trees are gorgeous. I’m definitely going to see it when I finally visit Oslo.
Elaine, The Vigeland statue garden certainly had an interesting set of statues. I hope you get to visit. Linda
Such a huge Outdoor Sculpture Garden in Oslo!! The featured image one is my fave sculpture. It is always great to go with a formal tour and so you can spend the best time touring around the way you like.
Nafisa, The cranky baby seems to be a fan favourite. But just one of the many amazing sights when we strolled the park. Such a great stop in Oslo. Linda
Wow, Oslo looks like such a great city to explore and so beautiful! It sounds like you can get some great snacks at the market too, the pulled pork sounds delicious.
Sarah, We do love when we find local markets. A great way to find local products. And fresh and hot treats. Linda
Oh wow, that giant baby statue was…Well, I can’t quite find the words! I love David’s face in front of the statue haha. It weirdly reminds me of the baby statues you find in Prague, all really bizarre.
Tom, We could not pass the cranky baby statue without a pose or two. It seems made for it. There were certainly a number of interesting poses around the park. I will have to go back and look for baby statues from our visit to Prague. Linda
You packed in a lot in a day! Looks like a very interesting city to visit.
Celine, We were glad we got to see so much of Oslo in just one day. Linda
Such incredible photos and striking statues in the park. The cranky baby is classic and what a great capture. It is weird that they all naked, as you mentioned. I would think there is a reason for that, don’t you? Have not been to Oslo, but certainly intrigued. Great read.
Rosemary, We were so intrigued by the statue garden. And we could not leave without seeing the cranky baby! If you visit Oslo, it is definitely worth a visit. Linda
I’ve been to Oslo but I haven’t seen a tenth of what you explored! Not a cheap place by any measure so its quite an accomplishment you did so somewhat cheaply. The art looks very interesting and the sculpture garden as well. Thanks for the share!
Adonis, Oslo certainly is not cheap. But it was cheap and easy to use the tram to see the free things in town. When we visited the second time, we walked and enjoyed the gardens and street art. Linda
I like how the sculptors and Graffiti artists have given a good colorful character to the city. A statue garden is a great idea, every city should have it. What a great photo opportunity for every visitor there.
Indrani, We loved the variety in the outdoor statues in Oslo. A great draw when you visit the city. Linda
No favorite sculpture at this garden. At first, I thought this might be that scary sculpture garden. So I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn’t. The sculpture garden looks intriguing but I’d rather visit the fort.
Debra, We must have missed the scary sculpture garden! This was just a bit unusual. The fort was a great spot for views over the city. Linda
I love how walkable Oslo is. And if you get tired the tram will take you everywhere! I hope all cities are life this. The statues are really funny but also explores a lot about humanity. Very interesting! I heard the food in Oslo can be really expensive though.
Trisha, In general, we found Oslo expensive on both of our visits. Even when we ate in local places. But there is lots to see walking or taking the trams. Linda
Oslo is a must visit for every traveller. It has the right mix of old and the modern. Your photos did justice for this destination. I love statues and here there are statues of all types.
Vasu, We loved the variety of things to see and do in Oslo. We certainly found new things on our return visit this year. Linda
You blog gave a virtual tour literally. The pictures themselves, indeed spoke of the place in so much details. Oslo is really a great place to visit, a hub of artistry indeed.
Jayashree, I am glad the blog post provided you with a great visual tour. There were so many interesting spots to see in the Vigeland outdoor sculpture garden. Linda
You really managed to see a lot in one day in Oslo. I find the Vigeland statue garden strangely fascinating. The statues are somewhat creepy and realistic. I can only imagine how the atmosphere must be on a rainy day or on a cloudy winter day.
When we only have one day we often try to fit a lot in. The Vigeland statues were indeed creepy and realistic.