Today is our only full day in Oslo before hitting the road (although we return to Oslo in the middle of the trip and at the very end). Today being a nicer sunny morning we ventured to Ekeberg park - a sculpture park on the east end of the harbour (a little past the Opera house up in the hillside). The park is open to the public as it has been historically a significant area in the history of Norway. Long ago when the sea level was higher it was a site of early human settlement. As such there are a number of archeology markings. Later on it was ancient agriculture land. Some of the rocks shown markings called from cultivating the land. In the turn of the century the site to turn into a public park as a site of refuge for the people of the city. Now the park also includes many sculptures - some along the main pathways, some deeper into the more naturalized parts and require more of a hike to venture to, which makes them all the more interesting to find modern art deep in the forest.
Some significant works are by some renowned artists such as Dan Graham, James Turrell, Salvador Dali, and Louise Bourgeois. Unfortunate the Turrell piece is only open on Sundays or by appointment. Maybe we can return to it when we get to back to Oslo. I saw a number of his works in Japan and would be keen to see this one as it is built inside of an old water reservoir set into the hillside, with a pond above it.
From here we hiked back down the hillside to walk along a new development called Barcode which is a number of slender contemporary residential and office buildings along he harbour, close to the Opera House. Admittedly it's a bit too much "distinct" architecture all together. But the individual projects are nice nonetheless. There is massive amounts of construction going on in this area including a new National Library as well as plenty new housing. We then hung out in front of the Opera House again to enjoy lunch sandwiches as well as get to go inside the lobby (which was closed yesterday evening) and see the wooden interior.
We continued along to to the area we walked through yesterday to see two of the National Museums (Nasjonal Museet) (which are different buildings) - one is of Architecture, Art and Design, the other Contemporary Art. As it turned out the museums were free today.The architecture museum had an exhibit on Architecture by Norway based architects (projects here and abroad) shown through models and laser etches felt "rooms". Some are projects we will see, there is also some work in Canada on Fogo Island in the Maritimes.
The contemporary museum had an exhibit on an artist named Tori Wrånes - the work was fairly.. bizarre, some of it costumes that have been used in performance pieces. There was also pieces by Louise Bouregois. One work that really stood out to us was by a Norwegian Artist Per Inge Bjørlo called Indre rom V. Målet (Inner Space V. The Goal) which you ascend some very narrow steel stairs turn a corner and go down an equally narrow hallway with a round room at the end with a light just below a perforated floor. Everything is stainless steel, so very reflective and very claustrophobic (which is deliberate) as there is only room for one person. It was a tad difficult to photograph due to the tight space, but I got one decent image near the end of the hall.
By now it started to rain quite heavily (a common theme of our time here!) so we spent a while enjoying coffee in the cafe and shared a waffle. We also learned of this brown cheese that we have now learned is very common. It is a goat cheese that looks almost exactly like peanut butter but in slices form (to the extent Dakota was adamant that it was until trying it).
As the rain started to lighten out we had wandered around Oslo a bit more before grabbing groceries for the road trip tomorrow and heading back to the apartment to prepare and go through some of our photos thus far.