It is funny what you realise you know about a place and how you know it. Before visiting Oslo almost the only things we knew about it came from reading Jo Nesbo’s detective stories set here. So now as we go about Jennifer and I look at each other and say “Oh so that was where he fell off the ski jump” or “Do you think that was the pool she dies in?”
That is really not a normal way to view a city which was until recently renowned for being peaceful and safe. The other sad thing, of course, is that now the resonance is all about the awful events of a few weeks ago. The official period of mourning ended this weekend and as we walked about we noted the huge number of people carrying red roses in remembrance.
Just up the road from where we are staying there is a street-side electric-car charging point. The first we’ve seen anywhere.
Apparently the population of native-born Norwegians in Oslo is declining, but Oslo’s population is increasing thanks to the number of refugees and immigrants Norway accepts. Good on you, Norway.
The boys had haircuts today in a little barbers shop run by a gentleman from Kosovo. The haircuts look remarkably good considering we had not a single bit of common language between us.
It is still Summer here and a visit to Oslo’s Frogner park saw us seeing a lot of Norwegian flesh. The locals were out sunbathing in their underwear in some force. Coming from Australia, it’s peculiar seeing people sunbathing in a park, rather than on a beach.
The park itself is also full of hundreds of sculptures of naked people in various poses. All done by Norway’s favoured sculptor Gustav Vigeland. The centre of the park is marked by a monolith composed of bodies. It’s a lovely piece of art.
More important from the family point of view there’s a great playground near the park’s main gate. It is a huge construction like a castle wall with an enormous courtyard in the centre. There’s something available for most pre-teen ages and the kids had a great time charging about in all directions.
Vigeland’s house, provided by the city, sits nearby and now provides take-away coffee. The most expensive coffee since we left Sydney; but, hey, sunshine, a park and kids playing happily – who could complain?