European Delights 2009 travel blog

Just a quick note as I do not know when I can get to the internet next.. the transit to the airport and subsequent flight with Ryan Air was a plesant one, albeit with military precision!

Within about 3 hours of saying goodbye to our gracious hosts we had landed in Oslo. We took an hours train into town, had something to eat, then contacted our accommodations for directions. We have our own apartment here, right near the Vigland (artist) sculpture park and Palace. It is about 20 and overcast and I have dad egging me on th finish up to get going... will check in later!

Oslo was founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway. In 1624 the town was largely destroyed by a fire. The Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV rebuilt and changed the name of the city to Christiania. The diocese of Oslo is one of the five original dioceses in Norway, who originated around the year 1070.

Oslo is the cultural, scientific, economic and governmental centre of Norway.

The metropolitan area of Oslo has a population of 1.4 million as of 2009; of whom, 876,391 live in the urban area. Furthermore, the city's population currently increases at a record rate of over 2 per cent annually, making it Scandinavia's fastest-growing capital!

Today we went on the local 'Hop on Hop off' bus which takes you to all the main sights if you are pressed for time, also providing a guided audio tour.

The places we focuissed on were

The Royal Castle- The Royal Palace in Oslo is open to the public only during the summer. Each year there is a special exhibition for tourists, The 2008 exhibition isbe devoted to King Harald and Queen Sonja, in honour of their 70th birthdays.

Vigeland Sculpture Park is a part of the Frogner Park, located in the district of Oslo called Frogner, west of the city centre. The Frogner Park is part of the Frogner Manor and is the most famous park in Norway, it was created by sculptor Gustav Vigeland between the years 1907 and 1942. Most of the sculptures date from the years 1926 to 1942.

The Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy is one of the two buildings comprising the Museum of Cultural History. In the Viking Ship Museum there are grave finds from Tune, Gokstad, Oseberg and Borre. This was a highlight!!!

Kontiki - Is a private foundation, which houses a range of boats and artefacts from Thor Heyerdahl’s expeditions. We saw the original Kon-Tiki raft (1947) with a 30 foot whale shark below it, statues and a secret family cave from Easter Island (1956), the papyrus boat Ra II (1970), and an exciting collection of archaeological finds from Easter Island, East Polynesia, Galapagos and Peru.

Nobel Peace centre - Where we learnt about the various Peace Prize Laureates and their activities as well as the remarkable history of Alfred Nobel. In addition, its a meeting place where exhibits, discussions and reflections related to war, peace and conflict resolution is in focus.

We are now heading back to the apartment for dinner and a well earned rest... oh and mum you will be sad to hear it is about 17, overcast raining and there is an artic wind! Ahhh, just like home!!

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