We started our day in Oslo by lazily strolling through the park surrounding the theater. We had glimpsed a few statues here the night before as we were going towards our hotel, and as the park was in the nearby vicinity, we decided that it would be an interesting start point for the 16th day of our Interrail journey.
Nevertheless, we found far more sculptures than previously suspected, nicely combined with the lustful vegetation of the little park.
Soon though our attention was drawn towards the nearby Town Hall. Now I must say this is one of the most intriguing town hall I've ever seen. For starters, just before the entrance, there are 16 beautifully carved wooden friezes inspired from the Nordic mythology. Once we entered the building though, we encountered huge spaces, interior fountains and floor to ceiling wall paintings inspired from the local traditions and customs. However, there was a little bit more nakedness depicted in these paintings that I would have expected to encounter in a town hall. This was probably the first sign.
The second sign was this quirky statue in the little garden nearby the Town Hall we pass through on our way to the harbor. What stroke me was the commonness of this guys activity. This is no celebration of the human body and no expression of feelings. This poor guy is simply thirsty and he is putting at ease his thirst in the most natural way; except that he's not wearing any clothes.
Just behind the town hall we encountered even more statues. We were already getting the feeling that Oslo is actually a huge art scene, and more than anything, a sculpture garden. However, we innocently continued our way towards the harbor.
The sky was rewarding us with some puffy clouds. And as we learned by now not to trust the Scandinavian weather, we just enjoyed our sunny moment by the water, and this came to be by far my favorite place in Oslo.
Subsequently we decided to head for the Vigeland Park, as it was rated the nº 1 attraction in Oslo by Triposo app. But once we arrived there, my reaction was a bit like this woman's.
The Vigeland Park is the world's largest sculpture park made by a single artist. Built in the 1940s, the park has more than 200 sculptures all by Gustav Vigeland. If you are interested in the poetic meaning of these sculptures, you can easily read all about them here. Supposedly these statues represent the human condition from cradle till death, but that's scarcely what I saw here.
What I saw was a lot of nakedness, suffering and wickedness.
Some of Vigeland's statues are really disturbing. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then I might have a bigger problem than previously thought.
For me, the Monolith, supposed to represent man's longing for divinity, was just a huge vertical mass grave. I just don't buy the idea that evolution needs to be made on the next guy's expense. You don't get closer to divinity and perfection by climbing a step made of you fellows, nor by kicking others around or passively waiting for it to happen. That kind of behavior is reserved more for a profane kind of ascending, not a sacred one.
And then there's 'Angry Boy', the most famous sculpture in Vigeland Park, hence you can see the hand polished by the hordes who insisted to take a picture with this little guy. All the savageness and evilness we as human race are capable of is shown on this baby's face. Not really something to be proud of...
There's little to none compassion and love shown in this life journey. Everything is a struggle.
And babies are passed around with utter easiness.
There's also a small part of the park dedicated to newborns posing in different positions...
And desperate people who definitely want more than they already have.
And dragons doing dragon stuff with beautiful ladies against their will...
Of course, you might see these statues in a different light. But this is Vigeland's world seen through my eyes. And I'm not very fond of his world.
However, in spite of all the suffering locked in bronze and granite, the park is a relaxing and happy place. Nobody seemed to notice the atrocities going on in front of their eyes. I guess the eyes see only what you want to see... And a bit of nature's beauty makes everything all right once again.
We finally left Vigeland Park for a more peaceful atmosphere. We found these zen girl singing for her bird friends in the park surrounding the Royal Palace.
And these cute trolls in front of a souvenir shop...
And in the evening we went back to the harbor area to see the sunset.
Next on our list of cities was Bergen...You can also see our month long Interrail itinerary and read our tips for traveling Europe with an Interrail pass. Have you used an Interrail pass before or are you planning an Interrail trip in the near future? Please leave us your feedback. It means the world to us.
You can get inspired with further ideas to trip U.S with a new website that also features very interesting offers and price comparison deals: TripStates.com – these guys are doing a great job!
We’d like to thank Interrail for providing us with two complimentary global passes for our 1 month Eastern Europe & Scandinavia tour. Though we used the Global Pass for our journey, it's worth noting that single country passes are also available.