Oslo, NORWAY

[ Photo Gallery # 83 }

OSLO, the capital of Norway, is a beautiful city.  I published a previous blog – ‘Oslo Statuary’  (q.v.) in November of 2016 in which I sang the praises of this fine city and displayed photographs of a few of the many statues dotted around the harbour and the city centre.

I am including below more photographs taken in and around the city during my visit there in 2004.

My first photograph, to set the Scandinavian theme, is of a troll, well possibly a gnome – not sure I can tell the difference. Trolls can be found everywhere and anywhere in Norway.  They are deeply woven into Norwegian culture, and, when in Oslo,  you don’t have to go far to find them.  They can be found in great numbers in every tourist shop – miniatures, books, calendars, t-shirts and other fabric designs dedicated to these fantasy beings.   It is apparent that Trolls come in all shapes and sizes; immense mountain trolls; moss covered forest trolls; terrifying three headed trolls and mischievous, gnome-like trolls.  Many shops have a troll statue standing by the entrance and are regularly incorporated in selfies.

 

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A shop-front Troll ready for a skiing session

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The sea approach to Oslo is by way of  the Inner Oslo Fjord

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Akerhus Fortress or Castle stands beside the main harbour.  It is a medieval castle that was built to protect Oslo from invasion. It has also been used as a royal residential palace and as a prison.

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Looking from the Korketrekkeren towards the sea approach to Oslo along the Inner Oslo Fjord

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This is ski jumping hill Holmenkollen.  Close by is the Korketrekkeren, a former bobsleigh and luge track in Oslo.  It is operated as a public venue by the municipality.  It is possible to rent out sleds and try your hand at the skislopes, just a short distance outside the city .

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I certainly wouldn’t dare!

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. . . although he obviously would – and did!

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King Olaf V of Norway, 1957-1991, and his dog Troll. This monument is placed near ski jumping hill at Holmenkollen.  The monument is called “Skiglede” or “Love Skiing”

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Street artists plying their trade in the city centre

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Street puppeteer (Reminds me of the one at Whitby I included in my photographs a few weeks ago).

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One of Oslo’s many city centre living statue performers

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Not another living statue this time – just one of the many harbour-side statues. 

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Another of the many harbour-side statues – this one, somewhat like Atlas, balances a cruise ship on what remains of its head.

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North Cape – Nordkapp

[ Photo Blog #52 ]

Nordkapp (English: North Cape) is in Finnmark County of Norway.  It was long claimed as the northernmost point of the continent of Europe. In fact it is the furthest north that one can drive in Europe but, by less than a mile, it is not quite the most northerly point.  The administrative centre of the area is in the town of Honningsvag, where the local population is approximately 3,500.   Nordkapp is a splendid spot, weather permitting, from which to see the midnight sun.  It is normal for about 200,000 tourists to  visit there annually during the two to three months of summer,  the main tourist attraction being the splendid views from the North Cape itself.  The North Cape first became famous when the English explorer Richard Chancellor sailed round it in 1553 while attempting to find a sea route through the North-east Passage. Except for the first photograph, the photographs are from my own visit there in 2002. 

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North Cape itself

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Approaching Honningsvag from the sea

 

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Honningsvag – town and harbour

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Traditional reindeer hide tent – set up for the tourists 

 

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Reindeer and boy in traditional costume

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Reindeer

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View of the summit of Nordkapp

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The summit of the cape has a number of sculptures and statues.

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Pointing towards the North Pole

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Signpost giving the Cape’s coordinates

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View from the Cape to the west

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View north towards Svalbard and the North Pole

NORTH CAPE … A Cinquain

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The steep cliff of  NORTH  CAPE  (or Nord Kapp), in Norway, is often referred to as the northernmost point of Europe. There is some contention about this, according to how this is defined.  However, the North Cape is the point where the Norwegian Sea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, meets the Barents Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean.  The midnight sun can be seen here from 14 May to the 31st of July. The sun reaches its lowest point here from 12:14 – 12:24 a.m. during those days.

North Cape is inside the Arctic Circle.  On a visit there in 2002, I took the photograph below of a Mother and Child statue, where the child is pointing Northwards towards the Pole, still over 1000 miles away.

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Based on this scene, I wrote the following verse, in the poetic format of a cinquain.

Reach out
At the North Cape.
Pointing the way homeward?
No; He’s pointing to the North Pole;
World’s End.

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Cinquain: a short, usually unrhymed, poem consisting of twenty-two syllables distributed as 2, 4, 6, 8, 2, in five lines. It was developed by the Imagist poet, Adelaide Crapsey, who was born in 1878, the third child of an Episcopal clergyman. She graduated from Vassar College, returning to her high school boarding school, Kemper Hall, to teach literature and history. A few years later, while teaching a course entitled, “Poetics: A Critical Study of Verse Forms” at Smith College, she began a study of metrics which led to her invention of the cinquain as we know it.

In its simplest dictionary definition, a cinquain is a poem of five lines. Crapsey’s cinquain was more specific, a poem of five lines with a specific syllable count of 2-4-6-8-2, usually iambic. The ideal cinquain for Crapsey was one that worked up to a turn or climax, and then fell back. Similar to the “twist” that often occurs in the final couplet of a sonnet, a cinquain’s “turn” usually occurs during the final, shorter fifth line or immediately before it. Thus, the momentum of a cinquain grows with each subsequent line as another two syllables, usually an iambic foot, is added bringing the poem to a climax at the fourth line, falling back to a two syllable “punch line”.

There are several different forms of the Cinquain.    For more information on this, see the ‘Shadow Poetry’ website at:  Cinquain

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Below are three more of my photographs from my visit to Norway’s NORTH CAPE …

Click on any one for a larger image.

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OSLO Statuary

OSLO, Capital of Norway, is a beautiful city. made even more so, in my opinion, by the multitude of statues/sculptures which can be seen dotted around the city.  There is almost no point within the central part of the city from which it is not possible to see a sculpture.

Whether or not these are artistically worthy, is not, for me, the issue.  Rather it is just the sheer joy of coming across a new image, all of which, whatever their artistic merits, make you think, invite you to view them from every angle, and most are certainly memorable.

The photograph immediately below is not, in fact one of these, but an Oslo still life human reconstruction of a static figure, as can be seen these days in many towns and cities across the world.

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 I have included my photographs of just a few of Oslo’s genuine sculptures in the gallery below, which I invite visitors to my blog to view.  The photographs were all taken by me during a visit to Oslo in 2004  . . .

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