A Norwegian Tale // Part III

It’s 10 AM and waking up on my last day in Norway feels bleak. The sky is populated with clouds and the raindrops seem to have a race against each other. Maybe this is a sign that Norway is sad to see me going, because I am truly saddened by the fact that I have to head back to London; back to the same mundane routine.

I quickly pack everything in my little pink luggage and head for the reception to check out. I wrap myself up as good as I can before heading out to the windy and rainy weather, with its temperatures almost dropping below zero. There are so many places to be seen, so not even the worst rain in the world could stop me.

As I get on the tram to Bygdøy it starts pouring down heavily. Even though I’m not a very religious person I begin praying, hoping that the rain would stop. I must say though, even with this undesirable weather, the city still looks so beautiful and serene. It’s a late Sunday morning, yet not many souls can be spotted on the streets. It’s like the city is in some sort of deep hibernation.

After about half an hour or so I reach the destination. This marvellous capital has a beautiful gem tucked away right next to it. It’s an amazing forested peninsula known for its maritime history. Who would have thought that it even got its own beach?

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Huk Beach, Bygdøy, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

It’s lovely to just look at the surroundings of the peninsula. The newer and somewhat futuristic buildings blending in with nature at every corner.

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Huk Beach, Bygdøy, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

 

The weather is still being very dull but I continue my journey through the peninsula. The autumnal colours blend in perfectly with the colours of the buildings. The Scandinavian architecture is simple, yet so pretty. I can’t help but stare at it.

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Bygdøy, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

As I make my way back towards Oslo, the rain seems to have come to a halt. My prayers have been answered! I can finally stop trying to juggle with the umbrella and the camera at the same time.

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Bygdøy, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

Another half an hour later and I am in Vigelandsparken, one of the most breathtaking parks I’ve seen in my life. It is the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist, Gustav Vigeland. His lifework was this park, with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron. Vigeland was also in charge of the design and architectural layout of the park. The park was completed between the late 30’s and early 50’s.

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Vigelandsparken, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

His sculptures are very captivating, depicting various stages of life. From childhood through to adulthood and beyond. In my opinion it is broadly focused on the theme of unity and oneness. Highly entertaining too.

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Vigelandsparken, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

The symmetry of the place is just otherworldly and the way it’s architecture blends in with nature is just fascinating.

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Vigelandsparken, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

What better way to transpose the art into real life than have the depictions right next to their human counterparts?

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Vigelandsparken, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

The sunset is starting to make its appearance again, but this time I won’t have a hotel room to go to… I feel like everything has gone so fast and I want to hold on to it for as long as possible. The sky puts on an amazing performance for my last night here.

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Vigelandsparken, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu
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Vigelandsparken, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu
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Vigelandsparken, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

With every step I take, another story unfolds in front of my eyes. From the enamoured couples to young kids trying to chase the birds to cute dogs playing around.

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Vigelandsparken, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

The most striking sculpture is by far The Wheel of Life, which is seen as a symbol of eternity, encompassing women, children and men holding on to each other. This sculpture encapsulates the theme of the park which is man’s journey from cradle to grave, through happiness and grief, through fantasy, hope and wishes of eternity. The dramatic sky made the sculpture look even more distinct.

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Vigelandsparken, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

Looking down the street from the sculpture I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful surroundings which frame the streets in a pellicular way. It just feels like a fairy tale.

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Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

As the darkness is making its way through the city I have to rush to get to the next spot, the Botanical Garden. Unfortunately, I haven’t got much time to walk around all the pretty museums but I manage to snap a few pictures of the delightful environment. I will surely be back to visit it later on in life.

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Universitetets Botaniske hage, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu
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Universitetets Botaniske hage, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu
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Universitetets Botaniske hage, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

I quickly rush to catch the next train to the city centre as I still have quite a few sights to catch a glimpse of before heading to the airport. The next spot on my list is the enchanting Royal Palace. It is the official residence of the current Norwegian Monarch, Harald V. It was built in the first half of the 19th century as the Norwegian residence of the French-born King Charles III of Norway, who reigned as king of Norway and Sweden.

Surprisingly, as I get out of the underground I notice that the sky has got much clearer and there are pretty pink shades spattered across it. Reaching the Palace feels amazing, everything looks so surreal.

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The Royal Palace, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

Looking down from the Palace the sky looks completely different, it’s like the city is just split into two clearly marked territories. At least that’s how it feels to me, but it is still breathtaking.

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Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

I decide to take a stroll towards the ferry port and catch a glimpse of the sunset before it the night sets in.

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Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

This city never fails to amaze me. Even the sky manages to match with the prettily coloured buildings, at times. As I head onto the last road before reaching the ferry port I can already envision how the pink, red and blue shades of the sky are going to be blending in with the water. I begin quickly jogging towards it, being afraid that I might not catch the beautiful sunset in time if I don’t rush.

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Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

My jog pays off indeed. As I reach the ferry port I feel like I’ve truly entered a parallel world. I haven’t seen anything so enthralling in my life. It’s like the silent story of the sky is quickly developing in front of my eyes.

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Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu
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Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

I swiftly make my way towards the last stop on my list, Akershus Festning or Fortress. According to visitoslo.com the Fortress was “commenced in 1299 under king Håkon V. The medieval castle, which was completed in the 1300s, had a strategical location at the very end of the headland and withstood a number of sieges throughout the ages. King Christian IV (1588-1648) had the castle modernised and converted into a Renaisssance castle and royal residence.”

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A glimpse of the Fortress, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu
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The entrance of the Fortress, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

The views the fortress offer are spectacular, especially during a beautiful sunset like the one I got lucky enough to catch.

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A step back in time, Akershus Fortress, Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu
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Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu
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Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

In a few hours, I will have to catch the plane yet I just cannot let go of the beautiful surroundings. Everywhere I look I encounter ravishing landscapes which I cannot get enough of. I bombard my camera with thousands of pictures of my last moments in this glorious city.

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Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

It starts to rain again with its droplets getting bigger and bigger. Seems like the sky is really sad to see me go, or so I wish. My body feels exhausted, my feet are hurting and my head feels slightly dizzy. The long walks and the countless hours I’ve spent wandering around begin to take their toll on my body. Every step feels more like a struggle than anything. There is no sign of the daylight left in the sky, the darkness took over now.

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Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

Even though I am exhausted I am happy. I am happy that I have managed to see so many magnificent places, I am happy I managed to get a glimpse into the Norwegian way of life and its culture and I am happy I got to encounter some pretty amazing people on my walks through Norway.

Thank you Norway for providing me with such a wonderful time. And to all of the Norwegians out there, please make sure you are always proud of your country. It truly is a wonderful place and I wish that at some point in life maybe I will get the chance to move there for a while.

Until next time, see you later Norway!

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