The ferry arrived into Oslo early this morning and we were off by 10. Luckily the campsite we had decided on was quite close to the port. We drove up narrow winding roads to the top of a hill overlooking the city. A pocket of greenery in the middle of the suburbs with spectacular views! We set up, had an early lunch and set off to catch the bus into town. Since the sun was out we went to Vigelandespark, a mostly formal large city park with a central walkway and bridge lined with beautiful and fluid statues by Gustav Vigeland. These fabulous statues seem to capture most emotions and moments of life, from screaming newborns to entwined lovers and peaceful elderly pairs. The central road leads to an intricate fountain, then stairs taking you up to plateau gardens on different levels. At the top are large circular steps lined with voluptuous carvings of older people, the curves such that you want to pat and stroke them. From the highest point at the centre of the stairs rises an enormous white stone monolith carved with hundreds of intertwined bodies. I love sculpture, and always struggle to keep my hands off it!
While j looked up the top, the kids and I sat on a grassy area on one of the plateaus. The flowers were brightly colored, the sun shining, the girls dangled their feet in a fountain and I sat on the grass looking over this wonderful park, listening to them laugh. Now this is a holiday!
Before all this culture of course we had had to stop at the huge playground located conveniently near the park entrance. It was full of things to climb, pull oneself up on and swing across. A bit old for Meggy but she managed admirably. Em waited patiently for a teenage girl to attempt (and fail) the monkey bars before swinging easily across them and back again, to the laughing embarrassment of the girl. She's always been so strong. Reminds me of when she was only 18mths old and could use her arm and shoulder strength to pull herself up and over the cotside!
We also had a rather disastrous trip to the public loos where I didn't have any money to pay the lady, meg wee'd all over her undies and the floor, felix was crying in the sling (an apparatus which does not make toiletting easy) and Emily had a tantrum. Not fun :-(
After the obligatory sunny day ice-cream, we caught the tram back to city centre and the bus to the campsite. I really like Oslo. It has a very cosmopolitan feel and seems to have a slightly more varied population than Copenhagen. Some of the buildings have a sort of colonial feel, and there is a nice harbour area which has promenades, shopping and cafes. We went into some shopping centres insearch of a gas cylinder compatible with our stove (yes...perhaps would have been better to obtain BEFORE our travels!!). No luck so far but the campsite has cooking facilities.
I think we've all really enjoyed the ferry travels, but is nice to finally be in the tent. Feels like the adventure's really beginning ;-)