Heading for Oslo via Eidsvoll. On arrival in Oslo, we had a city tour on our coach and then we had a few hours free time. We started at the City Hall on the north side which has an astronomical clock. The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is held here every year. Behind the City Hall is the Oslo Cruise Terminal and wharf area which was under renovation and the Nobel Peace Prize Building is across the road. We walked past the Parliament buildings and the National Theatre. Near the National Theatre train and metro station is Johanne Dybwad's square and there is a monument of her on a plinth under the trees near Karl Johan Street. Dybwad was one of the most prominent actors at the National Theatre through almost the entire first half of the 1900s. There was also a monument to Henrik Wergeland who was a lyric writer. There were many statues, fountains and monuments in squares and parks as we made our way to King Karl Johans Gate - the Royal Palace. Located high up on the northwest end of Karl Johansgate, the Norwegian Royal Palace, built in 1825, dominates the cityscape. Although the impressive 173-room building is not open to the public, we were free to wander the grounds and gardens and watch the regular changing of the guard. The view of the city from the top of the palace was fantastic. We wandered back down through the gardens and had lunch at 7-11 where we met up with the rest of our tour group. We then went on our organised walking tour of Akershus Fortress and Castle which is still a military area. In addition to the castle there was the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum and Norway's Resistance Museum. The Resistance Museum was fascinating. The tour guide and facility was brilliant. Walking around the Fortress we saw His Majesty the Kings Guard, who are responsible for guarding the fortress with guard posts 24 hours. The views from the top of the fortress were wonderful. The grounds of the fortress were turned into an outdoor sculpture park in 2016 featuring 22 sculptures by Laura Ford the renowned British contemporary. I only had time to find 6 of them (Glory Glory with Crutches, Waldegrave Poodles, Bedtime Boy, Little Bird, Silent Howlers and Dancing Clog Girls).
We continued on our coach with our guide to Frogner Park - Vigeland Sculpture Park.
Vigelandsparken is a unique sculpture park and is the life work of the sculptor Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and cast iron. The bronze statue of the little Angry Boy (Sinnataggen in Norwegian) is among the most famous sculptures, along with the Monolith (Monolitten) and the Wheel of Life (Livshjulet). Vigeland was also responsible for the design and architectural outline of the park.
After a long day we finally checked into our hotel for the next few nights, the Comfort Borsparken. The hotel is directly across from the Opera house and about a 5 minute walk to Central Station and the Bus Depots. We had to hurry up as we were going out with our group for our final dinner together, somewhere in the mountains above Oslo. We hopped on our coach again and drove through the mountains past the Oslo Ski Jump area. We had time to quickly visit this area which was fascinating. There were children everywhere, riding bikes, cross country skating and even shooting. There was a gym group running up and down the stairs to the top of the ski jump. The venue for our dinner was spectacular. The sunset over Oslo was beautiful and the meal was outstanding. Great way to end our tour. On our way back to the hotel we stopped briefly to see the ski jump area lit up at night - pretty amazing.