The Long Journey From Lofthus to Oslo

We start on a dreary morning driving from the sea level fjords of Lofthus up, up and up to the high plateau of western Norway. An all day trip that seemed longer as the coach and cars couldn’t get by, forcing someone to back up many times. We got well over tree line in I believe the largest National Park in Norway.

The temperature dropped from the 60s to the 40s as we climbed. The moonscape in this area was incredible, only interrupted by small lakes and intrepid hikers.

This is what you see behind Marsha above; one of Norways largest glaciers, a memory flash from Alaska. glaciers up close and personal.

The drive continues and as we descend we come across lots of summer homes/cabins, many that people use for cross country skiing. We eventually get into down hill ski areas where people are paying over $2 million for condos.

A truly magnificent site on the way is Vøringsfoss waterfall roaring down the mountain. Photos barely do it justice. I do have a video you can see on request.

We did have one troll sighting along the way just to prove they are real. It was friendly. We haven’t seen anymore underground people, thank goodness.

There are over 10,000 reindeer in the area. That is true.

Before getting into Oslo proper we come across the Holmenkollen Ski Jump famous in the 1994 Lillehammer Olympic Games and another 1952 Oslo Olympics. This is mind-blowing. If you think it looks frightening on TV, wait until you see it in its reality. We went to the top to look down too, but didn’t take the zip line down even though we all wanted to – because we just didn’t have time. Saw lots of people practicing cross country skiing around the venue on roller skis.

Couldn’t resist an open face sandwich lunch at a little rest-stop cafe. Beautifully made egg, smoked salmon, cucumbers and red peppers on delicious, Norwegian multi-grain bread with slatherings of butter and mayo.

And then a stop at Norway’s beloved Vigeland Sculpture Park. The Norwegian sculptor, Gustav Vigeland’s work is only on display in Norway. This park is created and installed by him. He died in 1946 and the park finally finished in. 1949. The piece above is entitled, the Circle of Life.

That is indeed the entire theme of the park; the cycle of life from pre-birth all the way to death. In fact, it seems like a bit of an un-natural life-time obsession. But, who am I to judge. Nicely done sculptures, but a bit in your face/heavy-handed.

This phallic centerpiece was carved from one single piece of granite. Took three of Vigeland’s sculptors over 14 years to complete.

A familiar passage in the life cycle.

The burden of the world on these mens’ shoulders. I’ll just butt out at this point.

The angry child. One of the ugliest sculptures in the park, but apparently one of Norway’s favorite kids. Grounds keepers are not being successful in keeping people from rubbing his hand and whatever for “luck”?

We think the gates are the best part of the park.

Lovely flowers take the edge off the rather stark nature of the park.

We continued on for a quick driving orientation on downtown Oslo, an old Viking town. It gives us a sense of how we’ll attack our free day tomorrow before setting sail to Copenhagen. We find a local restaurant for some delicious grilled salmon and Norwegian meatballs. See you on the Ferry.

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