Exploring Oslo, Norway: Aker Brygge

We are all born in a little port but not all of us sail the vast oceans.” – Mehmet Murat íldan

View of Aker Brygge — an elegant neighbourhood in central Oslo, Norway

Aker Brygge is a neighbourhood in central Oslo, Norway. It is a popular area for shopping, dining and entertainment, as well a high-end residential area. For our family’s third visit to Oslo, we have chosen to enjoy these area and we didn’t regret this even for a tiny second.

Aker Brygge – their playground for 17 days! ❤️

Universe happens for us — we want a yacht and really, that’s not a lot. To be more specific, a Norway-based yacht 😄
cruises depart day in and day out for passing through the scenic Oslo Fjord.

At street level Aker Brygge a vibrant commercial district, and the large open-air areas and indoor shopping street are often used for photo exhibitions, concerts and pop-up events for fashion, art and culture.

For more than a century Aker Brygge was the site of a shipyard, Akers Mekaniske Verksted. The architecture at Aker Brygge is distinctive, with its combination of old, venerable shipyard buildings and modern architecture.

Part of the Central area, Aker Brygge’s pier is fabulous and majestic, to say the least. Eateries outdoor tables serve upscale Nordic, Italian or casual menus like burgers and steak. There are a lot of Oslo food trucks to choose from. A popular summer boat bar is moored nearby, ferries and cruises depart day in and day out for passing through the scenic Oslo Fjord.

Local cultural draws include the Nobel Peace Center, with exhibits on the famous prize and the striking Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.

 

Local cultural draws include the Nobel Peace Center still under renovation for more improvements!

Enjoying the almost midnight sun in Aker, Brygge Oslo, Norway

striking Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.

Aker Brygge is a port of happiness and elegance in Oslo, Norway!

Exploring Oslo, Norway: Vikingskipshuset, Viking Museum

Visit Vikingskipshuset for a face to face experience with some of the world’s greatest Viking treasures! The best preserved Viking ships in the world and unique burial artifacts from boat graves around Oslo Fjords. These ships have been on voyages of the sea before they became the final resting place to their wealthy owners.

Incredible woodcarvings, mysterious skeleton remains and Viking era mood; definitely out of the ordinary!

Face to face with some of the world’s greatest Viking treasures!
Incredible woodcarvings, face to face with Viking artifacts seem surreal 😀

 

The Ship Graves

The Viking Ship Museum houses four Viking ship burials from Oslo Fjord area: those found in Oseberg, Gokstad, Tune and Borre. All four were excavated  between 1852 and 1904. Three of the graves contained ships that have survived to this day, the Oseberg ship was built AD 820, the Gokstad ship shortly before AD 900 and the Tune ship AD 910.

The three ships had been at sea for several years before they were pulled ashore and used as burial ships. The dead were placed in burial chambers built on board the ships. They were buried with generous supplies of food and drink, various animals and a large number of objects

The Oseberg ship was used as grave ship for two women, while Gokstad and Tune servedas grave ships for men. Most of the objects in Oseberg and Gokstad graves were well preserved because the ships had been buried in moist ground and covered with clay and turf. Both Oseberg and Gokstad had been looted in the Viking Age; no jewelry or weapons were found.

The Discovery of the Oseberg Ship

The Oseberg ship burial was  discovered in the autumn of 1903 on the Lille Oseberg farm in Vestfold county. The following summer excavations were carried out, led by professor of archeology Gabriel Gustafson. While the excavation itself took five months, it would take 21 years to complete the conservation and  restoration of the ship and its grave finds.

The ship was complete but crushed when it was found, The many pieces had to be slowly dried before being pieced back together. The Vikingskipshuset consists of over 90% of the original wood.

Two Wealthy Women

When excavating the Oseberg Ship in 1904, the archeologist found the remains of two women. One of them could have been in her fifties when she died, the other around 70-80 years. But who is the main person in the grave?

The Oseberg mound with its rich array of grave goods indicates that one or both of them played an important political – and perhaps also religious – role. Their kin and community used the ship grave and the burial ritual and to mark the importance of the women. Is it possible that one of the women was sacrificed to accompany the other to the grave?

Both women were approximately 153 cm tall. The younger woman had healthy teeth with little sign of wear, indicating that she had enjoyed a good diet. Throughout her life she had used a metal toothpick to clean her teeth. A broken collar bone shows that was injured some  weeks before her death, but the skeletal remains do not reveal the cause of her death.

The skeleton of the older women shows signs that she had been seriously ill during childhood. In old age, she suffered from osteoporosis, a lumbar fracture, two fused neck vertebrae and a knee  injury, which most likely had made her stoop and walk with a limp. The woman suffered from advanced cancer, and had probably been in great pain in her final years.

 

The Oseberg mound with its rich array of grave goods indicates that one or both of them played an important political – and perhaps also religious – role

The Oseberg mound with its rich array of grave goods indicates that one or both of them played an important political – and perhaps also religious – role

Prototype and functional Oseberg Ship in Tonsberg, Norway

Exploring Oslo, Norway: Oslo rådhus, Oslo City Hall

“If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.” – Alfred Nobel

Oslo City Hall (Norwegian: Oslo rådhus) is a municipal building in country capital, Oslo, located in the northern part of Pipervika neighborhood and faces Oslofjord. It houses the city council, the city’s administration and various other municipal organisations. The building as it stands today was constructed between 1931 and 1950. It was designed by architects Arnstein Arneberg and Magnus Poulsson.

Our Small Friends Exhibition besides the Oslo City Hall

Oslo City Hall is built of red brick  and has two towers, one 63 meters tall and other 66 meters tall. The bricks used are larger than what was typical at the time of construction, but are roughly the same size as bricks used in the Middle Ages. The bricks – measuring approximately 27,5 x 13 x 8,5 cm – were produced by Hovin Teglverk in Oslo. The eastern tower has a set of 49 bells

On December 10 each year, during the death anniversary of Alfred Nobel, the Oslo City Hall hosts the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in which the annual laureate gives his or her lecture and is awarded the medal and diploma.

A podium for the laureate and the Nobel Committee is erected in the far end of the hall for each ceremony. The Norwegian Royal Family and Prime Minister attends the ceremony.

Inaugurated in 1950, Oslo City Hall is the city’s administrative body and the seat of the City Council.
Enter a caption
The building has been decorated by great Norwegian art from 1900-1950, with motifs from Norwegian history, culture and working life.
Future Nobel Peace Prize Laureate – it’s in his smile already!

On December 10 each year, during the death anniversary of Alfred Nobel, the Oslo City Hall hosts the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in which the annual laureate gives his or her lecture and is awarded the medal and diploma.

There are free tours inside the Oslo City Hall. Have you seen the interior of this administration building? 

Exploring Oslo, Norway: Our Small Friends

 

“In summer the empire of insects spreads.” ― Adam Zagajewski

This third time around in Oslo, we stayed in Aker Brygge and it’s fantastic. We get exposed to all things great and beautiful.

One fine day we were exploring the city, there’s a rainbow and there’s the “Our Small Friends” photo gallery that made us stopped for almost an hour.

In the exhibition, “Our Small Friends” , we meet the insect face to face. Jannicke Wiik-Nielsen, a scientist at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, has taken these portraits using electron microscope, which magnifies the object under examination many thousand of times. Since the electron microscope is restricted to black and white photographs, the scientist/ artist has colorized the images to provide greater contrast and detail.

Have you ever stared directly at an insect and felt small? 🤗

Don’t you just love Oslo. Walking around the city always make you feel better and smarter.

Have you ever stared directly at an insect and felt small?

Exploring Oslo, Norway: Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology

“All men by nature desire to know.” – Aristotle

There’s always a time to explore outdoors and explore indoors… not fun learning experience for our worldschooling kids! So off we go to … indoor museum! With great pleasure. Oslo have lots!

Norway’s largest science center has installations that let children explore natural science and technological principles in energy, physical phenomena, the body, mathematics and space.

There are exhibitions about value creation throughout the ages, dive into oil history and try energy sustainable productions.

The exhibition Grossraum illustrates war stories in a very creative way for kids.

The medical history exhibits cover everything from the inside of the body to operation techniques that will make kids shudder – that’s a great things! In Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology, there’s a lot of opportunities to see Norway’s first passenger jet, as well as cars, bicycles and vehicles from different eras.

Oslo Science Center is the place make sure kids have fun while learning.. a lot! All can be tested.. from green screen, seeingYou own colors and testing reaction time!

Oslo Science Center is the place make sure kids have fun while learning.. a lot! All can be tested.. from green screen, seeingYou own colors and testing reaction time
In Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology, there’s a lot of opportunities to see Norway’s first passenger jet, as well as cars, bicycles and vehicles from different eras.
In Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology, there’s a lot of opportunities to see Norway’s first passenger jet, as well as cars, bicycles and vehicles from different eras.
In Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology, there’s a lot of opportunities to see Norway’s first passenger jet, as well as cars, bicycles and vehicles from different eras.
Traveling outside Earth from Oslo. Astronaut mode.
Traveling outside Earth from Oslo. Astronaut mode.

Yes, it’s always great to be in a museum. Yes to travel. Yes to museums! That’s worldschooling, a school without boundaries or border in learning!

What’s your favorite indoor museum in Oslo, Norway?

Tønsberg, The Ancient Capital of Norway

 

“The brace man well shall fight and win, through dull his blade may be.”- ~Fafnismal 28

Tønsberg is generally regarded as the oldest town in Norway, founded by the Vikings in the 9th century and also regarded as an Ancient Capital of Norway.

The town is also eventful in this present time as it is ancient. Tønsberg is a town filled opportunities for those with an urge to explore (like our Turknoy family and the Vikings!) We have noticed buzzing activities just below the The Castle Rock Tower, Slottsfjellet, and Brygga during our visit.

Tønsberg has beautiful nature to explore, too. At the coastal path, gorgeous and ever changing magnificent landscape can be enjoyed.

As mentioned, the town of Tønsberg is the oldest town in Norway. It was founded during the Viking Age, and celebrated its millennial jubilee in 1871! The greatest testament to the town’s significance during the Viking times is the world-famous Oseberg ship, which was discovered just north of Tønsberg center.

After the Viking Age and throughout the Middle Ages, Tønsberg remained a center of power until 1671, the only established town in the Vestfold region.

Tønsberg was a hub for commerce and shipping, and sites as Tunsberghus, several churches and monasteries, as well as the Earldom of Jarlsberg served to reinforce the town’s position of importance. Tønsberg was also a member of the Hanseatic League and played a major role in the establishment and development of commercial whaling in Northern Europe.

For hundred of years, Oseberghaugen has concealed one of the world’s largest Viking treasures, the Oseberg ship, excavated in 1904. The 21.5 meters long Oseberg ship turned out to be the grave is an eminent woman, perhaps a queen. The ship was filled gifts for the journey to its not so obvious doom! A copy of the Oseberg ship’s beautifully carved bow can be seen at The Slottsfjell Museum. Another complete replica of the ship can be seen at the harbor of Tønsberg.

The world’s most important discovery from the Viking Era was made just outside of Tønsberg in 1904, the famous Oseberg Viking Ship

The Castle Rock Tower is Tønsberg’s most famous landmark and is part of Slottsfjell museum which is located at the foot of the hill. The present tower was built as the 1000-year anniversary and was completed in 1888. The tower is 17 meters high, with a stunning view of the town. The original cross from the Maria Church and the engaged signature of three Norwegian kings can be seen in the tower.

The Castle Rock Tower is Tønsberg’s most famous landmark

Family photo The Castle Rock Tower is Tønsberg’s most famous landmark

The Slottsfjell museum and the area around is a culture heritage that represent the long history of Tønsberg. The ruin park shows remains of the one of Norway’s most significant medieval fort. In the museum’s Viking hall is Norway’s forth Viking ship, the only preserved ship that is placed outside Oslo, and the story of Oseberg findings. The Whale exhibition shows whale skeletons and the history of Svend Foyn. The blue whale skeleton  is the world’s  largest preserved skeleton.

The Quayside and old warehouses restored in 1978-1980. The brygga is a popular place with restaurants, marina and activities in a maritime setting.

View of the Tønsberg Brygge from the Bridge!

Playing Knight!

Viking longboat repair station… fine, fine … or any normal boat

Torvet, the main square of city center is a 10-minute walk from Tønsberg Brygge or Wharf and also to the Tønsberg Station. It was Sunday when we visited so everything was closed. It was still a very fun walk to do with kids!

Leading path to the Torvet, the main square of city center.
All dreams will be great 👍🏾

Torvet, the main square of city center.
Built 1919

Dream catchers

Last but definitely not the least trivia about Tønsberg is that the town is the New Asgard! Hello Marvel movies fanatic like us! Though, a little bit of reality from a Tønsberg resident.

It does make a lot of sense, though, that Marvel Universe is in a town with Norse mythology and Viking background. Tønsberg was the Earth-based battleground of Orin’s war against the Frost Giants, revealed during Thor’s prologue. It is also the location where the Red Skull, back when he was Johanna Schmidt, first discovered the Tesseract, containing the Space Stone, which has had a massive impact on the fate of the Avengers. The New Asgard with a new queen Valkyrie, that’s Tønsberg, Norway. What a fateful location indeed.

Marvel Studios may or may not have filmed in Tønsberg, well, they should have. This town is fabulous and Asgardian in any way!

Top of Castle Rock where our Marvel fanatics play loving the view and Endgame at the same time!

Have you been to New Asgard… hoops, Tønsberg? 🤗🇳🇴😜❤️

Lillehammer, UNESCO City of Literature

There is nothing noble in being superior to your frown man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. ” – quote by Ernest Hemingway

Being superior to your former self, exactly what Hemingway quoted, is what we have taken away from Lillehammer with its extreme love for literature, books and written word. There’s a sense on ownership in all literature events we observe happening in the Lillehammer; an ownership that feels everybody involved in their own confident world.

One fine Saturday we visited, the Literature Festival, Norsk Litteraturfestuval, is being celebrated and there were a lot of book readings and discussions with authors almost at every buildings. We visited the Public Library and there’s an ongoing event with an author, a great event to have observed, while browsing the library, even though the discussions were in Norwegian.

This festival, the Norwegian Festival of Literature is the biggest of its kind in the Nordics. Words is the main weapon to stir emotions and provoke actions in this Festival.

Lillehammer is one of Norway’s most important cultural centers and has a status as a UNESCO City of Literature.

Lillehammer is one of Norway’s most important cultural centers and has a status as a UNESCO City of Literature
Town Center, Lillehammer, Norway 🇳🇴
There’s always time to stop exploring and read books… so yeah, never stop exploring!

Lillehammer is a charming town at the entrance to the Gudbrandsdalen valley. Coming from Oslo, it’s a huge change of scenery from buzzing wide streets to picturesque pedestrian streets; from high dense of people to not so much, having only 27,000 inhabitants.

After exploring the town and it’s literature events, we head on to Maihaugen Open- Air Museum, a blissful environment depicting how it is to live a life like it was the old days with the Viking.

The Maihaugen Open Museum has more than 200 historic houses and buildings as far back as the 13th century to the present day.

We have visited houses from each decade during the 20th century. We also visited the childhood residence of Norway’s Queen Sonja.

Maihaugen and Norges Postmuseum
A magnificent landscape, a village with a view! ❤️
Maihaugen is a feel good experience where history is brought to life!
Behind us is the oldest church in Norway in Maihugen

Lillehammer fanatic – the place and the Netflix
show 🤗

Quick Triva: Lillehammer is the location of the American-Norwegian television series in Netflix, Lilyhammer. Our traveling dad watches this.. for travel planning purposes. It’s semi-crime, semi-comedy series set in Norway, what’s not to watch?

What a fantastic spot for kids looking back and knocking on the generations past.

We also experienced Norway’s important postal history at the Norwegian Postal Museum at Maihaugen.

Norwegian Postal Museum at Maihaugen.

Storgata, lined with idyllic wooden houses, provides the framework for a modern and friendly shopping experience and an experience already in its own right. We were able to shop for some very expensive brand at very low prices, a.k.a we visited a semi-flea market as it is in a fancy shop.

Hoarding on books from UNESCO City of Literature at Storgata, Lillehammer

The train view

We could easily fill this blog with lots of train view as we took a loads of photos. The lake view, the fields and mountains views, the houses and landscapes views – everything seems to have come out of a perfect masterpiece.

The train back and forth form Oslo to Lillehammer has jaw dropping view we didn’t want the journey to end 🇳🇴

Did we give you enough reasons to visit Lillehammer? Hope we did.

Exploring Oslo, Norway: Det kongelige slott, Royal Palace

“I think the main task in life we all have received, is to become the best version of ourselves, no matter how difficult life can be. ” King Harald V of Norway

Det kongelige slot, or simply, Slottet is the royal residence home to HM King Harald V and HM Queen Sonja. Slottet is located at the top of Karl Johans gate, completed in 1849.

The Royal Palace Park surrounds the palace on all sides and features grassy areas, majestic trees, small ponds and statues. These grassy ares are perfect for a quick picnic/ hanging out in front of the castle while admiring the majestic neo-classical style with the facade of stuccoed brick.

Great fond memories in front of His Highness home residence

The building is in neo-classical style with a facade of stuccoed brick, and was completed in 1849.
Our prince and the Royal Palace

Beyond hanging out during sunny days (or any cold days!) there are tours in summer, changing of guards every 1:30pm and service in the Palace Chapel every Sundays at 11am.

Our family believes the King Harald of Norway is THE coolest monarch. He is a champion sailor; he represented his country three times in Olympic Games; he support all genres and religions.

Not so long ago, he quoted Love Actually, in comparing Norway with United Kingdom,

“We may be a small country, but we’re a great one…”

He is certainly has more right to state this than Hugh Grant.

If you don’t think that is way too cool for a monarch, you should hear the love story between King Harald and Queen Sonja.

Once upon a time in 1950s…. so the real fairy tale starts King Harald saw a commoner, love at first sight, chased after her, courtship of nine years! King Olav V disapproves of the Prince not marrying another royalty from Sweden, a country of alliance. They defied all odds and eventually got married and live happily ever after ruling a great country… making it greater every day…

It’s a lot better than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s story, right?!

Hanging out at The Royal Palace Park
the top of Karl Johans gate is the a Royal Palace

Obviously, lots of positive energy around The Royal Palace that our family wishes to absorb. And really, it’s a fine place to visit!

Don’t miss passing through The Royal Palace when in Oslo, Norway!

Exploring Oslo, Norway: Vigeland Sculpture Park

“That two bodies press convulsively together, man and woman, he fertilizing her, he giving her a budding life, or he planting a seed, a seed of life in her womb – Oh God. I think this God-given idea is so enormous, so eternal, so endlessly wise – that people should not be allowed to depict it in art!”

– Quote By Gustav Vigeland

One may find this quote inappropriate for a family travel blog, but this really relates to what radical unschooling or radical family lifestyle means. There is no taboo in art, so there should be no taboo in nonconforming to school, religion or  any  society’s institutions.

So a day spent in Vigeland Sculpture Park may be equivalent to any “normal” art or any lessons day in school. Or more. Kids running around in more than 200 naked sculptures depicting life, of course!

On a more serious tone (the previous tone was made in pun but no way less serious!)…. the Vigeland Park is one of Norway’s most visited attractions and the world’s largets sculpture park made by one artist, Gustav Vigeland, contains no less than 212 bronze and granite sculptures

Gustav Vigeland (11 April 1869 – 12 March 1943), né Adolf Gustav Thorsen, was a Norwegian sculptor. Gustav Vigeland occupies a special position among Norwegian sculptors, both in the power of his creative imagination and in his productivity. He is most associated with the Vigeland installation (Vigelandsanlegget) in Frogner Park, Oslo. He was also the designer of the Nobel Peace Prize medal.

The park was completed between 1939 and 1949 and all the statues are centred on the Human Condition theme of the park, illustrating relationships between men and women, adults and children.

The park can be divided into 5 main units that are located along the 850-metre-long main axis: The main gate, the bridge with the children’s playground, the fountain, the monolith plateau and the wheel of life. Norway’s most famous boy, the angry boy, is located in the middle of the bridge together with more than 50 bronze sculptures where the artist wanted to display mainly young people and show the relationship between men and women.

The popular Angry Boy sculpture shows a naked little boy crying and about to stamp his foot.

Not shying away from naked sculptures and artistic interpretation of the human bodies and its “activities” , we have explored  the Vigeland Sculpture Park three times for different seasons, (two actually – cold and very cold!), and it was always an eye-opener experience, both literally and figuratively!

Park size is relative … whether you like it or not 🤣

Vigeland.

Snow and let it all out! 🤣

Fall season with family is the time to explore Vigeland Park!!!

The Naked Park

Okay… so let’s pile up and explore 👊🏽

So you think you are cold? How about the sculptures?! 🤣

Snowy and rainy in the midst of naked and artistic truth of sculptures!

and on to almost summer in Oslo!!

Cloudy and sunny at the same time is The Perfect time to explore Vigeland Park

Can you see the excitement of kids when it’s time to explore the Vigeland sculptures!
Vigeland sculpture is so much fun!!! ❤️

 

Have you explored Vigeland  Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway? Did you like it? 

Norway Day is 17th May!

Norway is our 13th Country to visit – since then, we’ve come back for more and more and more… if we could sum up why we love this country this much, it’s because of this day – May 17.

We celebrated May 17 in Oslo. The highlight of the day is NOT a military parade but more than 60,000 children, most of them in marching bands, with Norwegian flags or in their national costumes. What a fantastic parade to watch!

We’re very excited to observe the Constitution Day Parade – combination of lots of flag, children, ice cream and fun!

Norway is a the ONLY country celebrating anything “National” without the need to show the strength of their military capabilities. They don’t need to. A confident, rich, beautiful person who made it in the world, doesn’t need to flash their big, gigantic, enormous, uummmhhmm, expensive properties to show that they indeed “made it big!” Such is a Norway-no-military parade analogy.

It may not that be, but it’s a big worldschooling lesson for kids.

That and mainly, children being the “hope” of the nation – not military.

Ben & Jerry said so…

PEACE, LOVE and ICE CREAM

A country who values children and ice cream over power and might says a lot!

Although, of course, there are also the traditional magnificent bunads everywhere today, the loyalty towards tradition is also important. Roots before wings, right?

Beautiful ladies, their bunads and our Turknoy little ladies

If those are not enough reason to include Norway’s Constitution Day in your travel bucket-list, there’s diversity! You have to be there to experience the common love and respect towards anybody. It’s a great feeling!

It’s today! #May17 and we’re in #Norge again! Don’t know which day it is? It’s only the Constitution Day, Norway Day, #IceCream Day, Flag Day, Hotdog Day, Parade Day, Children’s Day. It’s a big deal around here! ❤️ 🇧🇻️AND AND AND .. International Day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia! Could this day get any better?! #equality #constitutionday #familytravel #familyvalues

It’s not your ordinary parade to watch, trust us. We’ve never seen such a diverse, big crowd so organized and so calm. That in itself is something to show the kids that an organized national event is completely possible, admirable and loveable! Our hearts are warm with happiness being able to observe events in this Norway Day celebration (2019!)

Would you like to observe Norway’s Constitution Day one fine May 17? 🇳🇴❤️