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.
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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?

A Worldschooler’s Day in Lillehammer, Norway

Quick quotes from the Traveling Parents before we pass the torch to our eldest worldschooler who is extremely passionate about exploring and writing:

“Every secret of a writer’ soul, every experience in his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” – Virginia Woolf

You got this, kyvelo! – Turknoy Parents

—-

Saturday, May 5, 2019; 8:00 AM.

The night before, Mom had mentioned something among the lines of waking up at 4:00 AM, and had even went as far as planting the bloody phone alarm bomb alongside my bed. Protest had been on the tip of my tongue, although I hadn’t mustered the courage to do so.

As much as this fact had threatened my usual sleep-stocked slumber, I had slept soundly nevertheless. I had managed to pry my eyes open to what I thought had been four hours of sleep, when Mom bludgeoned through the unfortunate door; halting in her tracks as I allegedly “slept” on, completely unnerved. I had been semi-conscious at the time, so I hadn’t completely deceived mother dear. Mutinously mumbling, Mom trudged back through the door, which much to my surprise, had managed a piteous “click”, as she shut it behind her.

I squirmed beneath my sheets, partially due to the psychotic steam that had practically originated from myself, as well as the fact that I had started envying my former frozen self the day before.

Worldschooler, proud and happy! She did wake up like this!

Fast forward, although not too much so as to deprive Mom of precious “reflection”; I had been seated at the dining table a few minutes ago, where I had went through the usual territorial dish disputes; which hadn’t been much use since Dad had knowingly distributed accordingly, wary to the single grain.

Kim had decided to grace us with his bed-headed presence shortly after I had finished, although soon enough he wasn’t far behind.

We arrived at Oslo Central Station pink-faced and breath deprived, tapping for the troublesome tickets furiously, for the train had been due to leave in the next six minutes. As soon as I had stepped foot on the train, it had heaved and huffed, gradually gaining speed as we sped through the greenery. We stumbled through the numerous occupied seats; the occupants of which made noises remarkably like the exasperated huffs originating from the train itself.

The view to Lillehammer is marvelous… my favorite sister thinks so, too!

Speeding through luscious lakes, and fanciful foliage, the train rocked here and there, lulling me into a dream-lavished snooze of which I had debated on whether this infamous “Lillehammer” really had anything to do with hammers at all.

I clenched my teeth as another ear-piercing ring rang through the air. I had woken a few minutes ago, and had fruitlessly been screwing my eyes tight, in hopes of returning to thoughts of mjolnir.

The two hour train ride had finally screeched to a stop. The staff door swung open, revealing the person I guessed was the conductor. I narrowed my eyes begrudgingly, as I couldn’t find a reason as to why a grown man was in need to “toot, toot!” every five minutes. I stepped off the train all too gladly, skipping the way to Lillehammer.

That is, until I had caught sight of exactly how steep their roads, as well as their pavements were. You attempt skipping on a surface where the tiniest nudge would make it perfectly acceptable as a wall.

Map at hand, we marched up up up, family members overlapping family members; desperate for the front position, desperate for the valid excuse of “waiting” for the rest.

“Museum”. My heart skipped a beat as I saw those letters peek out of the green landscape that my skin tone had done a remarkable job of mimicking. I stumbled towards the building, eyes bulging as a bus sped past. Nostrils flared, I huffed as we stepped into the museum.

st. “Museum”. My heart skipped a beat…

“I suppose it was worth it.” I thought grudgingly, although I dare not say it out loud in fear of being accused of sucking up. Dad drawled on about the Vikings in the 1800’s in custody of practically nothing, whilst I fought the urge to roll my eyes. Nothing, huh? An enormous expanse of green stretched as far as the eye could see, shades of mint, lime, and emerald dotted here and there. Houses clustered just above the crystal lake, although it wasn’t difficult so as to imagine it’s former pre-beach-house beauty.

I pressed a palm against the spruce-like wood the cabins consisted of, breathed the scent of worn wood. Mom had teased about taking care of time portals, although now I had the strange urge to seek one out. A river rushed nearby, it was ridiculously accessible.

An enormous expanse of green stretched as far as the eye could see, shades of mint, lime, and emerald dotted here and there. Houses clustered just above the crystal lake, although it wasn’t difficult so as to imagine it’s former pre-beach-house beauty.

Seeing, smelling, and feeling things that had such stories behind them was simply indescribable. I’m not a lazy writer, so I don’t say that to the advantage of a decrease of words, which the previous extremely detailed paragraphs should hold proof of.

I had LITERALLY trotted through time today, from Viking abodes, to the perfect, prim, and proper peoples and places of the following decades; I had thoroughly enjoyed the adventures today had held, as well as Lillehammer itself. The architectural astonishment, and the historical heaven I had experienced the moment I took my last excruciating step uphill had been one of the most memorable; despite the lack of hammers.

The architectural astonishment, and the historical heaven I had experienced the moment I took my last excruciating step uphill had been one of the most memorable; despite the lack of hammers.

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? 🤗🇳🇴😜❤️

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: Den Norske Opera & Ballett, Opera House

Opera House is at very close proximity at the harbor . It’s angled, white exterior looks low its rising from the wage. Climbing the roof is fun on its own, not to mention the panoramic views of Oslo and fjord, at all seasons.

And of course, our traveling family climbed up and enjoyed the sunset and the view!

Oslo’s Opera House in Spring!
The panoramic view of Oslo City seen from the top of Opera House

The opera is designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, and has received several prestigious awards. The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet offers a rich and varied programme from three stages: The Main House (1369 seats), Second House (400 seats) and the Studio (200 seats). The Opera roof and foyer are also used for concerts. 

Climbing up and down Oslo’s Opera House is an adventure in itself!

Enjoying the view of artistic glass sculpture “She Lies” from Oslo’s Opera House.

This art installation lies in the water just beside the Opera House; it’s axis turns with the wind and tide. Like the Opera House, unique experiences is guaranteed every time.

She splits! With the view of Oslo’s New Harbor Promenade

We have yet to visit the inside of the Opera House. There are tours available. Large-scale windows at street level provide the public with glimpses of rehearsals and workshop activities. The building’s interior is mainly oak, and the main hall is shaped like a horseshoe, reminiscent of classical theatres of the past.

Wishing, thinking of watching a performance in the Opera House during our visit to Oslo this time around. Any recommendations?

Exploring Oslo, Norway: Akershus festning, Akershus Fortress

“Si vis pacem, para bellum”

“Let him who desires peace prepare for war.”

The Norwegian Military Academy (Krigsskolen)

The Akershus Fortress was built to protect Oslo and had successfully survived many attempted sieges, most of them from Swedish forces.

Fast forward to present date, the central location of the Akershus Fortress makes it the number one tourist landmarks in Oslo. The city’s landscape with the sea view can give anybody and calming and relaxing experience.

Akershus festning or the Akershus Fortress was built in the late 1290s under King Haakon V.

The fortress protects the fabulous medieval castle completed in 14th century, in its strategic location at the tip of the headland.

The fortress close proximity to the sea played a strategic naval power in protecting the interests of early Norwegian trade which was mainly sea-based during the period.

The fortress has also bee used as a prison and now houses The Norwegian Resistance Museum.

The Norwegian Military and Armed Forces still in operation in the fortress, playing around with the fortress defense “attack cannons” was then main thing to do for our peace-loving little travellers.

And his command — attack!! So much for peace 😄

All those things, above all, the view and family bonding in a relaxed setting!

The view is majestic, to say the least. The landscape, the luxury cruises and yachts make the Oslo horizon perfect when viewed from the fortress.

That medieval feel to the gate!

With this fortress gate, those Swedish invasions never stood a chance!

Dating from 1299, this medieval castle and royal residence developed into a fortress in 1592 and was rebuilt into a renaissance castle between 1637 and 1648.Akershus Castle today contains banquet halls, the Royal Mausoleum and the government’s reception rooms, and its small, historic church is the home of the royal sarcophagi.Norwegian name: Akershus slott

The medieval castle is perfect for our knight-loving traveling little man. Just see how proud he looks by the castle entrance.

The medieval castle serves as the Mausoleum for Norwegian Royalties including King Sigurd I, King Haakon V, King Haakon VI, Queen Eufemia, King Olav V and Crown Princess Martha.

Knowing the actual royalties are buried in the castle, somehow, makes it cooler for our traveling boy!

Not to mention, real live knights protecting the castle! Well, live knights – yes! Real? Am they are working towards being awesome knights by practice, not by being anointed.

Truth be told, we chance upon the knights club practicing in the castle square which took up most of our time exploring the medieval castle and it was very well worth it. Watching the knights in semi-costume fight is amusing in itself.

“Real” love knights in action with the two kids watching intently.

Exploring Akershus Fortress easily took a full day for us. Top with ice cream after, it was a perfect family day in Oslo, Norway!

Love knights and medieval castle? Consider exploring Oslo’s Akershus festning or the Akershus Fortress!