As I said before, Oslo is awesome.
It's particularly awesome when sharing it with someone you love. (Plus a random little giraffe.)
I think it may be a little less fun when you are there without someone to hold your hand.
Not sure why this blog so often turns into a platform for me to poke fun at Nils.
One of the most beautiful parts of Oslo is in Frogner Park, a fantastic garden full of sculptures made by Gustav Vigeland, known as Vigeland Sculpture Arrangement. The sculptures explore the path of human life, from the child in the womb to those whose lives are drawing to a close. There are over 200 statues in the park - it truly is awe-inspiring. At the center is the Monolith, a giant column containing 121 characters. There are are a lot of interpretations of the Monolith - I like this one, found on the Vigeland Museum's website: "Is the column to be understood as man's resurrection? The people are drawn towards heaven, not only characterized by sadness and controlled despair, but also delight and hope, next to a feeling of togetherness, carefully holding one another tight in this strange sense of salvation." The Monolith was carved from a single block of granite - which is just incredible to me.
The best part of the Vigeland Sculpture Arrangement to me is that there is truly something for everyone to connect with. The last time I wandered through these statues I was 13, and my interest was captured by the statues depicting teenage girls - their arms around each other, laughing and discovering the delight of intimate friendship as they share dreams and daily struggles. A gaggle of giggling girls, as my dad used to say. This time my attention was captured by completely different statues. Particularly those of couples, embracing tightly in a way that really pulled at me, a representation in stone of how it feels sometimes when everything seems wrong and difficult and the greatest comfort I have is knowing that Jeff and I face it all together.
I'm sure if (when) I return in another ten years I'll find a whole new set of personal meanings throughout the park.
If you are ever in Oslo, set aside a whole afternoon for Frogner Park.
This was the statue that really stood out to Jeff. He said it made him think of the whole purpose behind what he hopes to do with Physical Therapy - the idea of lifting one another up and helping someone back to their feet.
And of course, Sinataggen - probably the most popular statue in the park. My mom always says he looks just like all her boys did when they didn't want to take a bath. (There is probably another Nilsy joke in here, but I'll leave it for now.) Sinataggen was even stolen once, but thankfully recovered. Apparently this summer a lot of tourists got the idea that touching his hand brings luck, so it has begun to shine - I believe park guides are trying to put a stop to this in order to protect our little unhappy friend.
Labels: Scandihoovian & Scandinavian, Where we go