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Written on: Monday September 24th, 2012

A journal entry from: November 2011 until...

Last time I was in Oslo was 1998. I was soon frightened out of it by the prices and the fact that I was travelling on a Eurail pass meaning that trains were free while nothing else was.

Shame really. 14 years later, prices are still stratospheric, but I'm glad that I had a chance to wander around town for a few days.

The Munch museum, unlike Munch himself, was well-balanced. The right size (for my taste and attention span, good info about the arts and before entering the museum proper there were a few films giving an insight into Munch's troubled life.

The Viking Ship museum was also cool, but the City Hall was a real surprise. The building where the Oslo city council works and the Nobel Peace Prize in presented is open to the public and offers free tours. Designed before the war and completed after it, the architecture and the art inside reflect the times. The traditional wood-block prints around the outsie reflect the times before.

It took me a while to put my finger on what I found so compelling about Vigeland Sculpture Park in the north of the city, near where I was staying with CS host Atle. It wasn't any individual sculpture - there are hundreds all made by Gustav Vigeland. It was the mass of them, the consistency of the human form and the variation of stages of life and emotion.

Oslo has a new opera house that cost a lot of money. I didn't like it much. Actually the little ice floe-like building that seemed to have broken off from the main glacier-like opera house reminded me of seeing the same happen for real in Iceland. But I don't think that that was accessible to the public.