Sunday, September 18, 2011

One night in Oslo

After months filled with travels and work, I now have six weeks in which I will try to catch up with the piles of photos I have gathered the last few months. They contain scenes from Merzouga and Nikosia, Rohkunborri and Okefenokee, Senja and Savannah, Belfast and Brønnøy, and lots of other places where pixels can be made. The results of this work will soon appear, but because I'm so stupid, the first thing I did when I finally was done at work for a while, was to go out and take more photos. This is what a long evening looked like to me, when Oslo decided to open all cultural doors to anyone, for free. Sometimes it's great to be a tourist in your own town as well.
The shortest route from my apartment to the city centre goes through the park surrounding The royal castle. The castle chapel was open, so I went in and had a look around. It's nice, but photography isn't allowed there, so instead here you have a group of uniformed men wandering through a forest where there are still insects hovering beneath the branches at sunset. Soon they will be gone, then the leaves will turn yellow and red, and then winter will come.
The parliament building, Stortinget, was also open for the public, but the line was too long for me. I wandered on, past this statue, which I'm pretty sure has had something added to it lately.
The autumn sun hung low, making life hard for anyone driving towards the west. Beautiful light, although it makes crossing the street an uncertain undertaking.
My first proper target for the evening was, of course, the Freia chocolate factory, where this stork waded in the rising shadow of a nearby roof. Those birds are amazingly good at standing absolutely still!
Ever since the factory was built, the management has tried to provide intellectual stimulation to the factory workers, usually in the shape of sculptures and paintings. I hope these two cats are not too involved with the chocolate production.
This is probably the most expensive bits of what Kraft Foods International Limited Unlimited Corporation got when they acquired the chocolate factory a few years ago; a large dining hall with enormous Edvard Munch paintings on the wall. It's art on par with what you can find at the Munch museum and the National Gallery, but here it's just something in the background when factory workers sit around and have their lunch. And yes, there were plates full of chocolate on every table.
After I filled my backpack with chocolate in the factory store (you get a LOT of chocolate for your money there!), I returned to the city centre. A crazy old man has collected minibottles in every shape and colour throughout his life, to the degree that he's in the Guinness' Book of World Records now. These are The seven dwarves as bottles, with surprisingly un-red noses.
In the less innocent corner, I found this Adolf Hitler bottle. A particularly strange thing among numerous just suitably strange things.
Recycling bottles can also be done through making lamps from them. Just as nice as crystal chandeliers, especially if your vision isn't very good.
At the mini bottle museum there's also a scary section. There I found this guy, who I suppose should have ordered a mop or something in addition to the vodka he's got in his hand.
In the utterly, utterly most seedy part of the museum, I found this bordello, where you have to touch a woman's breast to get in and a penis to get out again, this girl is in bed, trying to distract people from all sorts of red light thingies around her. She plays her part fairly well.
At the museum I also found the absolutely most scary thing I've ever exposed my private parts to. The old saying "Don't stick your dick in crazy" came to my mind. I quickly finished.
I visited the university's hall of ceremonies, where the Nobel Peace Price has been given out many times. I enjoyed a choir concert and a lecture about the paintings on the walls. These are works by Edvard Munch as well, and they will probably stay here, as they measure up to 55 square metres in surface area. The lecture was given by a women with screaming red hair and the inability to say the letter R. This guarantees she must be an art expert to me.
Nearby is the House of Artists, where a large exhibition was going on. They're not very modest, especially when you compare it to what was on display.
This is a typical piece of art from the exhibition. It looks like some kind of textile-based jellyfish, I think, and it carries no apparent message to the world. It's probably still for sale if you're interested.
The Oslo Opera House also had some lectures and performances to see, but like always it's the building that is the main attraction here.
The last thing I did before heading home was a fireworks display in the harbour. It was much more impressive than this photo conveys, but firework pictures has everything to do with luck, and this was the luckiest I got that night. Such is life.
After the fireworks, the air was filled with smoke for a while. If you look closely, you can see the Big Dipper. That's it. Awaiting me now is, hopefully, a few days with cold and lousy autumn weather, giving me ample opportunity to stay inside with hot cocoa, editing photos. Soon I'll be back with more visual thoughts. See you! #8D) Bjørn