Thursday, May 29, 2014

Frogner Parken

On Sunday, we woke up late and lazed around before heading out to Frogner Park. The weather was beautiful and sunny and everyone at the park was lazing around in bikinis and barbecuing to recover from their 17th of May hangovers. 

Frogner park is one of Oslo's most famous tourist attractions and houses the Vigeland Installation, a series of bronze sculptures throughout the park, designed and created by Gustav Vigeland in the early 20th century.  The theme of the installation is the "Human Condition." A walk through the park is like walking through the cycle of life, from birth to death. Madeleine and I enjoyed a nice stroll through the park, taking pictures, people-watching, and viewing the sculptures. 
Sinnataggen: One of the most popular sculptures in the park depicting an angry boy...

We walked on to the center of the park, which has a beautiful fountain - bronze men holding up a basin - and surrounded by children and skeletons wound within giant trees. The significance of the fountain is to portray that: "from death, comes new life."

 We finally made our way over to the Monolith at the far end, the park's main attraction. A 14-meter tall sculpture carved from a single stone, the Monolith contains 121 human figures. In line with the theme of the park, the Monolith depicts many phases of human life: man's struggle for existence, his spiritual realization, and ultimate transcendence. 

Last, but not least, we wandered over to a special exhibition called Kongolandsbyen, a replication of a Congo Village. This exhibition has been incredibly controversial and the subject of a lot of social media discussion, making it all the more intriguing. In 1914, this camp was set up in Oslo with around 80 people brought in from Senegal to live in it for the duration of the exhibition. The purpose was to allow Norwegians to gain a bird's eye view into the lifestyle of people and places they were unlikely to ever visit. Artists Mohamed Ali Fadlabi and Larz Cuzner are attempting to recreate this exhibition in light of Norway's 200th year celebrations, to much public outcry and resistance. 
Read here for more info if you are interested!

Ha det (Goodbye) for now from Madeleine and I...until our next adventures!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Gratulerer Med Dagen

Gratulerer Med Dagen! aka Happy Birthday to Norway! I was super lucky to visit during Norway's 200th year National Day - a day of parades, champagne brunches, bunads, and cakes! This post is mostly a compilation of pictures from the May 17th celebrations.

We headed over to Jeanette's the previous evening to help set up for our champagne brunch - decorations, cooking, baking, and more!
Because which party is complete without jello shots...

On the morning of May 17th, we woke up super early to get ready and head to Jeanette's for the champagne brunch. Almost all the girls were wearing bunads, or traditional Norwegian costumes. They were all beautiful! Each bunad is slightly diferent in color and design, a depiction of the region your family is from. They are 100% wool, hand woven and embroidered dresses. Many of the men had bunads as well, but I couldn't get a picture amidst all the chaos. Pictures at the brunch!

Once we finished eating, we grabbed our bottles of champagne and headed to the backyard for some traditional Norwegian games (garbage sack hopping and potato spoon racing)!

 The ladies in their bunads!
 He could not wait any longer for the cake...
AAAAANDDDD our team won all the games of the afternoon!

As soon as we had all had too much cake and champagne, we headed to the city center to watch the parade, wave to the King & Queen, and party the day away...

After resting a while and catching up from the morning's shenanigans, we went over to Madeleine's family's house for dinner. Her family is so sweet and her mom had set up the most beautiful backyard tables, tents, and placemats for all of us. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from the dinner, but it was a really fun and tiring day overall. I've never experienced such an amazingly patriotic group of people and it definitely made my visit to Norway one-of-a-kind. 

Special thanks to Jeanette for letting me use her DSLR camera and for hosting us at the brunch!

Until next time...xoxo