After breakfast we left the bags at the hotel and hit Oslo for the final time. Popped into the cathedral – there was a choir of young boys rehearsing, which made a rather heavenly backdrop for what is a lovely church.
I’m not denigrating it but I think cathedral makes it sound a lot more grand than it is. A lot of beggars outside. One asked me to give him money “for the sake of God“. I told him I didn’t believe in God and walked into the church. It really is very annoying the number of beggars in Oslo. A lot of them are refugees from other countries who beg as a profession. Most of them look quite capable of doing a proper job – good health, all their limbs – and it really annoys me that I have to work! Anyway, they’d all gone by the time we got out.
Most of Oslo was very crowded. There was a run on, so lots of roads closed off. Also the park at the end of Carl Josef’s Gate was full of booths with people yabbering away (like Speaker’s Corner) and handing out bits of paper – no idea what about.
We decided to check out the palace before going on to Ibsen’s place. It has lovely gardens but not a lot of flowers. The palace guards are a bit twitchy! They don’t stand still like in London. Wander round, pose for photos, shoot small children…amazing. There’s lots of lovely statues. The Norwegians are mad for them. There was one of a school girl outside the Macdonalds in Bergen! Very lifelike if somewhat large.
The Ibsen museum was excellent. It’s his flat and his study is exactly how it was. Mind you, he sounds like he was a right bastard: blaming the world because his father gambled away the family fortune and spending his life proving his worth to the world in purely material fashion. Still, he was a brilliant playwright who managed to change the world of theatre.
He was short, like Grieg. Just a few inches taller. Nowhere near as nice. I reckon he asked Grieg to compose the music for Peer Gynt because he was shorter!
We were then off to the Grand Hotel (following Ibsen’s footsteps) to give them a generous donation ie to buy coffee and a cake. Very nice but way expensive. I especially love the way you have to leave your stuff in the cloakroom and then find out afterwards that it’s going to cost you to get them out! Makes me wonder what they’d do if you’d spent your last kroner on the cakes! Maybe pawn your stuff or just keep stuff to the value of 30 kroner?
We were then gong to go over to the Vigerland Sculpture Park but the only way was by tube (the trams not running because of the marathon) so, instead, we walked down to the Akerhaus and wandered around the parapet.
It was a pretty tiring last day! We eventually picked our bags up then on to the excellent airport express. Sitting at the airport writing this. We saw the Italians from the Fana Folklore night in the Carl Josef’s Gate and I spoke to them in Italian and they shrieked with laughter – the women, anyway.
[That’s all I wrote in my journal and I can’t remember what the trip home was like but it was probably awful!]