Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Euro Tour 2010 part 2: Homeless Under The Northern Lights

[Oslo]

I've got about three hours before I can check in; now for some moderate sightseeing, notes catch-up, and a wee kip if I can find some undisturbed patch of grass to sack out on.

011. Mountain train stop on the Stavanger-Oslo route. If there's people who don't get black metal, or who don't get why Norway, this trip should clear everything up. See the pines stand out against the gloom, the fog rising out of the mountainsides, the black water roiling over the rocks in stream-gashed gullies -- and you, too, will hear the distant and dissonant tones of the Norwegian second wave.

012. A touch of home. The stones are dressed, but there's no mortar involved. Just outside Oslo.

013. Presumably the old mint; the plugged cannons and the street name suggest it, at least.

014. Approach to Akershus fortress.

015. Wall on the way up.

016. Pied raven in the grass. These birds fill the crow niche, but have this weird black-and-white mottling. Magpie? Am I really that dumb?

(Turns out, no. I spotted some magpies later, noticeably different from these....but also saw some of these pied ravens in Berlin, so I still don't know what the fuck is going on with these birds.)

017. View down into the harbor.

018. Across the inlet towards the Aker Brygge.

019. And up into the hills. No idea what that thing that looks like a crashed spaceship is.

019a. Seriously, wtf is that?

020. Entrance to the resistance museum. Fittingly, when you get close, you can see that the cannons in the right-hand wall are made out of wood rather than metal.

021. Diary - Randomness. An art installation by the resistance museum, based on a resistance fighter's prison diaries.

022. Resistance memorial. On the left is a satchel charge on a rope over a radio, with a revolver in the background; right is a printing press and a Sten gun.

023. Wakes coming in.

024. Up towards the chapel in the keep, on natural.

025. Same shot, with a faster lens.

026. An out-of-the-way corner of the fortification.

Akershus, the insides.

027. Tower over the inner courtyard.

028. Some early royal stuff, with various levels of preservation and in bad light.

029. Brickwork in the dungeons. As in Denmark, headroom was mostly not a problem, even down here.

030. Grillwork in the vaults.

031. Royal mausoleum, resting place of several recent Norwegian kings and queens. Not sure how huge a tourist point this is, but people were respectful.

032. Altar view, royal chapel. This is still in use for state functions, seemingly much more than its Danish analogue.

033. Royal box, royal chapel.

034. Inlay work on a 17th-century cupboard/wardrobe thing.

035. Everyone's favorite utility-size polearm, the bardiche. There was also a huge bearing sword hung on the wall in this room, but I didn't notice it on the first pass because it was so poorly lit. Forget for photography, just for normal seeing-things purposes it was bad.

036. Copies of regimental banners in a hall of military equipment.

037. Royal hall. The later development of Norway as an independent modern nation allowed artists and architects to have a clue and design spaces like this to be full of space and light to combat the eternal dark of winter.

038. Prince's chamber, also called the Green Chamber for what should be obvious reasons.

039. Banquet hall. The architectural design here is ace: in the summer, the room is lit through the window bank to the left in the morning (as shown) and the one to the right in the evening. In winter, of course, it's never light during any meal but midday, so it's ok that there's no south-facing light source.

040. Sightseeing toytrain going down RĂ„dhusgate. Probably not much use in winter, but how many tourists come here in winter anyway?

041. No longer homeless! Checked in, and my pack made it (undamaged, with CDs intact!) as well. Medetashi medetashi.

So I watched Moa play a stormer (admittedly, the goalie had a shit day and let in five other goals), washed up, shaved, and got to the Dubliner just after the kitchen closed. No fish and chips -- fish is good all over Norway, but this is apparently the only place in Oslo that can chop and fry a potato worth a damn -- but the beer's good, the rebs are cranking, and there's a good kebab shop just around the corner.

042. "Scottish not British" -- would have been KDS fodder if I could hold the damn camera straight.

The thing about Norway, as I've tipped earlier, is that about everything costs about twice what it "ought" to; 65kr pints against $5 or 3e, 24kr for an ice cream cone, 85kr for a kebab against 4e. Fucking hell; it's a nice country, though, as long as you don't stay too long or can manage to find a way of not spending money.

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