An eerie visit to Oslo’s Sculpture Park

I came upon these photos from some years back and thought it would be interesting to share them with you. The photos were taken in what then turned out to be a gloomy Oslo. I was in the city for a work conference and our Norwegian hosts had arranged a bus tour around the city. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the park it was pouring with rain and it was almost dark so you couldn’t see anything. I went to see the park on my own later when I had some hours to kill before my flight home. The weather wasn’t much better but at least I managed to see something.

The sculpture park houses over 200 sculptures, it is free to enter and most tourists visiting the city make a stop there. The park is actually in an even bigger park called Frogner Park.

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Now if you don’t mind me saying, I find the sculptures quite freaky. I do not know what went on in the artist’s mind when he made these. (Apparently it’s something to do with the complexities of relationships and the journey of what we call life). The artist is Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) and he didn’t live to see his sculptures displayed in this way. What a pity, as he would’ve been in awe, I’m sure. The sculpture below is probably the most famous – the monolith. It took fourteen (!!!) years to make from one huge granite block.

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I think it would be an entirely different type of experience to go to the park on a sunny summer’s day and perhaps then I would be able to see the beauty of these sculptures. However, I would definitely recommend that you drop in the park if in Oslo, as seeing it with your own eyes will surely make you feel something!

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When I visited this park, I was working in a field that required some travel. You could say there was just the right amount – not too much and not too little. I usually had around two to four work trips a year which I found still kept the “traveling for work” -thing fun.

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One yearly trip would take me to a Nordic country for conference meetings and seminars. Lucky for me, as I don’t think I would have traveled to these destinations otherwise as I’m always longing to go further to somewhere warmer. I even got to go to the Faroe Islands!

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Other trips took me to Asia, Africa, South America, the Baltics… I loved these trips and I still miss the idea of traveling for work. I say “idea”, as it is possible that I would not enjoy traveling for work as much as before due to being more aware of what kind of effects flying has on the environment and also because I’m older!! I have found that the older I get, the longer it takes to recover from jet lag or even just the flight.

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A while back I read an article about a Finnish man who travels a lot for work but because he doesn’t want to contribute more to his carbon footprint, he and his family never travel in their free time. I find this quite interesting, as for me, the work trips – however hectic they happened to be – were a break from my “normal” life. In the sense that I could forget about cooking, housework, kindergarten runs or grocery shopping for a few days and got to explore exotic places and meet new people.

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Hence, if I had asked my family not to fly anywhere because of my work trips I would have been very selfish! Also, I think that if you are really serious about avoiding flying, then there are many jobs out there that do not require travel that could be an option. Personally, I would rather quit the work trips (which took me away from my family anyway) for family trips (even just local ones if flying isn’t an option). But of course, I do not know the whole picture behind the man’s story, so I shouldn’t make any assumptions this way or that but it is an interesting topic nevertheless.

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What are you impressions of this park? What are your thoughts on traveling for work?

xx


26 thoughts on “An eerie visit to Oslo’s Sculpture Park

  1. That artwork is so creepy! Hubster and I went there in 2013. I think it was the one day in Oslo that it didn’t rain on us. The park was beautiful, but the sculptures? I wasn’t really a fan.
    As for travel, I absolutely love it (obviously)!! I do hate the long trek back to the US to visit family, but European travel is so easy that I feel the need to take advantage of it while I can. Since I know the little one won’t remember most of it, I keep a scrapbook of all our travels for him to look back on.

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    1. I share your sentiment about the sculptures. Very strange indeed. I never think of European travel being easy for us but I guess you have a point there. Should take more advantage of it too, LOL! The scrapbook idea sounds awesome, that’s a great way to document his travels for the future ❤

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  2. I have always needed to travel for work. Not often but several times a year. I think if you only think about work, then yes travelling is a chore. I try to look at each trip as an opportunity to learn more about the people I’m meeting, maybe explore and find new things even though I’m travelling to that city for the umpteen time. It’s all in your mind.

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    1. Yes exactly, I also like to think like you! There is always something new to discover 😀 Also, once it’s a familiar place, you won’t waste time navigating around which gives you more time to explore!

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  3. That one little girl making a face at the camera is cute 😊 But the monolith looks eerie indeed!
    It’s funny you wrote ”… I would not enjoy traveling for work as much as before due to being more aware of what kind of effects flying has on the environment” because I’ve come to this realisation myself recently. I even wrote one or two blog posts on the topic. I can’t believe I used to be so in love with the airline business back when I worked in aviation for over a decade! How come I ignored the environmental impacts? It’s like I had an awakening. I really don’t feel the need to travel anywhere right now. On the other hand, EVERYONE is taking very you children (babies, toddlers) on trips all around the world and I do want my kids to visit other countries than Finland at some point!

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    1. I must admit to being quite the hypocrite because right after publishing that, I flew to Copenhagen to visit a friend! I don’t know how I could meet her otherwise unless she flies in to meet me which is still flying even if it isn’t my flight per se. I can very well understand you ignoring the environmental aspects of your job, I think people tend to ignore some aspects when they are passionate about something. I have ignored facts the same way at a job. Also when you leave, then you are able to look at it all from a different perspective. Oh and to those babies and toddlers travelling, they won’t remember a thing and with you having TWO the same age, then the travel could end up being more stressful than fun for you. I still want to show my kids the world too, for example my son has never been to Malaysia and I really want to take him there at some point. But who knows, maybe aviation will soon become so expensive that it won’t be in my reach anyway. We have no idea what is in store! x

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      1. Yes, I can understand you wanting to show him Malaysia. I want my kids to know Australia. We actually found two unused Aussie t-shirts at a 2nd hand market for kids’ clothes, for 50 cents each and I couldn’t resist getting them. The boys have been wearing them to bed. They have a furry koala and kangaroo and the boys love the shirts because you can pet the furry animals. But for me, the shirts are more meaningful: seeing my boys in Aussie shirts (tourist shirts but who cares) is such a sight for me! I wasn’t much older than they are now when Australia was my home. Seeing my boys in those shirts brings tears to my eyes. So yes, we need to take them places and travel, but like you said, right now they are still too little to remember. And it’s such a hassle.

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        1. My daughter, who is now in her 20s, loves Malaysia and has traveled there more recently than I have. I went there a few times with her when she was small but sadly I never had the chance to do the same with our son. It’s high time I took him! I love the story of your boys and their Aussie shirts, I can very well relate to your feelings 😍

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    1. Hahahaha, glad I’m not the only one who thinks so! But I have to say the artist has managed to awaken all kinds of feelings (not necessarily happy ones) when looking at his sculptures 😂

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    1. That’s true, they are very massive and in that way there’s a resemblance to socialist statues. Although I don’t think the Soviet statues, for example, were ever naked 😂

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  4. I would love a job where I had to travel for work, mostly because I do like the excitement of travelling somewhere. Seeing different things and sights, and yet, my brother in law flies and travels all the time and would rather be at home. Ironic. As for the park, I have visited in the depths of Norwegian winter, and it was prettier, draped in snow. But is this because I am a fan of snow? Probably. I often will post a pic of one of the statues on my blog, but I didn’t know that the monolith took that long to make. What dedication it was! I doubt I could stick at a project for that long!

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    1. I can imagine the park looked better in snow! This was probably the worst weather to visit 😅 I do understand if you have to travel all the time, it will get to be a bit too much, so I wouldn’t want that. There’s just so much hanging out at the airport you can take. Happy weekend! x

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