Sunday, April 30, 2017

My Trip to NORWAY: Day in OSLO 3: The Fram, Viking, National Gallery Museums

April 29, 2017

We visited the Akerhus University Hospital (or Ahus for short) in the morning. We were met by an RN in charge of these hospital visits who gave us an overview of the hospital, which was inaugurated in 1961. We also heard a talk by the MD in charge of infection control. After these short lectures, we were toured around the hospital proper. 

Ahus Exterior View

Ahus Interior View

The interiors of this hospital were also marked by the use of glass sheets and wood panels in their design, much like the airport and the opera house.  They used a number of robotic platforms in the transport of laundry and supplies, which were amazing to observe. They used robotic arms to move specimens in the laboratory. Their laundry system for the white coats used by the staff was also very impressive. 

Aker Brygge

For lunch we went to Sorgenfri, a restaurant in another section of the Aker Brygge wharf area, to dine. Like the other Oslo restaurants we ate in before, this restaurant also had ornate designs inside with a number of unusual bric-a-brac (including some pretty creepy dolls and mannequins) decorating its walls and ceilings. The salmon steak we ate here was exceptionally tasty.

Interior of Sorgenfri

In the afternoon, we returned to Bygdoy to visit two more museums there. The first one was the Fram Museum. Inside, we can see the Fram, a ship used in expeditions of the Arctic and Antarctic regions by Norwegian explorers Nansen, Sverdrup, and Amundsen between 1893 and 1912. According to its plaque, it is said to have sailed farther north and farther south than any other conventional sea vessel. In another section of the museum, they displayed the Gjøa, the ship used by Amundsen when he and his crew of six traversed the Northwest Passage (through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago) in 1906.

The second museum we visited was the Viking Ship Museum. It was exciting to see actual Viking ships there, along with a number of genuine Viking articles. However, there was little else to see in this place. There were not much display detailing about the Vikings themselves, how they looked like and how they lived.

After this, while the other members of our tour group were brought to the shopping district, I went on my own to a place I really wanted to visit -- the National Gallery. It was only about a three-minute walk from our hotel. The entrance fee to this museum is 100 NOK, similar to the other museums we visited today.  (This museum is actually free on Thursdays, but I did not want to take the risk of missing this chance of going there.)

Exterior of the National Gallery

All the paintings were only on the second floor, which was divided into 24 galleries, color coded according to period. The red rooms were for artworks from antiquity to the 17th century Baroque. The light blue rooms were about 19th century European Romanticism. It was in these rooms that I was astounded by the masterful realistic landscapes of Johan Christian Dahl (1788-1857).

"Shipwreck On the Coast of Norway", 1832

"Hellefossen Near Hokksund", 1838

The dark blue rooms displayed the works from the late 19th century Impressionists. Of course the main highlight of the museum were the works of Edvard Munch in Gallery #19, which includes his two masterpieces: the unsettling "Scream" (1893) and the mesmerizing "Madonna" (1895). The yellow rooms were for Modern Art from the 20th century to 1950, which included three Picasso pieces. 

I went through the entire collection three times during the one hour that I stayed inside. There were also a couple of dramatic Gustav Vigeland sculptures ("The Dance" 1896 and "Mother and Child" 1907) I also liked very much. 

Our dinner this night was at the Egon restaurant near the Oslo Central Train Station. This place had a multi-level interiors, ornately decorated with musical instruments of all kinds. I realized that this area was the end of Karl Johans Gate street where a lot of shops were located, actually walking distance from our hotel about 15 minutes away by foot. The Opera House was just across another street from the train station.

Plaza Outside Oslo Central Train Station

One End of Karl Johans Gate

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