“It’s not natural”, Val said: “snow on the ground when you’re on a cruise”. But that was what we found when we arrived in Oslo.
Arcadia departed Copenhagen at around 5 o’clock yesterday and berthed in Oslo at about 9 o’clock this morning. She’d been sailing up Oslo fjord for several hours by then, which was helpful – I had been kept awake during the night because of some new squeaks and bumps that had developed in the cabin. This might have been the result of the seas we were going through and Arcadia’s speed – a look over the stern at about 11 o’clock last night suggested that we were close to full speed. But the sail up Oslo fjord was slower and quieter, and I managed to get some sleep for a few hours.
Today we did an excursion: “Highlights of Oslo”. We only booked this after we boarded and that was as much to do with using up our OBC as any great desire to do the excursion, but in the event it was the most enjoyable excursion we’ve done on this cruise. There was snow on the ground, the sky wasn’t too grey – we even got a few glimpses of sunshine – and the temperatures were much lower than previously, generally around freezing. You’ve got to be in a bad way not to have your spirits lifted by a crisp, cold morning, and ours certainly were.
The excursion consisted of three parts: a scenic drive ending at the ski jump tower, nearly 1500 feet above the fjord; a drive to Vigeland sculpture park, and a guided walk through it; and finally a visit to the Viking ship museum. Then it was back to the ship. We enjoyed all the parts of this. The ski jump tower isn’t exactly a work of art but it is imposing in its own way and of course it prompts the question “why do they do it?” Actually, if you think that today’s ski jumpers are mad, it makes you wonder just how mad must have been the person who thought of it in the first place….
The Sculpture park was very impressive. The snow on the ground helped to reduce the sculptures to their essence; most scenes were rendered in a plain monochrome, dark stone against white snow, and this helped with the appreciation of them. That said, the revelations of child abuse that we’ve had in the last few years in the UK does make you more sensitive than perhaps we were before, and I for one found my eyebrows lifting a bit when looking at sculptures of naked adult men playing with naked children. Or have I just become over-sensitised? (Val thinks I might be.)
The final visit was to the Viking ship museum, and this too was interesting, albeit in a completely different way. Also it had an toilet! – this was well-received as the facilities at the ski jump tower and the sculpture park had been locked up for the holiday.
I took lots of pictures but unfortunately can’t post any as I’m not aware of an easy way of getting images off my DSLR onto the iPad to post. Once we get back home and I have a chance to process them on the home computer I’ll add some to this post.
Next today will be Santa’s arrival. I’m having difficulty containing my excitement.