Urban nature at Ekeberg Sculpture Park in Oslo

Urban Nature - Ekeberg Sculpture Park #10Ekebergparken can offer installations by international artists, as well as museums, restaurants and a panoramic view of the city. Scattered across 65 acres on a small mountain across the Oslo Fjord from the city, the Sculpture Park includes works by artists that range from Renoir, Botero and Salvador Dalí to Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer and Dan Graham. There are a handful of site-specific works already installed, including a Sky Space by James Turrell, his northernmost to date, which the American artist built into a hillside beneath a newly artificial lake.
We’ve had the loveliest sunny weather this weekend and my wife and I have had some quality time while enjoying the colourful fall scenery on our photo hunt. You’re welcome to join us and enjoy some of the shots – let’s start with a panoramic view of Oslo from this hill area:
Urban Nature - Ekeberg Sculpture Park #01 Urban Nature - Ekeberg Sculpture Park #03
A view of Oslo, the capital of Norway from the hills of Ekebergparken

The hilly area is about the same size as Oslo’s other famous park, Vigelandsparken (The Vigeland Sculpture Park), and is inspired by similar international facilities, such as Louisiana outside Copenhagen, Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands, and Storm King Sculpture Park outside New York.

The collection of sculptures and installations on display in the park was put together by a committee of experts, with the feminine as an initial theme. Let me give you some examples from our photo hunt:
Urban Nature - Ekeberg Sculpture Park #11 Urban Nature - Ekeberg Sculpture Park #07
Left: – “Mother and Child” by Per Ung – Right: “Venus De Milo Aux Tiroirs” by Salvador Dali
Urban Nature - Ekeberg Sculpture Park #06 Urban Nature - Ekeberg Sculpture Park #13
Left: “Venus Victrix” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1914-1916 – Right: “Marilyn” by Richard Hudson

From dilapidated to attraction:
For those for whose impressions of Norway are limited to gravlax, skiing and Edvard Munch, Oslo’s vibrant contemporary art scene, which has been garnering international buzz lately, may still come as some surprise. The latest chapter in the Norwegian capital’s development is this ambitious new Sculpture Park – the passion project of Christian Ringnes, a local real estate tycoon who bought the adjacent Ekeberg Restaurant and donated tens of millions to create a sculpture park. In 2005 he refurbished and reopened Ekeberg-restauranten (the Ekeberg Restaurant), the area’s prime eatery.

The Urban Nature:
The hill area was converted to a park as early as the end of the 19th century, but was left to deteriorate until this property investor on a walk through the park was struck by how neglected and unused it was. I’m happy to report however, that it’s still plenty of room for a quality time in these recreational surroundings:
Urban Nature - Ekeberg Sculpture Park #19 Urban Nature - Ekeberg Sculpture Park #20
– just 10 min from the centre of Oslo – I would say Recreational!

The natural beauty of the park is still part of the attraction and young and old were out enjoying the fall colours. Some of the statues are playfully hidden on the side trails so you have to go looking like a treasure hunt. There is also a nice dog park where both dogs and their people enjoy socialising in the sunny weather.
Urban Nature - Ekeberg Sculpture Park #17 Urban Nature - Ekeberg Sculpture Park #21
Left: An untitled sculpture by Dan Graham – Right: More urban nature : -)

Above you see an unusual sculpture by Dan Graham, and as you can see the viewer becomes a part of the art itself. I hope you enjoyed the trip as much as we did and if you ever get to Oslo don’t miss this experience – just ten minutes by bus or tram from Oslo center.

New Orleans Cajun-Creole dinner in Oslo

New Orleans in Oslo #C2Restaurant New Orleans reflects colonial elegance, with high ceilings, large arched windows, crystal chandeliers and classic furniture and is the only place to get real Cajun-Creole in Oslo. It’s a casual and popular establishment – with mostly Cajun, jazz, blues, zydeco and ragtime music on the menu. This is the place to go if you love classics such as jambalaya, gumbo and ceviche plus other Creole inspired meat and fish dishes. You are also welcome to invite friends to a Crawfish Boil Party: a Creole tradition consisting of steamed freshwater crayfish served in large portions to share with accessories.
My lovely wife invited me to a surprise date on Saturday and since she is an American, she said it was about time – both to have a date and to dine out : -) You’re welcome to join and sit in while I tell you about our quality time. Let’s start with the described interior, inspired by the American colonial period in Louisiana with crystal chandeliers, dark wood and brocade upholstered chairs:
New Orleans in Oslo #1 New Orleans in Oslo #2

So it was in these surroundings with long roots and traditions of the New Orleans area we enjoyed our meal. We love food and especially with a local connection and then it’s a bit special to eat Cajun-Creole in the capital of Norway. I have noted what they have to offer and from the rich menu we chose our respective main course:
New Orleans in Oslo #4 New Orleans in Oslo #3
Left: Cajun Popcorn – Right: Po´mans Jambalaya Louisianans

Everything was pleasingly served and delicious – a really nice staff provided good service in a nice atmosphere. My dear wife felt almost like home and had the following suggestions for dessert:
New Orleans in Oslo #6
Pecan Pie with vanilla ice cream

All in all, this was a positive food experience that can be recommended for those who want to try something different in Oslo. The New Orleans restaurant is located right in the center, just a stone throw from the main street Karl Johan. If you are a jazz lover, I recommend that you check their web site when you book, so you can simultaneously check the live music events – bon appétit!
I had some fun using PS Touch for image editing on my iPad for the time being. Of all the pictures we took, I made this summary:
New Orleans in Oslo #C1

All this resulted in a pleasant and interesting dining experience. I recommend you to check it out if you are in the area.

Beer and food at Cafe Christiania in Oslo

Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #1Beer in a class of its own aligned with tasteful food is what Christiania Café offers for a gourmet evening with friends or collages. It’s called a Beer Banquet = a gourmet meal with appropriate beers, designed especially for pre-booked guests. The menu is put together by the chef and beer waiter with different types of beer from all over Europe for each dish. There are also opportunities to pour your own beer from their special beer taps in the ceiling.
The menu is a surprise menu and put together from seasonal produce. They select raw materials of the best quality and preferably local Norwegian food. The servings are also based on different beers, be it in marinades, sauces, beer sorbet, beer yeast in bread and more. The beer waiter then sets the appropriate beer to the menu and the waiter tells you all about both the food and drink before each servings. A lecture in matching food and beer from all over Europe – how about that? : -)

These tables take up to 16 people – we were 6 from a work group of the Norwegian Computer Society. You see: at the end of every season of intense teamwork to provide our members with a variety of cutting edge subjects, we believe we deserve a social gathering. What’s better than a culinary feast and trying a new restaurant in Oslo then? ………. and of course you are welcome to join us:
Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #2 Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #3
So then, finally: let’s enjoy the menu – this surprise put together by the chef and the beer waiter:
Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #5 Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #4
Left: Crawfish and Mussels with Erdinger Beer (German brewed on wheat)
Right: Breast of forest dove with Trappsites Rochefort 10 (Belgian: a sweet and alcoholic aroma that pours a thick muddy brown soothing on the throat)

Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #6 Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #7
Left: Pig Fillet with Leffe Brune (Belgian: a delicate taste of vanilla and clove, and the full aroma of toffee and caramel)
Right: Mature Brie Cheese with Chimay Rouge (Belgian: topped with a creamy head it gives off a light, fruity apricot aroma produced by the fermentation)

We had a splendid evening with good servings, tasty food and great beer. If you happen to be in Oslo and want to give it a try – which I do recommend – here is their website.

The outcome of our interesting discussions on “Does IT Matter?” for the members of our work group is to be presented during the coming months – I’m sure they’ll like it too : -)

7 years of blogging at RennyBA’s Terella

RennyBA celebrating 60 years with a look backHappy blogaversary to Terella.no! As many of you may remember from previous years, my adventure with blogging started out as an experiment. I was lecturing a class in “Technology Business and the Society” at the Norwegian School of Management and among the topics was a new phenomenon; Blogging. Considering myself a network evangelist, the concept fascinated me and I decided to try starting my own blog. After a short time I was addicted as it seems blogging filled several needs in my personal interests. It filled my need to be social and meet new people, it fulfilled my interest in networking, my passion for technology, and last but not least it enhanced my enthusiasm for photography providing a place to share my interests with people from all around the world.

Blogging connecting people:
Oslo Blog Gathering Logo 365-400Over the years I have experienced many new and interesting things because of my blog. I have met new people who over the years have become good friends to me. I now have friends all over the world, and have both visited other bloggers and had many visitors in my homeland because of our connection through blogging.
Oslo Blog Gathering in 2010 is a good example of how blogging has brought myself and others together. Not only did I get the opportunity to meet many of my readers face to face, but many of those who started reading my blog have become friends with each other have built new friendships and new networks out from people they met in Oslo.

Living the good life through blogging:
In recent years living a good life – or as the Italians say “La Dolce Vita” has become more and more important to me! When I came down with Parkinson’s disease a few years ago I had to learn to slow down and give more focus to enjoying life. I quickly experienced that blogging also enhanced my personal enjoyment and quality time with my wife DianeCA. Diane shares my interest in photography and social media, and together our quality time together grows when we share it with others.
7 years of blogging at RennyBA’s Terella #B
We both enjoy photo hunting and trying to capture the magic of the day, the season or the moment. We often enjoy what we are doing that much more while we are imprinting a memory that we will later share with others. We have also traveled around Europe over the last few years and met up with some of our blogging friends. Almost anywhere we wish to travel we already know someone we can contact in that land.

Expanding to other social media – a bonus not a replacement:
In the past couple of years some of the time I used to spend blogging has gone over to new forms for Social Media such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. I don’t see these things so much as a competition to my blog as an enhancement. I use them to keep in daily contact with friends from the blogsphere – and while I may blog less often than I did in the beginning, I like to keep my theme – Norway and the Nordic countries; our culture, traditions and habits while keeping the quality of my posts at a high level. I feel it is more important that the reader learn something interesting from my posts then that they follow my daily movements.

RennyBA’s Top sites to visit in Oslo

RennyBA's Top Oslo SitesOslo is the economic and governmental centre of Norway and a hub of Norwegian trade, banking, industry and shipping. It is an important centre for maritime industries and maritime trade in Europe. The city is home to many companies within the maritime sector, some of which are amongst the world’s largest shipping companies, ship-brokers and maritime insurance brokers. Oslo is also a pilot city of the Council of Europe and the European Commission inter-cultural cities programme.
Some have been here before, others will be visiting for the first time; This post might help to make it an experience of a life time! You’ll find tips & hints to help when planning for your stay – planning is half the fun you know – and you may use this page as a reference to share when you return home too:

Oslo Sightseeing tips:
Oslo New Opera HouseOslo New Opera House: The construction – designed by the acknowledged Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta (If you want to have a look at some of their famous project around the world, click here) – is the largest single cultural-political initiative in contemporary Norway. It took five years to build and the result is an extraordinary building that rises directly from beneath the fjord. Founded by the government, the idea was to bring opera and ballet to the people and it’s the only opera house where you can walk on the roof! It’s only 5 min. walk from Grand Hotel so don’t miss it!

Vigeland Sculpture ParkVigeland Sculpture Park: The Vigeland Sculpture Park is the most striking part of Oslo’s Frogner Park. Gustav Vigeland’s (1869-1943), 212 sculptures attracts over 1 million visitors a year – even more: Vigeland also designed the layout of the entire park. It’s a popular recreational area with a human message presented through the many sculptures depicting the life cycle, and is a must see when you visit Oslo.

Thr Viking Ship MuseumMuseums at Bygdøy island: Just over the fjord is a peninsula called Bygdøy. In 20 min. you can get there by bus (number 30) or by ferry departing from the harbour by the City Hall. At Bygdøy, within walking distance, you’ll find:
The Kon-Tiki Museum showing the legendary expeditions of Thor Heyerdahl; the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History; the Viking Ship Museum; the Norwegian Maritime Museum and the ship Fram, used by Roald Amundsen on his polar expeditions. Bygdøy is one of Norway’s oldest cultural landscapes with a rich history.

Holmenkollen Ski JumpHolmenkollen Ski Jump: Just 20 min. by the tube, you are into the forest and up in the mountains with a breath taking view in the most recreational aria of Oslo.
The Holmenkollen Ski Jump is a famous Oslo attraction you should not miss. It’s the home of our national ski museum and was e.g. site of the 2011 Nordic Worlds Ski Championship.

RennyBA’s Oslo Sightseeing Map:
Click the blue marks to find more info about some of Oslo’s attractions – or click text: “RennyBA’s Terella Oslo Guide” (down left) to explore the map in details!

Vis RennyBA’s Terella Oslo Guide i et større kart

All you need to know about Oslo:
VisitOSLOVisitOSLO is the official marketing organization for Oslo and the surrounding regions. The purpose of their website is to promote Oslo as a travel destination. It’s the Official Travel Guide to Oslo providing all the information you need to plan your visit. I strongly recommend that you visit their site and get acquainted with Oslo; what they have to offer and what you would like to do: www.visitoslo.com

Use Public Transportation!
Oslo PassTake the Gardemoen Express Train from the airport (fastest = 22 min. and cheepest!). All trains stop at the Central Train Station, every other stops at the station “Nationalteateret” which is right in the centre of the ciry. Then there is a comprehensive public transport system in Oslo, consisting of buses, trams, trains, boats and T-bane/Sub/Metro.
Easiest way to explore Oslo and surroundings, the Oslo Pass, provides free travel on all public transport and free admission to museums and sights.

Weather & Climate:
Songsvann in Oslo by RennyBAThanks to the Gulf Stream bringing temperate water from the Gulf of Mexico, Oslo’s climate is milder that what its latitude would imply.
Statistics says for October: Average temperatures: 6,3 to 10,8°C // Min. temperature: -0,2°C and Max. temperature: 22,5°C
You’ll get the best weather forecast by clicking here!

Check if you need a Visa:
A visa is not required for nationals of countries with which Norway has signed a visa waiver agreement. Nationals of countries with a visa waiver may stay in Norway for up to 90 days. The countries with which Norway has a visa waiver agreement are listed here.