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Thursday, 09 June 2016

A visit to Oslo, Norway (part 2)

What adds another dimension to Oslo’s great location are the nearby islands, and the little promontories and peninsulas that jut out from the waterfront. One of them is Aker Brygge (pic) and the adjoining area of Tjuvholmen, once known as Thief Island but now home to a fairly dense development of apartments, shops, galleries, restaurants and a sculpture park.

We had a quick peak inside the luxury Thief Hotel where the serious art on display merits its own curator and then walked the short distance to the Astrup Fearnley Museum (pic). The temporary exhibition was closed that day so we concentrated on works by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, David Hockney, Anselm Kiefer and others in the permanent collection.

We’d made for Tjuvholmen after a fjord-side lunch with friends at Sjøflyhavna Kro, Fornebu. By then it was really hot so if the locals weren’t shopping or dining, they were sunning themselves on any spare bit of grass they could find, and on Tjuvholmen’s artificial beach. Across the water a massive cruise ship lay at anchor, having decanted its thousands of passengers into the city.

Two ferries to Denmark were in the harbour next day and this time we spotted them from the long, sloping roof - which you can walk on - of the elegant Oslo Opera House, a building that would grace any great capital city of the world.

Looking the other way was The Bar Code, a series of medium-rise buildings in an area of Oslo called Bjorvika. Over the next three years Bjorvika should see the completion of the new Deichman (public) Library, the new Munch Museum and the new National Museum. It was crane crazy.

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