Another castle, another royal palace, another changing of the guard, another Nobel Centre... and another State Visit by the President of Ghana!
Having done most of my Oslo Bucket List yesterday today was planned as a quiet stroll around the city centre mopping up the Castle (Akerhus Festning), the Royal Palace (Slottet), the Nobel Peace Centre as well as the Cathedral, Parliament (Stortinget) and City Hall.
The Nasjonalgalleriet (National Gallery) home of Edvard Munch's 'The Scream'
Oslo Domkirke (Cathedral)
Youngstorget - square renowned for being the home of labour organisations... and a fruit and veg market
Stortinget (the Norwegian Parliament)
Nationaltheatret (National Theatre)
Karl Johan's Gate - Oslo's most prestigious street
First up was Akershus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's 700 year old castle) nestled on a hill at the head of Oslofjord overlooking Oslo City Hall and all the berths for ferries constantly busying themselves getting to and from other parts of Oslofjord.
The entrance into Akerhus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's Castle)
Canon on the battlements of Akerhus Festning
Guns on the battlements of Akerhus Festning overlooking Oslofjord and Oslo Town Hall
Inside Akerhus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's Castle)
Looking back at Akerhus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's Castle) from its battlements
The view down Oslofjord from the battlements of Akerhus Festning
There were a couple of uniformed guards on duty from the Kings Guard but the castle itself was closed so I was only able to wander around the battlements and look around a short display on the castle's history especially as a prison. What I did manage to look around was the Hem me front misery, Norway's Resistance Museum located at the top of the fortress. Although it did not offer much to take photographs of it did give a fascinating incite into everyday life in Norway while under Nazi occupation.
Member of the King's Guard on guard duty outside Akerhus Festning
Hjemmelfrontmuseet (Resistance Museum) In the grounds of the Akerhus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's Castle)
Arms cache of rifles used by the Norwegian Resistance during the Nazi Occupation
One of the bombs the RAF dropped on the Tirpitz
Supply Pod dropped to the Norwegian Resistance by the RAF during the Nazi Occupation
Next up was the Royal Palace (Slottet) situated imposingly at the top of a hill at the end of Karl Johans Gate, the long straight street through the centre of Oslo and the most prestigious retail space in the city. Having seen the Changing of the Guard in Copenhagen and Stockholm I was determined to also watch the Norwegian version in Oslo. Like Sweden Norway includes lady soldiers standing guard outside the Royal Palace but its just the Kings Guard and not every unit in the armed forces like in Sweden.
View up Karl Johans Gate to the Slottet (Royal Palace)
Closer view up Karl Johans Gate from the University towards the Slottet (Royal Palace)
The King's Guard arrive at the Slottet ready for the Changing of the Guard
Then the guards were methodically each placed on tape marks on the parade ground in front of the palace and the police moved the small crowd back, something was up. Then the cavalcade of limousines arrived, another state visit at a Royal Palace just like I'd seen in Copenhagen! I recognised him, he was the same chap and when I looked it up subsequently on the internet it was the president of Ghana.
Something's up, the Politi (Police) move the crowd back
The honour guard from the King's Guard stand ready
Second time on my trip I'm photo bombed by the President of Ghana at the Royal Palace on a state visit (the first was in Copenhagen)
Police outriders assemble after escorting the President of Ghana's cavelcade
Me in front of the Slottet (Royal Palace)
King Karl Johan's Statue in front of the Slottet (Royal Palace)
The view down Karl Johans Gate from the Slottet
I then wandered down to the head of Oslofjord where the Rudhuset (Oslo City Hall) and the Nobel Peace Centre are situated. I decided to do the Rudhuset first, its a large modernist building opened in 1950 and it doesn't look very exciting on the outside (it grows on you!) I was keen to see its Great Hall which is where the annual Nobel Peace Prize is presented each December 10th (anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death).
Radhuset (Oslo City Hall)
The main entrance into the Radhuset (Oslo City Hall)
Flag and plaque in the Radhuset Great Hall for HMS Devonshire who returned King Haakon VII to Oslo in May 1945
The Great Hall of the Radhuset (Oslo City Hall) where the annual Noble Peace Prize is peesented
North side of the Rudhuset (Oslo City Hall) Great Hall
The first floor Stordtein Room overlooking Oslofjord at The Radhuset (Oslo City Hall)
The firt floor Banquet Hall of the Radhuset (Oslo Town Hall)
The City Council Chamber at the Radhuset (Oslo City Hall)
From the Rudhuset I the crossed the road to the Nobel Peace Centre housed in Oslo's former Vestbanen Railway Station. This was smaller than the Nobel Centre in Stockholm and contained of interactive displays about democracy and the impact of social media as well as lots of info on past winners of the peace prize. As I mentioned earlier, the annual peace prize is actually presented in the Great Hall of Oslo City HallHall so it was interesting to video of kasst year's prize being presentesd there and comparing it with the vast empty space I had just seen.
The Nobel Peace Centre on the shores of Oslofjord in Oslo
the Democracy Wall inside the Nobel Peace Centre including a map where every country is given a 'Democracy Rating' - not surprisingly Norway came top and North Korea came bottom
Social Media Exhibition at the Nobel Peace Centre with a globe where live tweets about democracy were flashed on the inside of small panels
The darkened room of the 'Nobel Field' where iPads sway on the end of luminous rods with pictures of Nobel Prize winners; if touch one it gives details their peace citation, Malala Yousafzai for 2014 is in the foreground
The Nobel Peace Centre's interactive 'Wall of Papers' where you can use slider to bing up details of a laureate's nomination - this is Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross and prize winner for 1901
The display for 2014 Malala Yousafzai on the Nobel Peace Centre's Wall of Papers
Still from a video of the 2013 Peace Prize Award Ceremony across the road in The Great Hall of Oslo City Hall, I thought I'd include to compare with what it looked like empty!
Detailed documentation for each winner's nomination are kept secret for 30 years before being released, 30 years ago in 1964 the Nobel Peace Prize was Martin Luther King, Jr.
By now the sun was starting to set and I had an epic rail and ferry trip across mountains and down fjords planned to Bergen for tomorrow so I made my way back to my hotel, not before taking a few photos of the sun setting on Oslofjord of course!
Harbour Clock on the shores of Oslofjord as the Nessodden Ferry comes in
view along Oslo Strand
View down Oslo Fjord
One last photograph of Akershus Festning beside Oslofjord as it gets dark, tomorrow its my epic trip to Bergen!