March 04, 2011 (Oslo, Norway) – Last night we decided that we would take in the WC action and Oslo from a different perspective if the weather was foggy again. Well, it was foggy. We spent the morning with my cousin (Ahvo’s niece) looking at the Oslo Opera House (some fantastic architecture), Akershus Fortress, Vigeland Sculpture Park and a local ski shop (that sells about 5,000 pairs of skis per year!!) before watching the team sprint on the Jumbotron downtown. View more photos HERE.
The Oslo Opera House is relatively new building – construction completed in 2007 – and is an architectural masterpiece. The building is situated on the shore of the fjord and is home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. Click HERE for more info.
Akershus Fortress is also situated by the fjord and can be seen from the Oslo harbor. The fortress is one of the oldest structures in Norway (dating back to 1299) and includes a church, as castle and a number of museums. The fortress is still a site for official government events and military guards still patrol the area. More info HERE.
Vigeland Park (also known as Frogner Park) is Northwest-ish of downtown and is made up of both bronze and granite sculptures designed by Gustav Vigeland. The sculptures depict men, women, and children at different stages of life and is definitely a must-see if you are a tourist in Oslo. Click HERE for more info.
We could see more from the Jumbotron than if we had been in the stadium today and it was one heck of a final (actually two)! As you have probably already read, Krista Lähteenmäki overpowered the Norwegian ladies to take silver behind a solid Swedish team and Alex Harvey axed the Norwegian men in the final stretch of the race.
Needless to say, downtown got pretty quiet. The Norwegians were clearly disappointed that they missed out on gold in back-to-back home-stretch sprints. The areas around the Jumbotron emptied quickly and quietly. A single shout of “Go Canada” was all that could be heard above Ahvo and myself shouting “Yes!!!” (which were admittedly preceded by “oh nohs” when the Finnish team slipped out of the medals… but these were drowned out by Norwegian fans having cardiac problems).
We found the source of the “Go Canada” when the park emptied before the flower ceremony (which we stayed to watch). It was from three Alaskans standing in the empty plaza who happened to be watching the race close by. We are a bit bummed that we were not near the finish line up at Holmenkollen for this one, but we think it is fate. Had we been up at the stadium, things could have been different and this was meant to be. Way to go Devon Kershaw and Alex Harvey!
We did make it to the medals ceremony – got stuck in the back row, but were in the main area of the square – and got some comments from Canadians we met in the street.
Oslo Opera House I
Oslo Opera House II
Oslo Ski Shop
Canadian fan and Ahvo post-medals ceremony
Another Canadian fan (from Montreal) and Ahvo