Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Beauty and Art of Norway

We took the Flam Railway, descending 2,600 feet (800 meters) from the mountains to the fjord country, and what did we find at the bottom? The Queen Mary 2. It was a sight to behold, larger than the little buildings of the town. It was tricky to watch it turn around in the narrow fjord when it left the next morning. Fortunately, we did not see it again on our trip through the fjord country. The last thing we want when in a small, remote area is to be there on the same day as a giant cruise ship.
How could this tranquil, idyllic scene be the site of two horrific natural disasters? In 1905 and again in 1934 landslides from the mountains crashed into the fjord and created a tsunami that devastated the low lying areas of this village of Loen, Norway. 135 people perished in the two catastrophes. Our hotel the Hotel Alexandra, is on the right of this photo.
On the train from Oslo to Flam, we went through the Norwegian mountains, and even though we were there in June, there was plenty of snow, and ice remaining in this cold country.
This is one element of one of the the 212 sculptures of Gustav Vigeland located in Vigelandsparken. Vigeland began work on the park in 1924 and made the sculptures out of clay, while others carved the sculptures from stone to match his figures. No one person could have carved so many monumental works from stone.
The park was finished in 1950, 7 years after Vigeland's death. Six giant figures hold this fountain, surrounded by 20 additional groups of figures.
The 212 figures depict all stages of life, from this newborn child and mother through death. The column you see in the distance of this photo is a monolith 56 feet (17 meters) tall, containing 121 carved figures. This photo will hopefully give you an appreciation for the large scale of this sculpture park.


FP said...

Thank you for giving me access to Norway. Amazing photography.

brattcat said...

You are such wonderful tour guides.

Traveling Hawk said...

Norway has to be a great country! I know not much about it, so your post is very informative. Thank you!

Margaret said...

Thank you for the photos of one of my favorite places. I have been to Flaam many times. It was nice to return today with your photos.

Chris said...

Very interesting blog with beautiful photos!! I get itchy feet!


glenda said...

The statuary is really beautiful. I have to agree with in regards to the cruise ship. Probably they are a boost to their economy.

papillon said...

Very nice pictures of "Vigelandsparken". We have been there last week and admired the statues.

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