By PER BANG
NOTHTNG is more silly than the popular belief that one can DO a Place in a day or two. The author ought to know, he has lived in London for five years
and still finds it an exciting and permanently surprising place.
Oslo of course is smaller, but growing. I think, proportionally faster, andchanging rapidly from year to year. If you want to take in as much as possible during a short stay, the following plan will give you quite a good crosssection — through Oslo, through Norwegian history and through Norwegian life in general.
SUGGEST that you start outside the Storting — Parliament — at half past
eight in the morning. Half the fun of a holiday is seeing the other half going to work, and as you walk along the Studenterlunden — the Students' Park — with the Royal Palace gleaming in front of you, you will meet thousands of people on their way to offices and shops.
At the National Theatre take the underground to Frognerseteren. It is underground only for the first five minutes, thereafter it climbs up along the hills for more than 40 minutes, arid gives a seemingly endless succession of splendid views of Oslo and the Oslofjord. Frognerseteren is the last station, and only a hundred yards distance from the Frognerseteren Restaurant where you can have a little something to fortify you before you start on the way back.
If you feel like it I suggest walking some of the way. It will give you a clear idea of how Oslo is walled in by protective hills, with an open view out towards the fjord, and you will understand what it means to have such an
easy access to nature, to the sea and the woods and the hills.
ON the way down you pass the Holmen)(viten skijumps. looking impossibly high and steep and awe-inspiring. A lift will take you to the very top if you can stand heights. and there is also a cosy little restaurant halfway up, and the interesting Ski Museum, with relics both from Viking skiers and from the famous Amundsen and Nansen Polar expeditions.
Close to the ekijump is Hairnet'. kollen station where you can take a train hark to Oslo, to Nationaltheatre!. Now it is time for lunch— may I suggest the "Skansen" restaurant, right under the walls of the old Akershue Castle, and with a wonderful view of the busy her
hour. with the new Town Hall to the right.
The Town Hall is a must—the interior is decorated by some of the best of modern Norwegian painters and sculptors, and the enormous murals in the main TOCIFIlS give you a short cut through much of Norway's history.
After the modern architecture, the old. You can take the bus from outside the Town Hall. or the ferryboat across the Town Hall Place— either will take you to Folkemuseet on Bygdoy peninsula.
THE Folkentuseet is something unique—a collection of old Norwegian houses. grouped naturally together, most of them still having their old furniture and household equipment. One of the best preserved is an old stave church, pre-Reformation, stripped of most of its interior but still offering an opportunity to say a prayer for the restoration of the Faith in Norway.
The Viking Ships, the Kon tiki and the Frame—the boat Narisen used on his Polar Expedition—are all within walking distance. Or you can take the bus back to town, in which case I advise you to stop at Frogner Kirke and ask the way to Frognerparken—the Gustav Vigeland sculpture park.
You may have your own opinion on this enormous collection of men, women and children in the nude— hut don't miss it. If you think it is slightly overgrown as a whole, you will soon discover beautiful and charming details, and you will find the park a delightful place in the setting sun.
TRAVEL agencies can offer you a round trip to the three Scandinavian capitals. and 1 am sure that you will find a comparison between Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm highly interesting.
Personally I find Stockholm easily the most beautiful—a cool, serene beauty with a dignified and noble charm, eased a little by the Middle Aged-looking cosiness of Gamla Stan—the Old Town where the streets are narrow and where every other shop is selling antiques.
The new Stockholm, marching boldly up in the suburbs, gives
striking examples of modern Swedish design and Welfare Stateway of living.
Copenhagen is completely different. The very centre of the town is Tivoli. which embodies all the most characteristic in Denmark. If you can imagine the Battersea Fun Fair being transplanted to St. James's Park, and used as a setting for the Edinburgh Festival you will
have rough idea of this fairground corn festival hall cum theatre-cum-first class restaurant.
Copenhagen has also its share of Continental night life—and if you have leanings towards the quiet life of studying and learning you cannot do better than browse around in the famous second-hand book shops in the University area. where winding little streets make you lose your way in a world of oldfashioned courtesy and bookmanship.