Oslo & Helsinki – The Welge Report

 

 

Hello Fellow Travelers:

 

Welcome to our world of business information, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines.  This newsletter provides you with “A Sites & Bites Mini-Holiday Guide for Oslo & Helsinki.

Please share it with your friends, customers and associates.  You can also access more than 100 cities on our website plus lots of other helpful travel tips at:  thewelgereport.com/

Recognition:  We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides.  In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.

 

Oslo & Helsinki

 

Birding Opps:  Info for our birding friends.  In and near Oslo you can see these species:  Mountain Marsh Runner, Ring Ouzel, Bluethroats, Redstarts, Siberian Jays, Golden Eagle, Wood Sandpiper and Dotterel.

The Oslo Birder (oslobirder.blogspot.com/) is a great all purpose guide.

Per Stensland (home.online.no/) site provides information on where to go and what you might see.

At the Fat Birder (.fatbirder.com/links_geo/europe/norway.html) you get an overall birding appraisal for Norway.

 

Transportation This is your site for public transportation (visitoslo.com/en/transport/)

Business Information:  Here is help in regard to your business: (norway.usembassy.gov/doingbusiness.html)

Exchange Rates (http://www.x-rates.com/)

 

Day One:  After dropping your bags off your first stop is The Vigeland Park – Nobels gate 32, 47 23 49 37 00

Vigelandsparken, also known as Frognerparken, is one of the most popular places to meet for people living in Oslo.  One of the most famous sculptures is the Monolith.

The column is over 14 meters tall and carved in one single stone. It consists of 121 human figures. There have been many interpretations of the Monolith: man’s resurrection, the struggle for existence, man’s yearning for spiritual relevance, the transcendence of everyday life and cyclic repetition.

Gustav Vigeland modeled all his sculptures in full size without any assistance. The carving in stone and the casting in bronze were left to craftsmen.

Vigeland also designed the architectural setting and the layout of the grounds with their far stretching lawns and long straight avenues bordered with maple trees. The construction of the park went on for several years.

 

A much lesser known museum is that of Gustav’s brother Emanuel Vigeland MusuemSu: 12-4, Grimelundsveien 8, 47 22 14 57 88.

Emanuel Vigeland’s Museum at Slemdal is one of Oslo’s best kept secrets. The museum’s main attraction is a dark, barrel-vaulted room, completely covered with fresco paintings.

The fresco Vita depicts human life from conception till death, in dramatic and often explicitly erotic scenes.

Large groups of bronze figures reiterate the dedication to the mystery of procreation. Entering the museum is a unique experience.

The impression of the dimly lit frescoes with multitudes of naked figures is reinforced by the overwhelming acoustics of the room.

 

Emanuel Vigeland (1875-1948) erected the building in 1926, intended as a future museum for his sculptures and paintings. He eventually decided that the museum should also serve as a mausoleum.

All the windows were closed and his ashes were to rest in an urn above the entrance door. Influenced by Italian prototypes, he named his building Tomba Emmanuelle.

 

For lunch we suggest Tjuvholmen Sjomagasin – L & D: M-Sa, Tjuvholmen allé 14, 47 23 89 77 77.

Start with oysters on the half shell and fish soup with onions and tarragon.   Then, the char-grilled langoustines or the grilled scallops with wonton and truffle.

Your wine is the ’11 Chablis 1.Cru Les Forets from Dauvisant.

 

You can learn a lot about Norway by visiting the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History – Daily: 10-6, Museumsveien 10, 22 12 37 00.

The Norwegian Folk Museum is one of Europe’s largest open-air museums, with 155 houses from all parts of Norway and a Stave Church from the year 1200.

The museum’s indoor exhibits show traditional handicraft items, folk costumes, Sami culture, weapons, toys, pharmaceutical history and other historic artifacts.

In summer you can experience lefse baking, horse and carriage rides, feeding of the animals, guided tours, handicraft demonstrations and much more.

The museum hosts events such as folk dancing, exhibitions, baking, church services, markets, and arts and crafts activities.

 

Your next stop is the Astrup Fearney Museum – Tu-F: 12-5, Th: till 7, Sa, Su: 11-5, Strandpromenaden 2, 47 22 93 60 60.

The Museum has concentrated intensively on American contemporary artists such as Paul Chan, Frank Benson, Nate Lowman and Dan Colen.

More recently, the focus has been on works by important European, Brazilian, Japanese, Chinese and Indian contemporary artists.

The museum’s aim is to collect and present major works by international contemporary artists in depth, but also in dialog with the Norwegian art scene and to have a real presence both in the city of Oslo and in the international art world.

 

For tonight’s repast our cousin suggests Restaurant Eik – D: Nightly, Universitetsgata 11, 47 22 36 07 10.

The crab and rhubarb, seaweed, almond and dill or the snails with fennel and peas is a great way to start.

Then the cod with cucumber, horseradish and celeriac or the ox filet with garlic, thyme and cabbage.

Your wine is the ’11 Santenay 1.er Cru Clos de Tavannes.  Strawberries and a chocolate mousse is a treat.

 

Day Two:  Begin your day at Grilleriet – B,L,D: Daily, Storgata 21-23, 22 38 56 00.

They have an organic breakfast buffet with breads, crackers, fruits, yogurt, salmon, meats, liver pate, an omelet station and a barista to make your espresso.

 

By visiting the Natural History Museum – Tu-Su: 11-4, Monrads gate, 47 228 55050 you hit a trifecta.  Included are the Geological Museum, the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens.

The Geological exhibition that features the geological evolution of Norway during 2.5 billion years that feature fossils, rock specimens and minerals.

The Zoological exhibitions take us through habitats and animal communities at increasing heights above the sea level by using dioramas.

The Botanical Garden shows us plant diversity through 7500 species.

 

It’s good to Munch – W-M: 11-5, Tøyengata 53, 47 23 49 35 00 before lunch.

The Munch Museum has more than half of the artist’s works and at least one copy of all of his prints.  This totals 1200 paintings and 18,000 prints, six sculptures, 500 plates 2,240 books and other memorabilia.

A version of the above painting “The Scream” was sold on May 2, 2012 for $119,922,600.

 

For lunch a good choice is De Fem Stuer – L: Daily, D: M-Sa, Kongeveien 26, 22 92 20 00.

For your appetizer share the terrine of fois gras served with rhubarb and apple.

Then the veal steak with a rocket salad, parmesan and a Bordelaise sauce or the duck breast in a raspberry sauce with corn risotto.

Your wine is the ’08 Barolo Bricco Rocche Brunate.  And for desert it’s the pear with salted licorice, caramel and white chocolate.

 

At the Viking Ship Museum – Daily: 10-4, Huk Aveny 35, 47 22 85 19 00 you’ll learn how the Vikings became world travelers.

The Viking Ship Museum presents great Viking ship discoveries from Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune as well as other finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord.

The museum displays the world’s two best-preserved wooden Viking ships built in the 9th century, as well as small boats, sledges, a cart with exceptional ornamentation, implements, tools, harnesses, textiles and household utensils.
The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design – Tu-F: 10-6, Th: till 7, Sa,Su: 11-5, Universitetsgata 13, 47 21 98 20 00 is an umbrella for a collection of museums.

 

The National Gallery exhibits Norwegian art from Antiquities to 1950 and special exhibits.  Here you’ll find many of Edward Munch’s works.

 

The Museum of Contemporary Art contains 5,000 works by Norwegian and international artists from the years since 1945.

 

There are five permanent installations: the sculpture Shaft by Richard Serra, Per Inge Bjørlo’s Inner Room V, Ilya Kabakov’s The Garbage Man: The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away and Marianne Heier’s Promesse de Bonheur.

 

The National Museum – Architecture building is a juxtaposition of classicism and modernist architecture – collaboration between Grosch and Fehn, Norway’s most important architects of the 19th and 20th centuries respectively.

The museum’s exhibitions explore both contemporary architecture and historical themes. The architecture collection includes drawings and photographic material, in addition to models and other objects.

 

Solsidan Restaurant – D: Nightly, Akershusstranda 13, 47 22 33 36 30 is our suggestion for dinner.

Your first course is the King Crab confit with mango chutney and chili mayonnaise or the trout tartar with asparagus, quail egg and dill sauce.

For your main choose the sautéed trout with potato and horseradish puree in a lobster sauce or the hake and mussel risotto in parsley vinaigrette.

Your wine is the ’11 Chassagne-Montrachet 1.Cru Morgeot from Ramonet.  Dessert is the coconut mousse with lemon cream, baked pineapple and pineapple sorbet.

 

Day Three:  To complete your Mini-Holiday our cousin says go farther North to Helsinki, Finland, where your first visit is to the Ateneum Art Museum – Tu,F: 10-6, W,Th: 9-8, Sa,Su: 10-5, Kaivokatu 2, 358 9 61225510.

The Ateneum has more than 4,300 paintings and 750 sculptures. Their collections showcase the development of Finnish art from 18th-century rococo portraiture to the experimental art movements of the 20th century.

Their international collection consists of over 650 works of art; paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints by artists that include Paul Cézanne, Marc Chagall, Eugène Delacroix, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Francisco de Goya, Amedeo Modigliani, Edvard Munch, Ilja Repin, Auguste Rodin and Anders Zorn.

 

Your next stop is The National Museum of Finland – Tu-Su: 11-6, Mannerheimintie 34, 358 40 128666469.

The permanent exhibition is divided into six departments on four floors:

The Treasure Troves present the museum’s collections of coins, medals, orders, decorations, silver and weapons.

The Prehistory of Finland is Finland’s largest archaeological exhibition

The Realm tells of the history of Finnish culture and society from the Middle Ages until the beginning of the 20th century.

 A Land and Its People presents rural life in Finland before industrialization.

Suomi Finland 1900 the new permanent exhibition on 20th century Finland and Finns.

Workshop Vintti is an interactive exhibition.

 

Lunch is at the famous Savoy Ravintola – L: M-F, D: M-Sa, Eteläesplanadi 14, 358 96 128 53 00.

Start with a glass of Champagne Larmandier-Bernier Latitude which goes beautifully with your salads composed from Savoy’s roof top garden.

Move on to the cold smoked Baltic herring with marinated cucumber and the white fish sautéed in sage butter with gnocchi and wild mushrooms.

Go for the wagyu beef BBQ with gremolata, seasoned French beans and a sorrel aioli or the sautéed reindeer with orzo and bourguignon sauce.

Your wine is the ’06 Amarone Capitel Monte Olmi from Tedeschi.  Dessert is Savoy’s fried waffles with wild strawberries and strawberry ice cream.

 

The Contemporary Art Center of Helsinki – Tu-Su: 10-5, W,Th: till 8:30, F: till 10, Sa: till 6, Mannerheiminaukio 2 0294 500 200 is an architectural delight.

Top names of Finnish contemporary art, design and fashion meet in the “Together” exhibition to produce a boundary-breaking exhibition into the world of art and design.

The exhibition provides an overview of Kiasma’s collections and at the same time depicts contemporary Finnish art history.

 

For your final meal  we recommend Chef & Sommelier – D: Tu-Sa, Huvilakatu 28, 358 400 959440

The neighborhood location for Chef & Sommelier is a visual treat. Their vegetables and herbs are from their garden and other specialties are from the nearby woods.

All of their ingredients are sourced locally from people they know.  The wine list is well chosen and fairly priced.

The menu changes frequently and is adapted to your tastes.  The choices vary but we suggest 4 courses from the 7 available.

Some of the selections are: nettle soup with pike and dill, wild rice with potatoes and porcini, pork with kohlrabi and seaweed and sorbet with kale.

Start with a Cava Vall Doine Brut and later enjoy the ’05 Barolo Arborina.

 

Until next time, best wishes and happy travels,

Dick & Dee Welge

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