Hop on, hop off, all across Oslo.

So it’s straight into the city centre and, as is often the case when one only has a couple of days to do somewhere, head for the ‘hop on, hop off’ ‘bus. There is a similar ‘hop on, hop off’ fjord cruise but, sadly, we are officially ‘out of season’.

Oslo is a modern, cosmopolitan city with an old centre of elegant, tall buildings with parks and fountains and countless statues and sculptures positioned around the place. I always think that trams give a city a feeling of quiet sophistication and Oslo is no exception. Building is going on all over the place and cranes scatter the skyline in every direction like a new skeleton is being created within the tatty, dusty fabric of the old framework.

So firstly the city centre.

Then images of the Norwegian Parliament building

and then the National Theatre – showing a cheerful Ibsen offering at the moment.

The sea is never far away, reminding us of Norway’s Viking history and all that raping and pillaging, art home and away. The clever thing they have done here is to place all the museum in one area across the bay and just out of town. So if you want to know about social history and culture, Vikings, the Kon Tiki voyage (always big when I was younger), all things boating, head here.

Vigeland was a local sculptor who was fascinated by the human form. His work is displayed in this park.

The centre piece is this huge monolith which was carved from a single piece of granite. Around it 101 figures are entangled in a fight to reach the top.

Back in the centre, it’s time to head brink surrounded by a diverse local population of all kinds of colour and faiths. It’s 1630 on a Friday and the streets are humming and buzzing with workers and shoppers and buskers and then with tourists adding their own spicy flavours to humanity’s mix.

Dinner is booked in a typical Norwegian restaurant near to the hotel.

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