136. The best beggar in the world

Spotted in Norway, where the dole is higher than the average wage in NZ, so probably more of a gag (especially if you take note of his expensive sunglasses). I still thought this guy was great though!

Probably just a cheeky backpacker who 5 minutes earlier had his eyeballs popping out of his head when he looked up xe.com on his iPhone and saw the exchange rate.

121. Kiwis in Kiwi

There’s a chain of supermarkets throughout Scandinavia called Kiwi (well so far I’ve seen them in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. I can’t remember if I saw one in Finland). It’s even coloured green like the fruit is meant to be! I’m not entirely sure if there is meant to be any kind of link with New Zealand, but that doesn’t stop me from finding it incredibly novel!

In Oslo, Ryan and I decided we would go buy some kiwifruit and take photos of Kiwis with kiwis at Kiwi. But somewhere in with all the products displayed in fascinating ways to make you forget your original objectives and go on an impulse buying spree, we came out with cookie ingredients instead of kiwifruit.

107. Frognerparken: A park full of statues

My friend Ryan who has recently moved to Oslo, is basically the worst tourist ever. He has pretty much seen nothing since he moved there. And maybe he would say that I’m the worst tourist ever because I wanted to see everything. AND take photos of it. After stopping to take a photo of yet another statue, he said something along the lines of “You really like statues huh. You know there’s a whole park full of them? You’d love it.” I guess he has seen a few places in Oslo after all.

And he was right. It was amazing. Frogner Park, designed by Gustav Vigeland in central Oslo is probably one of the most amazing parks I’ve ever seen.

As you enter the park there is a huge pathway that crosses a statue lined bridge and leads to a huge fountain and then monument in the centre. The pathway, fountain, monument and their surrounds are all covered in statues, mostly of people, in various forms. From intertwined lovers, fathers playing with children, ones that I honest to God could not work out what they were doing, to more creepy ones that appeared to depict spousal abuse.

Wikipedia describes the statues in a most hilarious way: Most of the statues depict people engaging in various typically human pursuits, such as running, wrestling, dancing, hugging, holding hands and so on. However, Vigeland occasionally included some statues that are more abstract, including one statue, which shows an adult male, fighting off a horde of babies.

106. The Mini Bottle Gallery

Sadly The Mini Bottle Gallery wasn’t open when I stumbled across it, but on reflection I’m not entirely sure I would have spent 90NOK on such a bizarre attraction. My summary of the history page on the website: rich yet quirky property mogul and brewery heir starts gallery out of his collection of decorated miniature bottles. Wife remains unimpressed but is glad they are out of the house.

105. Akershus Fortress

In the middle of Oslo you will find Akershus Fortress, a beautiful and well preserved fortress, built by king Håkon V in 1299. It is a great place to learn some Norwegian history, but what I loved the most was the amazing view over the harbour. I could have stayed there all day. Which would have been fine because I was sightseeing on a Monday so none of the museums were open. So the view was a great saviour from the dismay of simultaneously discovering there was a Magic Museum in Oslo, and that it is only open for 2 hours on a Sunday. There is no way a Magic Museum could be anything but awesome! Next trip to Oslo will be planned around its opening hours.

104. The most ridiculous car in the world

Oslo has electric car charging stations all over the city centre, which I think is really cool. I’m loving seeing a lot of the cities in Europe making environmentally friendly changes like that. What is really unfortunate, however, is just how stupid most electric cars look. I mean seriously, what is that?! It’s like a tuk tuk with a roof. Or an enclosed mobility scooter.

102. Harass the Norwegian Royal Guard

Having spent most of the day on my arse on the train to Oslo, as soon as I stepped off in to what was a beautiful sunny day, I thought it only fitting to take around town with my tourguide/friend Ryan. The palace is pretty close to the central station, and the walk between the two really is beautiful. While we were wandering around we saw all kinds of marching back and forth in illogical seeming patterns, and yelling out random Norwegian words. Its a cute tradition and all, but the guards are fairly useless. Makes me wonder how much they shell out in wages to have trained soldiers posing for tourists all day. Its not like they are using any of the normal technology a security guard might have in 2012 like radios, at the very lease. Nonetheless it can’t be too much of an issue when you are sitting on a tonne of oil and have the highest wages in the world.

Whenever I’m taking a picture with someone in it, I always feel I ought to ask for permission. Its not Buckingham Palace, so they are allowed to talk, and I was sharply told I could only take a photo of him if I was standing to his left. Still not really sure where that reasoning comes from, but I did what I was told. Especially because the wee fellow was so serious about it!

Not sure if he could tell I was taking the piss in that photo, but by this one I think it was clear: