Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Barcelona: Day 112 : A Dark Wet Beginning .

So the first wake up call of this trip was that when we woke up it was still dark outside. And not just at 6am... but all the way until 9am. We didn't see the sun all day. The sun rises at 9am, and sets at 3pm. Yes, 3pm. Do Norwegians even know what the sun is? Probably not. The lightest it got all day was maybe 25% of normal sunlight at best. It was amazing that this was the case. Regardless, we were up and out of bed at 7am, ready to conquer Oslo to the best of our ability. Breakfast was delish.

I think they call Haraldsheim a youth hostel. This is completely false. We've seen maybe like 3 people our age. Regardless, it's a nice place. And super toasty at night! I'll take it.

Today, we really only had two goals: See the Oslo Opera House and visit Snøhetta. We'd had an invitation from Frank Nodland, a Senior Partner there, to come visit and he'd show us around. It was wet this morning, and continued to be that way all day. What was supposed to be snow was freezing rain and snow, and this made things very difficult for us. It was cold, which I love, but the wind and rain together were a bit tough. We managed -- I need to buy new shoes. Mine have holes and are far from waterproof...

We made it back to the Oslo S station via the tram, which turns out is a great way to get around, and then walked over to the Opera House. While in the warmer months it has tons of people, we were pretty much the only ones there. We carefully made our way up to the roof, which was littered with ice (an adventure in itself) and got a great view of the fjord and downtown Oslo. We then went and took plenty of pictures inside, and of course loved every minute of it.

The bathrooms consist of this tessellated pattern that creates a series of solids and voids. The green light behind it gives a contrast between white and light green. The inside is nuts -- the urinals look like one long basin with frosted glass in between for walls, and a waterfall turns on automatically down the back in the whole bathroom when it senses a person's presence. The normal stalls have doors that seem to magically open from the wall; you can't tell the difference between the two.

The outside of the building is lots of white stone and glass, but the inside contains a beautiful use of wood. They used long sticks of wood, of course nicely finished, and just molded whatever shape they wanted to on the inside. There are a few sweet stairways, and even a restaurant inside, and ramps that go up to various levels that connect to corresponding levels on the inside as balconies.

**would have put more pictures but they kept screwing up.. just go check it out.

Turned out, the Nutcracker was playing lately, and tonight was one of the nights! It may have cost us 300 crowns, but it was worth it. We'd come back later that night.

We walked towards the office of Snøhetta since we had an appointment with Frank at 13:00, but first stopped in the Architecture Museum of Oslo. It was a lot smaller than anticipated by either of us, but the exhibits were okay (there were only 2). We only had an hour anyways though, and soon continued on to Snøhetta.

It was sweet to see an office that we had only seen pictures of. We walked in and everyone was working; everyone worked in the same big room, just like our studio at Clemson. It was really neat and as Frank explained more about how they work and a few of the projects that they work on, I began to love it more. I'm going to get in contact with Craig Dyker in New York and see if I can fanagle an internship...

We had some time to blow before the show at 18:00, so we walked through a newly developed area that was still sort of in progress, right out on the fjord. It looks like an extremely pricey area, but it was gorgeous. It was like the sort of thing you'd want to use as a Christmas town in a movie. There were many decorations up and lots of lights shining, despite the rain and the frigid wind blowing in from the fjord. It looked empty though -- ghost town sort of feel. While Norway hasn't been hit really at all from the economic troubles of Europe, I'm wondering if maybe people aren't taking any chances on things. Either way, was neat to see.

After grabbing a bite to eat and bopping around in Oslo City (a huge multi-story mall that had tons of stores, and only one that I recognized, which was nuts) we headed back to the Opera House for the Nutcracker. I've never seen a ballet before, let alone the Nutcracker, and actually it was really good. Unfortunately, we were pretty tired from walking a lot that day and the flights the day before and dozed a bit -- but as far as ballets go, it was awesome, and we were 5 rows from the front, right behind the orchestra. Totally worth it. First time at a ballet, first time seeing the nutcracker, first time in Oslo. Check, check, check.

By this time, it was about time to head back. Frank gave us a good idea of a lot of things to go see tomorrow, so we're going to try to do so! Hopefully it all works smoothly, because all we have is tomorrow. Goodnight from Oslo!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Would love to hear what you are thinking. Leave a comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...