Monday, 8 September 2014

Oslo - Grünerløkka River Walk

We bought a seven day travel card the day we arrived so we could get around the city the first week. We both wanted to take advantage of these travel cards and decided to use them one way or another that day. With help from google maps and a map we picked up from the station, we managed to catch a bus to the river; two or three kilometres up from the central station.

We walked down the riverside heading towards the city centre, enjoying the buildings and views along the way. The began walk rural, with lots of trees and grass parks around us. Nearly everyone we walked past had a dog. As we got nearer and nearer the centre, the scene turned much more urban, with tall buildings and the sound of traffic just a little way away.

We walked into Grünerløkka, known as the Shoreditch of Oslo. You could immediately spot where you were as the buildings exhibited graffiti drawings and writing on them. Across from the riverside we stumbled upon bar and side street called Blå, our friend suggested we checked out. It had a deserted ghost town feel to it. What you sensed should be a loud and lively scene was silent, except the gushing sounds of the riverside and compact waterfall. It may have been peaceful to the ear, but it was roaring and vibrant to the eye. Most walls were covered head to toe in graffiti, wonderful graffiti that brought much enjoyment to view. There was not only graffiti, also posters concerning events that were to take place at the Blå and stickers unintentionally placed to look like a urban collage. 

An outdoor chandelier hung above the narrow street assembled from broken shards of glass, beads and all sorts of shiny objects that you may find in a dumpster. I looked up to my right and saw two painted white heads hanging down by rusty chains. Those features really added to the suddenly deserted feeling. 

As we walked on we saw people grafting over the walls near the river. There was a sudden change from graffiti that seemed planned and carefully executed to a more expected graffiti scene accrued. We soon came to the centre of Oslo and caught a tram back to our place. 

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