Oslo’s Holmenkollen (and a really big ski jump)
Holmenkollen is technically the neighborhood, and the ski jump is called Holmenkollbakken, but I just called both of them “really friggin’ cool”….
The current ski jump on the site is the 19th structure … it’s been torn down and rebuilt, and then torn down and rebuilt again. They keep improving the technology and the engineering of the ski jumps to help the jumpers go farther and faster (and, I’m assuming, more terrified). It’s a bit hard to see the scope in this pic, but if you look at the very top of the hill where it starts, then the jump goes down quite steeply before it evens out a bit, and then there is another really big downhill. It took me a few minutes to realize that the bit where it flattens out, still very near the top, is where they start jumping from! And most of the jumpers don’t come back down until very close to the bottom!
It’s pretty neat how they dug into the mountain for the bottom half of the jump – you can see roughly-hewn rocks and boulders all at the bottom. I can only imagine that if you’re flying through the air and you look down to see boulders, that’s not a good moment! Hopefully they all have good aim!
The ski jump is in a fancy-pants neighborhood to the west of Oslo. You can take the metro there, but it’s pretty obvious that every home has an Audi or BMW in the garage. Many of the houses were in a “Scandinavian-chic” style, with warm, earthy styles, and lots of white clapboard. This building really struck me, because it’s built right on the platform of the metro line. And from the platform (which runs long the right of the concrete wall), it looks like a very traditional house. But then if you step to the side, you can see that the house extends down two more floors, and it’s all glass and modern. I don’t actually know if it’s a house or an office or just empty space, but I think this is a fascinating justaposition of old and new – the expected and the unexpected!