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Water is very much a part of Norway’s beauty. The fjords can certainly ‘hold their own’ when it comes to colour and atmosphere. The shallows of the water are often aqua-green and the deeper parts of the fjord drift in and out of ocean blue and silky grey. Sunset is the best time to see metallic pinks and orange reflecting in the water. However, no matter how inspiring nature is, the water fountains in the cities are surprisingly ugly.

Oslo, being the capital and the regular home of the Royalty, naturally tries to make an effort. There is one ordinary fountain on the corso in front of the palace. In winter, it is converted into an ice skating rink, which is somehow obligated to play candy music all day long. (I must admit, it does make you feel like a kid again, skating around in circles for an hour or so.)

An Australian caught on phone-cam trying to ice skate in Oslo’s outdoor rink. Click to view.

However, in every other city I have been to, I have yet to find a fountain worthy of my wishes. Some fountains are more like a bubbler – spurting water up sporadically, usually no higher than a foot. Others you wouldn’t notice until your socks get wet and you realise you are standing in the middle of one. The least impressive is the gusher – it pushes out all the water it can in the least amount of time, sounding more like a lavatory than a fountain. So why does Norway make these half-hearted fixtures that need to be turned off for the long winters? Remembrance. Unfortunately, with most fountains, the tradesman forgot to put up the plague to remind us what we are suppose to remember.

So, whenever you see a fountain in Norway, always remember it was put there to remember… something.

(By the way, the fish fountain underneath did have a plague. The fountain is a commemoration of various people in Trondheim who served the city during the German occupation in WWII).

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