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  • Writer's pictureGunnar Garfors

The bridges over Oslo’s river

The beautiful and sometimes peaceful, sometimes fierce Aker River runs through Oslo. But how many bridges crosses it?

What do I do when I not travel? I am, contrary to popular belief, actually quite fond of Oslo, the city in which I live. I have walked, hiked, biked and jogged almost everywhere in town and written articles about what to do here. One of the things you really ought to do is walk along Akerselva, or Aker River.

It’s probably the most beautiful and peaceful walk in town.

Lake Maridalsvatnet is the source.

The river’s source is a 3.7 square kilometer large lake called Maridalsvatnet, 149 meters above sea level. It flows into the Oslo fjord 8.2 kilometers away.

149 meters lower.

There are paths on boths sides along most of the river, and it is excellent to hike along all or parts of it. You will then notice a number of bridges and other constructions crossing the river. Most of these you can use.

But how many bridges and man-made constructions do actually cross the river?

I decided to find out on a beautiful Sunday in May. Spring has come to town. I was equipped by nothing more than a camera and a bike. I biked to the lake and started my slow decent.

A major minor detail from somewhere in the middle.

But how to count? A bride or a construction counts as one as long as it is is not somehow split up. In other words, if sunshine comes between two constructions, they no longer count as one. The river is covered by buildings and bridges that have “melted” together on two places. Even though they are very wide, they still count only as one each.

And a person must be able to cross. I managed to cross all of them, but four. Access was blocked off, but they are still technically crossable if permission is obtained, and I have therefore counted all four.

Then, to the count.

BRIDGE 1, BRIDGE 2: One can be driven across, the other is for walking. Lake Maridalsvatnet in the background.

BRIDGE 3: Only for pedestrians and bikers. And not the Hell’s Angels kind of bikers. It’s called Grønvold terskel.

BRIDGE 4: There are no walkers or bikers here. So why the hell did they get a shortcut? The nearest other bridge is 100 meters away.

BRIDGE 5, BRIDGE 6: A small bridge in the front, Rd. Kjelsåsvegen sees a fair amount of traffic in the immediate background.

BRIDGE 7: The railings of this bridge are more narrow on the top than on the bottom. Passing someone with a pushchair can be tricky.

BRIDGE 8, BRIDGE 9: Only one is in normal use, but I managed to cross the second too, despite the fallen tree.

BRIDGE 10: Where Rd. Gjerdrums vei crosses.

“BRIDGE” 11: Not exactly a bridge. Office over troubled water, I’d say.

BRIDGE 12: Immediately below the troubled office.

BRIDGE 13: How about a paint job?

BRIDGE 14: The water’s getting angry.

BRIDGE 15: The big, bad road.

Detail from the top of BRIDGE 15: Enter or leave a tunnel while you’re at it.

Detail from underneath BRIDGE 15: Someone lives her. And so it smells.

BRIDGE 16: A tiny bridge next to a big pipe.

BRIDGE 17: About to enter civilization.

BRIDGE 18: A bridge and a huge warehouse, connected.

Detail from BRIDGE 18: Where the river experiences sun again on the other side.

BRIDGE 19: This one is called Gullhaug Bridge. Rd. Nydalsvegen crosses it. There’s a gastropub with a bridge view to the immediate left.

BRIDGE 20: A shortcut for some to Norwegian Business School.

BRIDGE 21: Blackjack! Rd. Kristoffer Aamots gate crosses this one. There’s an art market here on sunny weekends.

BRIDGE 22: Another bridge.

“BRIDGE” 23: This covered pipe bridge actually leads to a small island. Another identical one completes the crossing. I managed to cross on the roof, but it doesn’t come recommended, judging by the number of nasty looks I got.

Detail from “BRIDGE” 23: The pipe continues to the other pipe bridge on the other side of the island.

BRIDGE 24: Brand new, and already rusty?

“BRIDGE” 25: They sure have a lot of pipes in this part of town.

BRIDGE 26: Treschows Bridge.

BRIDGE 27: Combines as some sort of a dam.

“BRIDGE” 28: OK, I admittedly did not cross this pipe. An old factory to the right. The sound from the water is intense!

BRIDGE 29: This is Jerusalem Bridge. The 124 meter long bike and walk bridge is named after a small farm that used to be in this hood in the 17th century.

BRIDGE 30: Still counting.

BRIDGE 31: This is Bentsebrua, Bentse Bridge.

“BRIDGE” 32: More of a dam, really.

BRIDGE 33: A view from Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s local office. The glass building in the background is a public toilet. Yes, glass building. Yes, public toilet. No, I didn’t go.

BRIDGE 34: Another pedestrian bridge. A perfect place for duck feeding. If you’re into that sort of thing.

BRIDGE 35: Ring road 2 crosses this one, so it’s got a name! Vøyenbrua, Vøyen Bridge.

BRIDGE 36: I hope this bridge has seen better days.

BRIDGE 37: Beierbrua, Beier Bridge is probably my favourite bridge. They serve old fashioned Norwegian waffles in the small red house next to it.

Detail from BRIDGE 37: “The factory girls”.

BRIDGE 38: See, that’s my little blue bike. Well, it isn’t really mine. By paying 15USD you get to use one of those as much as you want until snow falls again (I know, not necessarily a good deal, after all). Such bikes are parked all around the city and can be picked up by anyone with a card from Oslo bysykkel.

BRIDGE 39: The only bridge that comes straight out of a parking garage.

BRIDGE 40: Sannerbrua, Sanner Bridge.

BRIDGE 41: Åmodt Bridge is a beauty!

BRIDGE 42: It’ll take you straight to or from Oslo Art College.

BRIDGE 43: Cuba Bridge. Fidel had nothing to do with it. I think. Then again, they may be of similar age.

BRIDGE 44: Anna Holsen’s Bridge. Why don’t I have a bridge with my name on it?

BRIDGE 45: There is a bridge behind those trees. Honestly. It’s called Grünerbrua, Grüner Bridge.

BRIDGE 46: Bridge with a market. It’s nect to Blå, a great chilled out bar and concert hall. Do check out the famous Frank Znort Quartet which is never a quartet but rather 12-15 musicians that play every Sunday. Their slogan? “We fuck up your Mondays!”

BRIDGE 47: This is a bridge. It is designed for you to cross the river underneath it with ease. Without getting your feet wet. Unless it rains.

BRIDGE 48: This is called The Fairy Tale Bridge.

Detail from BRIDGE 48: One of four statues based on legendary Norwegian fairy tales. No, the girls in those stories aren’t usually naked.

BRIDGE 49: Patience, we’re always at the mouth of the river. Rd. Trondheimsvegen crosses this one. The road will take you to Trondheim. Go figure.

BRIDGE 50: Nice graffiti. Not.

BRIDGE 51: Under construction. Or something. It’s called Vaterlandsbru, Vaterlands Bridge.

BRIDGE 52: Look, a seagull!

BRIDGE 53: Just where the water thinks it’s gonna come out again, another bridge starts. Bummer.

“BRIDGE” 54: Some sort of a pipe carrier construction, at least.

BRIDGE 55: Or is this not across the river, but across the inner part of the fjord? You can nevertheless cross it by foot or bike.

Any other ace walks in Oslo?

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