On the northern edge of the Oslo forests sits Bislingen. It used to be a bustling place, with downhill and cross country skiers, weddings, parties.
One day they closed the door and left. The plan for someone to come back another day and open the door … i guess this plan fell through. Then plan c, and d also failed to materialise.
Then a bit of water seeps in somewhere. Some curious creatures finds a crack. Snow piles up. Ice split timber. Birds, mice, termites. Broken windows. Winds blow.
Plan e, f, g, h, i also failed to materialise.
It’s a fair bit of a drive from Oslo, and then a bit of a walk up the hill. If you had the permission to drive all the way up, it would not be entirely unlike parts of the drive to Outlook Hotel in The shining. I arrived on a beautiful sunny warm day, and was not sure i’d be able to get in.
There is a code among people who do this. It’s called urban exploring. You don’t break in, break anything, leave anything, or take anything but photographs. Personally, i interpret rules as something .. elastic.
No, i did not break in, i didn’t need the rope and makeshift hook. Better safe than sorry. I spent hours in there. It is magical, beautiful. I have a bit of a love for the the idea of the world without us. This is what would happen if we all croaked in the pandemic. The world would be just fine without us.
Admittedly, it’s dusty, mucky, and for all i know full of asbestos and dried bird poo laced with plethora of pathogens. But slowly, step by step i walked though the place, up and down stairs that could collapse any moment. That wanted to collapse.
Floors gave way under my feet; i sussed the construction so i could walk directly on the load-bearing beams and not on rotten planks. I visualised the criss-crossing of beams under my feet.
Sometimes you have to get on your knees on gritty ground, and stick your nose right up into something unpleasant. And it turns out to be beautiful.
They are tearing it down soon; rumours say, for real this time. And building something shiny, better, new. Place where people can smile and laugh to each other, and not be uncomfortably reminded about how pointless our complex constructions and clever tools are. Human industriousness will produce large machines that will whisk away asbestos, bird poo, broken glass, cracked concrete, peeling paint.
Beautiful peeling paint.