It’s 4 pm and I get my usual break at work. I drink my cup of coffee and sit on the big orange sofa they have just delivered for our common room. It’s a sunny day in London and the Big Ben shines in all its beauty out of the gigantic window.
“Do you guys have plans for the weekend?”
Me: ” Yess actually!! We are going to Oslo :)”
“Oslo in January??? You must be crazy it’s freezing!!”
Oh well. It was freezing. But so worth it!!!
Buy the Oslo Pass. Norway is incredibly expensive (even for our poor little things coming from the queen of expensiveness London!). If your plan is to visit as much as you can, the Oslo pass is the right choice to make, it gives you free access to loads of attractions + free tickets on the buses and discounts in many restaurants. Prices starts from 335 NOK (27£) for 24 hours, 490 NOK (40£) for 48 hours up to 620 NOK (50£) for 72 hours. But, If you are planning to chill and relax that’s probably not the right choice!
It’s early morning when we leave from London (I know it sucks!!.. but we are leaving the PhD nightmare – our salary is what it is!). We get to Oslo around lunch time and I’m pushing to start visiting already 0_0.
We are staying at the Scandic Solli hotel. A lovely, clean hotel with spacious and very light double rooms in art deco’ stile, which I personally adore. The quality/price ratio for such an hotel is definitely enviable and the best part.. well I’ll tell you later.
After a quick nap we start visiting 🙂
The first day is all about museums! I’ve always been secretly attracted by the barbaric charm of the Vikings and we start with one of my favourites: the Viking ship museum.
I was expecting the story of a brutally barbaric population of bad bearded boys; but what the Viking ship museum offers instead is just a collection of ships, first used to travel and fish and then as graves. The museum houses the four viking ship burials from the Oslo fjord area; those found at Oseberg, Gokstad, Tune and Borre. The Oseberg, Gokstad and Tune ships were built in AD 820, 900 and 910 respectively.
We only visited the Fram (Norwegian: Frammuseet) which tells the story of the Norwegian polar exploration. I would definitely recommend to explore the Kon Tiki museum which tells the amazing story of Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002), who gained worldwide fame when he crossed the Pacific Ocean on the balsawood raft Kon-Tiki in 1947.
When learning and exploring a stimulating and exciting new environment time just goes at the speed of light and we end up starving on a great thai place called Tasty Thai. Thai in Norway? Yes and I would definitely recommend it! The chicken in coconut soup was simply fabulous!
Here comes the best part of our amazing hotel. If there’s something I love that is breakfast and at the Scandic Solli that was simply amazing! Imagine everything you would want for breakfast-well it’s there! From waffles to the super tasty Norway salmon cooked in 3 different ways.
If there’s something unmissable in Oslo that is certainly Vigeland Park, one of the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist and Norway’s most popular tourist attraction.
The unique sculpture park is Gustav Vigeland’s lifework with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and iron. Vigeland was also in charge of the design and architectural layout of the park. Most of the sculptures are placed in five units along an 850 meter long axis: The Main gate, the Bridge with the Children’s playground, the Fountain, the Monolith plateau and the Wheel of Life.
I was particularly impressed by the realism of the statues and the beauty of the gates in Vigeland Park. There’s a recurring theme that accompanies you during the all visit and is that of the importance of family and love expecially in the childhood. I found that unexpected and brilliant. I had never seen such a huge representation of life and love.
Don’t forget to head to the National Gallery, it’s just a 10 minutes walk from the park and it’s the house of Edvard Munch’s most famous painting “Skrik” (“The scream”).
We got particularly unlucky and we did not menage to get in because it’s close on monday, so make sure you plan your visit.
Moving a bit out of this area we went to the Opera House. What is interesting about the house is the tremendous building. You can even walk on the roof and see the amazing view on the sea.
It’s winter and we cannot skip a visit to the Holmenkollen. The Holmenkoll Line of the Oslo Metro runs through the neighborhood, serving the stations Besserud and Holmenkollen and the trip is truly remarkable (I also found my dream house on the way! – It’s the blue one just below here).
We had a bit of extra time so we went to the Holmenkollen sky museum and to the top of the jump. We got particularly unlucky with the fog and we couldn’t see much of the jump or the view (see pic below!), but here you’ll see what I’m talking about.
It was quite dark when we moved back to the centre to visit the Oslo’s main shopping road: Karl Johans gate and cathedral.
I never have enough of visiting (and my boyfriends hates me a bit!) but I just couldn’t go without a stroll to the Castle: “Akershus Festining” (“Akershus Fortress“)!
Thanks to my friend Bernardo for his great tips about Oslo!
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