“We’re going to Norway!”
This was the beginning of our trip. You could say it was a state of tiredness and delirium which resulted in us thinking we were absolutely hilarious. But I’m not gonna lie, these puns rolled for our entire trip and we still thought we were brilliant for coming up with such comedy golds by the end. BUT back to the trip in hand… OSLO!!
I have been wanting to go to Norway ever since arriving in Denmark and was determined to see as much of Scandinavia as I could while I was still in it. Therefore, Norway was inevitable and so was the capital. Oslo itself is a rather remarkable city. Sure, it’s got your classic fancy cathedral, beautiful architecture and loads of shops you wish you could afford (I’ll explain this in a bit). However, the city is compact and as a result, you are always in walking distance to nature. By nature, I don’t mean a park where the city is trying its best to seem ‘green’, but actual woods, mountains, fjords and wildlife. Pretty cool!
So on Day One after settling in, we decided to try to find this amazing nature. Before leaving Aarhus, we had done a little Google Image search of the nature we could experience in Oslo and as a result, were super hyped to see the wonders we had envisioned. We took a map, found a big green looking forest space on it and walked towards it (via the palace and super cute buildings).
This maaaaybe wasn’t the best way to go: the forest we found didn’t really live up to what we expected. Nevertheless we were still able to visit the Viking Museum and Maria found a moose (Norman the Moose being a stuffed toy, obviously!)
Following this, we followed the shoreline by the city and were able to see all the water edge attractions:
My favourite attraction had to be Oslo’s Opera House. It was absolutely stunning and being able to walk up the sloped roof, we got a fantastic view of the surrounding fjord. (It was here as well that our super touristy look and unashamed use of the selfie stick attracted some journalists to us: I will let you know if that comes to anything!)
After walking past the Opera House, we chose to climb Mount Ekeberg. In reality it is more like a big hill up to a park, but it was hard work! We had been walking since 8am that morning and made it up onto the top of the mountain in time to watch the sun set over Oslo which was a really wonderful experience.
Day One: Nature – check! Day Two: The City.
The day started out with a super delicious breakfast at Samson & Samson before heading to the Edvard Munch museum! Gotta love a bit of art. The gallery itself was, I’m not gonna lie, a bit weird. Seeing Munch’s work was amazing and seeing work from other artists was interesting too but a lot of it was more than I was expecting to see on a Wednesday morning. Let’s just say, some of the photography work was slightly, no, extremely graphic. That was actually a theme in Oslo, we saw quite a few graphic works of art and a lot of statues. Norwegians seem to love a good statue.
ANYWAY moving swiftly on, we continued our exploration of the city! We didn’t really set much agenda other than to visit The Nobel Peace Center. I would highly recommend the Center to anyone that visits. Not only does it give you the history of the award and its recipients but it also had an exhibition which was very thought-provoking towards the issue of war, which was particularly prevalent what with recent events.
All in all, Oslo was beautiful, more than I expected it to be and it was great being able to share it and have a constant laugh with a friend. I would really recommend Oslo, especially as one of the cheapest destinations to get to in Norway if you were interested in visiting. Initially I had really hoped to travel to the North of Norway in order to experience the beautiful Northern Lights. However, it transpires that Norway is expensive. REALLY effing experience, especially on a student budget. So this is my warning: be prepared to spend more than you expect and choose experiences over food: you can eat when the trip is over, right? I know I will return to Norway to see the Lights but it the meantime, I shall make the most of the parts of Norway I can afford. Next stop: Bergen!