(Oslo Central Station)
The countries of Scandinavia have always been attractive to me, and this past weekend I was fortunate enough to visit one, as I spent three days in Oslo, Norway. I figured I had to get a visit in before Autumn started to maximize the daylight and good weather. I also have two former roommates from my time at university in Australia, so it was great to reconnect with them.
Oslo is a great city. Although being just over 600,000 people it feels larger. There are many neighborhoods and sections of the city that sprawl out from the coastline. I stayed downtown toward the Royal Palace side of town. There were plenty of things to see and do around the immediate area, and it was close enough to the rest of the city centre.
As far as cultural sites and events, Oslo is flush with them. Many museums, theaters, and parks around the city, and a lot of statues and art as well. It made for nice walkabouts as there was something close around every corner. The Norwegians are very proud of their history, and they’ve been able to preserve a lot of their heritage despite most of it being made out of wood and iron. Tough to get those to last for a century or more.
I met up with some old roommates from my Aussie days, who I had not seen in nine years, which all three of us could not believe. This gave me all Friday and most of Sunday to explore the city. Friday I started the day doing a big lap around the city center starting at the Royal Palace, then heading to the waterfront, and stumbling on a car show. I followed that around to the Opera House, which is an incredible piece of architecture you can walk on.
Afterwards, I went back toward the palace, and checked out Litteraturhuset, which is a cafe which serves beer and has a bookstore in it…literally my Achilles heel. Grabbed a book and a beer and read a bit. Afterwards I walked around the corner to a place called Rust for a late lunch. I had some amazing mussels, which were amazing, and enjoyed the fairly mild weather.
When I finished there I walked down to the Historical Museum. While it was a bit brief, they had some great artifacts from the Medieval period and beyond. They also had some rotating exhibits from Asia and North America. The best part though was the exhibit on living in the Arctic for lack of a better term.
On Saturday my friends took me hiking to the northwest side of the city. Oslo is a lot like Portland where its easy to get to nature and hiking. We did a loop through some hills and had some amazing views of the city. After the hike we headed back into the city for some dinner at the waterfront. It was a great reunion for sure!
As for Sunday, I just bummed around town a bit. Spent my last kroner on unhealthy food and coffees and enjoyed the city a bit more before grabbing the bus to the airport. All in all I loved Oslo, and would love to come back at anytime. I am thinking a hiking trip in the summer would be ideal to take advantage of the daylight.