16 Jul

I had a weekend free and just wanted to do something different. I had a look for cheap flights for the weekend and found some for Oslo. I had never been to Norway so jumped on the opportunity to visit somewhere new.

Flying out on a Friday evening after work arrived with no dramas and was able to train to the city centre to find my backpackers. It was during the 2016 Rio Olympics so the pubs and bars were full of people watching the Olympics. Our backpackers had a constant stream of different events on if different languages which was really cool. It was fun to watch the Olympics with people from various nationalities.

Brexit was still a hot topic at this point after the May elections. There were a couple of lads from Northern England that were very pro Brexit and were happy to tell everyone why Brexit was the right reason and how glad they were of the Brexit result.

I took it easy on the Friday evening and just enjoyed the Olympics with a cold beer at the backpackers as I had arrived late in the evening.

The next morning I walked down to the local supermarket to buy a few bananas and a box of muesli bars. Eating out in Norway was sooo expensive! I knew it was a little pricey but wasn’t expecting the prices when I arrived. I felt like an 18-year-old backpacker again buying fruit and muesli bars to save money…

I wondered down and joined my walking tour. I didn’t know much about Norwegian history or Oslo so it was a nice introduction and nice to get a feel for the city. To be honest, the city itself didn't blow me away, there were nice islands scattered around the water which was pretty though other than that the city did excite me too much. I enjoyed learning about the history and how the Norwegian Government had secured the wealth of the country and citizens. Incredibly forward-thinking and progressive country. I really respected the ideology and forward planning. Apart of me wishes that Australia implements some of the Norwegian Government policies re our natural resources for long term thinking.

One of the girls on the walking tour was staying at the same backpackers so it was nice to have someone to chat to along the walk.

Being a small city the walking tour gave me a good feel for the city and where I wanted to explore more. I was able to catch a ferry from the harbour headed over to the Viking Museum on Aker Brygge to Bygdøynes. From there it was a nice walk through the forest to the Viking Ship Museum.  It was great to learn more about the Vikings and their shipbuilding techniques which were so revolutionary. From there I wondered over to The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. There was an interesting exhibit on the Holocaust and how many Jews escaped to Norway from the Nazis. It was a nice afternoon of history and learning more about Norway.

I caught the ferry back and went for a late lunch on the water. I walked over through the park and past The Anchor of the German warship Blücher where I got some nice photos of the city. It was beautiful down by the harbour and bustling with atmosphere. I enjoyed relaxing by the harbour watching the Olympics and soaking in the vibe. It was a beautiful sunny day.

I met up with a few people from the backpackers later to head out for a beer and dinner. As the sunset so late there was no rush in the evenings. We headed to once of the local pubs where we met some fun English lads watching the Olympics as well. Was great fun and just nice to banter about sport. The beers kept rolling in and a great night of Olympics was had!

Sunday was pretty chilled as I had to fly in the afternoon. Again I picked up some fruit for breakfast and caught the tram to Frogner Park to explore and see the Vigeland Park, Monolitten, and Sirkusteltet Frognerparken. Frogner Park contains, in its present centre, the Vigeland installation (Vigelandsanlegget), a permanent sculpture installation created by Gustav Vigeland between 1924 and 1943. It consists of sculptures as well as larger structures such as bridges and fountains. The installation is not a separate park, but the name of the sculptures within the larger Frogner Park. It was nice to wonder around the park and enjoy the different sculptures.

It was time to head back for a quick bite to eat then head off to the airport. It was a pretty relaxing weekend just enjoying the museums and parks of Oslo. I was hoping for a bit more adventure though a quick weekend trip did not allow for it. Id love to get back to Norway to explore the Norwegian Fjords and highlands properly. This is the Norway I’d love to see and experience.

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