If I had to describe Oslo in 3 words – Beautiful, Relaxing and Expensive. Oslo is a beautiful city, having been on the road for nearly 8 weeks, for myself at least, we both decided to take it a little easier. As an aside, given the exorbitant cost of staying in hotels we decided to look at something on Airbnb and ended up finding a beautiful apartment a little outside the city with views to die for.
We undoubtedly hit the jackpot with this place, our host Kathi was brilliant enough to pick us up from the station and drive us to her beautiful apartment that we had to ourselves for the weekend. Her place was just divine, giving us the chance to properly relax, get a decent night sleep without “a chorus of snoring” that we endured in Scotland, and also try to save some money and cook.
Our first full day in Oslo started with us sleeping in quite a bit later than planned – such was our comfort. We also realised a slight conundrum – busses don’t take credit cards and we were trying to get by without any local currency. Not to fear – a short 40-minute walk to the closest ATM was not the worst thing in the world. In fact, by days end it would be over 10kms as we wandered around the city.
First stop was the fortress overlooking Oslo Fjord where we enjoyed a picnic lunch, an opportunity to both save money, and eat a little healthier. We explored the fortress that dates back to the 16th century, a beautiful vantage point that overlooks the fjord and the marina full of boats.
We spent the day exploring the city, visiting the Royal Palace, The National Opera Building, Town Hall, the area around the central station. We took the opportunity to walk around the city, covering almost 12kms walking around the city.
Despite Oslo being the most expensive city in the world we took the opportunity to eat dinner out in the cooler more cultural area of the city – Grunløkken, we explored a little, walked through the streets to take in some of this remarkable city. Ultimately we found a good little burger restaurant the only catch was the price – $16 Aussie dollars for a beer, $35 for a burger was a tough pill to swallow.
That evening we decided to do a little bar crawl of our own heading from bar to bar, starting with Bar Boca, and working our way to the cheapest beers in Norway – $10 for a pint (actually quite palatable). However our bar crawl of expensive bars came to an end and we called it a night.
To kick off the next day we started by watching the might Dees get one of their biggest wins in years – what a time (although this form would have been outstanding last year). However this is not a footy blog, or a story about the little team that could go all the way Leicester FC style…that day we set out to explore the famous sculpture parks in Oslo – one of the most photographed galleries in the city.
The sculpture park was a nice place to visit, great for a picnic lunch and a relaxing walk around while taking in some often obscure stone sculptures. The Vigeland Sculpture park is described as “one mans obsession with the Human form” and offers an interesting collection of art – over 200 different pieces, including the man attacked by babies.
We capped off the afternoon by walking into the main part of Oslo City – specifically Aker Brygge to enjoy a couple of beers in the sunshine, while expensive this part of the city is certainly the trendier part, like a Southbank or Darling Harbour for my friends back home.
Enjoying another home cooked meal and relaxing was a great way to recharge the batteries, our next stops are all in Eastern Europe – Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Croatia, Hungary – even a couple of last minute surprises we threw in as I am writing this article – so stay tuned.