Now some might say that going to Norway for the weekend is sort of a random thing to do, considering all of the fabulous cities in Europe there are to visit, but I really wanted to see a part of scandanavia, and a £20 flight was all the convincing I needed. However, when I booked this flight I really didnt know what to expect out of a weekend trip to Oslo.
The plane ride from Scotland was only 1:15, I expected it to be more, but this pleased me. We arrived to a fresh coat of snow on the ground, even though it wasnt much. You could definitely tell the temperature difference as soon as you got off the plane. Seeing as we were budget travelling and took a £20 flight, we had to take a 100 minute bus ride to the Oslo city center. After a lot of confusion regarding trains and trams and the public bus system, we finally made it to our hostel at around 1am friday night.
I have to say the hostel was VERY nice. much nicer than the one we stayed in Dublin. The only downside was it was somewhat out of the city, which ended up being fine, and we had to climb this obnoxiously large hill to get to it. But it had lots of nice annemities, like a free breakfast, and really cool chess
Saturday we started our tour around the city, which included walking to the Opera House, this GORGEOUS building, which you could climb all over, and had incredible views of the city…
After this we walked to Akershus castle, which I was really excited about, because thats the structure they feature in the Norway pavillion in EPCOT at Disney World. Unfortunately part of the building was under renovation, so it had scaffolding around it. But it was still beautiful
After Akershus, we headed to the Oslo Palace to see the changing of the guard. I’ll upload a video of that later, it was actually really cool. The guards werent all stone-cold and stiff like they are in London, they actually talked to you but still kept that intimidating stature with their gigantic guns with knives on the end of them…Not to mention they were cute
We got some lunch at none other than McDonalds, solely for the fact that everything else was crazy expensive. Simple things like a candy bar cost 4x the amount that they do here in Edinburgh. I got just a Big Mac sandwich, no fries or anything, and it cost me, after the exchange rate about $8. Pretty sweet right? gotta love being in one of the most expensive cities in the world…
We did some shopping, but everything was just so darn much so I didnt buy anything, and then headed back to the hostel for a nap. We then went out for some “traditional Norwegian food” which I’m not really sure what that is still, but we went to this little pub that locals like to go to. I ended up getting weinershnitzle, which i know isnt very Scandanavian, but it’s still something I’ve never had before. It was absolutely delicious and I will certainly have some again. Here’s seamoose trying some
Silje, who’s Julias roomate back in Edinburgh, is from Oslo and invited us to a party at one of her friend’s flats. Silje ended up coming to Oslo for the weekend with us to visit her family, and it was kind of nice cause she was able to point us in the right direction for where to go.
After taking several modes of transportation to get to this flat, we arrived in east bumshoe norway, just to turn around and leave again like 10 minutes later. That was quite alright, it was an adventure, and it was cool to see a typical Norwegian flat. We went back to the city centre, walked around and saw some pubs, and then headed back to our hostel.
Sunday morning arrived quickly and we had a whole other day of sighsteeing ahead of us. We walked around the city center some more, and took a boat tour of the Fjord. (pronounced Fey-yord, or if you’re Julia, F-jord, hehe). The boat ride was fun, it definitely gave a different perspective of the city, but it was absolutely freezing!
The boat tour took us across the Fjord, where all of the museums were located, and we ended up going to this outdoor heritage museum, which is a lot like Williamsburg, or Sturbridge Villiage or something. It was cool, we got to see how they lived in the viking times and beyond, but it was so cold by the end of the day. We grabbed a bus back to our hostel and it was time to head back to the airport.
Some things I observed about Oslo are:
1. There are a lot of 7-11s, but no slurpees! There was litterally one on every street corner, it seemed like. We found this highly amusing, but it ended up being to our advantage because everything else was so expensive this ended up being our cheapest option for food.
2. The city has a way different feel than Edinburgh or Dublin. There are a lot more newer buildings which are much taller, and the architecture is very modern. But, there are still older sections of the city, and lots of cool views.
3. This is the cleanest city I’ve ever been to. Hands down. Granted I didnt go to all of it, but everything I saw was gorgeous.
4. Some day I would love to go to the northern part of Norway to see the countryside and the beautiful cliffs and all this stuff I saw in the post cards in the gift shop. And I would love to see more of Scandanavia. The people were sooo friendly and helpful, and a good majority of them spoke very good English.
I’m not going to any other parts of Europe until Corey comes to visit me in just three weeks, when I meet him in London! I am so excited. I think next weekend we’re going to see some abbeys around southern Scotland, and then maybe go to Glasgow (a city about 100 miles due west of here) and there is some fireworks show to see too. We’re also going to a Scottish Premier League football game too, so exciting!