We arrived in Oslo last evening, successfully left 2 bags checked at the airport, and took the train into town. A quick walk from the Sentralstasjon to our hotel…maybe not as quick as it would have been under normal circumstances as my legs were still sore from the cupola climb and Roma expedition, but we made it! A very hip little place an easy walk to transportation and things we wanted to see.
Last night’s dinner was at Nilsen Spiseri, a small restaurant a block away from the hotel. It is right next door to a hostel, and our waiter has been working there for 6 months after a stay in the hostel. My other half opted for poached salmon, and I decided to go outside the comfort zone with reindeer stew. I must say I was a little nervous, but it was absolutely delicious!
We slept in a bit this morning (exhaustion had begun to hit us both), then ventured out about 11AM. My other half went to the tourist information center a block away and bought two Oslo Passes for us. Best purchase of the day as they allowed free admission to every place we visited and free rides on transportation (ferries and light rail). A quick walk to the waterfront, and we boarded a ferry to the Norsk Folkemuseum and Viking Ship Museum.
The Folkemuseum did not have a lot going on, but was still an interesting walk about. The Viking Ship Museum was great fun. Amazing that these actual vessels were found buried and intact. They’d actually been used as burial ships, a coffin of sorts. They’d been looted, so there was no jewelry or articles of value, but the items that did survive have some significant historical value!
From there it was a leisurely walk to the Fram Museum. The Fram was the first wooden sailing vessel to explore both the North and South Poles. It is fully preserved, and you can go aboard. Very interesting to read about the expeditions and science experiments carried out on each voyage.
A ferry ride across the fjord back to Oslo, and we decided it was lunchtime. A stroll down the pier reading every menu, and we opted for Louise’s. Tasty mussels steamed in white wine with lemon and seasoning for me, and fish and chips for the Mister. His fish was more along the lines of Sri Lankan fish cutlets and not the British fish and chips he expected. But we will have a layover in London tomorrow, so we can make up for it there. Not that he minded fish cutlets at all – they are one of his favorite foods! A small rain shower as we finished lunch, and a light drizzle while we ate our Swiss ice cream cones on our way to the Nobel Peace Center.
Nobel Peace Center had wonderful exhibits. It was very moving, and photos were an afterthought. The current exhibit was about the 1936 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Carl Von Ossietzky. Upstairs were more exhibits, and a large section on the Syrian refugee crisis from the perspective of Syrian children. Hard to read their words without getting a lump in the throat. As you go back down to the main level, children (and adults, too, I suppose) are encouraged to post a “thought bubble” about peace.
Next stop, Vigeland Park. Too far away to walk, especially with dark clouds gathering on the horizon. We pulled up Google maps, figured out where to catch the light rail, and off we went. My father was in Oslo in 1956 or 1957, and I was in search of the fountain from one of his photos. We thought this might be the one. I’m not quite sure and will need to look at his photo when I get home. Either way, it was an easy trip, and worth the train ride. The park has over 200 bronze and granite scuptures by Gustav Vigeland. A tremendous rose garden surrounded the center fountain, leading the way to the monolith. The monolith is 121 figures trying to reach the top of the structure.
A quick train ride back to the hotel, and we have essentially brought 2016 Big Adventure to an end. Off to find our last dinner in Oslo for this trip. Tomorrow we return home, and try to wrap our heads around everything we’ve seen and done!