Switching the super cosy sofa at our airbnb in Stockholm with a seat in the night bus to Oslo was probably not the most comfortable option, but I don’t regret it at all. Even though I wasn’t really able to sleep during that bus-ride which lasted from 11p.m. until 6:20a.m. the next day, I can only recommend this budget-friendly option, which is also a lot more sustainable than taking the plane. Another plus point of taking the night bus is that you usually save the money which you’d otherwise spend on accommodation for one night since you’re sleeping (or at least trying to sleep) in the bus.
Monday, 21st May, 2018
6:45a.m. After heading to the ladies’ room at the bus terminal in order to look like a human being again, I was ready for exploring Oslo. It was still quite early in the morning and there were hardly any people around, so I took the chance and simply walked through the streets of Oslo without having a particular destination. – I ended up at the Opera House, then made my way to Akers hus, Aker brygge, the City Hall, then continued to the Royal Palace, the National theatre, the university, the parliament, the cathedral, the famous street “Karl Johans Gate” and a lot more.
Even though I had a city map, I was mainly wandering around in Oslo without caring where I actually was. I just headed into the direction where I supposed to find another beautiful spot, which I mostly did since there are so many magnificent places in the centre of Oslo. Okay, I have to admit that I’m usually everything else than an early bird. However, in this case I ignored how exhausted and tired I was due to the fact that the hours I had slept in the bus were not even half of the time I usually sleep. And I’m really glad that I didn’t just sit in a cafe and wait for my friend who I was going to meet at 10a.m., but explored the city when the typical tourists were still sleeping in their hotel beds. The calm and relaxing atmosphere of the usually so crowded sights was impressive.
10a.m. It seemed almost unreal when I was standing next to the fountain in front of the national theatre and noticing the familiar face of my friend Clara smiling at me. – Imagine: two friends who had spent the last 4 years sitting next to each other at school and who both had made the decision to go to Norway as au pairs, one of them in the South, and the other one high up North. And then, more than half a year later, those two meet again thousands of kilometres away from home, in a different country. Yes, it was one of those moments that I’ll definitely keep in my memories for quite a while. Being able to talk to someone who’s been an important part of my life for more than just a few months was simply wonderful, and while remembering old stories and keeping each other updated about our current lives, Clara played my guide and showed me some of her personal favourite spots in Oslo, which I definitely wouldn’t have come across without her.
Later in the afternoon, another lovely girl, who is also an au pair in Norway joined us and we took the ferry to Hovedøya, where we walked around and enjoyed the sun. (Insider tip: if you simply buy the 24h/7 day or whatever ticket for public transport in Oslo, the regular ferries are included, so you don’t have to spend a fortune on one of those tourist attraction-boat trips.:))
As I’m also keen on winter sports and have always liked to watch ski jumping competitions together with my little sister, I couldn’t miss visiting Holmenkollen while I was in Oslo. (My sister, who had even considered going to Norway just because of the Norwegian ski jumpers, would’ve probably killed me if I had missed that chance^^)
So we took the metro to the stop „Holmenkollen“, walked up the stairs of the ski jump as far as it was allowed, enjoyed the view and also took a few pictures of course;))
9p.m.: I checked into my hostel (Anker hostel – friendly staff, rather cheap, central location, so I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a place to stay in Oslo:)), chatted a bit with my room mates and then fell into my bed – exhausted but satisfied after a long day full of activities and adventures.
Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018
Definitely got more and better sleep than the night before, which was needed since also day 2 in Oslo involved quite a lot of walking.
I had the pleasure to spend my second day in Norway’s capital city with Katja, another au pair whom I had already met when she was visiting Tromsø, and with a friend of hers. While it was mainly buildings and architecture which had impressed me on the day before, this day it was the nature and the fact that Oslo has so many green places where you might even forget that you’re in Norway’s biggest city. Our first destination was Sognsvann. – A stunning lake you should definitely walk (or run) around. (It’s also easy to reach by metro).
Afterwards, we took the tram to Ekebergpark, enjoyed the shade which the trees offered on such a sunny day and also the view that we got to see.
But there was one more park which we had on our list before we could have our well deserved dinner. – The Vigelandspark. Gustav Vigeland was a Norwegian sculptor, whose sculptures are spread all over Oslo and last but not least in this wonderful park dedicated to him. Extremely impressive how much this man has created in his life.
For dinner we went back to Aker brygge and grabbed a salad at „LETT“. (And of course we couldn’t resist to have an ice cream as a dessert, as it was really hot outside.;))
But the day was not over yet, when I said goodbye to Katja and her friend who were on their way to Katja’s language course. – I made my way towards Clara’s (or actually her host family’s) house and one more time I was grateful for my public transport ticket. Later we took the bus to Sandvika and even went swimming in the sea. – My first swim in Norway, and that together with an old friend, watching the sunset…
Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018
Although I was pretty sad that this day would be the last day in Oslo and of my almost 1-week-long vacation (I was in Stockholm before I came to Oslo) , I can say that it definitely was a fine and dignified end of my trip to the South of Scandinavia. In the morning, Antina, who had already been with me on day 1 and who is probably the biggest SKAM fan I know, took me to some crucial places of my favourite Norwegian TV series. (I have already advised you to check out SKAM in my „Russ“-post, but if you still have not seen any episode, then it’s definitely time to change that now, believe me!)
We went to the famous Hartvig Nissens Skole, to the shared apartment where SKAM-Noora lives and also the Kaffebrenneriet where one of my favourite scenes of season 3 takes place.
And as the fangirl that I am, I have just finished watching SKAM for the 4th time, since I simply can’t get enough of that series, and even more since I have been to some of the locations myself.
But Clara and Antina also joined me to a place that documents one of the darkest days in Norwegian history. – The 22.Juli-Center. For free entrance you can learn more about the tragedy that happened on the 22nd of July 2011… – Two terrorist attacks, motivated by far right-extremism, where in total 77 people lost their life – first an explosion within Regjeringskvartalet (the executive government quarter) and then the tragedy on the island “Utøya”, where a summer camp organised by the Norwegian Labour Party took place and where it therefore was mainly many young people who got shot.
On a chronological and detailed timeline you can read how one event followed another, how politicians, police officers but also random people on the Internet reacted to the attack, and you can also watch the heartbreaking statements of witnesses and victims that have survived.
Furthermore you’ll see how Norway and its people have dealed with the terror and how they tried their best to be there for each other.
“If one man can cause so much pain – imagine how much love we can create together” (@uhellet)
Put the 22.Juli-Center on your list, it’s undoubtedly worth a visit.
The rest of the day I spent sitting in the grass, sipping some iced coffee and exchanging thoughts about living in Norway, the climate, Norwegians and basically anything that came to our minds with a lovely girl from a place in Upper-Austria not that far away from my own little village. (yeah, I appreciate being able to speak my dialect once in a while :D).
So as you see, even though I originally travelled alone in Oslo, I had the chance to meet some wonderful people who turned my time in Oslo to some very special memories.
So big shoutout and huge thanks to Clara, Antina, Katja (who has got a wonderful blog too by the way!) and Sonja:)
Ha det bra,