Oslo, Norway

Last weekend was a bank holiday here in Dublin, so we took an extra day off and had a 4 day weekend in Norway. Scandinavia has been on our todo list for a while and given that we haven’t managed to visit any new countries yet this year it seemed like a good time to see a new place.

We had an enjoyable weekend in Oslo, although when they say that Norway is one of the more expensive euro countries to travel to they’re not joking! The city was a bit smaller and quieter than I was expecting for a national capital but very tidy and it seems very well equipped with public transport and all the other amenities that make life as a tourist pleasant. One quirk was an over abundance of street mimes, you couldn’t walk 100m in the central city without one of them standing there… weird.

We went to the art gallery and saw some Munch paintings, walked right past The Scream the first time and had to go back and find it just before leaving. Lots of other interesting paintings though. The highlight of the city for both of us however was Vigeland Sculpture Park, a public park – including a public swimming pool – off to one side of the city that is full of hundreds of statues and sculptures all by one Gustav Vigeland who donated the park to the city. Most of the statues are of human figures and are absolutely fantastic in their realism and the sense of animation and life that they portray. Definitely well worth a visit.

Monday dawned bright and clear so we hopped on the ferry for the day and spent some time exploring the islands just out from the Oslo waterfront. The first island we visited seemed to be mostly holiday homes and maybe a few permanent dwellings, very very small houses but very quiet and relaxed only 15mins from the city center by ferry. The second island was pretty much unpopulated, but had the ruins of an old monastery and a fairly popular beach with lots of mothers and families enjoying the sun and the water. We finished off the day with a trip up the hill to see the city from above at the site of a big ski jump they’re rebuilding for the Nordic Ski Championships. The jump is mammoth in size and close to vertical. You would have to be mad to launch yourself off that thing. Definitely an awesome view over Oslo just before you die however.

We took Tuesday pretty slowly, strolling round the city center while Kat did a bit of shopping before heading back to Dublin where we’re continuing to have a surprisingly good summer by Dublin standards!

We’ve got a friends wedding to attend on Wednesday this week and then we’re looking forward to having the Mackenzie’s drop in for a quick visit next week in between the phases of their epic European jaunt, so we’re keeping busy!

PS. We’ve booked flights home to NZ (via Singapore/Malaysia) for the end of the year, so we’re looking forward to seeing everyone again before too long.

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  1. Interesting to read and browse your photos – thanks for sharing. Like the tag to the location of the shot on Google maps too! 🙂