We left La Quinta, California on February 1 and traveled to Washington state to spend February and part of March acclimating for a trip to Norway. What we didn’t know at the time was that Washington was in for more snow than they had seen in years. We managed to work around the major snowstorms when we had travel days between the eastern and western sides of the state. By the time we were scheduled to leave on March 13, we were more than acclimated for our Norway adventures. But wait a minute, so much for working around snowstorms - the mother of all snowstorms ended up causing a wee bit of a travel nightmare. You can read about that business on my It Is What It Is website here. Fast forward a few days, and we arrived in Oslo, Norway late on March 15 and checked into our Airbnb apartment the next day.
Our 1890s apartment was perfectly situated just 1.5 miles from central Oslo in the Frogner and Majorstruen neighborhoods - otherwise known as the posh half of the city. After settling into our Oslo home, we hit the streets to walk and shake off the 8-hour time change and travelers fog by heading a block from our home to Vigeland Park, then checking out our neighborhood, and picking up a few groceries.
While we arrived in Oslo when it was snowing and had a day of snow/rain, it seemed to turn to spring for the rest of our visit. And when the sun is out, so is Oslo! We did what everyone does when the sun shines - walk and enjoy the many parks and neighborhoods. Oslo is a very walkable city. We averaged around eight miles each time we were out and about - up the hills and down the hills until finally working our way back up to our neighborhood then up the stairs to our fourth-floor apartment.
The West End Walk - full of lovely parks, and neighborhoods, along with Det Norseke Kongehus (the royal palace and residence of the king and queen).
Vigelandsparken (Vigeland Park) located within Frogner Park - Gustav Vigeland’s life work and one of the must-sees in Oslo, is the world’s largest sculpture park by a single artist. There are over 200 unique bronze, granite, and iron sculptures for a total of 600 figures. I couldn’t help but smile as we walked around this remarkable park. Make sure you zoom in on these to see the details. I particularly liked what I called the broccoli people. Can you pick them out?
The East End Walk - a hike along the Aker’s River, colorful old wooden homes, and down to the Oslo Rådhus (Oslo City Hall) at the harbor.
Oslo Rådhus (Oslo City Hall) - While city government continues day to day in this building, and major and minor functions like the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony are held here in the many rooms and vast halls, the public is allowed free access to view the incredible murals and art.
Old and New Oslo
A ferry ride over to Bygdøy peninsula to visit the Vikingskipshuset (Viking Ship Museum) with displays from the 9th century made for a great day. The ships were amazing to see, but the artifacts such as the wooden cart from the Oseberg Ship -built around 820 AD then finally used as a burial ship for two powerful women in 834 AD, was incredible. Note that burial ships are literally entombed in mud. And, in case you are wondering, funeral boats set ablaze at sea were not the norm. There are other historical ship museums and the open-air Museum of Norwegian Cultural History in Bygdøy, but we chose not to do everything on this day.
The very modern iceberg or ski slope like Den Norske Opera & Ballet (Oslo Opera and Ballet House) where one can stroll around on the roof looks across to the 13th century Akershus Slott (Akershus Castle and Fortress).
Located on Norway’s southeast coast, Oslo has a bit of old and new around every corner of this beautiful capital city. Since we were traveling in the off-season, many places were limited in hours or were closed for the season. But we found plenty to do and really enjoyed the week here. Language was no issue as there are so many people from all parts of the world here, so English is what everyone seems to begin their conversations with. It was so nice to meet up with our friend Siri and meet her family. We enjoyed having a fantastic dinner in her home with typical foods one would find in Norway. Thanks for the taste of Norway Siri!
Thank you for joining our journey.