In between all the trips for class and attending lectures, a few of use found some time to take a weekend trip to Oslo. My friend Lucy and I hopped on the train in Bø and were on our way to Oslo early Friday morning. Although the trains are quite expensive here (usually about 200 NOK for a student ticket which equals about $40), it is a great way to travel in Norway because they are typically very punctual; they are clean and comfortable and easy to use even when you don’t understand much Norwegian. The train ride was 2 hours long, and once we arrived in Oslo we were ready to start exploring the big city (well big compared to Bø).
We started the adventure by walking down Karl Johansgate, the main street in downtown Oslo. Along the street we saw the Oslo Cathedral, Parliament building, the National Theater and at the end the Royal Palace. This main street also has many shops, restaurants and tourist attractions. From the Royal Palace we visited Vigeland Park, which is a beautiful park with many statues from the artist Gustav Vigeland. The remainder of the day was spent roaming the streets of Oslo observing the architecture, the colors of the buildings and the sunset over the sailboats on the Oslofjord. Eventually we found our way to our hostel for the night and got a good night’s sleep.
Day two in Oslo began with a little jaunt through the Botanical Gardens, and then we made our way down to the Opera House to meet a few more friends that were joining us for the day. The Opera House opened in 2007, so unlike many other buildings in Oslo it has a very modern look. The building resembles an iceberg, so it is placed out in the water and you are able to walk to the top of the building to view the city. Luckily we visited on a beautiful day, so we got a great view of Oslo from the top! We all decided to purchase a bus pass for the day so we could get more accomplished since we were kind of limited on time. I would definitely recommend others to do the same, since many of the museums are not in walking distance of downtown Oslo. We visited the Viking museum first, which was very interesting for the Outdoor Life students since we spent 6 days sailing on a Viking ship just last week. Then we made our way to the Akershus Castle and Fortress. It is a simple, but charming castle along the waterfront. To end the trip we browsed the shops on Karl Johnsgate and I bought my much needed authentic Norwegian woolen sweater! Finally we hopped back on the train to Bø. I enjoyed the visit to Oslo, but I’m pleased that I’m studying in the countryside of Norway were I’m constantly surrounded by the beautiful nature and have the comforts of a small town.