Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Weekend in Oslo (Part 1)

My husband is making sure that our weekends and the 7 month Schengen visa that we fortunately got from the French Embassy, both are being utilized to the fullest. So a couple of days back, we made a quick weekend trip to Oslo, Norway. Not only was I pleasantly surprised but I fell in love with the city despite my initial apprehensions and can't wait for a second trip to this laid back Norwegian capital. Why the apprehensions, one might I ask. Well, it's considered one of the most expensive cities in the world. Yes, even the Londoners admit to that!

We reached Moss Airport, Rygge around 11:00 AM and boarded a bus to Oslo City center right away. The 60 km ride offers fantastic views but instead of looking out the window I was writing this post. I want to believe that this reflects on how committed I am to my new weekly series of  'Saturday Wordplay' ;)


Our 'exploring the city' started even before we could freshen up and dump our bags at the hotel. As we casually strolled towards our hotel we came across interesting sights. We also walked into a Photo Book Exhibition and had hot chocolate with marshmallows.





The Photobook festival was very intriguing. Some of the books had interesting concepts and heartening photos. One book, "Land ohne Eltern" (Country without parents) by Andrea Diefenbach has stayed with me. It was a social documentary through photographs which showcased families of the small Eastern European republic of Moldova. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Moldovians struggled to find jobs. To find work, a livelihood, most of them moved to Italy...illegally. "Whoever is able to leave, leaves"..."Who stays behind are the children", the book cover read. About 250,000 minors grow up without parents and this book captures the emotional upheaval of this land.

It was almost post lunch when we arrived at our Hotel. We quickly took a shower, grabbed a quick bite from a nearby joint and walked towards The Royal Palace.


I think the best part of the Palace is the parks. Vast, beautiful and open to all. The second best part is the view of the Karl Johans road. The Palace is situated on a rise at one end of the thoroughfare, so the view was great and the momentary rainbow made it even better.


We had no plans for the day as such. Soaking in the city's vibe, people watching and leisurely stroll made for a great evening.


Oslo could have easily been called the city of sculptures; there is one at every corner of the street!

Just as we entered the waterfront promenade we were humbled to see the Nobel Peace Center. To see the 2014 Peace Prize winners, Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, featured here was indeed a moment of pride.


We took a moment, before being engulfed by the sights of the sea. The Akker Brygge area is one of the most buzzing places with cafes lined up in numbers, enticing you to taste their treats. Yet sitting on one of the many reclined benches, with the sea wind caressing your face makes you tune out and find peace within. We stayed like this, sitting and staring into the vastness, for quite a while.




Another stroll through the streets, admiring the National Theatre building, circling the Christiania Torv square and we were back at the waterfront. The views at night were even more spectacular and we ended our evening on a high and giddy note!





The second day had us museum hopping and visiting one of the most bewitching sculpture gardens ever - The Vigeland Park. It deserves an entire post, so see you tomorrow with rest of the trip report and some tips!


16 comments:

  1. Ohh I reallyyy envy you... Norway is in my list because of Northern lights. It looks so peaceful. Glad to see the place through your photos :)

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    1. Ohh Raj, nothing like Tulip garden! :) Northern lights is on my lists too. Will make it happen soon!

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  2. Wow, I love reading about different cities. Thanks for sharing the pics :)

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    1. Glad you are enjoying the virtual tour! :)

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  3. WOW, that is amazing. Thanks for sharing your pictures and all of your adventures so that we can live vicariously through you. :)

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  4. Oooohhhh - you came to my country?! Please come to my city, Bergen, next time dear friend. I'm waiting for you...:-) Hugs

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    1. Eli! I'm dying to meet you. Will plan soon! Love!

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  5. Beautiful, both the pics and the description. :)

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  6. Lovely travelogue. And can't help but say that I'm a wee bit jealous. Almost 10 years there and didn't visit any of these places. Such a dodohead I was :)

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    1. Still time to travel the world Sid! :) Come now, we can plan a trip together!

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  7. OMG! You bought the palce alive wth your post

    I will admit I generally find posts about places abroad v boring - i find they lack in character. But look at this post - Now I wish I could travel to Oslo one day - sigh!

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    1. That's a huge compliment Meena, thanks a ton! :)
      Hoping that the day is not far when you come visit me and we can plan a trip together to Oslo!

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  8. I have been there twice and enjoyed a lot there. Usually we don’t go to outdoor venues as there are several great New York venues to chill out with our loved ones. On weekends we always go to the best restaurants to grab best brunch.

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    1. That's great Drew! I love Sunday brunches! :)

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