Scandinavia: Oslo

We arrived back in Oslo in the early afternoon. The bus ride from Gothenburg took about 3 hours, a nice drive through Sweden’s country side. Our hotel, the Hotel Christiania Teater, was located in the city center, close to city hall and the harbor. The room had a luxurious feeling with an orange and gold florentine pattern lining the wall, heated floors in the bathroom and a waterfall shower. Our location provided a lovely view of the city square and the national theater.

We took the tram to Vigeland Park, a large park filled with “Gustav Vigeland’s lifework with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron.” The centerpiece is Monolith, a pillar comprised of 121 figures—visible when you first step into the park. Hundreds of figures lined the paths the spacious park, many in expressive shapes and postures.

IMG_5123-edited.jpg

 

We walked back to the hotel just as the rain was starting to fall. In need of a Chinese fix, we went to Honsan for dinner. When you want in the door you feel like you have either walked into a night club or a spa. The lights are blue and purple and the sound of trickling water creates a sense of calm. The plump laughing Buddha makes me smile as I walk to our table seated next to the fish pond which provided entertainment as we awaited our food.

We ordered spring rolls, stir fry black pepper beef and stir fry rice noodles with prawns. And we received a complimentary appetizer of meatballs.😊  The presentation had a nice attention to detail, pairing with the ambiance of the restaurant and was quite tasty (with the exception of the spring rolls which were subpar).

 

IMG_5135-edited.jpg

 

We woke up to a lavish complimentary breakfast buffet of countless breads, fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses, hot items, cereal, yogurt, dried fruit… you name it they probably had it. It beat our first breakfast by a long shot!

 

IMG_5154-edited.jpg

 

After we felt satisfied and awake, we walked down to the harbor to catch the Bygdøyfergene to the museums. Getting off at the first stop, Dronningen, we trekked through the rain to the Viking Ship Museum, about a 10 minute walk. The Viking ships stood tall and noble in the open space. The dark wood and elegant curves creating dramatic shadows on the walls. Across the atrium space is a room filled with Viking treasures to admire.

 

IMG_5189-edited.jpg

 

Bearing the weather, we set out to visit the Fram museum. We had no expectations of this museum as it wasn’t highlighted as a main attraction in my guidebook, but it should be.
Walking towards the museum I was drawn by the shape of the building and the other triangles along the way.

 

IMG_5191-edited.jpg

 

When you walk in there is a massive ship, The Fram, whose body was taller than the three levels of the museum! A tour bus had just dropped off a large group of people, so we decided to bypass them and come back to the ship later.

Museum tip: If it’s crowded at the entrance of a museum or exhibit, go to the end and work your way back.
IMG_5218-edited

 

The other building housed another large ship. The exhibit space had many interesting 3-dimensional components to it, pulling you in to learn more. We watched a short film in the theater about the Norwegian polar expeditions—quite interesting! After we’d explored this section, we headed back to check out the Fram.

 

IMG_5193-edited

 

While the ship’s massive scale was impressive in and of itself, the attention to detail throughout the museum was remarkable. The lunch tables were little cabin nooks with pictures on the walls and a window looking out at various moving scenes, such as the Northern Lights. Plopping you right into a cozy little rugged Norwegian setting. There were several interactive games and displays; you could test out your sled-pulling strength, look for the constellations and more—fun for children and adults! Well-composed displays filled the other levels.

We were admiring the ship from the top floor when we saw someone moving from within. We quickly discovered you could board the ship!

I inhaled, breathing in the smell of the old, weathered wood. Inside, each cabin displayed memorabilia of the explorers. There was a kitchen, piano, phonograph, velvet couch and old photographs hanging on the walls. You could start to imagine life on the boat during their polar expeditions.

After we explored the ship, we thought we had seen everything. Then we caught glimpse of a old school horror-style poster that read “must see ice mummy!” The wall looked like a large wooden shipping container, like something you’d see at a Halloween haunted house. We pushed the button to open the door. You walk into a very small space where you push another button. When that door opens you start to feel the cold air. The walls look of ice. The deeper you go, the colder it gets. You see the frozen ice mummies along the walls as you meander through the ice tunnels.

 I loved this museum inside and out. 

 

IMG_5214 (1).JPG

 

With the rain still falling, we took the ferry back to the city harbor. We walked back towards the hotel, and stopped in at a gallery I had seen the night before.

The artist on exhibit was, Trond Bredesen, whose illustrations can be found on food packaging, book covers, posters, Christmas Coke print ads, board games, you name it. His work was impressive work to say the least and a dream for any graphic artist!

For our last dinner in Oslo, we went to Prima Fila and Italian restaurant around the corner from our hotel. Neither the meal service were that notable, but the pasta did the job.

Summary

Norway is an expensive country and Oslo certainly lives up to that, so be aware of pricy dinners, souvenirs and shopping. The harbor is beautiful, take time to walk along the water and admire the ships. The Fram museum is a must! Vigeland park is worth the visit and a perfect place for a picnic if it’s a nice day. Check out the other things I did in Oslo in my first post of the series.

Check out the rest of the Scandinavian series: Oslo, Bergen and FlamCopenhagen and Gothenburg.

Follow @enjoisundae on Instagram and see where I’m off to next!

Advertisements

One thought on “Scandinavia: Oslo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s