Yes, dear readers, I’m back! Did you think I’d abandoned you after you didn’t see a post from me yesterday? I’m sure you probably didn’t. 🙂 The reason for the absence is two-fold. First of all, we were en route from Iceland to Norway yesterday, so we didn’t do a whole lot, other than catch a flight. We’re also two hours further ahead in Oslo than we were in Reykjavik, so factoring that in plus travel means we didn’t get to our apartment in Oslo until nearly 6p yesterday, which gave us enough time to get settled and have a meal. Secondly, I unfortunately picked up a cold in full force yesterday (it was legitimately like a switch got flipped – I didn’t have one when we left Reykjavik and then I did by the evening in Oslo), so I didn’t feel up to doing much of anything. While I still have that cold today, I’m happy to say that we still had a productive day and did a lot in Oslo. Want to know what we got up to? Read on…
- The National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design in Oslo – this is the national museum of Norway and holds all sorts of interesting pieces, notably The Scream by Edvard Munch. As I’ve mentioned before, neither Scott nor I are huge art buffs, but going to museums is generally a worthwhile activity while traveling. Definitely worth stopping in, if only to see this painting! While there is a cost to enter the museum, it’s free on Sundays – a nice plus for us!
- The Royal Palace – we didn’t go into the palace as we hadn’t even researched whether or not we could (the answer is yes, you can, but they only give guided tours and only in the summer months). Still, we saw the changing of the guard ceremony and explored a bit around the grounds, so that was a win! Also, walking around is free, so no cost there either.
- Oslo Cathedral – a gorgeous building, part of the Church of Norway, and is often used by the Norwegian royal family and government for state events. I always love visiting churches as they’re almost always home to great architecture, interesting art, and more. Definitely visit when you’re in Oslo! We continued our streak of free things today as the cathedral, like many churches, is free to enter (though there is a donation box should you want to contribute something).
- Akershus Fortress – a medieval castle, likely built in the late 13th century, to protect Oslo. It’s apparently still considered a military area, but it’s open to the public to walk through on a daily basis. I’m a sucker for old buildings like this, but there’s nothing particularly compelling about it. There are two museums there, the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum and Norway’s Resistance Museum, so that adds additional value. I actually was really interested in the resistance museum, but it was unfortunately already closed by the time we got there. While the two museums have their own entrance fees, it’s free to walk around the grounds. Between the museums, the history, and the photo opps you get, I definitely recommend visiting!
- Kvadraturen – this is an area of Oslo right by the fortress and includes Christiania Torv, a square famous for its statue of a large hand pointing down. It’s said that the statue is representative of King Christian IV, who reportedly pointed to the ground and said “The new town will lie here!” after a big fire in 1624. Sounds pretty believable to me! The fountain is worth a visit just for that significance.
- Oslo Opera House – our final stop of the day was to the Oslo Opera House, though we didn’t take in a show. Instead, we walked to the top of the building to take in some great views of the city. As with everything else we did today, it was free! Though obviously going to a show would cost money. 🙂 It’s a fairly steep climb to the top (see pictures below) and you can choose to either walk up the incline or a set of stairs. Not sure if one is better than the other, but at least you get a choice.
And who says you need to spend a lot of money to see and do stuff when you’re traveling?! To be fair, it doesn’t usually work out that we have a day full of free stuff to do, but it’s nice when it does happen.
Speaking of free, how about a free photo tour of our day?
Given how tired I was feeling because of this stupid cold, I was very happy to see as much as we did today. Proof positive that you can get a travel cold and keep soldiering on though! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the back end of it soon though.
Tomorrow is our last day in Oslo as we’re off to Bergen on Tuesday. We’ve got some good plans for tomorrow, so check back soon!