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mistybleu Oslo - A travel report by Amanda
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Oslo,  Norway - flag Norway -  Oslo
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mistybleu's travel reports

The Sunny side of the street - Oslo

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Oslo is a great place to spend the day. There is also something quite refreshing about the city with plenty to keep someone busy and entertained. And is definitely a must on anyone's travel itinerary.

Oslo travelogue picture
Whilst Oslo is one of the largest capital cities by area, it is the least densely populated in Europe. It covers 175 sq miles within the city limits but extends to include farmland, forests and lakes.

It is situated at the head of the 60 mile long Oslo Fjord on the country's south eastern coast and a journey up the Oslo Fjords can be breath taking, as it is so picturesque, by sunrise or sunset.

The city has quite a few buildings of interests that I wanted to investigate:

The Nobel Peace Centre is a place whether the ideal of this movement can be displayed. It brings together the cultural and political involvement to “promote, debate and reflection around topics such as war, peace and conflict resolution”.

The Oslo City Hall was built back in the 1930s and has an amazing function room which is where the Nobel Peace Prize event is held annually. The building is very square with a lot of brick work, and quite charming with its details.

The Storting is Norway’s supreme legislature building and dates back to the 1814. When I visited a lot of renovation was taking place but I suspect that has been completed now and it has been restored to its former glory.

The Royal Palace is situated at one end of Karl Johans gate, the main shopping street in Oslo. It is the official residence of the King and Queen of Norway and the building is open to the public during the summer months. I was particularly unlucky as it wasn’t open the year I visited the city.

Finally the opera house which was completed back in 2007. It is an amazing structure with a roof that is angled to ground level which means the people can walk to the top and enjoy the views from there. It is made from white granite and Italian carrara marble which means when the sun is shining it is almost blinding. I enjoy visiting this site and wished I had more time to have enjoyed a performance Maybe next time!

Favourite spots:
Oslo travelogue picture
As I was only spending the day in Oslo, I wanted to experience some of its sporting glory, so I headed to the Hollmenkollen ski tower, which was the site of the 1952 Winter Olympic ski jumping events.

It is situated in the suburbs of the city around six mile up the mountain and is really easy to get to by using the metro or one of the city tour bus stops.

Ski jumping at Hollmenkollen dates back to 1892 and the actual ski jump has been rebuilt around 19 times always bigger and higher. In 1988 it was rebuilt to its current structure.

From up on the hill, you have a great vantage point of the city, what is really amazing and slightly frightening is to be at the tip of the ski jump. It really is a long way down and I respect any of the competitors who take that leap.

I went during summer, so there was no ice around, but they did have a zipline and for around 100 euros you can feel the exhilaration as you come down the mountain at over 60 miles an hour.

What's really great:
Oslo travelogue picture
The morning I arrived in to Oslo, I woke up extremely early to watch the sunrise as the ship sailed through the fjords. The light was constantly changing as we passed so many different islands, but it didn’t turn out to be as spectacular as I imagined. But yet beautiful!

We docked right in the heart of the city – in walking distance of everything, right beneath Akershus Castle. My aim was to explore the castle before going back on board if I has some spare time.

The second thing I enjoyed was how the easy it was to get around. I was only there for a day so that was really important to me. I also enjoyed going to the main shopping street and talking to the locals. I say locals, but I ended up meeting people from the cruise and was able to have coffee and watch the world go by.

Akershus Castle
Akershus Castle
Ten of the best:

1. Akershus Castle - situated on a cliff, the fortress was originally built 1300 which was rebuilt over the centuries. The current building dates back to 17th century.

2. Oslo cathedral - Domkirten is close to market square.

3. City hall - near the harbour inside a series of murals painted by Norwegian artists.

4. Viking ship museum

5. Vigeland sculpture park - located in the grounds of the 80 acre Frogner Park.

6. Slottet (Royal Palace) is the king's residence. The grounds are open to the public and it can be seen from the maim shopping street.

7. Hollmenkollen Museum and Ski Jump Tower - The ski jump dates back to the early 1900.

8. Resistance museum - located close to the castle, it contains exhibits from the German occupation of World War II.

9. The opera house - this building seems like a flat iceberg or snow covered piste. It is a great modern building on a sunny day the white marble and granite is almost blinding.

Oslo travelogue picture
The most famous park in Oslo is Vigeland Park which was completed between 1939-43 by Gustav Vigeland. It is the world's largest sculpture park made by a single artist in the world I believe.

Gustav Vigeland made an unique agreement with the city of Oslo to complete the park whilst living in the park. The first building to be erected was the museum and in 1924 he moved in to start his creations. He completed with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron before is death in 1943.

The sculptures depicts the whole cycle of human life from birth to death; but not only in the park, but also around the city the sculptures can be found.

Other recommendations:
Oslo Fjords
Oslo Fjords
As you know I'm always up for a multi-city vacation, so my recommendation would be to head to Stavanger.

One way to do this trip is to take the train; purchase a minipris ticket for around $100 return and then its about sitting back and enjoying the 8-hour scenic journey. Then you could fly, this takes 50 minutes, so the views are just a beautiful if not slightly removed.

Obviously it is also possible to drive (300m), but it will take about 10 hours.

I visited Stavanger quite a while ago and it really was a pleasant city. But what makes it even greater, is its location to the fjords. Lysefjord is the nearest and when I was doing my research I found both half and full day cruises from the harbor available.

There is also the option to hike to the top of Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), explore the Kjerag Mountain and stand on Kjeragbolten; I wasn't that brave. But it's really beautiful.

Published on Tuesday January 10th, 2017

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