Thursday, August 03, 2006

 

Oslo (Norway – 17-20 July)

Hi again,

As I am sure you can understand, the flight from Amsterdam to Oslo, although smooth flying, wasn’t really the greatest due to our antics the night before. After arriving at Oslo airport around 5pm, we caught a ‘fast train’ from Oslo airport to City Centre, which took around 40 minutes. We made our way to the Anker Hostel, dropped our gear and headed out for dinner.

There were lots of restaurants around, and the food on offer sounded amazing. After enjoying a very nice meal we wandered around for a while and headed back to the hostel for a bit of sleep. Interesting fact: One thing that is different with Oslo is that it never actually gets dark. The sun sets around midnight, however there was never a dark sky, there was always a tinge of blue. It is a fantastic view.

We rose early on Tuesday and headed out for the day. We decided to do a 5 hour bus and boat tour through the fjords and the country side. We had an hour boat tour which was great. The fjords are very extensive, there are so many waterways, so much more to look around in the future.

We went to a sculpture park, a couple of fantastic museums, past the royal palace, around the docks and to the Oslo Ski Jump, which is used or ski jumping etc. It was a fantastic 5 hours. The information was great, we both actually learnt a lot, the history of Norway is very interesting. If we hadn’t taken the tour we would never have seen as much as we did with only a guide book to show us around. We went for a wander around the streets of Oslo after dinner. It was rather busy, even though it was a Wednesday night.

On Thursday we went and had a look at the Royal Palace. It is surrounded by a public park, which is quite interesting, considering 500m is the U.S. embassy which is surrounded by a high fence and armed guards. We saw a changing of the guard which was very impressive. The drill was excellent, could have been a bit better but excellent none the less. We then went to a few of the islands we went past in the tour the day before. It was fantastic. The view was amazing. We did a walk through the bush (not because we were lost…) to have a good look around. The beaches were great, the water was the perfect temperature for swimming. After spending several hours on the boats, sitting by the water and generally being lazy (other than the bush walk) we went out for some dinner and a few beers.

The port is amazing at night. There is a fort which overlooks it, providing a stunning view no matter where you were sitting. There were heaps of restaurants open, giving us the chance to have a few cold ones.

On the last day, Thursday, we flew out to Glasgow, Scotland. However, in the pursuit of cheap plane tickets, Jon booked us a flight leaving from Torp airport, which happened to be 120 km from Oslo, which he didn’t notice until 3 days before we were supposed to depart for our European tour. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. As a result we caught a coach from the central bus station in Oslo out to Torp. The scenery was some of the best I have ever seen. It was amazing to see the extent of the fjords, which we further discovered when we were flying out. It was a great mistake, as not only did we get to see Oslo but we also saw the country side of Norway, a definite hidden bonus.

A very fun few days, Olso is without a doubt one the best cities around. I would love to live there, perhaps the 2011 World Nordic Ski Championships??
Now it’s of to Scotland!!!

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