Holmenkollen, Royal Palace, Nobel laureates, etc. – Oslo day 2

On the morning of my second day in Oslo I took the metro (which was more like a slow train) to Holmenkollen to see the National ski arena. Holmenkollen hosts World Cup Nordic skiing events every winter, and the entire ski jump and arena was rebuilt before the 2011 FIS Nordic World Championships. Inside the ski jump is the world’s oldest ski museum, with 4,000 years of skiing history on display. The jump tower is approximately 60 meters high and has a viewing platform with a panoramic view of Oslo and surrounding areas. The ski jump area also has a charming café where I stopped for a latte.

Lovely hotel at Holmenkollen
There was a bear…
…and a troll in the museum shop
Cozy cafe

After taking the metro back into the city center I went to see the Royal Palace. The palace building is in neo-classical style with a facade of stuccoed brick, and was completed in 1849. As there are only guided tours in summer when the royal family is away I only got to see the outside of the palace. The Royal Palace Park features grassy areas, majestic trees, small ponds and statues. My next stop was the Nobel Peace Center, which was showing an exhibition about people who find themselves forcibly displaced from their homes exhibition called Detours as well as some permanent exhibitions about the Peace Prize laureates. Then it was time for lunch and some ice cream but more about that later.

After lunch I headed to Akershus Fortress and Castle the construction of which started in 1299. The fortress grounds offer beautiful views of Oslo. From there I headed to the Cathedral that was first consecrated in 1697, and restored back to its original baroque interior in 1950. The pulpit, altar piece and organ front with acanthus carvings are all originals. The large ceiling murals were painted by Hugo Lous Mohr between 1936 and 1950, and the stained glass windows are by Emanuel Vigeland. There was a lovely terrace in the courtyard behind the cathedral so I had to stop for an afternoon drink. After enjoying my drink I headed back to my digs to check-in to my Thursday flight and find a place for dinner.

I bumped into a police horse outside the fortress

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