As I still had a week’s worth of vacation ahead of me and hubby had to work I looked for a nice destination to which I could easily travel alone for a couple of days. I ended up choosing Oslo as it is close by and it was a new place for me. Oslo is the capital of Norway. The city was founded in 1040, and established as a kaupstad or trading place in 1048. The city was destroyed by a fire in 1624, after which it was moved closer to the Akershus Fortress and renamed Christiania. The city was known as Kristiania from 1877 to 1925, at which time its original Norwegian name was restored. Oslo is the economic and governmental center of Norway. In 2016, the municipality of Oslo has a population of 658,390, while the population of the city’s urban area was 942,084.
The city center is very compact and almost everything is within walking distance. I decided, however, to purchase a 48-hour Oslo Pass, which, among other things, gives free travel on public transport and free entry to many museums. I arrived at Gardermoen (Oslo airport) on a Tuesday morning and took the Airport Express Train (Flytoget) into town. I stored my baggage at a locker at the central station and set out to explore the city. I started by walking to Bygdøyfergene to catch a ferry to the Bygdøy peninsula that houses several museums. At Bygdøy I visited the Viking Ship Museum with the world’s best-preserved Viking ships and finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord. I also visited the Kon-Tiki Museum that houses the original vessels of Thor Heyerdahl’s expeditions, and the Fram Museum, where you can board Fram, the strongest wooden ship ever built that still holds the records for sailing farthest north and farthest south.
There were gorgeous houses on Bygdøy
Another lovely house on Bygdøy
The Kon-Tiki raft
The Kon-Tiki raft
Ra II papyrus boat
After touring the museums I headed back on the ferry and decided to have lunch at the Aker Brygge wharf. For more than a century, Aker Brygge was the site of a shipyard, but has been turned into a vibrant commercial district with restaurants, shopping, apartments and office buildings. I will make a separate post about the food I enjoyed while in Oslo. After lunch it was time to go pick up my luggage and head to my accommodation which I had rented through Airbnb. It was a lovely apartment in the Grünerløkka district. After getting settled and buying some groceries, I headed back out.
I decided to go check out the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet. The Opera House is located right at the harbor, with an angled, white exterior that appears to rise from the water. You can climb its roof and enjoy panoramic views of the city. After a stroll up to the roof it was time for dinner. I headed to Østbanehallen, which is a modern food court in the oldest part of Oslo Central Station. As I had gotten up at around five in the morning it was time to head back to my Oslo home after dinner to relax and plan my second day of adventures in Oslo.