Another country, another capital city. We are in Norway at last! The land of trolls. And tolls. No trolls seen yet, but plenty of tolls!
The capital of Norway, Oslo, was another city on our to-do list, and another place we can check off the map. It is a city, but unlike London, most of the main attractions felt pretty close together (although I am sure if you lived there you would find a million more things to do than we did!) Norway is, so far, the most expensive country we have travelled to, to put in some perspective, a tub of Ben & Jerry’s is just over £8!
Despite the cost, there are still some free things to do – including Akershus Fortress and the Royal Palace gardens. We also stumbled across a food festival, offering some free tasters (and some ‘free’ tasters that cost 1-2kr) which helped to cut food costs down for us! As a huge Great British Bake Off fan (who isn’t?) I was also rather excited to find that part of the food festival was the Nordic Bakery & Pastry Cup, with teams from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland first making giant cake and chocolate sculptures, and then making bread and cracker ones.
Probably my favourite thing in the city though, was the Opera House. Home of the Norwegian Opera and Norwegian Ballet, it is a building full of performance art. But the building is in itself, a work of art. The roof is designed so people can walk up it and sit and look out over Oslofjord and over Oslo City. Plus, I’m pretty certain that there are some rather impressive Opera and Ballet performances!
A massive shout out to Billy, who recommended we head up to Holmenkollen whilst we were in Oslo. The home of the Oslo Olympics ski jumping in 1952 has been massively renovated and has three rather architecturally stunning ski jumps, as well as a huge training area for cross-country skiing (in the summer months when there is no snow, people use what I can only describe as roller skis). The entire area is one huge training ground for athletes though, with people running the stairs on the ski jumps, generally running up the mountainside and cycling up too. Billy also informs us that there are also some incredible mountain biking tracks from the top, as well as ski and snowboard runs. It is possible to camp at the top of the hill in off-season, as there are large car parks with 48hr stopping limits, which definitely helped to keep our costs down! On our last day in Oslo, we saw that there was a huge obstacle race through the Holmekollen complex: with the finish line being at the top of the ski jump!
Over the next few days we will be heading round the southern tip of Norway through Kristiansand up to Stavanger. Looking forward to more bridges, tunnels and finally finding a troll or two. Not looking forward to the tolls so much…
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