Visiting Oslo in Norway
This article and photos have been contributed by Snow Li of China*
I spent a weekend in Oslo on 29-30 October 2011. It was already late autumn, a little bit cold, but not frizzing yet and there was a lot of fresh air.
The best way to see Oslo is from a Fjord Cruise, which is kind of common sense. Most of the cruises only run in summer and is closed at the end of October. I was lucky indeed to get on the last Fjord Cruise of the year! It was a Sunday afternoon, with sunshine, breeze from the sea, cuddling in warm and comfy blanket and there was a running commentary by a lovely young lady in English. But the only thing I could think of doing was to ENJOY the spectacular view. Doesn’t it look like a fairy-tale wonderland? It reminded me a lot of the classic fairy-tale happy endings where the prince and princess lived happily ever after, period. Oh! Wops! But I must wake up to reality. I am not a princess and I did not meet my Norwegian prince on this trip!
Click on photo for a larger version.
After seeing the numerous palaces everywhere in Scandinavia, I find them all the same, so this time I just took a glance from outside of Slottet, the Royal Palace in Oslo, and didn’t spend some time inside. However, I found the backyard of the Palace quite attractive, as it was almost fully covered by golden leaves, and the golden leaves continued to keep on falling whenever the wind came. There were many local residents and tourists walking by, with lovers holding hands. Indeed this is a nice area to take a walk, either with friends or just to enjoy some “inner peace”.
Talking about museums, the one I enjoyed the most is the National Gallery, although I was pissed off by some tourists who made a huge noise inside the gallery, which is supposed to be a quiet place. I felt like being buried in arts, and I wish I could die this way - buried in arts.
Note: The cheapest single room here costs around 100 euros (slightly over 200 euros for a double), reasonable perhaps in a city that, according to a CNN report in 2011, is the most expensive city in the world.
An interesting place to visit is the Nobel Peace Center. In fact the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway on 10 December every year (being the anniversary of Nobel's death) although the other Nobel prizes (in science, medicine or literature) are awarded in ceremonies held in Stockholm, Sweden.
Oslo is also active on the rock scene. There is the 4-day Oya rock festival in August every year which draws up to 60,000 people as well as the 4-day Norwegian Wood Music Festival in mid-June. Some of the artistes who have performed here include Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette.
One Norwegian who has gained world-wide renown is the playwright Henrik Ibsen, considered by some to be second only to Shakespeare. His home in Oslo, where he lived the last 11 years of his life, has been turned into the Ibsen Museum. The museum, fully restored in 2006 for the 100th anniversary of his death, is located at Henrik Ibsen's gate, next to the Royal Castle.
What's new in Oslo: The Ekeberg Sculpture Park
*Snow Li is an executive with the FLSmidth Machinery Industry in Qingdao, China.