1 Day trip to Oslo

by - 10:00 PM

 Last Tuesday, 12th of March of 2019, I went to Oslo. 

It was the most spontaneous trip ever. My friends and I were hanging out by the lakes at my university. It was a beautiful sunny and warm day. In addition to the good mood, we all felt the need to break the monotony of lectures and assignments and were craving an exciting adventure. Luckily enough, RyanAir was having promotions. That is when we found tickets to Oslo for £4.98 (?!?!?!?!??). Without hesitating or thinking twice, we bought the tickets. 

Two weeks after that, the day we were expecting arrived. We 'slept' at Sara's place (which basically equals to one hour of proper sleep). At 3.45am the alarm rang and we started making our way to the airport. We were all so tired that we slept pretty much the entire flight. In fact, I woke up with the announcement that we would be landing in 30 minutes. I looked through the window and saw a beautiful white forest. 

As soon as we landed, we could already feel the cold. But really, how could you not when you're Portuguese and are used to warm weather and your body is randomly presented with -8°C?

Now, first things first, we needed to get to the city centre. We followed the signs and managed to get to the train terminals, where we bought a student return ticket for around 200 NOK (which roughly equals to £18). The train trip was really magical. We passed the most stunning views: forests and charming houses covered with snow. 

Twenty minutes later, we were in central Oslo. Although we had some ideas of things to visit, we did not have much of a plan for the day. The goal of the trip really was to bond and explore, without any restrictions.

However, and to our surprise, as soon as we got to the station, we saw a sign to Operahuset, Oslo's Opera House, one of the landmarks we were actually considering visiting. The national opera and ballet theatre is an impressive building, all covered in Italian marble. The coolest thing about it is that you can walk all over it, including the rooftop, from where you get amazing views of the city.


Next stop was the Tøyen's Botanical Gardens. Honestly, I was quite disappointed with them. On one hand, I acknowledge I should have not expected much from a garden covered in snow. On the other hand, the greenhouses and museums around it were technically open until 4pm. Nevertheless, for some reason, we were not able to visit any since they were all closed! Despite all of this, I reckon its potential for a lovely visit during Spring or Summer. 


At this point, we were freezing, hungry and tired. So we made our way back to the train station, where most restaurants are. Sadly, due to high prices and a slight lack of variety, we just opted for BK, where we rested for a while. We had planned to continue sightseeing at 2pm but, as Sara fell asleep at the table, Stefi and I decided to get another coffee to warm up. I had a delicious white mocha at Expresso House, where we were very well received: from nice chats to extra chocolate syrup!

We got back, finished our coffee and started walking towards the Havnepromenade. A few minutes into the walk, it started snowing. You can imagine how content I, a Portuguese that has seen snow 4 times throughout her almost 20 years of existence, felt. One of the cool things we saw along the way was the 'We Are Still The Same' project, at the Arctic Pyramid, near the Sauana. This consists of a series of torn everyday shirts displayed along the tunnel, representatives of different people coming together in one single space simultaneously.
'We still act like fish, always going in a group,
following each other in the same direction,
like a shoal of fish. We are a part of
nature, and nature is within us.'
- Artist Kaarina Kaikkonen


Next, we decided to visit Akershus Fortress. The medieval castle has been the home for the Royal Family, a military base during WWII and nowadays, a museum. Very near, you can also find the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum as well as Norway's Resistance Museum. The Fortress was honestly one of my favourite landmarks: the views are unbelievable and the architecture incredible. 



After this, we went back to the station, where we just rested, drank tea and chatted until our returning train. Due to the weather conditions, our flight was delayed 45 minutes. Nonetheless, the day was an amazing experience.

Final thoughts:

Overall, I enjoyed our trip to Oslo. 
Nonetheless, I acknowledge that the best time to visit must definitely be during Spring or Summer as this will make sightseeing more enjoyable. Not only in terms of temperatures, but also since many of the most charming places are parks and gardens. 
Secondly, another thing I would like to mention is the fact that the majority of the city was during construction! Not the most pleasant views due to this...
Thirdly, I actually think that the centre of Oslo is not that beautiful. In fact, I believe that, to get the most stunning landscapes, one should drive 20 minutes away from the centre.
Despite all of this, there is no denial that Oslo is an impressive metropolitan area, filled with the best of three worlds: city life, historical and artistic places and nature.

Thank you Patricia, Sara and Stefi for such a lovely day ♥ 

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