“Oslo is scenic and beautiful”. That is how I best describe my first experience in this capital city of Norway. Spending only 15 hours in the world’s most expensive city does not qualify me to write a “what to do/see” kind of post for Oslo. Furthermore, many established travel bloggers like Lilyriani has covered Oslo extensively on their blogs.
Hence this will be a short “an evening in Oslo” post, an appetiser to the “main dish” of my Svalbard #KeHujungDunia posts coming up next.
After a fun weekend in London (click here to read), it was time to say good bye to the Queen and head closer to our main destination, Svalbard.
Heathrow’s T2 is quite awesome. Spacious and modern despite many airlines that use this Terminal. Praying room and “halal” options at certain restaurants (listed on the airport’s website) are some of the little things that makes it a pleasant experience for Muslim travellers. If only the security screening can be less stressful but I guess that’s the price travellers have to pay to ensure safety of air travel these days.
EAT at T2 offers delicious vegetarian options at great value.
Scadinavian Airlines flight SK804 brought us up north and after flying more than 700 miles, the flight landed at a winter wonderland, Gardermoen Airport.
Just like a little kid seeing snow for the first time, I was glued to the window during approach into Oslo. Frozen fjord, flurries of snow falling and beautiful trees were too beautiful of a sight to miss. I think the girl seated behind us agreed based on the photo above.
At the airport, we met up with the other member of #KeHujungDunia adventure, who flew in from KL via Frankfurt.
Oslo really live up to its reputation as an expensive city so finding an affordable place to stay was quite a challenge. We ended up choosing Oslo’s Citybox for its central location and walking distance from Oslo Central Train station.
We were pretty ambitious to beat the sun and cover as many tourist sites as possible before it gets dark. Not easy in a freezing temperature of 0 to 2 degrees Celcius. The plan was to check out the famous Karl Johans gate, Oslo’s main street. A quick stop at Hard Rock Café, “lepak” at the outdoor skating ring, sunset at National Theathre and grab dinner somewhere in Aker Brygge before a night walk to the Opera House.
The Karl Johans Gate. Lots of shopping and offices along the long street. A nice place to do people spotting watching the locals on their daily routine.
Oslo Cathedral, the main church for the Church of Norway Diocese of Oslo, as well as the parish church for downtown Oslo. Source: Wikipedia.
The Christian Krohg Statue – a Norwegian naturalist painter, illustrator, author and journalist.
Good to know that I was not only one busy snapping photos in between people walking home from office.
If there’s one place that I really want to visit in Oslo it is this public skating ring at Karl Johans Gate.
Spikersuppa Skating Ring is a unique winter attraction. In other seasons, it is a pool with water fountains but in winter it is a fun (and free!) place for families to enjoy the outdoor.
It would be a bit more romantic if both of us know how to skate. We could barely walk on the slippery surface surrounding the ring.
We spent a bit more time enjoying watching people skate and realise that we would not be able to catch the sunset in time so we decided to proceed straight to Aker Brygge.
Not before making a quick stop at HRC for some souvenir.
The moment the sun sets, the temperature dropped by a couple more degrees making walking a bit more challenging.
After a 15-minutes walk (and lots of stop and random star jump to keep ourselves warm) we finally past through the City Hall and reached Aker Brygge.
Plenty of F&B options as long as you have enough in your wallet. A whole piece of seafood pizza cost us about RM200.
Still it was nice to chill (or should I say heat up) at the comfort of the restaurant’s heater and talk about 1,001 things.
It was dark when we were done with dinner.
Too full and cold we opted to hop into a bus back to our hotel. Turned out that the bus ride was the “fun highlight” of our evening in Oslo, being charged RM25 per person for a 4-minute 3 stops ride. 😛 Apparently if we had taken a taxi, it would cost us only abour RM50!
A quick supper before we retire our short tour of Oslo’s city. A small “burger ramly” cost me RM32!
Despite its high cost of living, Oslo is worth a much longer visit to experience its museums and parks. InsyaAllah I plan come back one day with more time (and thicker wallet!). It was short but memorable 15 hours in Oslo.
Next up, Svalbard!