Oslo - The green capital city of Norway

Posted by ~Summer~ on April 13, 2010

Angel went on her first ever overseas holiday in the Easter holidays of 2010 - to Oslo. It took us a total of 8 hours to drive from Karlskrona before we reached this capital city of Norway. Tell me about it. I don't how my hubby survived the long road trip (we only stopped for a break, once), or better still, how I survived it with a small infant. I guess living in Europe has trained us well.

It was spring at this time and a good time to visit Oslo, which is located at the head of the Oslo Fjord and surrounded by forested hills. Not sure what a fjord is? Well, not to worry, I only learnt it when I came to Sweden.

The general definition of fjord in Scandinavia is that fjord represents an elongated, deep body of water that is connected to the open sea at some point. A fjord is usually a deep bay or inlet along the coast, sometimes surrounded by cliffs.

Anyway, we got a good deal to stay in Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel from booking.com. We would never splurge to spend on a 4-star hotel on holiday but this was really worth it and pretty much cheaper than the other 3-star hotels in the vicinity for the same period. Their room was clean, location was great and breakfast spread was one of the best we had ever come across.

Here was how the Norwegian currency looked like. The exchange was around 1sgd to 4.2nok. That didn't mean that we could live like kings and queens in Norway, in fact, it was the opposite because we would cringe and flinch whenever we saw the pricing at many of the restaurants and shopping boutiques. Did you know that Oslo ranked as the No.2 most expensive city to live in the world in 2010? I was starting to wonder if this holiday destination was a good choice after all. Oh, you wanna know who ranked No.1? Well, Tokyo, of course. =)

For dinner on our first night, we decided to dine at a restaurant just a stone's throw away from our hotel since we were a little worn out. Jw had seafood linguini with 'king' prawns (hello, they looked more like soldiers than kings) and I had spaghetti bolognese. We decided to gorge Angel with beer so that we could save on one person's share. No, of course not. We are not evil parents. Thank goodness she didn't eat much solids yet and was sleeping while we ate. 

On the second day, we visited the Oslo Slottet - which was the Royal Palace. It was conveniently located at the end of  Oslo's main street, Karl Johans Gate, which made it easy for us to go for some (window) shopping and sightseeing thereafter. We also saw the changing of guards ceremony, which I would not say was as impressive as the choreographed ones we saw in Taiwan which included spinning of bayoneted rifles and precision stepping. This was much more simpler but it was the first time I saw such a ceremony in Europe.

Soon it was lunch time and since we happened to be in this shopping mall along the main street, we decided to eat there, thinking that it would cost us much less than eating in a restaurant outside. Maybe it did, but it still cost us a BOMB. For a simple and not amazingly delicious meal of fried Asian noodles and rice with stir-fried beef, we paid a total of 299 nok (near S$70). I was contemplating to set up my own stall in Oslo next time selling my best dish - lor mai gai (steamed chicken with glutinous rice).

We then continued to walk our way down Karl Johans Gate and saw a number of sights including Stortinget, the parliament building which had two impressive lion statues at its main entrance, and the Oslo Domkirke clock tower.

There were also many troll statues, sort of a mythical creature in Scandinavian folklore, which greeted us along the way.

We also saw so many statues in town that we decided to take some fun shots with them. I always got to do the easy poses while I left the more challenging ones for my hubby.

A scoop of Mövenpick ice cream never fails to brighten up my day. Oh, don't you know, I loveeee ice cream!

I saw this lovely figurine display in one of the windows along the street and felt that I needed to take some shots of them. No, I'm not a barbie fan nor do I collect figurines at home, but these were just way cute to look at.

This was Aker Brygge, a favourite hang out place for both tourists and locals in Oslo. There is a whole line of shops and restaurants along the waterfront and you can view some pretty scenery there too.

We made our way back to the city center for dinner where we had targeted the dining place for the night - Jaipur Indian restaurant. Since it was going to burn our pockets regardless of where we ate, we decided to at least eat something we like. Unlike the lunch. Anyway we were rather deprived of Indian food because you couldn't really find a nice Indian eatery in Karlskrona. It proved to be a wise decision because the food at Jaipur was really delectable, complete with appetizers and desserts.

We saw the beautiful sunset as we made our way back to the hotel. It's funny and somewhat amazing how different the sun can look in different countries.

The next day, we went on a tour of Oslo. The first place we visited was the popular tourist attraction in Oslo - The Vigeland Park. It is the world's largest sculpture park made by a single artist (Gustav Vigeland) with more than 200 sculptures. The sculptures are placed in five units along an 850 meter long axis: The Main gate, the Bridge with the Children's playground, the Fountain, the Monolith plateau and the Wheel of Life.

As we walked along the bridge, we could see many sculptures lining both sides of the parapets. These include a rich variety of children, women and men in different ages, some are alone while others in groups.

The above was the Sinnataggen, the little Angry Boy, which our tour guide said was the most popular sculpture in the park despite its diminutive size.

This was a circular playground with eight bronze sculptures of small children. In the middle, mounted on a small granite column, was the figure of an unborn foetus. I didn't know why but I felt like I just had to take a picture of it. A mum's instinct, maybe.

Next, we walked along the Fountain which showcased a number of tree-like sculptures that depicted human life and creation of mankind. It was said that beneath the crown of the trees, the life of man from cradle to grave unfolded. After the tree sculpture with the skeleton came a tree full of children - symbolising that from death, new life arose.

 The most impressive sculpture in the Vigeland Park had to be the Monolith which took 14 years to complete and comprised of human figures rising towards the sky. Carved from a single block of granite, the figural part with 121 figures stood at 14 metres and the total height, including the plinth, was 17 metres high. The dominant theme was the cycle of life, in which Man was depicted in range of typical human emotions, situations and relationships.

This was one of the gates in Vigeland Park, which was made of wrought iron and had a fascinating design.

After the park, we also visited the Holmenkollen Ski Jump. It was supposedly the newest in the world, and was one of the first designer ski jumps ever. Well, it wasn't that I thought I had any remote chance of trying out a ski jump in my life. Unless you consider the Wii Fit game, I scored pretty well on that. So, to me, it was more of a monument and engineering structure to admire. From far. 

We made our way back to the hotel after that, passing by a couple more of attention-grabbing sculptures.

No, we weren't calling it a day before the sun set, we were just going back to take a quick break and store the stroller as we were going on a boat ride later. Oh, and we had instant noodles for lunch to save some money. Cup noodles are a must to bring on road trips!

There, we were ready to board the boat and bring Angel on her first ever cruise. She seemed somewhat reluctant though. Sorry baby, you don't have a choice, we bought the tickets already!

The 2-hour ride was a rather pleasant and relaxing one. I wanted to say peaceful but then again, Angel did cry a few times so I probably should not lie. We explored the Oslo Fjord, crossed the ice and saw some beautiful scenery and summer houses. Though it probably was not as awe-inspiring as the Sognefjord (Norway's longest fjord), it sufficed as a first time experience for our family.

Then it was time for our last dinner before we bidded farewell to Oslo. My generous hubby decided to splurge and treat ourselves to probably the most expensive restaurant at Aker Brygge. Ok, so why did we eat instant noodles in the afternoon, dear? Anyway, he usually calls the shots on overseas trip and since it was his money we were spending (I'm jobless, remember), I had no qualms about it.

We somewhat stunned the waitress when jw ordered the most expensive meal available - a seafood platter which cost S$160. She had to ask twice just to make sure she got it correctly. As for me, I decided to lessen (or did I increase) the damage and ordered a sea bass fillet which cost S$60. 

I decided to honour every part of the seafood platter and take a picture of it before it got gobbled up. Seeing the immensely and somewhat shockingly huge bowl of seafood, I actually thought the price was more worth it than my tiny piece of sea bass. To atone for its size, luckily it was somewhat delicious.

Ok. I was wondering how all that food could squeeze into jw's stomach. He miraculously did it. Hmmm. I probably could too, for the price we paid. Still, it was a luscious though luxurious way to end our finale night in Oslo.

We took a nice stroll along the waterfront as we made our way back to the hotel. Though many people told me not to make a wasted trip to Norway and visit Oslo only, I was still somewhat thankful for this Easter holiday. To me, it was really the company that mattered and as long as my hubby and baby were with me, I could be happy doing the most simple things in the most simple place in the world. No dear, that also doesn't mean we should just stay in Karlskrona during the holidays.

To see more of the world, visit my Travelogue page here.


  1. Hi there, I wanted to read about your experience in Norway but unfortunately your photos all doesn't seem to load :(

    1. Hihi, thanks! I wonder what is the problem, going to re-upload the pics! Appreciate you telling me! =)


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