The last few days of our trip were spent enjoying the beautiful weather and sites in Oslo. Oslo is a very easy city to hang out in; Good public transportation, big parks, tasty food, and nice people. First stop was the Oslo Opera House, a landmark of Oslo. The opera house was designed to be enjoyed by all. The roof is sloped such that you can walk up to the top. Many people on their lunch breaks use the opera house roof as a picnic spot.
Walking up the roof
On the roof.
Views from the roof.
Sculpture in the bay
We wandered around the roof and then went inside for our backstage tour, where we had the opportunity to see the set and costume departments. We also visited the backstage area of the main stage, which was absolutely enormous. I had no idea how much space was backstage. There were multiple stages that could rotate, move in, drop down, etc.
Inside the opera house.
After the opera house, we took a tour of the Nobel peace center. While very interesting, it was definitely a bit of information overload. I could have spent hours there learning about all the inspiring individuals that have won that award.
Loan with the Dalai Lama – Courtesy of Loan’s camera
Instead, we headed off to Slottsparken and the Royal Palace, where we learned that tickets for tours were sold out, and decided to hit the National Gallery instead.
View of the park from the Royal Palace
Changing of the guard
I’m not a huge art fan typically, but the National Gallery was just my speed. It was a relatively small, very manageable art museum, organized (and color coded) by periods. The highlight was Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’. Munch is Norwegian, so he’s a big deal over there.
Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’. We weren’t supposed to take pictures, but we snapped one from outside the room.
Imitating art; I decided to keep my clothes on so we didn’t get kicked out of the museum.
Leaving the gallery, we walked down a very happening (and somewhat touristy) street with outdoor cafes. Dan and Ryan saw a motorcade and stopped to see what the commotion was. Bill Clinton! At least it looks like him in the photos, no?
Elephant on the street
Rejuvinated by some beer and mango smoothies, we headed to Vigeland Park, filled with tons of people and lots of statues of naked people. We had some fun posing.
Angry baby; It’s good luck to rub his left hand.
Dinner was at a family run restaurant around the corner from our AirBnB. Life is good in Norway; The restaurant does so well that they close on weekends and the entire month of July. The son, probably a little older than us, runs the front, while the father cooks. And boy was he a talker! He had us there till 11pm. But he was very interesting and knowledgeable about history and current events. The food was pretty good too.
After a crazy packed first day in Oslo, we took it a bit easier on the second. We took a cruise over to the Viking Ship Museum first thing in the morning, where there were multiple viking ships and other relics that had been dug up.
After being retired from the sea, the viking ships were used as burial vessels, where people would be buried with valuables like the relics below.
Views from the cruise.
The afternoon consisted of wandering around, souvenir shopping, lunch, more wandering, and a nap. Obviously day 1 in Oslo had tired us out! We had a nice last dinner of the vacation, and then hung out at our apartment, swapping photos, and enjoying the company and our last day of vacation.
KLAD’s flight to Germany was early the next morning, while Ryan and I didn’t have to leave till mid-day. Unfortunately, the flight to Germany was changed, but no one found out until they made it to the airport. Ryan and I caught up with them in the terminal for a few games of Uno before hopping on our plane back to JFK via Reykjavik.
It was a wonderful trip with great traveling companions!