Oslo again!

I visited Oslo for the first time last month (see here) – little did I know I’d be back only a month later! This time with Paul, who hadn’t been to Oslo either. We rented a really nice apartment right next to Vigeland park (Catalina Apartment Hotel in case you’re interested – we can really recommend this place!). Unfortunately we woke up to a very rainy day on Saturday. We walked to the city centre, visiting some of the sights, like the Royal Palace in the photo below. We found a really nice cafe to shelter from the rain for a while :) serving good hot chocolates. Ordering a hot chocolate is a bit of a hit-or-miss experience in Norway, sometimes you get some kind of warmed up synthetic chocolate sauce, and the other day I even had a hot chocolate with soft ice in it instead of cream…

The next morning we woke up to a beautiful sunny autumn day. We had planned to visit 3 museums in one day, but the weather was too nice to be inside all day. We first went to Vigeland park to see the sculptures. We found this really fascinating oscillating fountain there… I am not sure if it’s supposed to be like that, as there was an identical fountain on the other side which didn’t do it. I did find this video on youtube, so it looks like it does it more often. We didn’t have a compact camera to take a video, so instead I made an animated gif. If you click on the image below you can watch the fountain oscillate… (be patient, it might take a while to load)

We walked around the sculptures for a while, very nice to see them on such a beautiful day!

In the afternoon we went to the FRAM museum. Second time for me ;) but I actually didn’t have time to see everything during my last visit so I didn’t mind. For Paul (as an Arctic oceanographer) it was of course a must! The FRAM is a really famous ship from the history of Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. Fridtjof Nansen used it to try and reach the North Pole by letting the ship freeze into the ice and drift with the current, and it brought Amundsen to Antarctica on the trip where he became the first to reach the South Pole… so there is a lot of history there and it’s great that they preserved the ship for everyone to visit.

This is what it looks like inside, I thought it looked quite comfortable. They have common rooms in the middle and cabins all around the outside. Note how they have a “rail” around the table to prevent things from sliding off in rough weather…

From the FRAM museum, we took the bus and subway to visit Mihailo and Marion (and their kids). Mihailo and I used to work for the same supervisor in Alaska, 5 years ago! It was great catching up and we had a really nice time.

My job interview was early on Monday morning. It went quite well, I am proud to say I managed to do the entire interview in Norwegian! I was scared I’d have to switch to English at some point, but the person who interviewed me was very helpful and it all went well. Of course I can’t really compete with fluent Norwegian speakers, so I have no idea what my chances are of actually getting the job, but I’ll find out in about 3 weeks time.

It was a really sunny day again, so after dropping our luggage in a locker at Oslo central station, we went to explore a bit more. We visited the Oslo Opera House, a really great modern building where you can walk on the roof (check out a really cool timelapse of it being built here). You have a nice view over the water and the city from the roof. Can you tell that I love my new wide angle lens? :)

We stopped for lunch and another hot chocolate at a nice bakery, and it even was warm enough to sit outside :) After that we went to see Oslo City Hall. This is the building where the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony takes place, and although it doesn’t look spectacular from the outside, it is really beautiful inside! Lots of murals with scenes from Norwegian history and culture. In the photo below Paul is also showing off his new backpack, he was very happy to find enormous outdoor shops in Oslo ;)

In the photo below on the left is a detail from one of the murals that I really like: a queen sitting on a smiling bear being offered a crown, cheered on by Norwegian kids – cute! The other one shows just how incredibly detailed the murals (continuing on the ceiling in this case) were.

We walked around the Akershus fortress in the late afternoon. In the photo below Paul is sitting on one of the walls of the fortress, and behind him you can see the port (with some really beautiful ships!) and the brown brick building on the right is Oslo City Hall.

After our visit to the fortress, it was time to get the train to the airport. It was a really nice weekend trip, we both enjoyed it a lot. It was nice to catch some last days of nice weather too ;) Tromsø is turning quite wintry, we had snow yesterday and the roads are icy. Paul has changed the tires on his bike already, now I just need to do mine and the ones on the car and then we’re ready for winter…

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