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Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo Norway

posted on 26th September 2009 under Culture, History, Nature, Travel Norway

Historical, cultural, architectural and even culinary adventures are easy to find in Oslo, the capital of Norway. It’s small and compact; perfect for a short visit and easy to combine both urban and natural experiences. Located at the head of the Oslo Fjord, surrounded by forested hills most everything is available within a distance of 30 minutes with public transportation.
I had a chance to prove that this week when I had a globetrotter visiting from Singapore. He had found my post: Catch of the day – Fish Market in Oslo and commented:

Thanks for your informative post (I realise I’m replying 2 years later) – I’ll be visiting Oslo next week, flying in from sunny Singapore, and I’m keen to see the ‘daily catch’ coming into shore. I have always wanted to visit and I hope it is not too cold, but pleasant. I’m really looking forward to visiting your lovely country with its fresh seafood!” You may also read his planning from the trip by clicking here!

I took his word for it and asked him to contact me to give me a chance to a guided tour. He came by the express train from the airport (25 minute trip) and I met him at the central station where we walked through the heart of Oslo: Karl Johan – the Pedestrian Street. Here is a glance at our adventures:

The New Oslo Opera House:

Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #1

Opened in 2008, it’s the largest single cultural-political initiative in contemporary Norway and the only Opera House in the world where you can walk on the roof. Those who haven’t, read my earlier posts for further details: Recreational Culture for the People and New Oslo Opera House in Norway.

Karl Johan in a nut shell:
Walking from the central station and the opera house, it takes you 30 minutes to reach the Royal Palace on the opposite end of Karl Johan. Among other things you’ll pass Oslo Cathedral, The parliament, Grand Hotel, The National Theatre and the Old University – houses and architectures from the 16th, 17th and 18th century – all with significant impact on the Norwegian history:
Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #2
The National Theatre – opened in 1899.

Knowing Karl Johan by heart, it’s always easy to navigate in Oslo. Most everything else in the central city is reachable by foot in 30 minutes. So if you get lost: Just ask for Karl Johan (most Norwegian speaks English and even German or French) and you’re back on track again.
We ended the evening with a culinary feast, trying some Norwegian cuisine at Oslo Old City Hall (build in 1641):
Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #3
Notice the old interior in The Old City Hall.
Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #4 Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #5
Left, starter: smoked trout – Right: main course: roasted reindeer.


The Singaporean globetrotter on his own:
The day after, he walked to the harbour (5 min. from Karl Johan) and bought shrimp at the fish market. Peeling and eating the newly caught, fresh boiled shrimp was the best breakfast he had ever had, he told me :-)
From the harbour he took the ferry on the Oslo Fjord to Bygdøy Island and explored the Maritime as well as the Viking Ships and the Folk Museum.

Vigeland Sculpture Park:
In the afternoon I took him to Vigeland Park (15 min. by tram from Karl Johan). The unique sculpture park – the largest made by one single artist in the world – is Gustav Vigeland‘s lifework with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron:
Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #10
At the sculpture of The Angry Boy (see my blogs header!)
Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #9 Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #11
Left: overview from the Monolith – Right: my favourite sculpture.


Holmenkollen – At the top of Oslo:
40 min. by metro and tram – about 500 meters above sea level. There up in the mountain and into the forest, you’ll find the famous ski jump and a nice restaurant with a panoramic view of Oslo City and the Fjord:
Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #7
Holmenkollen Restaurant

Passing by a stand, Mr. Singaporian the Globetrotter even got the chance to try the most Norwegian: “Pølse i lompe” (sausage of boiled all-pork wiener in potato tortilla):
Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #8


Norway’s modest center – Aker Brygge
You’ll find this former shipyard area in Oslo harbour, right next to the City Hall and across from Akerhus Fortress (5 min. walk from Karl Johan). Today it’s Norway’s financial center, with lots of shops, restaurants, bars and pubs available. We ended up at D/S Louise:
Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #12
My wife DianeCA joined us for dinner in the evening.
Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #13 Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #14
Left, starter: Wine steamed blue mussels, julienne vegetables and cream – Right: main course: Roasted monk-fish.


The third day, he walked around all by himself as he now is well acquainted with Oslo. One of the highlights he reported was at a fish delicatessen where he saw newly caught cod, mackerel, salmon, catfish, monk-fish etc. – and even got a taste of herrings. He brought home some smoked Norwegian Salmon.

Like I’ve said before: Who is next for a round trip in Oslo with me? As a network evangelist: I’m always up for more. If I manage to organize a Blog Gathering in August next year: Would you like to come?

45 Responses to “Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo Norway”

  1. Maria says:

    I always say “You’re the best Norwegian Embassy.” You are a wonderful host, you and Diane. I really did feel very loved and very happy in Oslo. One of the most beautiful experiences of my life, OsloBg.
    I have a friend in Oslo, Trine coming to see me in February, I will agree much from you. I hope to go in the summer (always hope to come to Oslo).
    When the next OsloBg ???
    A big kiss to you and Diane

    Maria

  2. Nicholas says:

    Great site .. pls drop me a mail as I am thinking of visiting Norway soon as well and could do with your wealth of experience.

    Thanks

  3. Trewen says:

    Great site. Keep doing.,

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  6. Marion says:

    Very nice blog post! I visited Olso in July and really enjoyed the city, more especially Vigeland Park and the Oslo Fjord… and I found the Nobel Peace Center and the walking tour of Oslo that you can take with the Oslo Card very interesting too… Cheers from Rome!

  7. You are such a gracious host. I’m sure your friend had a wonderful time going around Oslo with you.

  8. shionge says:

    What a wonderful time and experience for sure for our Singaporean fellowman :) If ever you come by to Singapore with Diane, do give me a buzz and I’ll be happy to show you around too.

  9. It’s so nice of you Renny! Me and Odd enjoyed the time with you in Oslo. We learned alot out of it as well. We hope to see you again and of course with Diane.

  10. Tinsie says:

    A blog gathering in Oslo sounds like a great idea :-)

  11. Kyo says:

    Dear Renny,

    I’m finally back to normal, and have adjusted to the local timezone back in Singapore.

    Thank you very much for your time (and Diane’s) and wonderful hospitality. I will never forget my very short four days in Oslo last week! I have been busy showing everyone all the photos and videos that I took and I have many more friends who’re now wanting to visit your lovely country.

    I was most honoured to be your guest and will definitely come back one day! I had a great time and when I finally am able to compile all the media I took (photos and videos), I will post a full Trip Report at our website and let you know (of course!).

    Oslo is beautiful and you have made it even more so.

    I cannot thank you enough, but THANK YOU once again!

    Kyo

  12. Maria says:

    I remenber Lofoten Restaurant mummm delicios.
    Renny Il you dou a meeting of bloggers in Oslo ,please tell me.i like that if you doing a reunion over told me please. It would be very nice to meet you and of your blogger fans in Oslo. You are an institution in Oslo.
    Big big hug Renny
    Maria

  13. Vagabonde says:

    We just came back from 10 days to the Maritime provinces of Canada: New Brunswick, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia where we ate a lot of fish dishes . Thanks for your comments on my blog while I was away. Congratulation on your award. Your tour of Oslo is quite informative and fun. We ate a hot dog in Copenhagen a few years ago – the bread was different and the meal was quite tasty. Unfortunately, we came back home to a flooded family room and we are still cleaning up. We cannot complain as many people had water to the roof of their houses. I placed a few pictures of the flood in Georgia on my blog.
    I’d love to visit Oslo, but the Euro is so high. We are going to France at the end of October, but we’ll be going to Marseille and other places nearby (Rome, Tunis, Malta, etc.)

  14. Ruby says:

    let me know Renny when your coming to Oktoberfest next year..your very welcome to go with us! have a great one!

  15. Ruby says:

    enjoyed watching your photos..i believed Oslo is a very interesting city!

  16. Euroangel says:

    wow that sounds very interesting..good job Renny! hope to meet you too in Oslo next time…

  17. What a lovely day you’ve given your Singaporian visitor, Renny. Oslo is truly a beautiful city and he certainly saw a lot of it with you…a very proud Norwegian.

  18. laketrees says:

    wow that sausage of boiled all-pork wiener in potato tortilla looks a bit like our hot dogs Renny …
    yummm pork!!!
    stunning photos…
    those buildings…beautiful!!!
    have a great week over there in beautiful Norway :)

  19. I have no words to thank you for the above mentioned beautiful post… Just Mind Blowing …. i’m already a big Fan of Oslo.. My father visited twice your amazing city & he have a number of stories & Pictures of Oslo.. & I wish to visit once i my life time Hopefully i will. plz share more… & Thanks for your foot prints on my side too. With Love from Pakistan.

  20. Zhu says:

    Looks like this adventurous traveler found the perfect host! You are quite the ambassador — Norway should really promote you!

    I’d love to visit Norway. Our stay in Finland last year was way to short but it left us longing for more. I know there is a lot to discover…

    We both have commitments at home for the next few months, but I’m keeping fingers crossed.

  21. Renny,

    I’ll be on the waiting list … I’m with anxiety to know why Norway is my long dream since adolescence.I only afraid of getting lost because it never left Brazil but with the ideas of your blog I’m more relaxed. I’m afraid of not to know how to explain my doubts because it doesn’t speak english very well. But my list is great: museums, parks with all nature, fjords, Vigeland Park, foods and sweets (my passion). The Opera House should be beautiful too! I believe it should have more options that I don’t know. I want to know also Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim but these cities are so far from Oslo?! I don’t know if it will be possible to visit all places …
    I was impressed with your generosity! This is a few possible in Brazil because the people aren’t hospitable ( we are afraid). But we are very happy and affectionate, so I think I’ll adapt for a few days in Norway.
    I liked this Oslo pass! It must be wonderful! Is has the most hotel in Oslo (cost and benefit) and that it be near of tourist points?
    Wonderful post!

    RennyBA
    Thanks for your nice words and feedback!
    You may reach both Bergen, Stavanger as well as Trondheim by plane from Oslo in less than an hour.
    Oslo Pass cover public transportation and free admission to museums and sights – not accommodations.

  22. Comedy Plus says:

    I’d love to be next. I really would. What a wonderful post. The food looks heavenly as well.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug to you and Diane. :)

  23. Mar says:

    You are a wonderful host!! and what a great virtual tour for the rest of us.
    I already have plans for August…but will be following your plans very closely 8)

  24. beaverboosh says:

    P.S. Congrats on the 100 Top Blog Award, I introduce you to others as the ‘spiritual leader’ of Norwegian bloggers! Well done!

  25. beaverboosh says:

    Renny, you are a national treasure! BB

  26. Sidney says:

    Renny you are amazing… you know how to entertain your guests. You are such a hospitable man.

    One day I hope to meet you too…in Oslo or in my hometown Gent/Brussels…. or why not in Manila? :-)

  27. susanne49 says:

    You are talking on your blog always about food, showing visitors (world-travelers) around in your beautiful city of Oslo – I envy you :)

    It’s great to have such nice experience with strangers!
    Who wants to come to Melbourne Florida…??? :)

    Susanne

    Great post and good food!

    Sue’s Daily Photography

  28. TorAa says:

    We have the same fav sculpture.
    I remember well as a father of 4;-))

    btw. It’s only fair if you participate in my “Travel – Guess where” competition. You was not there and it’s thousands of Villages around in Europe and elsewhere. Remember we have been away since then;-))

    btw. Vi har høstferie – med alle kattene. Ser ut til å løsne med avsetning, men de har enda noen uker igjen for å få riktig oppdragelse av sin mor. Noe som er viktig for nye “eiere” – det er jo omvendt, derfor i anførsel.

  29. Max Coutinho says:

    Hey Renny,

    You are such a kind host! :D Mr. Globetrotter is a lucky man :D!

    As you know I was supposed to visit your country this year (but unfortunately I couldn’t); but I think that you should organise a gathering for next year (I am sure lots of friends would come) :D! If I am in Europe by then and free, I might come.

    Lovely post! And God bless you!

    Cheers

  30. That is an excellent guide tour I must say: the most essential things to see during such a short time as you had together.

    I have seen Vigelandsparken before, but it was in cold winter, so I’d gladly go there again when we comes to Oslo in August at our blog gathering event. Yes. We’ll definitely be there!

    …and I must say that your lovely Diane have a fabulous blouse in that photo!!! (Yes, you’re very well dressed too, but this time it’s Diane that’s shining!)

  31. Bill Miller says:

    Your adventures always seem to include a good meal. That’s my kind of adventure.

  32. Mariuca says:

    I have yet to try roasted reindeer!! Good food, great company..all the makings of a wonderful time, good to see ur having fun Renny! :)

  33. Caroline says:

    Renny – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you social butterfly you!!

    Love the photos.

  34. mee mOe says:

    Does Reindeer taste simpler to deer meat? and do they actually have monk fish? cool..when I was in Mexico, I actually tasted Turtle for the first time, love the photographs and your details.

    I am feeling true bliss, and happiness, I can’t imagine at this time that I can possibly get anymore excited and loved..I am so excited and so proud of my daughters…
    Thanks Renny…Hope your having a wonderful day !!!

  35. Suzanne says:

    Very nice Renny :) – I’ll enjoy reading your blog!

  36. RuneE says:

    Around here we have an official “Norway in a nutshell” for the tourists. You have just made a personal “Oslo in ta Nutshell” :-)

  37. expatraveler says:

    And yet another visitor! Well if you still have the Olympics in mind, I might have to figure out how to come see you guys first!

    Love the photo of the monolith and the views. What stood out was the amazing food! I guess I miss that as we eat mostly raw food these days..

  38. TorAa says:

    OMG – I think I must visit Oslo, the capital of Norway more often. You know, we used to live downtown Oslo for many years.
    It’s so special in all it’s diversities.
    I’ve never been to a city with so many architectural and historical faces within walking distances.

    RenneyBA – this is a fantastic post and I hope your friend from distant Singapore left with a good impression.
    After all, we have had a wonderful “Indian Summer”.

    My last post is here:
    http://toraamusic.blogspot.com/

    If you want to know a blogger at Greenland:
    http://www.dortheivalo.blogspot.com/

  39. claudie says:

    You had a such beautiful meeting in Oslo with the globetrotter from Singapoure!!! You know I’ll be in Oslo with Pierre for the next blogmeeting next august!!! Oslo becomes very familiary for me now since I read Terella!!! Vigiland park, the Grand Hotel and the opera!!! can’t wait to visit them not only in our virtual world and taste the right salmon from norway !!!! I love the beautiful white shirt Diane wears on the picture!
    Bise to you two!

  40. Maribeth says:

    You know my name will be at the top of your list!
    Have I mentioned that we are now getting flash frozen Norwegian Haddock in our grocery store? I buy it all the time because it is the best Haddock I have ever eaten!

    RennyBA
    I know Maribeth and I’m so excited about this: I have a meeting with VisitOslo next week and hope to get them in the team as partners. They’ve already offered this to all Blog Gathering participants: Oslo Pass: “The easiest and most inexpensive way to experience Oslo! Provides free travel on public transport, free admission to museums and sights

    I’m glad your able to get Norwegian Haddock – I just love it (steamed or roasted)!

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