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Tag Archives: Oslo Norway

I’m finally at an end of my photos from our summer visit to Scandinavia. It only took 5 months to get through them. It was a great experience living in a country for a few months. It is something we would like to do again in the future.

One of the things we loved about Oslo was the great transportation system. I was clean, fast and frequent. With a pass we could ride any public transport. The one complaint we noticed was that some of the trams, buses and metro were not air conditioned. Norway was having one of its hottest summers on record and Norwegians are not used to hot weather.

The first photo is of a Ruter advertisement that was running as we ended our stay. I think it say something like “with the Ruter ticket in hand you can go anywhere”.

This is a photo of me standing at the Osteras station. As we neared the end of our stay in Oslo I realized that we had taken almost every metro train in Oslo. I then decided to try and ride every metro train. Osteras was the last station I had on my bucket list.

When we visited the Norwegian Petroleum Museum  in Stavanger I was impressed with a couple of things. First, that Norway is putting the North Sea oil revenue away for the future rather than spending it all at once. I was also impressed on how conflicted they are about their oil production and its impact of climate change.

It was nice to be able to take a hike within a short distance of a metro station. We were able to get out and enjoy nature and pick berries within a short walk form the station.

Oslo was celebrating LGBT month while we were there. I was impressed by the number of businesses and  churches that were decorated for the occasion.

This sign in the metro station reflects the changing nature of Norwegian society. Even in the smallest towns we saw people that were clearly from foreign lands. The suburb where our condo was located had residents from over 50 different countries.

It was very unusual to see police on the streets. It was so unusual that I usually took a photo of them.  We rarely saw police cars and the only time I recall seeing police walking the streets was during the gay pride parade and once a couple of them were riding bikes.

During our summer visit we frequently encountered children that were on field trips. In every case the ratio of adults to children was 4 to 1. Clearly child care is important and respected in Norway. We were amused when this child sat down by this young man who was apparently watching something on his phone. The child became very interested in the video.

We did not expect it to be hot and dry in Norway. The temperatures were in the 80’s most days. We arrived in mid June and there had been no rain since May. We only encountered rain twice. Once in the evening while visiting Stavanger and the day we left for the U.S.

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One of my favorite Scandinavian crime authors is Joe Nesbo. His most popular books are the Harry Hole series. Hole is a troubled detective in Oslo. I would suspect that Nesbo is not the most popular person in the Oslo tourist department because after reading his books you would not want to visit the crime and drug invested city. During the summer there are Joe Nesbo walking tours offered in Oslo. Unfortunately we never got around to taking the tour so we decided that we would make our own tour by walking to some of the places mentioned  in his Harry Hole books. There are many places in Oslo mentioned in the books and these are just a few that are all in walking distance.

It would have probably been a lot easier to take the city tour but we had time on our hands so we wandered through Oslo looking for the locations mentioned. It appeared that several other folks were doing the same thing because we ran into them a number of times and they were also using there phone to navigate.

The Royal Palace is the backdrop for “The Redbreast” where Hole must figure out who smuggled a rare rifle into Norway. Tours are available and well worth the time.

 

Egertorget Square is the backdrop for “The Redeemer. Shots ring out during Christmas when a young Salvation Army officer is shot. During our stay in Oslo we had walked through the square many times but had never made the connection to Harry Hole.

Oslo District Court where Hole frequently visits.

Saint Olav’s Catholic Church is where Harry married Rakel and is mentioned throughout the series.

Our Saviors Cemetery is the backdrop to a number of stories.

Restaurant Schroder is where Harry hangs out. My wife I ate there one evening. It happened to be the same evening that the walking tour was taking place. When members of the tour walked in the locals rolled their eyes. Toward the end of our visit we met up with a high school friend of my wife’s. Turned out her husband had just read the complete Harry Hole series so we took them to Schroder’s for dinner.

The Underwater Pub is another local haunt for Harry. This is where he goes when is not welcome at Schroder’s. It seemed to be closed down when we visited.

5 Sofies Gate is where Harry’s apartment is located. It is not far from Schroders and the Underwater Pub. Apparently at one time Harry Hole was listed on the entry but that wasn’t the case when we visited. They probably had a vacant apartment and thought to have a little fun with the Hole fans.

 

 

 

One of our favorite walks in Oslo was the Akerselva River Walk. There are walking tours of the area but we enjoyed it on our own. The walk is about four miles depending upon how many detours you take. Typically we would take public transportation to Nydalen then walk down to the harbor. On this beautiful warm day many people were our enjoying sunbathing and swimming in the river at Nydalen.

More photos from our time in Oslo can be found on my website.

There were many nice housing developments along the river. Most had play areas for the kids to enjoy.

Mathallen food hall was a nice place to stop for some refreshments and food as we walked along the river.

Wandering around Mathallen we found these interesting dog parking facilities.

Another area along the river that we enjoyed stopping at was Blå. It is an art community and hold a thrift sale every Sunday. Every time we walked through the area we found some new art.

Sometimes the trail didn’t seem to follow the river. During our detours we often found interesting areas. On this weekend they were giving rides on wagons pulled by a team of horses.

Unfortunately graffiti was common along the river walk. I suppose some people view it as art.

This was an insect house build near a restaurant along the river. We encountered these a number of places in Norway.

A famous bridge crossing the river and statue along the river.

In the past the river area was heavily industrialized. This was a museum that told the  story of the mills that developed in the area. Unfortunately it was so hot on the day we visited that we were only able to make a quick tour. Air conditioning has yet to become popular in Norway although we discovered that air conditioners were flying off the shelves during what was a very hot summer.

Of course the river was our main focus. Lots of waterfalls along the river as well as some nice reflections.

We were able to follow the river from Nydalen to Grønland where the river went underground.

It went under the central station before appearing again near the Munch Museum and the Oslo Opera House. It was a popular spot to float down the river.

We found that a popular variation of our walk was to take public transportation to Our Saviors Cemetery then walk over to Old Aker Church. From there we walked to Telthusbakken before connecting with the Akerselva River Walk.

Our Saviors Cemetery

Old Aker Church

telthusbakken

 

 

We had been in Oslo for almost six weeks and were starting to look for something different to do. We decided to try and find some parks that we had not visited previously. We picked up a tram for Saint Hanshaugen park and found it without any problems. There were some nice views of Oslo and the Fjord from the park.

There were a number of unusual statues in the park.

This building with a fountain and reflecting pool was at the top of the hill in the park. At one point the park had been bare rock so all of the landscaping has been added.

We found this small vegetable garden in the park. Not sure what the purpose of it was.

 

 

During our stay in Oslo we had walked past and into the Opera House on a number of occasions. They had public restrooms so it was a convenient stop. On our last visit we decided to take a tour of the Opera House. It was well worth the time.

More photos of the Oslo Opera House can be found on my website.

The wide walkways round the Opera House offer a great stage and seating for public events.

The floating She Lies Sculpture can be seen from the Opera House.

In the lobby there is a restaurant, a glass sculpture depicting a glacier and the wooden facade of the performance area.

The back stage ares were very interesting. They had a number of performance stages as well as rooms where sets and costumes were under construction for the upcoming season.

One of our goal for our stay in Oslo was to revisit Akershus Fortress. We had walked through when we were in Oslo last year but had less than an hour  in the Resistance Museum. We took the metro into Central Station then walked over to Akershus Fortress. It is so nice to live in a town where it is easy to walk to most places or take public transportation. The origins of the fortress go back to the 13th century. It was besieged by invaders many times but never captured. In 1940 it was surrendered to the Germans after the Norwegian government fled the country. During German control Norwegian resistance fighters were executed at the Fortress. After the war a number of Norwegian traitors were executed at the Fortress.

More photos from Akershus Fortress can be found on my website.

Our first stop was the Resistance Museum. We spent several hours walking around. It is well worth the visit.

As you can see the grass is brown on the Fortress grounds. It was a very warm dry summer in Oslo. The last rainfall was in May and it was the end of July when these photos were taken.

One of the cruise ship docks are located right outside the Fortress. It makes for some interesting shots when the cruise ships are in port.

 

In the morning we took the metro out to Kolsås, Norway with the goal of hiking up Kolsåstoppen. There was some construction on the metro line so we had to switch trains at Majorstuen.

More photos from Norway can be found on my website.

When we reached Kolsås we wandered around a while looking for the hiking trail to Kolsåstoppen. As is typically the case the instructions for the hike weren’t the best. We finally notice a really small sign on a lamp post. The trail seemed to take us through a residential area before heading into the woods.

We hiked for about a half an hour before I decided to call it quits. It was really hot and I don’t do all that well in hot weather. I told my wife to go on and I would wait for her but she decided she would turn back with me. As we neared the start of the trail we became lost once again. We recognized some of the landmarks but it seemed that just about every house in the neighborhood had started their own trail to the main trail so it was almost impossible to find the main trail. My wife said it was OK to walk through someones yard in Norway but I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. In the USA you would like get shot doing something like that. Fortunately we did find the trail and made out way back to the metro station.

On a positive note we found the bakery I had been looking for since arriving in Oslo. On our first day in Oslo we were trying to find the metro ticked office and I spotted a beautiful bakery. Unfortunately we were not able to find it again no matter how hard we looked. I had finally concluded that I imagined the whole thing. We were wandering around in Central Station and there it was the Bit Byporten .

We then walked over to Sørenga. The area between the barcode buildings and Sørenga is under heavy development. In the second photo the new Munch Museum can be seen. The last photo shows development along the Akerselva River. It was a warm day and many folks were floating down the river into Oslo Fjord.

We walked past the new Munch Museum and walked over a floating walkway to Sørenga. Until recently Oslo the city was separated from Oslo the Fjord by highways and industry. About 20 years ago a Fjord City Master plan was developed to bring connect the city to the waterfront by placing highways under the city and removing dilapidated harbor properties. Some development had taken place before the master plan for example Aker Brygge and the Barcode Project. Sørenga is designed to be a self contained community with trendy restaurants, grocery stores and schools.

The views of the new Munch Museum and the barcode project are spectacular from Sørenga.

As I noted it was a beautiful warm day and many folks were out catching the rays of the sun. A large free public space offers floating jetties, a beach, diving boards, outdoor showers, separate children’s pool, grassy areas, a 50-metre pool with lanes, and a 200 sq metre seawater pool and it is all free and open to the public.

A couple of kids were paddling around without adult supervision. I had trouble figuring out why I took the second photo but when I looked at it closely I noticed that someone had a fishing pole out over the water from the second floor condo.

Lots of folks were floating the Akerselva River out into the Oslo Fjord.

The morning after returning from our trip to Sweden we took the underground down town and walked over to the Royal Palace. As we entered the grounds from Karl Johans gate there were some beautiful flower displays.

More photos from Norway can be found on my website.

Looks like the guards at the Royal Palace are a little more relaxed than they are in Great Britain.

 

We had toured the Palace earlier on our stay and during that tour we discovered there was a royal costumes display taking place in the royal carriage house. This was our main goal for the visit. It seem that when the Queen travels to different parts of the country the custom is to gift her traditional native costumes. These were placed on display in the horse barn. You can see the names of some of the horses on the back of the stall.

After touring the customs display we walked around the grounds. I was able to get a few bird photos.

 

After taking time out for some fall photography I’m back working on my blog from our seven week trip to Norway and Sweden. In my last post from the trip we had visited Fredrikstad, Norway. We were now on our way from Oslo to Stockholm. Our high speed train left Oslo Station at Noon. High speed is a relative term. In Japan it would probably be considered a slow speed train but it did reach 200km a few times. The trip was relatively uneventful. Our car was supposed to be a quite car but a kid was playing a video game until someone asked him to put his head phones on. Another person was listening to something on their phone.

At one point a group of French kids boarded the train. Apparently they did not have tickets and this was a ticket only train. As it turned out the train wasn’t even going where they wanted to go. Someone had told them to get on this train. The had to get off at the next stop.

More photos from our Stockholm visit can be found on my website.

This is a shot of Stockholm Central Station. We had been in Stockholm the previous summer and found there was so much to do we decided to come back for three days.

After leaving Central station we were a little lost because the roads were all under construction. This is Drottninggatan which is a walking street that the Queen’s Hotel was on.

After checking in to our hotel we headed back down Drottninggatan street looking for Gamla Stan or the Old Town. It was a beautiful evening for a walk with hardly a cloud in the sky.

The Af Chapman Youth Hostel was anchored across the water. We could also see the Grand Hotel and the National Museum.

We walked around Old Town for a while before stopping at St George and the Dragon statue

As we walked back toward our hotel we saw the Opera House along the canal.

It had been a long day and we were looking for something quick to eat. As we were wandering around we noticed a McDonald’s so we decided that would be good enough. When we entered we noticed lots electronic ordering kiosks. We had noticed them in Sweden the year before but had never encountered one in the U.S. We decided to go to the counter and order but were told we couldn’t order at the counter. Not sure why but it was later in the evening and they didn’t seem to have a lot of staff. We went back to the Kiosk and tried to order. We thought their menu seemed a bit limited (turns out we didn’t realize we had to swipe through the screens) but we did manage to order something. We tried to order with a credit card but it wouldn’t accept the credit card because our credit cards required a signature. We had to back track and select pay at the counter. We saw our number come up on the screen above the counter then it disappeared, then it came up again then dissapeared. We waited. That’s my wife in in the lower left of the second photo. Finally I went up to the counter to find out what was going on. Turns out if you want to pay at the counter you have to go up and pay when your number displays on the right side of the screen. Then you have to wait again until it moves to the left side of the screen and then go pick the order up. There seemed to be quite a few others that were confused as well.

When we came back to the states later in the summer we started to see ordering kiosks in quite a few McDonald’s. We have since started to use them so we don’t get left behind as new technology comes out.

Our last stop in Lillehammer was to Olympic Park where the 1994 Winter Olympic Games were held. While at Maihaugen we also visited the Olympic Museum Where we saw this quote from Jesse Owens.

It was a warm day and it took us a while to figure out how to get from Maihaugen to the Olympic Park. As we approached the park along the river we noticed lots of swimmers enjoying the warm weather.

The ski jumps were very impressive.

This is a shot of what is now student housing but was housing for the Olympic participants during the games.

The main facility and a soccer complex.

After visiting the Olympic site we headed back to the train station and caught the train back to Oslo. These are some of the sights along the way.

My wife catching up on the news while enjoying a free coffee on the train.

 

Heading into Oslo Station from the train tracks.

 

After a long day we waked down to Peppes Pizza to enjoy a pizza and a cold one. Things are a bit expensive in Oslo. A medium pizza and two bears cost over $50.