Thursday, June 13, 2024

Oslo Norway: Discovering Heritage Through Sightseeing


Even though we rushed to catch our overnight cruise to Oslo, Norway (COPENHAGEN PART 2 & COPENHAGEN PART 1), we ended up arriving even earlier than expected. Was there anything special about cruising to Oslo? Not really. After a quick half-hour stroll around the ship, I felt like I had seen it all. If gambling is your thing, the casino is there for you, but cruising just isn't my cup of tea. Dinner on board, however, was a delight, with a wide variety of options for those who love to indulge. After dinner, I retreated to my cabin, took a refreshing shower, and gazed out at the dark, mysterious sea before calling it a night.

The next morning greeted us with another fantastic buffet breakfast as the ship sailed on. When we finally docked in Oslo, our adventure began with a visit to the historic Akerhus Fortress. Perched on a hill in the heart of Oslo, Akershus Fortress is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. This impressive stone structure, dating back to 1290, was originally built to protect the city. Once a formidable prison, it has since evolved into a venue for official events and functions.

As we strolled through the guard-protected grounds, the dazzling rose garden caught our eye. Our leisurely walk, alongside other tourists, was a delightful way to start the morning. It felt like stepping back in time, wandering through a well-preserved piece of history. Unfortunately, our schedule didn't allow for a visit to the Armed Forces Museum located within the fortress grounds. It's a spot you can't miss as you exit, and it certainly warrants a visit if you have the time.





From Akershus Fortress, we made our way to Frogner Park, an absolute marvel. Spanning a vast area, the park is all about walking, attracting hundreds of visitors from all walks of life, mainly Westerners. Stepping into Frogner Park felt like traveling back to the time of Adam and Eve, with its myriad of nude human sculptures. The park is often likened to another version of the Kama Sutra, with stone sculptures depicting people of all ages and sizes, lining both sides of the path from the bridge inward.

This park isn't just the largest in central Oslo; it's also the world's largest sculpture park created by a single artist. The stone sculptures, culminating in a towering structure of intertwined human figures, challenge you to broaden your mind and embrace the raw, unclothed beauty of the human form. Towards the end of our visit, we spent about half an hour at an open auditorium-like platform, admiring more unique sculptures. 






Afterward, we headed for lunch near the Nobel Peace CenterI couldn't fathom why my travel buddies lacked enthusiasm for visiting the Nobel Peace Center, not even from the outside. Naturally, I had to see it. It marked a proud moment for my travel blog, encapsulating a place synonymous with honoring those who've contributed to society's betterment in myriad ways.


Upon turning around, my fellow travelers were already indulging at a Chinese restaurant. The cuisine was exquisite, and after three days devoid of rice, I felt rejuvenated savoring the flavorful dishes. Rice, how I've yearned for you! Following a gratifying meal, we devoted another 20 minutes to exploring a nearby shop before making our way to the Viking Ship Museum.

 

The museum boasts the world's finest-preserved Viking ships and artifacts from tombs around the Oslo Fjord, including the Gokstad, Oseberg, and Tune ships. Alongside, we marveled at smaller vessels, sledges, carts, tools, textiles, and household items. It proved an enlightening expedition. Do note, however, that photography is restricted in most sections, a lesson I learned with a gentle reminder.



Our subsequent sightseeing led us to the Kon-Tiki Museum. Who could forget the Oscar-winning Kon-Tiki documentary? The museum masterfully unfolds tales of sea survival, showcasing artifacts, vessels, and Nordic history. With less than an hour spent, we crossed the road to relish a breathtaking sea view.



Our time in Oslo drew to a close with a satisfying dinner before retiring to the hotel, eagerly anticipating more sightseeing adventures in Norway.

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