Who sent me to the beautiful and laid-back Oslo?

Everyone asked us – Why Oslo?
Well, truth be told – air-plane tickets were cheap. 🙂

Very next morning as we returned from Tenerife, Dina was heavily infected with a travel bug that resulted with a travel ideas spree. It started as a birthday surprise trip, but due to certain technicalities (my account used for AirBnB) she had to tell me where we are heading to, and within a few hours tickets to Oslo were in our inboxes. I wanted to play the game along and was pretending that I have no clue where we are heading to, but it did not work. 😀

Since we booked only a short weekend trip, I’ve spent some time reading and watching videos about Oslo, and on one of YouTube travelling channels I’ve heard that Norwegians are not really friendly nor polite. Guy on that channel described them as cold and not willing to communicate too much with foreigners, even though they all speak English perfectly.

I don’t like to stereotype, but when we arrived to check in our bags it was one of the most unpleasant starts ever. First the online check in did not print Liam’s boarding pass, then they did not check him in at the airport, and then when security returned us back to pick up his boarding pass guy at the counter annoyed me so much that I had a hard time not making a scene. Knowing that swearing on the airport can lead to problems and issues I managed to control myself, but man, I was furious. Later, when they finally resolved our problem the guy apologized a number of times, but the damage was done. Norwegians are not nice people!

Well, if you stop reading now the message I’m trying to send will be wrong, so please keep on reading! 🙂

As soon as we boarded the plane things started to change in a right direction. Stewardesses were in a much better mood, having fun with Liam and being cool. In a brand new airplane we had the free internet access and while we were exchanging whatsapp messages with our family the situation from the airport was forgotten. 🙂

At the Oslo airport we bought the tickets for the quick train which brought us to the centre of Oslo in 28 minutes, which is some 40 km south-west from the airport. Before getting on the train a super nice guard informed us that the front part of the train is for buggies and that we have about 2 minutes to get there if we want to catch this train.

We arrived to the city later in the rainy afternoon, and even though our hotel was located in the hearth of Oslo, streets were empty. We were in two restaurants, choosing where to eat, and as well – both restaurants were empty. We were the first guests for a dinner, and throughout the evening there were only four tables occupied, which was kinda odd. Coming from Dublin where it’s almost impossible to get a table for dinner and all the pubs and bars are constantly fully booked, being in an empty place was weird. But the food was good, and service was excellent. 🙂 After the dinner, we went back to our hotel, since the little boss needed to sleep. 😉

The next morning was still a bit cloudy, and we’ve decided to take a walk all the way to the Frognerparken, Park in Oslo that contains a park inside the park that is known as Vigeland Sculpture Park. It’s the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist (Gustav Vigeland). It’s actually a weird place to go, since majority of the sculptures are naked human bodies of various age. Naked old people, naked kids… made of stone and metal. Weird. 🙂

If you are on the way to Oslo, make sure that you stop here because it’s one of the Norwegian’s top visited attractions.

When we saw all the sculptures, we walked all the way back to the city centre. On the way there we kinda missed the proper route and while deciphering the map, a local guy stopped, asked if we needed help and very politely explained where to go. We had a quick chat – Where are you from? – How come that you came to Oslo? – How do you like it so far? In the end he wished us a pleasant stay in his town – so, again – very nice and friendly people.

Walking through the city centre left us amused by the number of electric cars. In the beginning we were turning around -Oh, Look Tesla – Oh, another Tesla, Oh — What the hack is that, some weird BMW? Toyota? It seems that stories you can read on-line that Norway plans to ban petrol engines till 2025 is quite serious, since majority of Taxi cars are already electric and mostly Teslas.

In the centre we decided that it’s time to have lunch. The decision to sit outside and enjoy the city was good, but maybe not the best way to enjoy the lunch. Just before we got our food, some sort of royal cavalry passed here, and one of the horses did the number two. All the others made sure that it lingers for a while two meters away from our table. We successfully ignored it, and had a decent lunch and then headed back to hotel for the mid day nap. Well, not ours – Liam’s. 🙂 Yes, travelling with a baby requires a bit of planning and a bit of back and forth walking, but it’s not an issue. 🙂

In the afternoon, the sun finally appeared and temperatures rose above 24 degrees. We took a walk from our hotel, through the city centre and towards the modern promenade. We had coffee while watching the royal army marching towards the royal palace.

Something got us quite confused in front of the City hall, when the bells started to ring a melody that sounded familiar. Later (in Dublin) I’ve googled it, and I found a list of songs performed by the Oslo city hall bells. It seems that we managed to recognize “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (by George Harrison), and one that sounded familiar was “I Wanna be Sedated” (by The Ramones). What a cool city. 🙂

We walked all the way to the end of the modern promenade, and we found some more weird sculptures there in that region.

Such as these big “spheres” sitting by the sea.

Or these colourful ladies. 🙂

I used the opportunity to start teaching Liam the right things. Photography, of course. 🙂

As internet said that we must try the Hot Dog in Oslo, we did that, and since it was already too late for some decent dinner, we bought some food in the super market and took Liam home to sleep.

Mind blowing moment happened when I opened one of the local craft beers. The tin has the huge opening on top, and you can drink from is as you are drinking from the glass. Why I never saw this anywhere but here? It’s freaking awesome for any drink, and it should be standard. 🙂

Next morning we walked to the royal palace, had a coffee in the cool Café that Dina discovered accidentally, and then headed towards the Oslo Folk Museum that is located on the Bygdøy peninsula. To get there you can choose a short ten minute ride by ferry, or go around the place and spend half an hour on the bus. We decided to take the ferry. 🙂

If nothing, to see how is Liam handling the sea movements. And it seems that he was totally OK with it. 🙂

Folks museum is the must see place in Oslo. These guys created something like “mini world” in other countries, but it’s not minimized, and it’s shifted in time. It contains the most significant building types from different eras of Norwegian history and their variants from different locations, since Norway is a quite big country.

Some parts are organized like small villages from 400 years ago…

… and some are obviously more recent.

You can see how shops looked like maybe 60 years ago…

… or how regular farmers house looked like 200 years ago.

It’s actually a big place where you can spend anywhere from 2 hours to whole day, depending how much time would you like to spend in each house. Some of them are so small, that I wonder how big Norwegians were 200 years ago. I had to bend, and I’m not really the highest person ever. 🙂

After a couple of hours spent here, we took the ferry back to the centre, and we caught the very same boat with the same crew. We know that because when they saw Liam before they even docked, they started calling him — “Arrrrr, Connnooorrr McGreeegooorrrr” 😀

Well, we are officially coming from Ireland, so… 😀

We headed back to the promenade, enjoyed local mussels and some lamb, local craft beer and a weird desert. We liked Oslo so much at that point that we asked the waiter – if it’s so nice and warm in May, how do summers look in Norway. He said – “Well… it does not get better than this, and to be honest with you, it stopped raining two days ago. It was pouring for the past 40 days constantly, and you are quite lucky with the weather.”

We concluded that – every where we go, we bring the weather with us, but then we said we came from Ireland. 😀

After lunch, we walked all around the promenade towards the modern down town, but since Liam fell asleep and en route there were some weird Swedes celebrating something in old cars and making awful noise, we decided to skip that part and return to the park behind the City hall. Sun appeared again, and it was again above 24 degrees so we relaxed by the fountain for a while where we were practising how to walk. 🙂

Then we headed back to the hotel, and that was mainly it.

We had to leave early next morning and catch our flight back to Dublin.

Oslo city centre is in general very small, and you can walk it all within a day. I’m aware that we most likely missed some interesting parts, but yeah, that’s the price of slowing down and enjoying the travel with small humans. 🙂

However – We did not miss this humorous installation of public toilets suggesting that it’s the place where we are all the same. 🙂

Luckily, it’s not far away from Dublin, flights are more or less cheap throughout the year and Norwegians are awesomely nice people, so – who knows. We might head there again. 🙂

Till the next one.

Thank you Oslo, or as you would say – Tusen Takk! (Thousands thank you!)



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