This year has been ridiculously crazy and especially since I have been back at Uni life seems to be non stop. So this weekend was a pleasant break as me and the boyfriend flew out to Oslo in Norway for a little mini get away. With probably the best packing I have ever done (because we could only take hand luggage to get the cheap flights) and as many layers as it is possible to wear through security we set off on our little adventure hoping to understand our slightly 'crazy' Norwegian friend a little better when we returned.
My main concern was making sure my bag was light enough to fly with and that I had enough layers to avoid hypothermia while away. Getting to the security check I began placing my layers into those trays to go through the scanner. Pretty sure I held up the queue for a good few minutes while trying to take off the hat, gloves, scarf, coat, 5 layers of cardies, watch, ring, jewellery etc etc (Taking no chances of setting off the alarm much to the amusement of the security staff), then stepped through only to set off the alarm anyways and have to get frisked by the security staff anyways. This in itself was distressing as I am ridiculously ticklish and couldn't actually stop laughing and wriggling. Frisk over and shoes through the scanner I continued to redress and grab my bag before heading through to departures.
The flight out there was beautiful but landing was quite rough as the clouds we flew down through were very thick with snow. When we landed all the Norwegians on board gave as massive cheer and some fan fair music played and I began to wonder what the next few days would be like and if this was an explanation to the eccentric behaviour of our buddy.
Stepping off the plane it was sooo cold -5c and very windy. After a cold stint waiting for the bus and heading into Oslo centre we did our usual hostel hunt only with no street names to be found, we followed Christmas lights and a sense of direction that I seem to have developed and managed to find the way!! After checking in we headed out into the city at night with a map and some hope of some warm food, we actually just walked around for a few hours trying to find food and failing before heading back to the hostel and settling for some original Norwegian Pizza. It was actually very very nice and the leftovers made a wonderful breakfast the next day haha.
On Saturday we decided to be education boffs and head to some museums (secretly I was also Viking hunting but this unfortunately didn't happen). We started at the Viking Ship Museum which had excavated ships on display along with other viking artifacts. When they excavated the ships they found the skeletons of humans (thought to be wealthy and so buried in a ship) as well as horses and dogs (thought to protect the dead in after life)on board. The skeletons as well as lot of images were on display which actually made me a little queasy.
After enough boffing in one museum we had a snowy little walk to the Norwegian Folk Museum which is an outdoor museum exhibiting parts of Norwegian life which seems to be mainly wooden huts! The snow started falling fast and it was very cold but we spent hours walking around the woods (I was actually wearing a skirt with tights and long socks...cold!). This was followed by a ridiculously long hunt for food in Oslo city centre and then some street walking to take in the national theatre and other delights.
For dinner I attempted hostel cooking again and the travelling favourite of pasta re-emerged. After dinner we went out to experience Norwegian nightlife. It was very very odd. There are different restriction ages for drinking in Norway with beer and wine legal at 18 and spirits at 20. So you get some odd crowds depending on where you go. We went to a bar that was described as 'a little rough around the edges' which was OK but sitting in a relaxing bar that plays heavy rock music was weird. We attempted a trip to an Ice Bar afterwards but it didn't look so good so we called it quits and headed back.
Sunday was my favourite day! We started by taking a suggested walking route along a river. It was beautiful and the banks of the river were a creative centre with many converted warehouses taken over by artists and statues in trees. There was also a massive chandelier hanging between the buildings. You could hear lots of bands practicing their music and it was just such a lovely creative hive.
Next was a visit to the fortress in Oslo. My boyfriend is obsessed since we went to one in europe. This was no way near as impressive but still worth a visit.This was followed up with a trip to the top of a mountain to have hot chocolate in a little wooden restaurant. We had to get a metro and then jump on a bus which drove up a windy mountain road that was icy and snowy with no issues (England take note, as this was very impressive especially as they go every 10 minutes). Turns out this is actually where the ski jump and cross country ski areas are and many people were going up there for a ski while I was trotting about in a skirt and many many cardies (jokes). It was actually so beautiful though, this huge cabin type restaurant with big open fires and hot chocolate, yummy yummy! The views over Oslo were also pretty impressive.
After a drink with cake and a little slippy walk around we headed back down the mountain to a park where we heard there were a number of 'rude' statues. This turned out to be quite creepy in fact but the park was huge and very beautiful especially in the icy cold and all the snow. Following this we headed for a very expensive meal to end the trip. It was actually (unintentionally) very romantic, eating by candle light while the snow was falling outside. Perfect end to a lovely weekend.
Monday was a day of travelling and waiting but was made better by tax free chocolate in the airport, yummy!! If you ever get the chance to go to snowy Norway, do it!! Its very beautiful and the people are very interesting haha! Here are some more pics of the trip.