24 Hours Walking Oslo
I liked Oslo much better than Stockholm. Both are capitols, but Oslo is much more manageable and quaint. It’s older, too and doesn’t seem to want to dominate the Scandinavian countries like Sweden does. Easily walkable, the entire downtown which includes the University of Oslo, brims with bicyclists as well. Here’s our day in Oslo, with pictures.
Ferry to Viking Museum
When in Norway, it’s impossible to not want to take a boat ride. We checked out a variety of tours and such, but then settled on taking the very cheap ferry across the water to one of the closest islands to Oslo, Bygdøy.
The ferry ride to the Viking museum. was a short 20 minutes, dropping us off at the dock right next to the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club. We had a bit of an adventure trying to find the museum, as the signage wasn’t that great. Never the less, we enjoyed our 2 km walk up the ancient alleys while getting a view of the local summer homes, cherry blossoms, and truly Norwegian architecture.
The Viking Museum
The Viking museum houses three, world-class, restored Viking ships. Not only did the museum feature amazing Viking artifacts, but the information presented was readily accessible in English. Among many facts, I learned that the rich Vikings would strive to be buried in their ships with all the items they would need in the afterlife, including horses, slaves, and gold. Thus, there are giant Viking boat graves throughout Scandinavia.
The museum sits near where the Kon-Tiki and the Fram, the boat that went to the Artic, are also on display. Together, the three museums really drive home the idea of Norwegians being seafaring navigators. This idea cemented when we found the Oslo WWII Memorial–one that emphasized the lost and rescued sailor.
The Nobel Peace Center
Next stop after walking though downtown and seeing the Nobel Peace Center and the University of Oslo, we visited the National Gallery. Although we did not go into the Nobel Peace Center, we did visit the gift shop, a must-see. There’s actually quite a bit of content in the gift shop to get a feel for the Peace Prize, but if you have the time, I encourage you to visit the museum as well. None of the Peace Prize content is in the Nobel museum in Stockholm, except for a small mention.
Although small, the National Museum‘s collection rivaled some of the best while also emphasizing famous Norwegian artists. Rodin, Picasso, Cezanne, Gaugin, and Munch were all represented and the curator did a fabulous job hanging their masters.
I really enjoyed comparing Gaugin’s and Cezanne’s still-life fruit bowls which displayed side by side. Of course, many say the highlight of the museum is Munch’s The Scream,one of three originals, but I found my new favorite painting, _Spring Flood_.
With tired feet, and Steve’s toe still swollen with gout, we returned to our apartment at another IKEA showroom–then got a bite of Japanese and went to bed. I will blog about Scandinavian food itself. We had a day in Oslo filled with visual and historical delights.