Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A Weekend Break in Oslo, Norway {Part One}

I sat down to write this post so many times before Christmas and then just thought, how can I possibly condense into a few blog posts the experience that was our time in Oslo, Norway?


There were so many firsts for us: the first time Eli went on a plane, the first time the kids went ice-skating, our first time in Norway, our first overseas city break as a family...and much more besides.  I took over 1,000 photos and I really just want to share all of them with you!

Of course that just isn't possible but it does mean these posts will be a little photo-heavy.  I hope it is worth it for anyone thinking of visiting the city themselves.


I have to start by saying how impressed I was with both Meg and Eli on the flight out to Oslo.  We had tried to take advantage of cheap flights with Ryanair and so our journey was a bit higgeldy-piggeldy with a very early start on Friday morning to get us to Liverpool airport on time.  Once we had landed after the 2 hour flight, we had another hour and a half to spend on a train into the city but they both coped amazingly and took it all in their stride which I think both myself and James were quite impressed with.


We booked the train ahead of time and it was very easy to pick up the tickets at the airport, find where to catch the free shuttle bus to the train station and then board the train.  In fact, both ways (we landed and departed from different airports) it was the same.


The train journey was brilliant and offered a great way for us to see some of the country, if it was a little blurry at points!


We had booked accommodation through AirBnB (after our very positive experience in London) and although it felt a bit more 'heart in mouth' booking somewhere abroad, it all went very smoothly.  We caught a taxi from Oslo Central Station (Oslo Sentralstasjon) to the apartment as we weren't exactly sure where we were headed.  It turned out in the end that we were less than 5 minutes walk from a metro station which took you right into the heart of the city in a matter of minutes but we didn't know that at the time!


On entering the apartment we discovered that our host had left our a map with some notes on great places to visit as well as a little treat which was lovely after such an early start.  She had also left directions to the nearest supermarket so we headed out to buy some supplies, stopping off at a playground we passed on the way.


Things we discovered on our first day: it gets dark very quickly and it gets cold very quickly.  This photo was taken about half an hour after we left; when it was bright light and quite mild compared to the kind of weather we had been expecting!

Saturday was our major day in Oslo and we planned to cram in as much as was feasibly possible.  We had spent a lot of time researching beforehand and speaking with a representative from the Oslo Tourist Board who was extremely helpful in recommending things for us to do so we had a rough plan to stick to.


First up was the Viking Ship Museum.  This was partly for James who has a huge interest in this period in time and partly for the kids as well.  It wasn't as big as we were expecting and although the entrance ticket also got you access to another museum in the centre of Oslo, we were a little disappointed.  Although it was fascinating to see the original long ships up close there's no more than an hour's worth of exploring to do here.


The Viking Ship Museum is located on Bygd√ły, a peninsula on the western side of the city which is home to five major museums.  The one great thing we noticed about Oslo was that the public transport system is very easy to use, especially if you buy an all day travel pass and we just hopped onto the metro and made our way there without any difficulty at all.


Not spending more than an hour in the Viking Ship Museum turned out to be fine for us as we I was keen to head to the nearby Folk Museum (Norsk Folkemuseum) which also happened to be the location of Oslo's biggest Christmas market.  What better way to enjoy the festive season in a Nordic country than by wandering around a Christmas market?


From stalls selling homemade items to pancakes and kakao (hot chocolate) plus the actual museum itself which is the largest open air museum in the world there was lots to see.  The entrance price was about £20 for the four of us plus additional costs inside but it was a very enjoyable way to spend the morning; even if it was far colder than any of us had anticipated!


We even managed to see Santa on our visit although he was busy taking part in some traditional Norwegian dancing so we didn't have chance to speak with him (probably just as well...)


After we had exhausted the delights of the Folk Museum we were ready for something to eat so we headed back towards the centre of the city, getting off a few stops down the road at Brynjulf Bulls plass. This put us within walking distance of the Nobel Peace Prize Museum, Aker Brygge and the Nationaltheatret district. Desperate for some lunch we decided to try one of the food vans which were dotted about whilst admiring the view over the water.


I have to admit that this was one of my favourite points of the day; the sun was sitting quite low in the sky and just hit the water and the boats in the dock just perfectly. There was a playground right next to the port and we just stood and admired the view whilst Meg and Eli played. Perfect.

And a great place to end Part One of our trip to Oslo...you can read Part Two here.


Travel Monkey

20 comments:

  1. Wow, that looks like an amazing trip. Oslo is not somewhere I had thought to visit, so will be looking forward to your part two.

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  2. Looks like you had a fantastic time, such lovely photos. Love the sunset photo, the light is always so gorgeous at that time of day x

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  3. I love the sound of this trip. I've never been to Oslo, but I'd love to and you've made it sound even more appealing. Great that your kids coped so well with the travelling, and such good advice re the Viking museum etc too. I love the idea of that Christmas market! Look forward to part two....

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  4. We keep looking at Oslo - this may have just convinced me to take a pre-xmas trip there in December

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  5. You have captured some fantastic memories. Oslo looks and sounds great so far - will be back for part two!

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  6. wow this weekend looks all of fun, must be nice now the kids are a bit older you can get around a lot more easily. look forward to part 2

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  7. Wow, gosh it looks lovely - I've never thought about going to Norway!

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  8. My husband recently worked in norway for a week and he said it was so beautiful (i had to stay at home with the girls because of school!!). I have been thinking recently about booking an air bnb for a holiday in the summer but was a little nervous by it. I love that your host was so kind and i am going to look into it again for our holiday in Wales. x

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  9. I love photo-heavy posts to showcase a new place! I also like the style of your photos with the retro round corners! Great post!

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  10. Just seeing that viking boat would be enough for me - I would love to visit Oslo, my parents have just got back and adored it

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  11. Carolynne @ Mummy Endeavours9 January 2016 at 10:43

    Fascinating post. And Oslo looks stunning, albeit very cold! How lovely to jet off for a weekend somewhere new.... I'm envious ;) Love the photo's and I'll look forward to reading the next post xx

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  12. What an amazing trip! I love your photos. Norway is very much on our list :)

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  13. You definitely should. I was hesitant at first but now love Airbnb and am already planning our next trip :)

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  14. Norway is on my travel bucket list. How lucky to go there during the Christmas markets! So glad I saw your link on #MondayEscapes

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  15. This looks like an amazing trip! And I couldn't have found it at a better time. I was just looking at tickets to Oslo! Lots of good tips in here. Thanks for sharing. #MondayEscapes

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  16. Sounds like a great adventure. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  17. I think your kids were excited about the trip! In the photos, they looks very happy. Oslo looks like an amazing city. Would like to visit one day since the sights look so interesting.

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  18. I loved the Viking ship museum when we visited it in 2014! Oslo's really cute and such a doable weekend trip destination!I have a couple of posts on Oslo too:)) #monday escapes

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  19. That last photo is just stunning, and Oslo looks a great place. Adding it to my list now! #mondayescapes

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  20. Brilliant - I've always wanted to go to Oslo, and I think the perfect time would be around Christmas - the kids looks like they had so much fun. The Viking museum and ships would be a massive hit in our house too. Glad your first trip abroad with the kids went so well, look forward to the second part! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

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