Long Weekend in Oslo – Day 2

The second day in Oslo began by having breakfast at the hotel and it was awesome. I love good breakfast and we had very good experience with Thon hotel chain breakfasts, so I was looking forward to that and I sure wasn’t disappointed. It was just perfect. A really wide selection of different types of breakfast foods, fresh juice, you could order different types of coffee and even though we arrived approximately half an hour before breakfast time was scheduled to end, there was still plenty of everything. No photos unfortunately as I kept forgetting my camera, but trust me it was good. 🙂

Then we decided to walk the Karl Johans gate, which is the main street in Oslo with high street fashion shops (not that we did any shopping) and cafes. It was Saturday and a lot of people were strolling down the street as it was also a nice day.

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Karl Johans gate main street

We were heading to see the famous Oslo Opera House, which I’ve heard a lot about. I was told that Norwegians go on the roof of the Opera House on hot days and sunbathe, but I didn’t see any proof of that. There were a lot of tourists and a couple of people sitting and enjoying the sun, but nothing more. The Opera House was beautiful though!

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The Oslo Opera House

We walked on the roof, which had a really nice view into the city.

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The Oslo Opera House

On related thought it seems that the Norwegians are not afraid to experience with unusual architecture. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of traditional looking buildings, but there are also a lot of modern buildings and luckily they look like this:

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So yes, a lot of glass and they are high-rises, but all of the buildings had a clever idea, which made them special. Tilted windows, lots of sun terraces and so on. You get an even better view of these building when arriving by train from the airport to Oslo Central Station. At least I liked them a lot. We tend to stick to much more conservative modern architecture in Finland unfortunately.

After the Opera House we headed back to Aker Brygge area where we wanted to catch a boat to Bygdøy, which is a peninsula located near the city center. You can take a bus, but a boat was a much more fun option on a hot day like this. The temperature was around +27°C and it was really hot. The boat departure from Rådhuskai and it was really easy to find as it had Bygdøy sign. The boat leaves every 20 min and you can buy tickets either from the kiosk, which is located on the same pier or directly on the boat with cash or credit card. The only difference is the price as tickets bought in kiosk cost 35NOK (4€) one way and on the boat they cost 55NOK (6,20€) one way. We bought a return ticket in the kiosk, but we have just missed the boat, so we ended up getting smoothies from Fresko, which was located in a shopping center type of shop complex and taking the next boat.

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Aker Brygge

At Bygdøy there are several museums and we were interested in the Kon-Tiki museum, so we left the boat on the second stop. The Kon-Tiki is the name of the raft on which the Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl and his crew crossed the Pacific ocean in 1947. The entrance fee to the museum was 90NOK (10,20€). I found the museum interesting as it had the original Kon-Tiki raft and also the reed boat Ra II and it described Thor Heyerdahl’s theories, preparations for the voyages, and voyages themselves. Somehow I got the feeling that he and his team succeeded despite themselves. Or what do you say that the mind behind the idea of crossing the ocean on a raft couldn’t even swim and knew virtually nothing about sailing?

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The Kon-Tiki raft

Successful crossing of the Pacific ocean wasn’t enough, so the next plan was to cross the Atlantic ocean on the reed boat. The first attempt failed as the boat Ra broke apart after sailing over 6400km, so they build a second boat Ra II on which they successfully reached Barbados. Ra II is also in the Kon-Tiki museum.

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The reed boat Ra II

There was also a collection of artifacts from the Easter Islands.

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When we exited the museum, there was a Fram museum right next door, which advertised being the best museum in Oslo. We had time, so we decided to visit it as well. The entrance fee for the museum was 100NOK (11,30€). Fram museum exhibits stories and ships from polar exploration journeys and it is best for those, who are interested in ships and polar exploration as it is very detailed.

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After Fram we headed back to the pier to catch a boat back to the city. We were quite early and we got onto the boat without any problems, but everybody in the line couldn’t fit in the boat, so if you need to make a certain departure, you better arrive on time.

We took a shower at the hotel and then took a tram to a restaurant that was very promising. We didn’t even need to pay for the tickets on the tram as the ticket machine was broken. 🙂 The restaurant visit started very promisingly with good drinks on the terrace after which we moved inside to have dinner of 15 small dishes. We were served dishes every 15 min or so until the dishes started to arrive with 30 and 40 min between them. The dishes were really small and there were 15 courses, so it seemed that we would need to stay there forever. Our guess is that the kitchen tried to time us with a couple of other tables even though we arrived much earlier than them. After being in the restaurant for 3,5 hours we asked them to speed things up, which they actually did, but then something else happened. I started feeling quite nauseous and I realized that it must’ve been the oyster dish I had. I have a bad history with imported oysters and it seems that I can eat them just fine in any amounts as long as they’re fresh, but I cannot handle the imported oysters as I get sick. This has happened to me once before, but I thought that was an isolated incident. So after this occurrence I know this for sure. I only had one oyster, but it was enough. My boyfriend didn’t get any symptoms, so I’m sure this was me and not the restaurant serving bad oysters.

Anyway, even though the restaurant picked things up, we had to leave and actually catch the taxi back to the hotel and let me tell you we got there just in time. The restaurant charged us only for 8 dishes and the drinks and they were really sorry, but the overall experience wasn’t great for me even without the oyster incident. What we learned though is that there’s a minimum charge in taxis in Oslo, which is 170NOK (19,20€), so if your trip costs under that, they still round it up to 170NOK. But as a friend of mine says you almost never regret taking a taxi and so it was this time as well. 😉

I’ll spare you the details, but it was just one oyster, so I was back to normal in the morning, but I decided not to mention the restaurant name as it the experience is probably better for someone, who is not that sensitive to oysters.

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