Last but not least…the Traveler takes on Norway!

Whew! operagirlfoodjunkietraveler here we go!  The 3rd and final installment of my Norventure. And what a Norventure it was!!  The singing was beautiful…the food was expensive and the traveling was…can I just say how beautiful Norway is?! Oh, it is.  Absolutely breathtaking. Majestic. Clean. Friendly. Artistic. And the fjords…. oh the fjords!

If you ever find yourself in Oslo, Norway, here are my top things to do…

Museums.  They’re there for a reason…

The Munch Museum (via 5 min train ride) and the Viking Museum (a 10 min tug boat ride) were fun and worth the Kroners.

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Edvard Munch is Norway’s international claim to fame (artistically).  It’s a small museum with a lovely park adjacent.  I snagged a pic of his infamous Scream 

 

The Viking museum is also small.  There are only 3 ships….

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But when your ships are this big… I think 3 is ok.

 

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Fishing Excursion? Why not?!  If you are my husband, you want to fish anywhere there is water.  We found the only guide located in Oslo. He name was Glen and he was friendly and very British. He’s lived in Oslo since the 80’s and loves fishing.  My husband asked why there weren’t more chartered fishing trips in Oslo and he replied because anyone who fishes in Oslo has a boat.  Fair enough.

Looking for a day trip?  Take the ferry to Drøbak.  You must.

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The ferry is roughly a 45 minute ride to Drøbak  and it’s the perfect day trip.  You pick the ferry up at the lovely harbor I’ve been telling you all about.  You can sit inside the cabin or stand up out on the deck.  It was a gorgeous day so we chose the latter.

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Along the way we passed by little ‘baby’ fjords that had little ‘baby’ boat slips adorning the shoreline.

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As soon as the ferry pulled up to Drøbak, we hopped off and just started walking…

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It was a very beautiful walk….

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We took a break at a bench near a little church…. We thought about going inside but quickly realized there was something of significance going on inside…

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It was a baptism…

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We loved seeing the traditional Norwegian bunader that the women wear for special occasions.

I’m not gonna lie, the main reason I wanted to go to Drøbak was absolutely because of the famous Christmas store, Tregaarden’s Julehus

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Oh it was so much fun!  I always feel like a kid in a candy store when I go into any store that is completely dedicated to Jolly St. Nick!

After you’ve spent the day in Drøbak it’s easiest to take the bus back into Oslo.  They run every 15 min opposed to the ferry which has a very limited schedule.

Once you’re back in Oslo, if it’s a Sunday evening you should most definitely make your way to Blå for some live music (Sundays only), beer and burgers. You can never go wrong with that combination in my expert opinion.  Blå is located in the Grünerløkka neighborhood of Oslo (aka the hipster area, they’re everywhere aren’t they?!) and it was by far my favorite place to hang out.

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I just loved the ambiance of this place.

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They only serve food on the weekend so keep that in mind if you’re planning on eating here.  The menu is simple and Holy.  Only the best burgers for Jesus!

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Oslo also loves art.  There are statues everywhere, galleries galore, and my favorite of them all, mural art!

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I loved how eclectic Blå was.  One of my favorite things about traveling is stumbling upon hidden treasures and this was one of those instances.  We went looking for this other burger joint that ended up being closed for the summer and somehow found this place.

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If you’ve come to Ingens gate…

blawith the crazy chandelier…

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you’ve made it to Blå.

 

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If you follow this street downhill (right out front of Blå) you will end up at an indoor market, who knew?!

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It’s called Mathallen Hall

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And it’s just adorable!

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It’s filled with vendors and all things Norwegian…

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And not so Norwegian…

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We picked up the essentials… some bread, cheese, and salami for our upcoming day trip…

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Don’t forget about the dessert!

 

After you’ve explored all there is in Oslo, you must get out to the countryside.  In fact, when in Norway try and see all of Norway. The entire country if possible.  I had a particular program that I was attending so my focus was more on singing than exploring…

We did get to experience Norway In A Nutshell.  It’s a real thing.  A 12 hour train, boat, and bus tour.  All scenic. All in a day.   And worth it if that’s all the time you have.  Set your alarm for 5 am be at the Oslo train station at 6:30 am and be sure to pack your lunch.  (the boat did have a restaurant, but there’s no place time to stop and get something to eat elsewhere)

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Once on board the train everyone’s true colors came  out.  Camera colors that is. It was like a Disney attraction.  A little creepy…  People trying to capture every image.  So I captured them instead.

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If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

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But it was much more fun just to enjoy the ride.

 

The train ride to the boat was roughly 6 hours, from Oslo to Myrdal (5 hours) and then we transferred to the Flåm Railway (roughly another hour) to where the boat docks for pick up.

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Our boat tour started right here.  Breathtaking, right?!   

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The overwhelming beauty of these fjords was indescribable.  Trying to capture their magnitude was near impossible.

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So here, take a look a little closer…

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Now even closer.

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Did I mention all the waterfalls?

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I lost count.  This one was my favorite though.

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We spent 2 beautiful hours traveling through the Nærøyfjord and the Aurlandsfjord.

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And it was by far the best part of our Norventure.

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We had only wished we could have spent more time exploring the countryside.  If you can make it to Bergen and stay overnight, please do!  After our boat tour ended, the bus was waiting for us and downhill we went.

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13 downhill hairpin turns to be exact. Roughly another hour.  And beaucoup of waterfalls!

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The bus dropped us off at the Voss train station where we would finish our scenic Norventure via 6 hours back to Oslo where it all began….

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We arrived in Oslo 10 til midnight and sadly we realized that it was our last midnight in Oslo… and just like any fairy tale, there must always come a happy ending.  So at the stroke of 12 we thanked our lucky stars for this Norventure and blew Norway a kiss goodbye.  She just glows at midnight, doesn’t she?

 

Ser deg seinare!

~Ashley

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