Hey guys! André & Rita here. Have you read the previous chapter of our Scandinavian adventures? After finally doing the hike to Trolltunga and scratching that off our bucket list, we headed back to Bergen one morning and took the 6 hour train to Oslo. It is said to be one of the most beautiful train rides in Europe, and it surely did not disappoint us! We had bought the tickets a few days earlier while we were in Bergen, so all we had to do was make sure we were at the station in time. Not only were we in time, we had a couple of hours to kill. But since our legs felt like pudding from having hiked 22km in snow the day before, we were happy to just have lunch at a restaurant near the station and stay put until it was time to board the train.
The fact that the previous winter had been particularly rough affected not only the hiking conditions but the whole scenery in Norway during the summer of 2015. This train ride through what seemed like a winter wonderland was just surreal. We could not keep our eyes from the view outside and wondered how the other passengers could possibly be sleeping during the whole trip.
As soon as we arrived in Oslo, at about 8pm, we were sure we weren't in the middle of the quiet mountains anymore. The city's energetic vibes last the whole night long (even more so due to the fact that there is no darkness at night!) and we could not wait to start exploring. Our hotel was right across the street from the central station, so it tooks us 2 minutes to drop the luggage in our room and get right back outside. We'd already studied the maps of city so we knew where everything was located in relation to our hotel. We were obviously still pretty exhausted from everything we'd been doing in the past few days, so we just strolled around a few streets and headed to the Opera House. We got a glimpse of what it looked like and agreed that we'd go see it closely the morning after.
We got back to the hotel, took a hot shower and lay down in what felt like the world's most comfortable bed. We slept like babies and allowed ourselves a few extra hours in bed the next morning. When we got up, we fixed ourselves a little breakfast from the hotel bar (not included in the reservation) and headed to the Opera House again. Once we got there, we sat down and enjoyed our breakfast with a view over the city. The Opera itself is an impressive place to visit, and we were sad that we hadn't included plans for a music concert in our whole trip to Norway and Sweden.
We only had this one full day in Oslo and we had made a pact not to spend it shut inside museums. Perhaps we'll visit Oslo for a few days somewhere in the future, and we'll make the most of a longer trip to the norwegian capital city. This time around, we were thrilled to just explore the city, visit the flower markets, eat some great vegetarian food and just get to know the place in general.
We had lunch in the awesome mexican restaurant Taqueria. We sat outside and had the yummy veggie tacos with a side of spicy grilled corn on the cob and a couple of Coronas. We wandered through the streets and ended up near the docks. After visiting the Akershus Fortress and the Royal Palace, we got back to the main street where we roamed in all the shops and little stores and bought a few little items and trinkets ('twas the sale season, hurray!).
Our legs were still so sore from the hike to Trolltunga that they started giving up on us, so we chose a spot near the Opera House, sat and lay on street benches and enjoyed the view while we soaked up some sunlight. Before we knew it, it was dinner time (dinner is typically around 6pm in Norway) and our stomachs were growling. We dropped our shopping bags in our hotel room and chose a nice little italian restaurant, where we had a yummy green veggie pizza topped with rocket salad and avocados.
After dinner, we strolled around the city for the again and ended up somewhere rather amazing, if we may say. The place was Sukkerbiten, a small island right next to the Opera House, where a picnic party with a karaoke contest was taking place. It was past 9pm and everyone was enjoying the sun, diving in the ocean and enjoying a few beers. We hung out for a couple of hours before calling it a day and heading back to our hotel room.
We landed in bed that night with mixed feelings. Happy to finally head to Stockholm the next day but sad to be leaving Norway. We have not one bad thing to say about this beautiful country. We'll see you soon Norway! In the meantime, you can see what we were up to in Stockholm (Norway & Sweden 2015, Part V).