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Norway & Denmark Diary : Day 18 to Day 20 - 17th to 19th April 2019


The city of Oslo lies somewhere in the eastern region of the bulb that shapes the southern part of Norway.    Renowned as the City of Islands, it adopts plenty of surrounding, small islands under its jurisdiction. The city stands out for its adaptation of modernisation at the highest level.  Despite being in complete contrast to the rest of the country, it has no reason to be intimidated or live up to the country’s otherwise natural scenic standards.   Flooded with rich history and culture, characterised by medieval ruins, nature trails & beaches, the city is a true culmination of ancient and modern. It also prides being labelled as one of the safest cities in Europe

The original name ' OSLO ' dates back to the mid 11th century.  History narrates the city succumbing entirely to fire in the early 17th century.  Interestingly Oslo was renamed CHRISTIANIA by the then King Christian IV, which later was changed to read KRISTIANIA.  The new city was built near the Akershus fortress and the old ruined parts remained demarcated as the old town, under the name of OSLO.  Gradually, the newly developed city re-claimed the name OSLO giving the old town a new name - ‘Gamlebyen’.

Day18 - 17th April 2019

After covering many ethereal parts of Norway and impressed by various idyllic villages & towns, we reached the vivacious city of OSLO by 3 pm on 17th April 2019.  It consisted of an eight hour railway journey from the village of FLAM with an interchange at the MYRDAL station. Equipped with home packed lunch, we left our self-catering, fjord side apartment in Flam that morning by 8 am subsequent to a sumptuous breakfast.   Both legs of the train journey were super comfortable.  The resplendent Oslo Central (sentrum) station warmly welcomed us. The floor was astir with shops, boutiques, restaurants and cafes.   We ogled past the well lit hall way as we stepped out with luggage through the rear entrance.

It seemed closer to our airbnb accommodation from there , just an easy walk of around 6 to 8 minutes.  We noticed a dozen railway tracks curving right in, below a few stairs from the rear entrance.  Tugging our carryalls down the stairs posed a challenge, however, the smoothly laid out cemented pavements beside the tracks, helped us d rag our baggage through the streets.  We strode past the tracks & took the immediate right, to reach the DRONNING EUFEMIAS GATE street, which seemed to run for kilometres.

53 dronning Eufemias gate

A wide clean road with regulated traffic, sky scrapers in the form of commercial and residential complexes towering on either side exhibiting their distinctively coloured facades & stylish glass work, display of modern art pieces in common spaces, shops and super markets neatly tucked away, public transport stops at frequent intervals is what the DRONNING EUFEMIAS GATE presented. Every part of the city here seemed to ooze out the high, quality living.    We were thrilled to have our Airbnb accommodation in one of the buildings on this street.  Situated on the 3rd floor of a relatively new construction, was our spacious,  three bed room accommodation.    The BJORVIKA bus stop was positioned just a few steps away from the main entrance  of the building.  

The BJORVIKA is a business district of the city.  Our airbnb host guided us to the apartment while handing over the key code and we soon settled down.   Tired from the reasonably long train travel, we all rested for a while in our rooms.    

The evening found us energetic enough. We stepped out on the streets, admiring the architecture in the Bjorvika area.   We used a vending machine at the Central station to purchase our 24 hour unlimited transport pass,  for the usage of all public transport within the city.  This pass is real value for money. We then walked back to Bjorvika bus stop to take a ride to AKER BRYGGE- a neighborhood in Oslo,  renowned for its evening and night life.  There was no dearth of  pictures along the way.    


The bus dropped us off at VIKA ATRIUM stop.  It was a fun five minute walk from there to the most happening place in Oslo central- the AKER BRYGGE.  

The AKER BRYGGE is a vibrant commercial centre comprising of a stunning square engulfed by commercial complexes, few bridges that arch over a small water body, extending to a pier side that is lined up with good amount of outdoor restaurants , boutiques, shops and also an art museum.   It is more like a sophisticated market place hugging the pier,  where ferries are available all the year round to venture around the scenic Oslofjord.   It is hard to miss the stunning distant views of THE AKERSHUS FORTRESS from here.

Restaurant NEW DELHI occupied a certain corner in the square.  After a few pictures, we headed to the restaurant.  The Manager-cum-owner turned out to be a Sardarji (Indian, Sikh) and as usual , like any other Punjabi, he was warm with commendable hospitality skills.  We settled for a cozy spot in the restaurant.

We ordered some light “chaats” (classic, spicy Indian snacks).  The ambience was warm. The inside was more spacious than it seemed from the outside. Most corners were decorated with various posters and items depicting India.   The Indian flag was prominently displayed in the main hall.  A huge poster of the India Gate and a mammoth bangle stand were the highlights.  The  interiors also maintained potted plants.  The aesthetic,  dim light setting hardly warned us of the striking colours of the food served. It came as a shock to see the pictures we had taken.  Is this what we ate ?!! unbelievable ! 


However, the food tasted so delicious that we instantly decided to book our dinner for the next evening with them.  

           Snack time

Restaurant  New Delhi

With filled tummies, we stepped out to walk over a small bridge and landed at the fjord side of AKER BRYGGE. A walk alongside the Oslo fjord gave us an idea of the lavish city life. There were loads of restaurants, small roadside eateries, shops, malls, stacked up in a straight line as far as the eye could reach.   A certain junction saw "Jamie Oliver's" restaurant staring at us.  The noted chef has been a part of the MasterChef series that I have never missed. I was thrilled to find his own restaurant. Little boards, all around outside seating area, displayed his name.   Sadly, our tummies were so full that we had to skip a visit here.  

The kids in our group were attracted to a roadside softy ice-cream shop and insisted on tasting waffles with cream & raspberry jam. We got them a plate each and perched on the benches till they fondly gobbled it up.  The views of the AKERSHUS Fortress from here didn’t disappoint us. There was enough and more time on hands.  We decided to get on foot to the KLINGENBERG bus stop in order  to reach the OPERA HOUSE.  It was indeed a nice walk down to the RADHUS - the Norwegian word for  "CITY HALL" past which came the said stop.  The FORTRESS made a memorable  backdrop in a few of our pictures down this lane.


As we moved further, a friendly passerby offered to click a much cherished group picture of us against the City Hall (RADHUS). 

The City Hall, Oslo



Past the RADHUS,  the hunt for the KLINGENBERG bus stop began.  The Klingenberg area is a happening place, housed with variety of shops.  So,  amidst the window shopping,  we missed the bus stop.   After some circling around the area we finally succeeded in finding it.  We used our 24 hour travel pass and rode a bus towards the Bjorvika stop.  We got off at a stop near the Opera House.  Due to some construction work nearby, the roads leading there were a bit sketchy, but that did no harm to us.  We enjoyed the pleasant walk down a raw path,  to reach our destination and there stood the wonderful piece of art.

THE Opera House


The stunning, unique,  cubical construction stood on a floor, with a slanted piece of cemented slab cutting right through it.   The waters of Oslofjord cased the area on 3 sides.  The gradually darkening skies created a magnificent effect on the lighting around the area.  The shimmering building, loaded with glass wore an exquisite look.  While most of the group members walked up the slope to reach the roof of the Opera House, some of us stayed put on the ground level.  Those at the terrace, supposedly experienced the chilly, evening breeze than those at the ground.  They also savoured fantastic aerial views of the city.

We enjoyed our "me" time on ground, sat on the sloping floor for a bit.  There was a piece of weird architecture sown right in the middle of the fjord waters.  It looked like a sinking ship to us - may be a portion of another sinking TITANIC ?.  Made of pieces of cut glass, it stood in deep waters attracting attention.


The views of AKER BRYGGE area from this side of town was out of the world. The colorful lights, bustling city, the moonlit sky, all this added to the grace & charm.  Our accommodation was on the street right behind the OPERA HOUSE.  We were blessed to find a dwelling in the heart of the city, with everything at a walkable distance.

Life in a Metro !!!.... Like I mentioned before, it was a short walk, may be about 10 minutes to our abode from the OPERA HOUSE, but as you can see the roads were deserted.  People were in Easter mood and on vacation.   The street lights were screaming out louder than ever, twinkling away.  It felt like the whole town was just lit up just for us.  We soon reached 53 Eufemias Gate.  We huddled up in the lift to reach our floor.  Settling down quickly, we had dinner before we called it a day.

Day19 - 18th April 2019

Like any other day, we set out that morning to explore the city.  Our Itinerary covered enough and more for the entire day.  We walked towards a bus stop past the Central station to make our way to our first  destination THE AKERSHUS fortress.  An amazing row of bicycle models caught our attention in one of the by-lanes.  After some brain storming it dawned that they were, indeed, bicycle stands.    That was so cool.  People heading to the railway station were free to lock their bicycles against these.  We couldn't resist  taking a few pictures here.


We then ogled at the surrounding architectural wonders before crossing a massive bridge to get to the bus stop.  In less than 15 minutes we got off at a stop by a pier side, that lay diagonally opposite to the fortress.  It was an easy 5 minute walk after that. 


The AKERSHUS fortress

We spotted colorful trunks/benches and part of a painted floor on the pathway leading to the entrance of the fortress.  It was an ideal place for more pictures.  There is no entrance fee requirement for a peek around the fortress. However, entry to the museums require ticket purchase.  

The Castle like fortress was built in the early 14th century to defend the city against immediate rivals and also to provide residence to the Royals. It survived many Swedish attacks.  Later, it served as a place for execution of Norwegian traitors.  Thereafter, it has undergone many renovations. The Iconic fortress,  today is a prominent tourist attraction hosting three important museums, which charge a minimal entry fee. The terrace of the fortress provides unparalleled views of the city. We decided to skip the museums and just take a look around.


The fortress sits right on the fjord overlooking the city and is beautifully maintained.  Medieval cannons , secret chambers from the walls of which camouflaged cannons peep out, aesthetically maintained pathways and gardens, real soldiers guarding the fortress are the main attractions here, apart from the museums of course.  


SOLDIERS ON DUTY -  We were taken aback to see few soldiers guarding various parts of the fortress. They were on duty.  We were happy to take pictures with them.  They were extremely friendly in comparison to the soldiers  whom we had met in other parts of England and Europe.  They narrated that their duty consisted of standing in position, day after day,  for 8 hours, without moving, just like frozen dolls.   They also narrated that it is mandatory for the youth of the country to serve the Nation for two years.  This process is strictly followed till date.  


We gradually moved from the ground level to the terrace level for fantastic city views.   We spent an hour or so discovering parts of the fortress before reaching the exit.


An easy 5 minute stroll from the exit point of the fortress got us to the tram station on the main road.  TRAM No. 12 from there, dropped us right in front of the entrance to the FROGNER PARK. Our "day pass" came handy.


Covering nearly a massive 45 hectares, this park hosts the much raved about VIGELAND - a certain portion of land within the park, that displays innumerable, mega sized, stone sculptures laid out at regular intervals.  The spectacular pieces of art depict various stages in a common man ’s life cycle.  Birth, death, family relationships, hardships, happy family times etc.,  It is impressive to witness the varied emotions etched on such massive sized stone & bronze. A few abstract  pieces installed here are also commendable. Entry to the park is free. The reception desk near the entrance was equipped with a snack corner which satisfied our taste buds.  It was a long walk towards the central Monolith of the Frogner park. 


We stopped by  the VIGELAND on the way.  The sculptures triggered a debate amongst us,  as to what each of them were meant to  depict. The central area had a huge fountain.


The park, we were told, flaunts a total of 212 sculptures, all made by GUSTAV VIGELAND after whom it is named.  THE  central MONOLITH is set on a higher stage and is about 14-15 feet high.  It has 100 odd intertwined human figures, all facing the sky, supposedly said to make contact with the almighty.  It was just unbelievable to hear that its construction took almost 14 years.


It was tiring to cover the huge area in hot sun, but we managed.  The even more tiring job was to find someone who would take our group pictures.  Creating a beautiful portfolio in the huge garden area was a part of our Itinerary.  We put on our attitudes and walked the imaginary ramp to get a perfect picture.  It was fun.

After resting a while in the garden area, we made our way out through the eastern gate to reach the MAJORSTUEN train station.  Across the main road was a dome shaped Cinema hall named "Colosseum".  Passing through a street side florist, who displayed unusual bunches of blooms on the streets, we entered the wrong gate of the station and had to jump over barricades to get to the platform.  It took us a while to realise that few train lines were temporarily closed.   It was a challenge to find our way out of the huge station.   We finally landed at the other end and sought help to find the right bus to get to our next stop - THE NATIONAL THEATRE.


Oslo city walk


The National Theatre


Getting off at the National Theatre stop, first up was the PEACOCK FOUNTAIN, in its vicinity.  We sat by the fountain enjoying the sprays of the cool water while ogling at the yellow THEATRE building.  The family friendly THEATRE SQUARE was crowded and bustling with energy.  After a while we moved on to explore the city by foot. 


The Peacock Fountain


The ROYAL PALACE OF OSLO was at a walkable distance from the fountain square.  The typical English Palace stood occupying a large piece of land behind the National Theatre. 



Our OSLO CITY WALK comprised of walking the entire length of The KARL JOHANS GATE street beginning right from the Royal palace running towards Oslo Central Station. 


A noteworthy street covered with tourist spots and buildings of. prominence, it took us around an hour to cover the entire distance at our own pace, admiring the architecture,  surroundings and peeking into souvenir shops.  Some of noteworthy constructions from the PALACE itself were the University of Oslo, The Norwegian Parliament House & square and the OSLO Church.  




University of Oslo


Stortinget - Parliament


Hard Rock Cafe'


The OSLO Cathedral


Closer to the Central Station , on the KARL JOHANS street falls the CAFE CATHEDRAL and the OSLO Cathedral itself.   The cafe looked more like an adopted historic building.

The street provides a unique shopping experience, covering many branded shops, souvenir shops and restaurants, thus making it a heavily crowded area.  We made a few purchases here.  


We were not only impressed by the variety but also by the interiors of a certain shop,  that  displayed a big MOOSE in its hallway and a bunch of TROLLS in one of its corners leading to the stairs that led to their first floor. We reached the main entrance of the OSLO CENTRAL STATION.  

The ICONIC, nearly 5 metre long, BRONZE TIGER adorns the Sentrum area, i.e the square in front of the Oslo Central Station.   A few pictures in front of this sculpture became mandatory due to its significance.  Many years ago Oslo adapted the nickname “Tiger City”, representing how dangerous it was. Today the same name is used proudly, to represent how fearless, exciting and happening the city is.   Posing with the tiger amidst the crowd was challenging. We were lucky to get a picture of the tiger itself,  despite the crowd.   


We later boarded a bus to reach the AKER BRYGGE yet again.  Our Dinner table was set at the NEW DELHI restaurant.  After some delightful grub, we boarded a bus to get back to our accommodation.   The 24 hour pass proved cheap and all worth it.  

Dinner at New Delhi restaurant

Day20 - 19th April 2019

The short and sweet stay in Oslo can never be forgotten.  The aesthetic sense of the city  has been engraved in our lives for ever.   It was Day 20 of our tour and we bid farewell to our lovely accommodation to get to the train station by 9:30 am.   Our journey to the Airport from the central Station was booked in advance .  We initially waited on the wrong platform for our train, until we were guided by a station master.  


There are also shuttle trains running from the central station to airport at regular intervals, but are more expensive.   These tickets can be bought at the counter just before departure.


Our flight to Copenhagen was scheduled for 12:45 pm.   We got to the Oslo airport much before time and relaxed in the lobby, followed up with a lot of window shopping and grabbed goodies from various restaurants,  after check in.    

We reached Copenhagen by 2:30 pm.  For further story read COPENHAGEN (DENMARK).


Oslo Central Station


Oslo Airport


First views of Copenhagen from the aircraft

Vigeland - Frogner Park

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