Europe 2007 Day 3 – Oslo

It was a late start today – mainly because we needed to sleep in and because we were in no rush to get going. We made it out around 11am, too late for the free breakfast, but not late that we missed the sunshine. We headed over to the Oslo Tourist info area near the Radhaus and asked Christian our info-expert what is good to do around Oslo. He regretted to inform us but since it was the off-season there really wasn’t much to do. I asked him about our famed Norway in a Nutshell tour and he told us that he would be able to book it. The upside of the off-season is that you can get away with last minute bookings and such. In order to make our itinerary work, we had to take the night train from Oslo to Bergen and then after sitting in the station for an hour and a half, you catch another train back up the tracks to a town called Voss. I was excited to get a sleeper car so I spent some extra money to get it for us. We then had until 10pm to look around Oslo so we headed off on the 30 bus to the Kon-Tiki Museum.

Arriving at the Museum we instantly realized instead of buying an all day bus pass, we should have bought the visit pass which would have given us access to all the museums and modes of transportation in the city. We could have then seen all the different museums, but instead we had to pick and choose so we chose the Kon-Tiki but skipped the Frammuseet (dedicated to the ship Fram which went to the North and South poles) and the Sjofartsmuseum which is the Norway Naval Museum.

The Kon-Tiki was a fascinating place and it was interesting learning about the famous Norwegian explorer Thor and his trips in reed rafts from Africa to the Bahamas and from Chile to Tahiti. Included in the museum were two of the actual ships and interesting nuggets of trivia. I was so impressed I ended up buying myself a mini-Kon Tiki.

We then headed off to the Vikingskipmuset. We were going to try the bus, but he blew right by our stop so we ended up walking back to where we got off the bus. (We didn’t know that the bus went all the way to the Kon-Tiki museum so we had to walk 10 minutes to it only to see the bus stop right there.) The museum was really neat on the inside with three ships – two in excellent condition and one that was just bits and pieces. It was an amazing sight to behold. The Kon-Tiki museum had better info displays and more to see and do, but the Vikings museum was impressive in the age of the items on display.

After getting our fill of museums, we headed out to Frogner Parken to see the famous sculpture gardens. I had heard that this was offensive to some people so I was eager to see what was there. It actually was a very nice bigpark with lots of trees and paths to explore. Oh, and there were hundreds of naked statues all over the place. There were men, women, and children all naked some alone, some together. The centerpiece was this big obelisk which was itself made up of hundreds of naked sculptures holding themselves together. I can so see why people get offended.

It was time to eat so we hopped on a tram to take us to Oslo City , a shopping center next to the Oslo central train station. We found an Italian place in the basement which charged us 93Kr (20 US$) each for a individual cheese pizza. Can I just say how amazingly overpriced food is in Norway? We then looked around in some of the shops – even an Apple store (most Apple products 3x their price in the US). It was then time to head back to the hotel and get ready for our big adventure on the overnight train. We discovered that if we took the T-Bahn it dropped us off a block from our hotel which was much closer than the bus or trolley from central. We had trouble with the tram since there was a lot of construction going on in Downtown Oslo so discovering the T-Bahn was a bit of an accident.

Arriving back at the hotel I wanted to upload the photos to Flickr and realized that my power adapter didn’t work for my laptop so I rushed to get everything uploaded before the battery went critical. By the time I realized it, it was too late to go get an adapter and I knew since we were going to be out in the sticks tomorrow I wouldn’t have a chance to get one until I got to London on Saturday. After getting everything ready for our overnight, we headed off to the train station.