Oslo in the wintertime

Eight hours in Oslo doesn’t feel like enough but you take what you can get.

We arrived by ferry/overnight booze cruise. The approach was beautiful. The city looks a lot like Vancouver does when you take the ferry from Victoria. We glide past seaside towns built into the hills as we brave the cold morning air. It is cold. We go out on deck and the wind hits us. We experience our first real snow of the year.

At first the city seems small. You can only see a bit from the harbour. We drop by the opera house and wander the stairs. I wonder why North American cities don’t have grand opera houses like this one. The city is Scandinavian but has a different feel than Copenhagen.

First we go to the Monolith. We get there by a surprisingly efficient tram after eating $6 7/11 pizza. The park is beautiful and the minimum requirement for inappropriate jokes is meet. We have a fantastic view of the city.

The farther out we go the bigger the city seems. The density is higher than in Copenhagen and it is hilly. I know I could never make it up these on my bike. It reminds me of San Francisco.

I also love the trams. They feel so wonderfully European.

Next we go to the Munch museum. I know him as an artist who was miserable most of the time. He had issues with mortality and women. The exhibit is about his use of photography and video. Oh and of course there are several Screams. We walk past reels of old film he shot. In the café I have the most expensive coffee of my life.

Afterwards we’ve seen the two big things in town so we head back towards the center of town. We discover a Christmas market. There are Norweigan sweaters and Christmas decorations everywhere. We stop to get elk burgers. They are delicious mostly because of the caramelized onions and mushrooms on top. We get free glog. It is delicious.

We go to the royal palace and find another beautiful view of the city—the upside of a city filled with hills. It feels like a proper royal palace, unlike Amalienborg.

We walk back down the main street past a bunch of shops to the harbour. We leave the way we came. Going past the hills, seeing just the tip of Oslo as the last of the sunlight fades.