So this weekend, I decided on a whim to go North and see the beautiful capital of Norway, Oslo! Ironically, I still haven't been to Stockholm yet but that's besides the point...
I took an overnight bus to Oslo to save money and arrived at 5:30 am. It was amazing to see the gradual lightening of the sky (just look at that beautiful sky!), but it was so cold!
With about 4 hours to kill before I could meet my couchsurfing host, I headed off for the Akershus Festning, a medieval fortress on the coast. Since the place was almost completely empty, I had so much fun exploring every nook and cranny of this enormous fortress! I also found an amazing view of the ocean from the top of the walls.
The two pictures above are from Oslo's top attraction, Vigelands Park. This unusual sculpture garden features lots of naked people of all ages, genders, and body types - representing daily life in its many forms. Everyone seems to really like the angry baby so I took a picture with it too!
By 10:30 am, it was time to go meet my host! This was my first time using couchsurfing.com, but I had an amazing experience. He took me around to the best city museums and parks, and it was nice to feel at home while traveling. I really loved Grünerløkka, the area where I was staying. This is apparently the most "hipster" part of Oslo, and I definitely saw an abundance of beanies, boutique shops, and even a rollerblader in the grocery store (lol).
Oslo has some cool (and free!) museums, including a historical museum with some Viking ship recreations and a film museum. My favorite of the weekend was the Folk Museum, a massive open-air museum showing Norwegian folk life through the ages.
On Sunday morning, I thought it would be a great idea to see the view from the Oslo Opera House before I left the city. I got a little too caught up with taking pictures and admiring the building...and missed my coach bus! I freaked out for a while, not knowing where to get wifi or how to purchase a new ticket. FINALLY, I got a wifi signal and paid for another freakin bus ticket. All because I was only one minute late...
So with a few extra hours to kill, I went to explore the lovely botanical gardens, complete with adorable mushroom and apple statues. It was a good way to relax after that insanely stressful period.
On my way home, I had a two hour bus "layover" in Gothenburg, the second-biggest city in Sweden. By then, it was getting dark and chilly and everything was closed. I walked around the port area, took some pictures, and gave up and went to McDonald's. Not sure if the city is better by day, but I probably won't be going back anytime soon.
In any case, I absolutely loved Oslo and the awesome Norwegians I got to meet there! I hope that I can go visit the gorgeous city of Bergen next time - if I can afford it. One should never underestimate how insanely expensive it is in Norway...
The Oslo Rose