Normally a lover of sun-lounging and ice cream it’s no shock that my usual holiday destination is Greece but when my friend, Katie, suggested booking a trip we knew we wanted to opt for something with a little more adventure…
Fast forward the Google searches and frantic board look-ups on Pinterest and we had decided on Norway!
We had both never been and when we managed to book return flights for £44 each (www.skyscanner.net), we were sold.
We booked accommodation on Air B’n’B to keep costs low and we were all set to discover a lovely new place!
Day 1: Arriving in Norway
We flew on an early flight from Stansted to Rygge then had a one hour bus ride from the airport to the bus station in Oslo.
We walked to the train station where we had a few hours to kill before setting off on a 7 hour journey.
You may think we’re crazy but it’s considered one of the world’s most scenic train journeys… (and I’d definitely agree!)
When we arrived in Bergen we went to our Air B’n’B to sleep as we were drained from travelling since before sunrise!
Day 2: Hello Bergen!
On our first day we wanted to just wander around town…
We met a lovely girl on the train the night before who worked in the Starbucks on the harbour so we went there for a hot drink to warm our hands up and then on her recommendation we went to see Mount Fløyen.
We got the train up which didn’t take long at all, then walked back down.
The views from the top were amazing. We spent ages taking photos and enjoying the view and I’d definitely recommend it if you visit Bergen. It’s such a nice place; very clean and easy to walk around. You could easily see everything in two days.
Day 3: Exploring further
Monday was our last day in Bergen before getting the train back to Oslo so we decided to go and track down another famous building; the Fantoft Stave Church.
After being burnt down after an arson attack in 1992 it was rebuilt in exactly the same way as the original and is a really interesting building to visit whilst you’re in Bergen.
It had snowed quite a bit on the Saturday night and was still settled on the ground which just made it look even better!
Day 4: Back to Oslo
With our return train leaving at 8AM, we had a really early start and a long journey ahead but we were excited to see more gorgeous scenery. It was getting dark towards the end of the last journey which meant we couldn’t see much so it was good to see it all in daylight the second time around.
That night we ate in a cool restaurant called Døgnvill where I had a classic burger and fries with parmesan cheese on top. We both said it was one of the best burgers we’d ever had so if you visit Oslo and want to indulge, check them out!
Day 5: Biathlon fun, Hard Rock Cafè and National History museum
On Wednesday we ventured out to Karl Johan’s Gate and the surrounding area.
There was a huge stage and cameras on cranes but we had no idea what they were for…
They had a market with food stools and people selling handmade crafts so we asked a local. They explained that it was the opening ceremony for the biathlon, which is all televised, so it was cool to be there during an event like that. They had singers performing at night and hundreds gather in the street to celebrate.
We then spotted the Hard Rock Cafè on the corner so we nipped in for lunch.
They have these big souvenir cocktail glasses that have the place name on them that are free when you order certain drinks. I’d previously got one when I travelled to Surfers Paradise in Australia so wanted to get one from Oslo too…
From there we went on to find the Natural History museum…
It was interesting to look around all of the different sections within the museum but my favourite was the Native Americans. How amazing are the headdresses?!
Day 6: Nobel Peace Prize museum and St. Hanshaugen park
On Thursday it was feeling pretty cold! On average during the week it had been 0 to -2 degrees but it didn’t feel too bad unless you took off your gloves. To keep warm we took a walk to St. Hanshaugen park where our Air B’n’B host said we’d get a nice view of the city.
Walking to the top of the park you get a nice view but as it was bitterly cold and snowy our view was a little dampened by the fog.
We had lunch at TGI Friday where we were waited on by a nice guy called Ben, originally from the UK. After indulging in a very nice Italian burger we headed back out into the cold to carry on with our day.
As there are so many museums in Norway it only felt right to explore a few. As the boats don’t run in the winter we couldn’t get to the museum island in Bygdøy so we decided to check a few out that we could walk to.
I didn’t really know anything about Alfred Nobel before going in to the museum, only that every year someone was awarded with a Nobel Peace Prize. It was interesting to learn more about his past and to see who and why these people had been awarded with one.
They had a room with interactive screens showing all of the previous winners so you could go round and read why each of them had been awarded with such an honourable title.
Mother Teresa was an easily recognisable one, winning for the recognition of her humanitarian work whilst residing in India; building homes for orphans and hospices for those who were dying in Calcutta.
President Obama was also another, awarded for his efforts to strengthen cooperation and his attempt to eradicate the worlds use of nuclear weapons.
Day 7: Hausmannsgate and Ellie Goulding
Whilst we were in TGI Friday the previous day, our waiter, Ben, suggested we checked out a place called Hausmannsgate, so on our last full day in Oslo we wrapped ourselves up and headed out…
We knew we’d reached the right place once we started seeing all of the graffiti!
It’s a very cool place and home to Hausmania – a self-governed cultural house that provides artists a space to practise and hold exhibitions.
After a good walk around we headed back to the apartment to transform ourselves from wrapped up tourists to gig-goers…
I had seen Ellie Goulding in London previously so knew she was impressive live but this time it was an arena tour – an entirely different setting to the Roundhouse.
She put on a great show and it was a cool way to end our trip in Norway, a place that Ellie loves and spends a lot of time in!
Day 8: Flying home
Our morning was spent trying to fit all of our stuff back into the hand luggage bags that we’d bought with us.
We then had the unexciting trip back to the airport!
But not before we stopped off to buy a donut and get a last Starbucks…
Thanks for checking out our trip! If you have any questions about Norway or our trip, feel free to comment…