Our overnight train to the Norwegian capital from scenic Bergen arrived at our destination at 7am. Having not gotten any sleep on the train, we were running on pure excitement; as we headed to the bathroom to freshen up for a day of exploring.
One thing I love about Norway which I think is a good time to mention is that they definitely go for natural beauties. In the UK, so many girls pile on the makeup and draw on their eyebrows and can often end up looking like drag queens.
In Norway, it’s the complete opposite with minimalistic (or no!) makeup at all. For me – who at the best of times will wear a bit of eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara and blusher, but often ventures out of the house bare faced – this was great.
My friend and I simply dropped our luggage off and embraced our makeup free faces, ready to explore.
Stopping off for breakfast, I practiced my half Swedish/half Norwegian that I had been learning – I was kind of nervous at first, but the woman at the café seemed to understand what I was saying, and I got my banana bread and apple juice so all was right with the world!
We had a wander up Karl Johan’s Gate, and as we got to the King’s palace at the top of the hill, there was a red carpet laid out… naturally, we had a picture taken (it was nice of them to welcome us!). It turned out the King was in town, with a parade to celebrate, so we spent a couple of hours sitting in the sun, watching the soldiers march by.
The apartment we were staying in was located in hipster Grünerløkka, and although the room was small, the location as perfect. We sat in a nearby park eating ice creams, and then went to explore the shops (although sadly, I didn’t get anything).
That evening, I experienced my first Norwegian night out, and if there’s one word I would to describe it, it’s: casual.
I put on a white lace dress, but dressed it down with heeled black boots and a leather jacket (or so I’d thought). My friend had dressed similarly, but the walk to the first bar confirmed that in Oslo, our look was anything but casual.
Lesson number two I learnt about Norwegian nights out: they’re not that expensive. Let me explain: my dad spent a lot of his summers living and working in Oslo when he was at University, and complained about how expensive it was. Plus, the research I’d done prior to visiting kept banging on about how outrageously expensive the alcohol was in Oslo.
So bearing that in mind, I was expecting to spend about £30 on a cocktail. However, when I realised that I only had to spend (a mere!) £18, I was left feeling pleasantly surprised. It’s fair to say that I was loving Norwegian life.
We spent a lot of time visiting the tourist attractions on the second day: first stop was to Vigeland Park where we laughed at the statues, then headed over to Tøyen. We were going to go to the Munch museum and see The Scream, but decided against it as the entry fee was pretty steep (it would also have been money wasted as I realised during my second trip back to Oslo, as The Scream isn’t even in the Munch museum!).
I got a picture of the nearby Natural History Museum where my dad rented a room out at the top during his time in Oslo.
I was particularly pleased with my choice of outfit that night: a white vest, grey jeans and black leather jacket had me feeling like a proper Scandi girl!
Calling it a night at 12.30am, my friend and I (in our tipsiness) decided it was the perfect time to go and visit the Opera House. With the city lit up, it was a perfect view; although on our wander down we were mistaken as prostitutes by the police!
Completely innocent, and I’d like to point out that the prostitutes (who we didn’t actually realise until later on that they were prostitutes!) were dressed casually in jeans, and not the fishnets you’d expect!
We completely unknowingly, headed into the red light district; and stood waiting at a crossing waiting for the lights to change, even though there were no cars coming (what can I say? We were being good Norwegians). Anyway, along came a police car who hovered next to us for a good few minutes until we eventually crossed. I hope they felt bad when they realised the error of their ways!
Our third and final day in Oslo consisted of shopping around Majorstuen. This was a success as I purchased a silver cropped jumper from Monki, and a top from my beloved Moods of Norway (I could have bought so many more things from there!). I spent the rest of the day proudly swinging a Moods bag on my arm.
In the afternoon, we visited Aker Brygge, which was still being built. The apartment blocks looked lovely, so naturally I picked out where my future apartment would be!
We arrived at Gardermoen airport at 6pm, ready for our flight to Trondheim (during which time, I had possibly the most amazing triple chocolate muffin ever!).
I was ridiculously excited to visit Trondheim, but also very sad to leave Oslo. I really didn’t expect to have loved it as much as I did. Having been to Sweden before, I really liked it there, but Oslo was just something else: there were so many things to do, the people were so nice, and being so tall (and very naturally made up!) I felt like it was where I belonged.
My verdict of Oslo? I would go back in an instant, but I don’t want everyone else going too! It’s an amazing city, and whilst I’d disagree with claims that it’s too expensive, I almost feel like I don’t want to go on about it too much in case lots of other people decide to go too.
Call me selfish, but I want Oslo all to myself!