Friday, September 17, 2010

Oslo & Skien, Norway

Oslo Harbor
For New Year Eve 2009/10, I decided to go to Oslo, that was my very 1st time in Norway and I just loved it. And I do have to go by spring or summer time to see more, because strangely it's hard to stay outside more than 2 hours when it's -20°C.

I first stayed in Oslo, a very nice city, all covered with snow (just like the whole country actually). I landed in Torp airport, I remember the flight, I slept and woke up while we were approaching Norway, it was amazing to see the shaped coast sprinkled by white, and also the sun was setting and going East it was as the easter we were flying to, we were entering darkness of night. Really something amazing. Another amazing thing for me was to see we were landing on snow... and then I realized that everywhere was a layer of snow on the ground, so Norwegian do know how to drive on snow!

Some church in Oslo
Oslo is very nice city, the center is very pleasant to walk in, the castle is very nice with a big park around. In winter time, next to the Parliament, a fountain is turned into an ice-rink, I hadn't ice skated for a while and I was pretty happy I did not fall.
I also have visited the city hall which is where they give out the Peace Nobel Price. Very interesting and free to visit. Don't miss the harbor, especially by sunset time (around 3pm in December), just next to it is the Fortress.

Another famous landmark is the Opera, it's interesting modern building, but I'm not personally very fond of it, since i love better old buildings.

Oslo Castle
I can't say anything about night life since I didn't go bar crawling, no opportunity, too busy to help organize the New Year's Eve party and then celebrate it. The party was fun! We had a chocolate fountain! ^^ Yummi! And as we were on top of a hill, at midnight we went out to watch all the fireworks all over the city, marvellous!

On the train Oslo - Skien
Then, I took a train to Skien. Pronounce "Shien". I just looked for some cities around the airport, as I like not to stick to capitals/big cities when I'm traveling. The train ride was awesome, we went through beautiful snowy landscapes.

Skien is a very nice & charming city. On the 1st day, my hosts took me on a car ride around the city, again wonderful landscapes. At 1st we were supposed to go ice skating on a lake, but it was not cold enough, "only" -10°C. It was a nice ride, we went to a dam and rode on a very tiny bridge, quite impressive.

On the next day, I went to walk through the city, as it's small town it was made quite quickly, I went on top a hill, nice view from there. I also liked to walk by the river/lake, it was very pleasant. I also found a nice cafe where I could warm up with hot chocolate.
This trip to Norway was amazing, I enjoyed it a lot and wish to go back. 

Photos: Oslo, train Oslo - Skien , Skien .

==Greetings from Dublin==

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