"But Leah, Norway? Really? This 'tiny' insignificant Nordic country that is even colder AND more expensive than Sweden? And talking about Sweden, what about your love to the land of köttbullar and Ikea? Isn't that... cheating?"
Okay, okay, people. Calm down. Give this girl a break!
Sweden will always have this special place in my non-existent dark heart BUT Norway? Definitely a new love deserving more attention. It's like dating someone but secretly having a bigger crush on their handsome sibling but you just know that it's not the right time or place to approach them. It's painful but you know... I have hope. One day, Norway and I will date - I can feel it.
Hailey and I have been planning this trip for the last two million years (and no, I am not even kidding...), so in November 2015 we finally got our s#*t together and booked bus tickets and hotel to actually make sure that we will do this. Et voilà- WE DID IT! Whoop, whoop! Finally.
The great thing about living in Malmö is that it's so close to Oslo, that you can simply go on a 7 hour bus trip over night and you wake up in central Oslo the next day without airport hassle or extra costs to go to and from airports. So if you ever have a spare 500 SEK - buy yourself a return ticket to Oslo, you won't regret it, I promise. Even if you just go for one or two days.
The most amazing thing we got to do on this trip was spending the whole Sunday on Frognerseteren (basically a mountain a bit outside of Oslo but still connected to the main zone of Oslo's public transport system) sledding down the mountains like overly-excited pre-schoolers on a sugar rush. If you're not into sledding because you are scared to die: please go anyway, because a) fun and b) fun and c) dying is, in fact, possible but kinda unlikely (at least it would be a kinda cool death....) Oh, and the view is just amazing.
It was pretty snowy, and therefore also pretty damn freezing, during our stay BUT at least the sun was out 90% of the time so it was all bearable. And nothing feels better than returning to the hotel room after spending all day outside and you finally start feeling your toes again when you weren't actually sure if they were still attached to your foot or just loosely chilling in your, not actually winter-appropriate, sneakers, because you were too cheap to buy proper winter boots this year (oh, hi!). However, all twenty toes going on this trip survived Oslo 2016 - just to make that clear.
The picture above was taken from the roof of the Oslo Opera House - a huge building right next to Central Station. We didn't spend too much time on there due to the cold but this place must be heaven in summer. The view was decent.
We also managed to take the ferry (which, by the way, is included in your normal public transport day pass!!!) to have a look at Oslo from the fjord whilst the sun was slowly disappearing from the horizon - drowning in Norwegian waters. Have a look yourself:
Do you get why I fell in love with this place? Now, imagine this scene not taken with a, more or less, shitty iPhone camera but in real life... got it? It was truly mind-blowing. Scandinavian nature has this charming thing going on... it just melts everything inside you. Reckless. No chance to escape. And you never want to leave again. Ever.
We had quite some time to kill before we could check in to our hotel on the day of our arrival, so we visited the Royal Palace super early in the morning. Oslo is a very safe city, just as most places in the Nordic countries. Walking through the snow-covered Queen's Park in the middle of the night was nothing but calming rather than scary...
We also visited the Nobel Peace Center which is only a few meters from the Oslo City Hall and therefore also from the docks where you can jump on the ferry.
And that was about it. It was great fun but keep in mind that Oslo is quite expensive if you start planning your trip. A shitty supermarket sandwich will cost you at least 6 Euros, a small coffee in one of the hundreds of cafés to choose from at least 4 Euros. Living in Sweden, the difference wasn't too overwhelming for me but being German and knowing how cheap food is in the mother country it will probably sweep you off your feet if you're a fellow-countryman. I am sure you will fall in love with Norway, just as it happened to Hailey and myself. Watch your hearts, people!