A quick one-hour trip this weekend landed me in Oslo, where I stayed for just one day and one night to see a friend, an American law student who is spending her third year abroad at the University of Oslo. After I landed that night, we wandered through the opening of the Christmas market and even heard some live music. The next morning, we woke up early to see the Viking museum in Bygdøy. Most impressive were the massive ships, intricately carved and thousands of years old, and surprisingly still intact. One bus stop down was the open air folk museum, similar to the idea of Seurasaari in Helsinki, where historic buildings have been moved from all over Norway to sit in an an artificial village. We saw a stave church–one of many medieval wooden buildings found all around Norway– that was apparently built in the 1200s. The museum also had a village of houses and shops from the 1950s and an exhibit on the Sami people, who also live in Finnish Lapland. Next, we ventured to the Oslo opera house, a massive white structure jutting into the water like an iceberg. We climbed the roof, but at that point, around 2pm, the sun had already begun to set and it was getting cooler and windier and freezing water droplets were forming on the stone, which made the ascent and descent incredibly slippery. Overall, Oslo didn’t feel so foreign–the climate, architecture and general pace of the city bear much resemblance to Helsinki. I have yet to explore the rest of Norway, but I have one work trip planned in December and another sightseeing trip in the works.
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