Sunday, September 16, 2012


In what I consider a stepping stone to an actual Eat, Pray, Love inspired trip, I spent this past weekend in Oslo, Norway. I originally planned to explore Denmark because I thought I'd be without my passport but I ended up having my travel documents after all. A friend from Georgetown had told me about a mini cruise to Oslo that she and her friends were doing and when another DIS student posted that his ticket was for sale, I jumped at the opportunity to sail to Norway for a few days and bought it.

After meeting up with my friend and her group at the train station, we headed to the harbor and boarded the ship. I didn't actually know the three guys I'd be bunking with but they were incredibly sweet and very organized with all their bags in the tight quarters. We sailed overnight on Friday to Oslo and had all day Saturday to explore the city. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the Nordic capital. I didn't think I'd dislike it but I was not prepared for what happened next.
I fell head over heels IN LOVE with Oslo.
I woke up early on Saturday morning and slipped out of the cabin to watch our arrival from the deck. The view was absolutely breathtaking. We were sailing up the narrow channel from the open sea to the city and the waterway was flanked with small islands and rolling hills full of green pine trees and brightly colored houses. I felt like I was back at home in the Rocky Mountains but the air was the crisp salty kind you can only find along the coast. We lucked out weather-wise; the sky was an unreal shade of blue and it was sunny and near 65 degrees all day.

After docking in Oslo we were set loose to explore the city. My friend was extremely organized and had made up an itinerary for the day. We headed to the tourist center to pick up Oslo Passes that gave us all-day transportation, museum entrances and discounts. We started out at the Munch Museum to see the famous "Scream" painting. From there we took a breathtaking (albeit slow) train ride up to the famous Holmenkollen ski jump. The view from the top was incredible and only reaffirmed my love for this new place.

From there we moved on to the Vigelandsparken Sculpture Garden, ate a tradition Norwegian lunch (meatballs, gravy and potatoes) and headed back through the city towards the ship. On our way we passed the Parliament Building, City Hall, Royal Palace and Opera House. The Opera House was designed to look like an iceberg emerging from the water and it was stunning to see in person.

As we hopped back on the boat Saturday afternoon to sail back through the night to Copenhagen, I could not stop smiling. I bought my ticket on such a whim and it had turned in to one of the most memorable trips of my life. I can safely say that I won't be booking any more cruises (I still feel like the world is rocking as I type this) but I will absolutely be returning to Oslo at some point. Norway, you have my heart...please keep it safe.

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