Day 7: Oslo Sightseeing: A whole day to enjoy the many sights. A chance to visit the Kontiki Museum with its amazing raft and see the Gustav Vigeland sculptures in Frogner Park. (Breakfast included)
Breakfast: 8:15 Bus departs: 9:00
I was up at 7am this morning and took a free shower, yea! But since nothing is truly free, every time you pushed the button for the shower it would last about 30 seconds, so you had to keep pushing it. After a few minutes you could kinda tell when it was about to go out and could keep a pretty steady stream going. The adventures in travel!
At 9am we were off to Holmenkollen, home of the biggest ski jump in the world. And I have to say, it was pretty damn big! You would have to be nuts to jump off that thing! When we first got there everyone was taking pictures of it and then we finally got to go inside, they have a ski museum there, showing skis over the years, and Holmenkollen over the years and Olympic stuff from the 1952 Oslo games, I was in heaven. Then I went up to the top, you take an elevator about half way (on the picture you’ll notice a post holding the ski jump up, that post had the elevator in it), but you had to climb (141 steps) the rest of the way to the top. Again I have noticed that the Stairmaster does not translate to stairs, what good is a stairmaster if it doesn’t help with stairs? While I was waiting to go to the top they had ski jumping skis on the wall, wow, they are really wide! I guess it makes sense since you use them to fly, but they were still wider then I thought they would be, and generally just really big. But the wait in line and the 141 stairs were all worth it once you got to see the view down! It was beautiful! After a little Contiki photo session I went back down so I could do some shopping for Olympic paraphernalia. Sadly there wasn’t any Olympic stuff for me to buy. Then I wanted to go on the ski jump simulator, but I didn’t have time for that, and the ATM. Money won out. But money did not come out of the ATM machine; for some reason it didn’t like my ATM card, or Kevin’s for that matter. All I had was 50 NKr from when I bought a ticket to the simulator with my credit card and then returned the ticket (got cash back) because I was afraid I would run out of time and miss the bus. Renae ran into her parents at Holmenkollen, they were on a cruise that was in Oslo today, I guess it really is a small world. She met up with them later to get clothes from them.
Our next stop on the bus was Frogner Park. I must admit I wasn’t terribly excited about this, but when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Or go where the Tour Manager takes you. We arrived at 11:45 and were walked through a cemetery to the Park (I don’t make the news, I just report it). In the park we saw lots of statues, mostly of naked people in strange poses. We of course saw the whining baby, reminds me of a temper tantrum. It was one of the smallest statues in the park, but probably the most famous (it was the only one I had heard of), I was surprised how small it is. If Che hadn’t shown us where it was I probably wouldn’t have found it.
After Frogner Park we went into Oslo. We were dropped off at Acker Brygge at 12:30 for our free day. The first thing I hoped to do was get my camera looked at, but since I didn’t get my own map of the city I decided that I was better off going around with a group and seeing the city, I probably wouldn’t have bothered getting my camera fixed, especially since it worked on automatic. So off I went with Marie, Kieran, Ashley, Chris, Jacqui, Kevin and Patrick. But first we needed lunch. Chris and I ended up at Burger King while everyone else ended up at a little deli type place. After our quick bite we were off to the National Museum. We tried a couple ATM’s, but with no success, well Kevin and Patrick got money, it was just me who couldn’t get it. Apparently, my bank was refusing to give me my money. I didn’t understand why, I told them I was going away and hadn’t had any trouble using my ATM card anywhere else or my credit card either. Of course it was a Sunday so I couldn’t even call. But I trekked on, eventually I would get money, either that or I was going to owe someone a lot of money. So after eating and not getting money we went to the National Museum, which is free. So are you wondering what is in the National Museum in Oslo that is interesting to see? Well, The Scream, The Madonna, and Da Vinci’s Self Portrait. I must admit that other then that I wasn’t all that into the museum, but it was small enough that you could look around the whole place in an hour or so.
After the National Museum I wanted to see the Resistance Museum; however, there was a conflict. At 3:00 there was a bus going to the area of Oslo that has the Kon-tiki, Fram and Viking museums. Although that all sounded nice, I wasn’t really into that stuff, and much preferred to go to the Resistance Museum. So Marie gave me her map and I grabbed another map from the museum and decided to venture off on my own to the Resistance Museum, setting a 5:00 meeting time with Marie so that I could catch up with the group later for dinner. Off I went, on my own. I found the Jewel of the Sea, one of Royal Caribbean’s ships, on the way. Across from the ship was the Akerhus Castle which I found out is where the Resistance Museum was. When you walk in there is a handy sign that tells you where you are and where everything was. I studied it for a minute and went into the grounds. Once in I realized I was going to have trouble finding this museum and that I didn’t have much time to make a final decision about going to the Kon-tiki Museum. So I looked around a little more, didn’t find it and headed back to the 3:00 meeting place. In retrospect this was probably a good decision. Later in the day I found out that Tom had moved the sticker that tells you where you are on the map at Akershus Castle, confusing many tourists, and possibly me, and could be the reason I didn’t find the Resistance Museum. Ultimately I ended up going back to meet the group.
When we got to the museums, I decided that they still didn’t really interest me, especially if I had to pay to get in. So I took a little walk with Chris and Jacqui and sat on the water for a little bit chatting, it was probably the nicest day so far on the trip, it wasn’t raining and it was almost warm out. From where we were sitting we had a nice view of Oslo and the harbor, which was really pretty. We decided to head back toward the ferry and ran into Lis and Jilly, we all took a 4:05 ferry back to Acker Bregger for 20 NKr. The hope was to find an open souvenir shop, but it was 4:30 on a Sunday in Oslo and we couldn’t. We ended up just walking around town a bit and I was eventually able to get money out of an ATM. I think my problem was that I was trying to take too much money out at once and was going over my daily limit, all these different currencies were annoying to keep track of.
Eventually we found a little internet cafe with a pub next door, Lis, Jilly and I all checked our email while Chris and Jacqui had a drink next door. While I was gone Rob, Leah B, Stefan, and Tom had showen up. Lis and Jilly split off after a bit since they had decided to go to the movies, they were seeing X-Men, which was playing in English. The rest of us decided to go to an Indian restaurant, we expected the walk to be 10 minutes in the wrong direction. Along the way we ran into Danny, Samar, Karl, Skye, and some other people on bikes. They biked around Oslo and apparently had a wonderful time. When 20 minutes went by and we were only halfway there Chris, Jacqui and I decided to head back and grab something along the way. We eventually ended up in some little whole in the wall type of place having burgers. When we were walking back after dinner we ran into Lis and Jilly coming out of the movies. We were back at the bus at 8:40 (almost everyone was early since there isn’t much to do in Oslo at 8:00 on a Sunday), and as we pulled out it started to rain. When we got back to the campsite at 10 the Top Deck tour was in and having a bonfire. I went inside and hung out with Nancy, Donna, Sara and Stephanie for a bit. I found out that I could only transfer around 256 photos onto my ipod before the battery died, too bad my memory card holds twice as many photos.
I liked Oslo, it wasn’t an exciting city, but it was quant for how big it was, though I still wouldn’t consider it to be one of my favorite cities, like Rome.