Studying and living in Lund has many advantages, and one of the biggest is definitely the proximity of a number of beautiful places and cities. One of them is surely Oslo.
Since we knew that after the Fire Dynamics exam on Thursday, we will have the Friday off, Juan and me decided to travel to Oslo for an extended weekend! Surely not the most efficient, but definitely the cheapest way of getting there is taking a bus. A 7 hours’ ride will get you from Lund to Oslo.
As usual, our goal was to find a Couchsurfing host, and although it took some time and effort, eventually we got lucky again. This time, we were hosted by a guy called Victor, and it turned out anew, that being hosted by a local can be so cool!
As we were travelling by a night bus, and arriving to Oslo at 5 am, our first destination was our host’s house. Already than we could figure how nice our host was, since he didn’t mind waking up before 6 am to receive us. So, after getting some proper sleep we were finally ready to go discover Oslo. After a long road, our first destination was obviously some eating place. Recommended by both our host and several websites, it had to be Mathallen food hall. The concept is the following: in a large hall, various chefs prepare food from different parts of the world, and for decent prices you can try some exotic specialties.
Having our bellies full of delicacies, we went strolling around the city. Another great thing about this trip was that the weather was perfect, mostly sunny with cca 10° Celsius. First thing we noticed while walking through the streets was a lot of people carrying briefcases in one hand and skis in the other. Apparently, all of them were preparing for a weekend trip to some of the various nearby ski resorts.
After some time, we reached the Royal palace, and were lucky enough to see the guard change, and even take a photo with one of the guards 😊
One thing about Oslo, that we became aware from the very beginning was how spread the whole city was around a huge area. The architecture of the city mostly consists of low rise buildings and houses, leaving enormous amount of space for greenery! In most capitals around the world, having a green place is seen as a luxury, in Oslo it’s just something completely ordinary.
At some point of the day we were accompanied by Dino, my Serbian friend from Copenhagen. We finished our day exploring Oslo nightlife, which was quite interesting, though at the same time shocking at the moments – € 10 for a glass of beer. It was so ridiculous that at those moments we wished we were back in Sweden, which already has high alcohol prices, which on the other hand happen to be decent when compared to those in Norway…
The next day, and it turned out, the rest of our trip, was dedicated to skiing in many forms. As the biathlon World cup was being held in the suburbs of Oslo, next to the famous Holmenkollen ski-jumping hill, it was obvious where our next stop was. Apart from the breath-taking ski-jumping hill, Holmenkollen has an interesting skiing museum.
Finally climbing to the top of the ski jump, we experienced a really stunning view of the city and the bay of Oslo, biathlon competition underneath us, frozen lake in the back, numerous Norwegian hills and forests, and the scary super inclined ski jumping piste!
After having such a nice ski experience, the night was this time reserved for something completely different. Victor, our host, decided to take us to his favourite Mongolian restaurant in Oslo. The whole concept of a buffet, where you pick your own fresh ingredients and the chef is frying it in front of your eyes, gave a special touch to already great tastes!
Since we were so lucky to pick the perfect dates to come to Oslo, Sunday was reserved for something even more spectacular – the renowned Vikersund Ski Jumping World Cup. Just an hour and half away from Oslo, and we found ourselves watching the best skijumpers compete for the title of the World champion!
I was really passionate about this sport when I was really young, and back in the day my favourite jumper was Japanese Noriaki Kasai, who was dominating the competitions ever since he became the World champion for the first time back in 1992. I cannot describe how happy I was when I figured out that he is still competing and that he was jumping in Vikersund that day. And not only that he competed, but in his 44th year, he managed to finish second, which really made my day!
After the finals, our Norwegian trip was coming to an end, and we headed for Oslo. Since we had spare 2 hours before our bus to take us back to Sweden, it was just enough to play a game of shuffle board with Victor, and to properly say goodbye to our host and this lovely country!
During these three days, I discovered just a tiny part of Norway, a beautiful and enormous country. Having had such a remarkable first visit, I just can’t wait to go back and discover more!