Homelands Cruise – Oslo, Norway

Day 10 and 11 of 56, Jul 28 -29, 2022

Our ship’s next port of call was an overnight stay at Oslo, the capital of Norway. I think of Oslo as that far-away country where the Oslo Peace Accord was signed, where famous ski jumping happens and where Nobel prizes are awarded. Our visit presented all of those things and more, and like any other big port or city it has a lot of places to go and attractions to see. Of course we couldn’t do all of them, but be ready – this post has lots of pictures of what we were able to accomplish!

As our Viking Star glided along the Oslofjord, the approaching harbor provided an interesting juxtaposition of past and present. This was evident in its modern – but at the same time medieval – architecture, prominently on display along the fjord:

Oslo Harbor with its notable brown building, City Hall
Astrup Fearnley Museet

Scandinavia’s most notable museum for contemporary art graces the harbor

Akershus Castle

Our ship docked next to this castle which stands guard over the city by the harbor. It was a castle, then a fortress, dating back to medieval times

The Holmenkollen Ski Jump can be seen from the ship and which we will visit during our tour

After docking we joined Viking’s included Panorama City Tour, then later took a complimentary walking tour at Akershus Castle. The next morning Steve did a city tour by bike while I enjoyed some solitary meandering (which happened by accident – no pun intended, stay tuned!).

PanoramA City Bus Tour

Every Viking cruise port of call offers an included tour, plus several other optional ones for an extra fee. We always join the included tours, unless they conflict time-wise with another activity we want to do. The 3-hour included narrated bus tour gave us a glimpse of the eclectic blend of contemporary flair, rich history and spectacular natural views of the area. We drove past the medieval Akershus Castle, City Hall, the Royal Palace, Parliament and the National Theater. We also made two stops where we got off the bus to explore further.

First we stopped at the Holmenkollen National Ski Jump Arena, the largest steel ski jump in the world. It consists of 1,000 tons of steel and sits about 1,394′ above sea level. Since we were here in the summer, instead of ski jumpers we saw folks using the zip-line down the jump for a bit of an adrenaline rush. Steve really wanted to do it, but alas the bus would not wait 😦

Next we were given time to stroll through the world’s largest sculpture park created by a single artist. Vigeland Park displays 200 unique, outrageous and bizarre creations in bronze, granite and cast iron by Gustave Vigeland. We have often wondered what goes through the mind of artists as they create their masterpieces to communicate their rather interesting views on humanity:

The park is huge, I needed a rest after gawking at all of those interesting sculptures
Walking Tour

Later that evening we joined a complimentary walking tour that began at the Akershus Castle/Fortress (right across from the ship), then went to the pedestrianized city area, City Hall and finally back to the port. At this point I’ve forgotten most of what our local guide narrated so I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

The Bike Tour

For the next morning, we had both signed up for an optional 10-mile Oslo by Bike tour. We walked to the starting point and selected our bikes, with me getting the shortest one they had.  While starting our little test ride around the parking lot Steve heard a crash behind him.  Guess who – yep, I was down for the count and wiggling around under my bike like a stuck frog!

Fortunately I wasn’t hurt because I had landed on my butt, but I wasn’t comfortable with the bike. Since they didn’t offer ones with training wheels 😉 I decided not to proceed.  Steve took off with the group and I began a self-guided walk around the area with my sore buns:

Solitary Meandering

I started walking around the port and found myself following a path leading to the Bjørvika neighborhood, a revitalized port container yard.

Bjørvika is a treasure trove of striking architecture ready to be discovered. While I didn’t get a chance to go inside these buildings, the exteriors themselves were notable:

Munch Museum

Munch Museum was built specifically to house Norway’s celebrated artist, Edvard Munch. All his great works and collections are on display within this building. Some of his digital copies are on display on Viking ships, which hold exclusive digital rights to the entire Munch Museum collection.

Oslo Public Library

As seen from the roof of the Oslo Opera House. The outline of the district is reminiscent of a barcode.

As I strolled in the promenade, the Opera House instantly caught my attention. Thoroughly modern, its iceberg-inspired design seems to rise from the water. I was huffing and puffing while walking up its striking sloping roof covered in white marble and granite. While there I had panoramic views of the city and the fjord:

That evening we exchanged pictures and experiences while enjoying a beautiful sunset over the city from our balcony.


Next up: Denmark!

12 comments

  1. Love seeing your pics and commentary and remembering this place.
    Hope you’ll come visit when you’re done with your international travel (and blogging!). It was great meeting and traveling with you.
    Alice and Dennis

    • Hello Alice, it took Steve and I to figure out which Alice is commenting. But your give away was your invite to your place. Who knows we might just do that someday to escape from the heat here in AZ. We are home now and trying to catch up with my blogging, so many stories to tell.

  2. I am loving all of these posts! And I think you may have convinced me that our first European excursion, once we really settle in, will be to Norway. What a gorgeous country – both in terms of natural beauty and its cities. Also, I have long been convinced that it takes an extra special kind of “crazy” to do ski jumping, and nothing you’ve shown here has disabused me of that theory. Those folks are NUTS! LOL.

    • You are now a full pledged European which means it’s all your to discover. Once you get bored in Lisbon, get a new RV and tour around Europe. Wont that be something? You think ski jumping is the only crazy thing they do, well they also have a floating sauna on the fjord and they swim in the water afterwards, crazy folks.

  3. Glad you didn’t get hurt falling over on the bike. I think you got a great tour anyhow, and how cool that you can walk on the Opera House roof. Interesting mix of modern and antique and statues of nakedness LOL!

  4. Glad to hear you weren’t hurt in the fall. I definitely cannot keep my balance on a two-wheel bike, so I stay away from them. We spent a couple of days in Oslo back in 2011 and really enjoyed the city … very doable on foot, we thought. Loved the Vigeland Park and the Fram Museet, and the Viking ships museum. Would love to go back and explore more someday.

  5. Great tour! So sorry you had trouble with the bike. Definitely a good idea to forgo the ride. Glad you were not hurt. Love the Opera House. The sculpture garden must have been eerie to walk around in. Those are some very “interesting” sculptures. Like you said, what goes on in the mind of sculptures. We rarely understand their point.

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