Aug 18

Oslo, Norway – Day 4

For our final morning and afternoon in Oslo, we decided to head on down to the waterfront – but this time over towards the Tjuvholmen sculpture park.

Our first stop however was the Historical Museum – as we had a free pass from the Viking Ship Museum – my plan was to see the only preserved Viking helmet in the world (!) but unfortunately, the museum was under some renovation, and the Viking helmet wasn’t around, so we didn’t get it see it. Such a shame. Next time! We then slowly made our way down to the waterfront, via a couple of shops.

Tjuvholmen sculpture park

Gina getting some sun

At Tjuvholmen sculpture park – we had a nice sit down in the sun, sipped some coffee, before heading on back to get our bags, and catch the train to the airport – all in all, a fantastic break to Oslo. We got to see so much!

A 50mm photoshoot

Mae’r haul bob amser yn disgleirio ar y locsyn coch

Aug 18

Oslo, Norway – Day 3

I had done some research, and found out one of the worlds top baristas had a coffee shop just around the corner from our well-chosen (by Gina) AirBnb – so, today was the morning that I’d get to taste such goodness! We headed out, and over to Tim Wendelboe – I wasn’t disappointed. I got myself one of the filters that was on sale that day, and sipped away before breakfast. Top stuff. They didn’t sell any breakfast stuff here at Tim’s, so we made our way back to where we had the fantastic breakfast the day before; Godt Brod Grunerlokka for some more Norwegian pastries.

Iest and his coffee

The mission for today was outdoor parks, as all the museums we’re closed on Mondays. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t 100% on our side today, with massive overcast skies, and spitting rain.

Our first stop was the oldest building in Oslo; the Old Aker Church and it’s surrounding graveyard; cemetery of Our Saviour – where we saw the graves of Edvard Munch, and a few of Norway’s other top painters, poets and playwrights like Henrik Ibsen. Just across the way from the South East entrance to the graveyard was the little pretty-street called ‘Damstredet’, a very charming and picturesque part of central Oslo with well-preserved and inhabited wooden houses from the late 1700s and the 1800s. So we took a few pics of the lovely little houses as we made our way down the the street.

Old Aker Church

Munch’s grave



We then made our way, walking through the streets towards The Vigeland Park – but we took the shopping streets way, just to see what kind of nice stores the Norwegians had, and I’m happy to report that Gina found her new fave store; Sostrene Grene :) and a few other nice, house-hold type store, all of which were very nice.

We arrived at the Vigeland Park just as the rain started to become a bit heavier, so we just made it around to see Gustav Vigeland biggest works; The Angry Boy, Monolith, and Wheel of Life before heading back into town for a coffee, cake and a sit-down. We saw some interesting birds in the park too – including someone’s pet canary!

Vigeland Sculpture Park


Iest & Monolith

Wheel of Life

Gina having a cake

Next on the agenda was the Akershus Fortress. It’s a medieval castle that sits right at the waterfront but it’s now used a military base, and police station. It’s very nicely located, where you can walk around it and look out to sea, watching the ships come in and go – but there was a fair amount of tourists there on this day, trying their best to get that ‘oh so funny’ picture of themselves, so it ruined the vibe for us a bit, so didn’t stay too long. We headed back over towards the main shopping street of Karl Johans gate, for a more in-depth look at what was on the high-street shopping, before heading back for a little chill.


Gina in her fave new shop

For the evening, I had done some more research, and landed on a restaurant called ‘Sentralen’ for our evening meal. I booked the table for us from London, so we were all set. They served Scandinavian ‘small plates’ where we chose three dishes each, each different and very, very nice.

Dessert at Sentralen

Aug 18

Oslo, Norway – Day 2 – Museum Day!

As I was the one in charge of planning this awesome weekend – I planned very nicely for us the best places for breakfast and coffee for the morning. Gina, really wanted to willy-nilly go into any old place that served breakfast, but I made sure stuck to our well planned places, and our breakfast destination for today was this lovely cafe called; Godt Brod Grunerlokka. It was a lovely place, great building with awesome Nordic pastries and coffee.

Gina and our Nordic breakfast

After breakfast, we bought some travel cards for the day as we were planning on zooming around the city quite a lot, and jumped on the bus to our first museum of the day – and the one that inspired Gina to get this awesome trip for us; The Viking Ship Museum!

The bus took us directly there, all the way to the other side of the peninsula, to the area known as Bygdøy. It was quite clear how busy the place was going to be, as the bus was jammed by the time we got to the museum. We hopped off the bus, and was pleasantly surprised by how lovely the purposely built building that housed the Viking boats was.

The first thing you see when entering the museum was the truly amazing Oseberg Ship, completely whole, excavated from the largest known ship burial in the world. This ship was massive, and so beautiful – and is commonly acknowledged to be the finer artefacts to have survived from the Viking era. Every single carving was still visible, especially at the bow and stern, together with the spiral structure at the bow and stern of the boat – which was remarkable. Standing under the massive structure really gave it a sense of scale.

Gina and the Oseberg

Oseberg from the viewing platform

There were two, almost as impressive boats in this amazing museum, the Gokstad ship and the Tune ship, which we spent time studying and admiring. The museum was such a lovely space, the ceilings were super high, which really gave scale to these boats, but there were also little overhangs/balconies to which you could climb up, to view the decks on which the Vikings would have been sitting on. There was also a few skeletal remains, which the archeologists found when they excavated the boats, and a whole lot of Viking era jewellery, bits of clothes, carriage, and an incredible animated short-film that was projected onto the walls and ceiling, depicting the story of a chieftain and his Viking ship. Amazing. I loved it.

Gokstad ship

We took 10 mins, and did a quick sketch of the boats, before heading around the corner to the second museum of the day; The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. This place was great. It’s;

…a museum of cultural history with [an] extensive collections of artefacts from all social groups and all regions of the country. It also incorporates a large open-air museum with more than 150 buildings, relocated from towns and rural districts.

It covers a large amount of land, and it’s all nicely laid out for you to walk around, and admire the amazing wooden buildings they’ve got from all over Norway. The most amazing building was the ‘The Gol Stave Church’ dating from around the 1200;

The Gol Stave Church

Iest and the church for scale

There are many other amazing buildings here, including a farm from the 1950’s, old towns building from Oslo ranging from 1600 – 19th century, to various old wooden storehouses from the 1700’s. You could pop into some of the buildings, where they had some of the furniture from the era, so it all looked quite amazing. There were a few shops dotted around too, selling food or sweets from the era that building was from. We were super lucky with the weather, so it was a beautiful morning out in the open-air museum.

From here, it was time for lunch, and I’d done my research, and took us to a rather nice restaurant called Lantern on the waterfront, where Gina had some sound and I had my first burger of the day.

Lantern, on the waterfront

Our lunch

After filling up, and walking through the lovely neighbourhood of incredible Scandi-architecture, we caught the bus back to the city centre, for our third museum of the day; The National Gallery. It houses Norway’s largest collection of art – so we were in for a great time! Their collection was quite wonderful, we got to see The Scream, Madonna, & The Sick Child, by Edvard Munch. I was quite surprised by how quiet it was around the ‘Scream’ – so I managed to get a good picture of it. We both loved Harald Sohlberg ‘Winter Night in the Mountains’ – the colours on it seemed like they glow in the dark somehow, really capturing the moonlight, but my favourite had to be Erik Werenskiold and his work ‘Peasant burial’ – with his incredibly detailed landscape and peasants.

Munch’s ‘Scream’

Munch’s ‘Madonna’

Sohlberg’s ‘Winter Night in the Mountains’

Heyerdahl’s ‘Fra Asgardstrand’

By the time we’d finished, and popped out – it had been raining, as all of Oslo was wet – so we were quite lucky, and timed the indoor museum very well! As we were in the area (and it was down in my itinerary) we walked over to Slottsplassen park for views and the Royal Palace, a sit down, and a sketch in our sketchbooks, before returning back to our AirBnb for a nice chill and some Norwegian style yogurt via the main shopping street of Olso; Karl Johans gate.

On our way to the Palace

The Royal Palace

Gina and a Guard

Festival at the waterfront

For the evening, we headed down towards the city to centre, only to find out there was a massive music festival taking place on the water – right infront of the Opera House. We chilled here for a bit, before heading back up for some dinner – tonight we were keeping it causal, so we had some Veggie burger at the well-recommended ‘Wunderburger’ which was just around the corner. They were indeed, great – so we sat by the window, enjoying watching people pass, before heading back for the night.

Aug 18

Oslo, Norway – Day 1

For my birthday, Gina treated me to a long weekend away in beautiful Oslo! I’ve always wanted to visit the Viking Museum to see the epic long boats they have there, so I was super excited to visit. I was in charge of planning this trip, so I made sure I planned it well :)

We dropped Lily off at our favourite cattery, and headed up to Stansted airport for our afternoon flight to Oslo. We arrived without a problem, smooth flight, and an even smoother train ride into Oslo city centre. We navigated our way to our Airbnb which Gina had picked for us nicely – centrally located. We dropped off our bags, and decided to take a walk down to the sea front to get our bearings and see what the city was like.

First stop, was the Oslo Opera house – it’s located right at the head of the Oslofjord, and looks out right across to the little islands and the peninsula across the other side. The building is so epic, that the roof angles down to the ground, which creates a marble plaza that invites people to walk up to its roof and enjoy some fantastic panoramic views of Oslo & the fjord – so that’s exactly what we did, with all the other tourists.

Gina on the Opera House

Iest, chilling

After taking in the sights, Gina thought it would be a good day to visit the headland that was just down the way to get some ever higher-up views of the city. The headland was part of the Ekebergparken Skulpturpark – which I had down on our itinerary for another day, but seeing as it was such a beautiful sunny day, we decided it would be a perfect evening stroll.

The Opera House

New Architecture

We made our way over, through the newly build buildings that lined the inlet, and walked up the hill through some woodland to start the sculpture trail. The first thing we came across happened to be the view in which Edvard Munch used as the backdrop for his most famous painting ‘The Scream’, which was a pleasant surprise. We continued on, ending up in a large opening at the top of the hill, where there were some interesting art hanging from trees, and some smoke-lined moody trees. We spent a couple of hours in total enjoying the park, and its many sculptures and statues – before heading back down towards the city centre as the sun was going down.

Iestyn’s ‘Scream’

Overlooking Oslo

Gina admiring the sculpture

Wood woman

Foggy Trees

By this point, we were both hungry for dinner – I had just been listening to a great podcast about Oslo’s food culture and the exciting Vippa community down on the waterfront, so that’s were we headed! It was a lovely little place, with about 12 different ‘sea containers’ halved, and turned into a kitchen, selling every kind of cuisine. We both had a fresh bowl of salmon Poke, while enjoying the sunset over the sea.

Gina at Vippa

Iest eating Poke

With full bellies, we headed back to our AirBnb, and chilled for the evening, as we had a full on culture day coming tomorrow!