Sometimes you log into Scott’s Cheap Flights and see deals you just can’t pass up!
Thanks to $348 round-trip tickets to Norway out of Chicago, my friend Samantha and I ended up planning an impromptu trip to go see some viking museums and go hiking with the trolls.
We planned a longer layover at London-Gatwick airport that way we had time to actually leave the airport and get some fresh air. We only had a few hours so we kept the itenary pretty basic: brunch at a small corner cafe then a stroll through the city, shops, and along the coast.
Oslo Viking Ship Museum
Our first day or so in Oslo we dedicated to all things museums. We hit up the Viking Ship Museum to see the Osberg ship and other artifacts.
Besides the super-cool-history factor, it was absolutely lovely to see real artifacts up-close and not just in pictures; knowing that I have friends actively trying to recreate the objects I was seeing in person made it even better.
Don’t worry, SCA friends, Samantha and I took over 300 photos between us inside the one-room museum… You can see the ones I took on Flickr, here. I’ll get Samantha to upload hers publicly ASAP.
Folk Musuem / Museum of Culture
We actually loved this museum so much that we went back twice! We attended once during the day our first full day in Oslo. Then, towards the end of the trip, we were in the neighborhood again. The museum was hosting a Christmas Market so we paid the admission fee again just to see the whole place blanketed with snow and to pick up some souveneirs and presents for family back home.
Again, specific Flickr album is here!
More Christmas Markets!
Speaking of Christmas markets, they were all over in Norway. We kept stumbling into them! Here are some snapshots from the downtown Oslo Christmas Market:
Train from Oslo to Bergen
The train ride from Oslo to Bergen made me scream for more time in Norway. I would have loved to have been able to visit every little town along the way! I took almost two hundred photos on the train ride alone (see: Flickr) and well, *sighs*.
It rained for much of our first night in Bergen. If you decide to hit up the town yourself, know that everyone we spoke to said that’s kind of Bergen’s modus operandi and rain is always in the forecast.
We spent the first evening wandering around the city (and, of course, its Christmas Market). A local named Cain treated us to an evening at a pub in the basement of a shopping center.
The next morning we hopped a cruise to a few of the Bergen Fjords because no trip to Norway is complete without fjords (Flickr album).
We also took a hike up Mount Fløyen (Flickr, of course).
Nobel Peace Center and The National Gallery
We returned to Oslo for the last few days of our trip and spent some more time exploring the city. We ended up at the Nobel Peace Center just a few days before this years’ awards will be handed out as well as a few different art museums.
Samantha was very upset when the National Gallery (flickr) told us that due to some roofing issues the viking wing was closed and she could not see in person a famous helm artifact.
“Give Your Tickets to the Viking at the Feast Hall”
Samantha and I headed a hour south via train, ferry, and bus to one last museum before we left the country. SCA friends will definitely want to check out the videos and pictures from this Flickr album!
Oh and here’s one more link to some more photos all around!
Couchsurfing.com is a site where one can find people willing to let you stay at their house – for free! It’s similiar to sites like AirBnB except it’s 100% free and no one is charging you to stay with them!
I’ve a few friends that have questioned the safety of such an arrangement, but Couchsurfing allows you to filter down to hosts who have verified their identity through their government issued IDs.
We stayed with three different hosts in Norway and had a (mostly) great experience Couchsurfing. I would definitely do it again!