I have somewhat a traveler's soul. I am constantly tormented by the wanderlust and love for photography only makes my daydreams more frequent and vivid. Luckily for me, I have had a chance to visit a few wonderful places on this earth and I am not intending to stop there. It is almost impossible to represent and capture the beauty of the world in a photograph but I would like to share some of my memories here with you in a cycle on travel.
In the midst of the heat of last summer I visited Oslo completely by chance. It has been my first and only visit to Norway so far but I have fallen in love with its landscapes from the first sight, when the plane was flying in circles above the forests and calm lakes reflecting the cloudless sky.
I arrived with the last flight at night, half an hour before midnight, but the summer sky was still warm and bright. Within four hours I observed how the sun sets and rises breathing in the warm salty air infused with the smell of pine trees.
From the airport to the bus, to the train, to the town, I arrived in Oslo still at dawn when the coffee shops were still shut and the city was lazily grasping last minutes of sleep before waking up to the morning light. I fetched tickets and maps and wandered around Karl Johan's Gata in search of the coffee shops for my first kaffepause.
At 7 a.m. Oslo is still sleepy, it is hard to find freshly brewed coffee before 9 a.m. and my sleep deprivation was finally kicking in. Feeling the chill breeze from the fountain I took a short nap, on a bench like a hobo, in a little park in front of Nationaltheatret.
When the bells rang at 9 a.m. I was refreshed and excited. I visited an incredible majestic piece of functional architecture - Oslo City Hall. The building is very raw in its style, yet you can still find there subtly ornamented with astronomical clock on the northern tower and wooden reliefs representing scenes from Nordic mythology.
Rathus (how Norwegians call they're city hall) each year is a host of the Nobel Prize ceremony, which takes place in the main hall illuminated by the sun and with walls covered with enormous paintings by Henrik Sørensen picturing struggles of the Norwegian nation during the Second World War and their pursuit of independence.
After visiting Oslo City Hall I purchased my Oslo Pass, which I would recommend to any lonesome traveller who decides to visit this beautiful city on their own and not only! Oslo pass gives you a free access or considerable discounts on entrance fees to pretty much all the galleries and museums in the city in the price of the ticket. It also includes a travelcard for all types of public transport. In notoriously expensive Norway buying a tourist pass really helps you save money and gives you an instant access to a large number of sites worth exploring.
Along with my Oslo Pass in the Tourist Information point I also came across a cute little map by USE-IT and it was my best friend during entire stay. USE-IT maps are created with advice of locals , humorous and designed for young people on low budget.
It was still morning and long before my anticipated check-in time at the hostel so with the backpack and with my new hip map and the Oslo Pass I went to explore the city.
I strolled around Akersshusstranda and admired boats and giant ships waiting for their turn to sail across the Baltic Sea. My next destination was Akerhus Castle.
After visiting Akershus Castle I paid a visit to the National Gallery where I have seen the works of famous artists, among others the expressionist Edvard Munch, author of the famous 'Scream'. However, it was not Scream that made the biggest impression on me, perhaps because I have seen it so many times already. I absolutely adored his 'Madonna' and I was stunned by 'The Kiss', presenting similar theme to my favorite painting of the same title by Gustav Klimt, representing the same scene, yet Munch painting is darker, more mysterious and ethereal, where the faces of the lovers are smudged and form one body.
I left the National Gallery emotionally loaded with new views and experiences and tired of the unforgiving heat after the bell rang three in the afternoon with the sense of relief I headed to my hostel. I dropped the backpack from my tired shoulders and refreshed myself with a shower. During that little break I recovered my energy for more adventures, which I am going to describe in another post. This one turned out so unexpectedly long! I hope you still made it until the end. I could never stop reminiscing my journeys. There are still a lot of memories and images to share about this wonderful Nordic capital.