We woke to sunshine this morning, hoorah! The drive down the E6 proved to be much more scenic than expected, and we enjoyed today’s section much more than yesterday’s, through a combination of easier driving, sunshine and lots of water. We arrived in Oslo mid-afternoon, had a minor issue with the satnav (it turns out they don’t work in tunnels, who knew?) leading to several loops round the same two roundabouts near the Colorline terminal but fairly quickly got back on track and found the Sjølyst Marina motorhome parking area. This will probably be our priciest overnight stop but it is right in the city a short bike ride from the centre. We had problems with the electrical hookup (two pin European socket rather than the three pin connector we carry) but a nearby Swedish family from Woking (!) kindly lent us an adaptor. Equipment list note – adaptors for all older connectors across Europe!) and so we are powered up again. A waterfront spot would have been nice, but our timing wasn’t right so we ended up in the back row.
We quickly got going on the bikes, following some excellent cycle tracks into the city and doing our seemingly standard hunt for an illusive tourist information centre that isn’t quite where the map says or the signs point. A friend who comes from Norway kindly made some suggestions on Facebook about places we should visit when we said we were going to Oslo. The closest to us was the Opera House, not somewhere we would have sought out, but we thought we’d take a look. Wow! What an amazing building. It has been designed so you can walk onto the roof, which slopes and steps at weird angles allowing you to wander up and giving great views across the city and harbour. It’s all bright white which was quite spectacular in the sunlight. The inside was equally interesting – even the urinals in the gents had clearly had the architects attention!
We then meandered through the city, past the Parliament building and City Hall, and up to the Kings Palace (Susan telling me that after me Nick Blake was her favourite man ever as thanks to his tweaks to her bike she could make it up the hill! So another plug for Island Bikeworks if you too need greater hill climbing ability).
Next we headed to Frogner Park, home of the Vigeland installation, an amazing collection of sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland. This was the key thing we had wanted to see in Oslo and it was really worth the visit. The installation is incredible, even more so when you consider all the sculptures were created by one person.
We then cycled back through some cycle tracks and back roads, one of the pleasures of the bikes is cycling through random parts of towns and cities that you wouldn’t otherwise see.
So, if you ever find yourself in Oslo we strongly recommend a visit to the Opera House and Frogner Park. Though it looks like a fine city with much more to offer too.