This is the first ever guest post on Diary of David, written by my dear mother! If you enjoy reading, please leave a comment 🙂 – David
How excited was I to be boarding the Norwegian flight to Oslo! Norway is a country that I have always wanted to visit, and now I was on my way. The flight was shorter than I expected, the weather was clear and sunny, and I had a window seat! Looking down as we approached the coast, I was struck by how like the islands and coastline of western Scotland it looked. I come from Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, and my Grandmother came from Kirkwall on the Orkney mainland, so my links with Scotland and Norway go back a very long way, as far as the Vikings or beyond!
The train journey from the airport to Oslo central station was easy and comfortable and we were met by our son David, who now lives and works in the city, and was being host to us for the weekend.
A walk around the area, a visit to the supermarket, a bowl of pasta, and we were being whisked off to the Ullevaal stadion to watch the football match between Valerenga and Viking! There was a lot of flag waving, singing, and general enjoyment of the game, it was only the second football match I had attended, the first being at Inverness Caledonian Thistle in Scotland! Needless to say I enjoyed the game and Valerenga won 3-0.
Saturday dawned bright but overcast and we decided to visit the Viking boat museum which came highly recommended by David. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience of seeing the Viking boats, sledges and other archaeological finds. I loved the building, which was built in the form of a cross to house all the huge boats. The wood carvings were amazing and in such intricate patterns, the Vikings must have been very patient and very skilled to produce such wonderful images, many of them told a story and showed how the Vikings lived and interpreted things. When we came out of the museum the sun had cleared the sky and was shining brightly, showing the Autumn colours in all their glory. We hopped on a bus and made our way to the statue park where we spent a good couple of hours just enjoying the art and amazing sculptures. Such talent is jaw droppingly good and I took quite a few photos, but unfortunately they just didn’t do justice to the work that was on display. I loved the bronze statues, but found that I loved the marble sculptures even more. They were so tactile and alive and told a story of relationships between man, woman, and child.
We were all exhausted when we got back to the apartment and spent a quiet evening chilling out with a bottle of wine, a lovely dinner of salmon and vegetables, and watching a dvd (can’t remember what it was though, so presumably I fell asleep!)
Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny and I couldn’t wait to get out and about. I must say I thought the transport system in the City was brilliant, efficient, on time, and comfortable. We went up onto the mountain by train, the views were great and again reminded me of Scotland. We found the walks through the forest peaceful and relaxing, but when we came to the ski jump we just couldn’t believe the size of it. What an amazing feat of engineering that is, and how anyone could possibly want to jump off it! Well!!
We had a lovely cup of coffee in the cafe there, ate our sandwiches, and made our way back to the train and down onto the Oslo water front for our boat trip out to the islands. That was so nice, I loved it. Oh to have a little log cabin on one of them for rest and relaxation! Just my cup of tea, I could easily see myself there enjoying the peace and quiet. They had a lovely community feel about them and I’m sure they must organise lots of barbecues and other events on lovely long summer days. (big sigh!)
Other places we visited was of course the Opera House which was very impressive, amazing architecture and I liked the way the roof goes all the way down to the water. I must mention Chocolaterie too, I found the interior very elegant, very comfortable, and very French. The hot chilli chocolate was to die for, I loved it.
On Sunday evening we went down to the water front, the atmosphere was great, lively and buzzing but without the crowds. We decided to have a meal in the Mr. Bay restaurant and I’m really glad we did. The interior was gorgeous, the staff very friendly and attentive, and the food amazing. So beautifully cooked and presented. Wonderful.
On Monday morning our weekend was at an end and we had to make our way back to the airport for our flight home to England. I must admit that I didn’t want to go, I hadn’t had enough of my Norge experience. I loved Oslo, and can’t wait to return. The people were all very friendly, seemed happy and contented with their lives.
I’m very impressed with Oslo and can’t wait to explore more of the country and coastline. I felt very much at home there, perhaps it comes with having a connection with Norway through my Scottish island roots. I hope so, I loved it.
Chris Nikel (David’s mum)
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