Norway was one of my more recent destinations of my weekend travels and it was beautiful. Snow covered landscapes and picturesque views filled my time there.
Norway was one place that we could not take a train to, so we flew. Technically, a train is possible; it just would have taken way too long for the short amount of time we had to go. We got in to Oslo late at night, so we didn’t realize until the next day how beautiful our snow-covered surroundings were until the next morning.
Going into the trip, we didn’t really have a plan of what we were going to do in Oslo. Our main reason for the trip was a hope of seeing the Northern Lights. Unfortunately we did not see them in our time there because of the overcast weather but we still had a great time.
That first day, we woke up and realized how much it had snowed outside and went outside to play in the snow. We were just really excited to see the white, powdery groundcover. Unlike when it snows in Tennessee, this snow was not icy and it did not cause the town to slow down at all in how it operated. After our bit of playing in the snow, we made breakfast and messaged our Airbnb host about things we could do that day. In a lot of the guidebooks and brochures we read, there are apparently endless things to do in Norway during the summer, but there are fewer options in the winter. Our Airbnb host recommended to us a day of Tobogganing. This sounded so fun, so we headed to the bus stop closest to where we were staying and made our way to the train station, where we hopped on a subway-like mode of transportation and started up the mountain. On our way up the mountain, the view out the window seemed almost unreal. Snow covered trees and quaint houses dotted the mountainside. Later when we were riding the metro back up to the top of the mountain, the low clouds disappeared for a while and we could see views of the fjord and downtown Oslo from the top of the mountain, which was stunning.
When you get to the top of the mountain, there is a small walk to a sled rental shop. We paid about 10-12 euro to rent our sled and started our day of tobogganing. The tobogganing path was over a mile long, which made for a super fun ride. Some of the parts of the course were steeper than others, which made for some fast and air-catching rides. The path was surrounded by snow covered trees and views of the distant ski lift. This area was also popular for skiing. When you reached the end of the path, you just hopped back on the public transportation with your sled and went back to the top. Bringing your sled on the public transportation was normal, as well as bringing on skis.
After we had gone down the path a couple of times, we went in the restaurant at the top of the mountain to warm up and grab something to eat, we then went back out to return our sleds and walk around in the beautiful mountaintop. When we were finished, we just took the public transportation back to city center, and then the bus home.
The next day we took a ferry around the fjord to get a closer look at the small nearby islands. From what I researched, there wasn’t much to do on the islands themselves, so we didn’t get off at any of the islands, but just took in the sights. Snow covered landscapes, sailboat filled beaches, and quaint houses were all things that you could see on the islands as you rode the ferry along the fjord.
Once we made it back to town, we set out for the Viking museum. The Viking museum was very interesting. In the museum you can see large Viking ships that were used for burial sites for respected people. One of the ships, the larger of the two was for the burial for two women, and the other main ship on display was for a man. At the museum you can read that the historians don’t know much of the individual people but can assume reasons why they may have been so important and respected in that time.
With Viking burials, there were lots of gifts for those who had passed. These gifts were placed in the ships with them. On display in the museum you can see all sorts of items that teach us a lot about the Vikings. Some things on display include intricately carved chests, dishes, fabrics, and evening remnants of clothing. Nordic culture is something I hadn’t really dwelled long on before, or had learned about in detail, but I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about their culture from long ago. One of my friends on the trip said that her boyfriend learned about these Viking ships that we saw in the museum the previous week in his history class on Lipscomb’s campus. It's neat that we got to see something in person that people on the home campus are reading about in their text books.
This Nordic weekend was such a fun weekend. It would have been fantastic if we had been able to see the northern lights, but we had a great time regardless. Norway is a beautiful country and I only got to see a small part of it! I loved experiencing tobogganing, the fjord, as well as some of Norway’s history.