Highlight: Frogner Park on a gloriously sunny day, with its amazing statues lead to lots of photo opportunities.
Lowlight: Sticker shock. Norway’s expensive food prices makes it difficult to eat out and enjoy a meal.
Fun Fact: Oslo is now considered the 4th most expensive city in the world, after Moscow, Tokyo, and London.
Money spent: 452.5 NOK ($93 CAD)
Ben Frustration Index(BFI): 4 – Ben’s anti-immigrant rants really got on my nerves. I know he’s not racist, but he seems to think that European countries should endeavour to remain pure and closed to immigrants, which I disagree with.
I didn’t sleep as well in the cruise ship as I had hoped. I woke up at 2:30 and the ship was rocking crazily. I managed to fall asleep again, but after that I was troubled by weird dreams abut ships and storms.
After dropping our bags off at the hostel, Ben and I toured around Oslo starting with the main pedestrian street – Karl Johans Gate. While not as nice as Coppenhagen’s Stroget, there were street performers and some nice public squares to sit in.
After Karl Johans Gate, we wandered through the upscale Aker Brygge Mall. For a recently developed area, full of sterile glass towers, it still had character to it. We found a spot to sit on the docks and watched the locals eating in expensive restaurants with huge patios.
The food in Norway is ridiculously expensive – approaching Iceland levels. A take-out sandwich costs $12, and a small bottle of water in a convenience store (not that I’d ever buy one) costs $4.
The highlight of the day was the afternoon spent in Frogner Park, a 75-acre sculpture garden created by Gustav Vigeland. His sculptures were amazing – all expressive human bodies showing a range of human emotions. There are a few hundred Vigeland sculptures in the park, but my favourites were the granite ones surrounding a giant monolith. These statues were amazing to look at, but you could also climb and interact with them, leading to some fantastic photo opportunities.
After the park, we wandered around some more, trying to find food that wasn’t crap but wouldn’t bankrupt us. We walked through Grünerløkka, which is supposed to be Oslo’s Bohemian neighbourhood. I was disappointed. Other than the drug deals going on around us, the area was quite boring. It lacked the funky shops and restaurants I expected to find.
After much searching, we finally ate dinner at a Turkish restaurant, Ali Baba, that had good service, tasty food, and surprisingly reasonable prices.