Back in 2015, Petteri Vähäkangas, a friend from Varkaus, Finland contacted me with an offer I couldn’t refuse. He told me “If you ever come to Finland, you can use my travel trailer for free.” Three years passed and I finally decided to take him up on his offer. Now he owns a small RV rental company called Savonia Caravan, so he offered a motorhome instead. I was really stoked because I have wanted to try a European style RV for a while and see how things are done on the other side of the Atlantic. For several months we communicated through messenger, and created a very ambitious plan for the two weeks we would stay in the Nordic part of Europe. VIDEO
The day finally came. We had booked a flight to Helsinki on Norwegian airlines, with a short layover in Oslo. In the back of my mind I said “wouldn’t it be cool to see Oslo as well, the Norwegian capital?” but with only 2 hours there would be no time to spare.
I turns out the flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Oslo was delayed by several hours, and even though the agent at the airport said that our connecting flight would wait for us we were skeptical. Nine hour later, when we arrived at Oslo, there was no flight to Helsinki until the next day. Norwegian Airlines put us in a hotel, gave us some meal vouchers and basically said “we’re sorry”. We said “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and that’s what we did. We opted for an afternoon flight, so we would have the whole morning to explore Oslo.
I had always heard many great things about the Norwegian capital, a vibrant city. Also we were in Norway, the land of the great navigators, explorers, and Vikings. Names like Roal Amundsen, and Thor Heyerdahl come to mind. I had also seen pictures of this park with hundreds of naked statues. That night, very quickly we drew a plan to take advantage of the few hours we had, and decided to do at least one museum, wander downtown a little bit, and the aforementioned park.
Getting to Downtown
Luckily Norway has great infrastructure, and there is a fast train that goes from the airport to downtown in just 20 minutes. We left our bags in storage at the airport terminal and soon we were walking on the deserted streets on a Sunday morning. Distances on the map often look shorter than in real life and it soon became evident that our ambitious walking tour of the city would be out of the question.
As we arrived by the City Hall we decided to take the ferry that goes to the museums. There are several: The Viking Museum, the Fram Museum, and the one that I wanted to visit, the Kon Tiki. Here they have preserved the balsa raft in which Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific Ocean. He wanted to prove his theory that the indigenous people of South America might have populated Polynesia in pre-Columbian times. The museum was fascinating, and a very picturesque boat ride on a perfect weather day.
As time was running out, we went straight to Vigeland Park. That’s where all sculptures are, 212 to be exact, all designed by Gustav Vigeland over the course f 20 years. The park is one of those places where you could spend several hours wandering around. It is a great place for locals to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy city. I am going to call Oslo the “city of statues”. You can see some kind of work of art at almost every corner.
We wished we could had lingered longer but we had a plane to catch. We just got a taste of this great city on this accidental visit, but it left us wanting more. We’ll revisit one of these days, on purpose next time.