Date: 7th February 2014
As our plane dropped beneath the clouds over Norway I have to admit I wasn’t quite prepared for what was revealed below; a pristine white landscape, covered in snow. I had counted on some snow of course, but it looked like the whole country from mountains to coast was completely coated. When we stepped down off the plane and the frigid air hit us it was crisp and refreshing. This is what winter should be like! Forget the bitter, dreich, windy, winter we left behind.
We were lucky enough to spend any time at all in Oslo as our real destination was Lillehammer to the north. An early train from the airport meant that we had a couple of hours to play with so a quick run around tour was in order. A rummage through our guidebook provided an easy answer; Karl Johans Gate (gate means street in Norwegian) is pretty much right outside Oslo Sentralstasjon. It leads through a central shopping district, past the Norwegian Parliament, National Theatre and ends at the Royal Palace.
As we rolled our luggage through the snow I stopped to photograph the buildings and statues along the way, at least for as long as my fingers would bare the cold. The figure above, left is World War II hero Gunnar Sønsteby who strikes a pretty unassuming pose for someone who resisted the Nazis.
The Royal Palace commanding over Karl Johans Gate is an impressive focal point and certainly appears modern enough (at least as far as palaces go). I was fortunate to catch the changing of the guard as Anne Marie patiently watched our bags. There’s only so much dragging through the snow our luggage could take!
So it was well worth leaving the train station for an hour of sightseeing in Oslo. Even better yet, we still hadn’t spent a penny (or Kroner), more about money matters to come. Onward to Lillehammer…