Thursday, 11 September 2014

Oslo - Holmenkollbakken

It was time to hit the hills! The sun was shinning and the skies seemed clear enough to enjoy the views from the Oslo hills.

We caught the metro to the station a short but steep walk away from the ski jump. What we saw next was quite incredible. When I watch the winter Olympics I know that the ski jumps are big so I should have expected it the sheer size of the jump. Holmenkollbakken was massive! Megalophobia (the fear or large objects) strangely overcame me slightly. It seemed to resemble an object you would see in a sci-fi film to contact extraterrestrial life above us. What crossed my mind next was the reality that human beings "fly" down this jump. I respect the courage these people have!

We took the metro to the highest point of the hill we could go. The view of Oslo was splendid. Unfortunately the clouds created a slight haze over the city so the view was not as sharped as one might hope. However, we were able to see vast amount of forrest and countryside Norway has.

We walked around for a while and enjoyed the views a little more. In the end we turned back and caught the next metro back to the city down below.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Olso - Palace, Castle and Opera House

Today we woke up and did not know exactly what we wanted to do. We knew that we wanted to take a trip up Oslo hill. However, this would have only been worth while if the skies were clear and the weather predictions were not expecting this. Instead we agreed to stay in the city and explore a little more. A plan was made to visit The Royal Palace of Oslo, Akershus Castle and Oslo Opera House. 

We used our travel card and caught the metro to The Royal Palace. The palace was very different to what I had expected. Perhaps I was thinking of Buckingham Palace when I had imagined it because I expected large gates surrounding the palace. Instead, the palace was open in the courtyard and we were able to walk very close to it. The grounds that lay around the palace were beautiful and green, enabling us to stroll around peacefully. 

We hopped on the metro and headed to the harbour where we found Akershus Castle. We journeyed into the castle via the back entrance. At first we could not see much of the castle or the view. However, the magnificent view of the harbour lay just over a little hill where we sat an enjoyed watching the boats float in and out of Oslo. It must have been a clever place to see wanted and perhaps unwanted visitors coming into Oslo!

Not far was Oslo Opera House. It took a short walk along the harbour, where we saw a mix of cruise ships, private yachts and fisherman boats. It was quite breath taking when I first saw the Opera House. The size and structure of the building is wonderful. It was even more amazing once we started walking on the roof as it gave us a view of Oslo and Oslo hill. As we walked up and around the roof, it felt very much like were walking on a cloud (you can see this is on of the photographs above); very dream like and romantic. 

Perhaps we did not see Oslo hill but instead we saw some beautiful sights around Oslo city that I am very glad we did.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Oslo, Sneaker Fest Blå

In the morning we discussed what we wanted to do that very day and noticed immediately it was Saturday. Markets tend to be held on Saturday so we simply googled "Oslo markets" to see what we would find. There were two or three options; a farmers market, and antique market and a "sneaker fest" market. We are on a tight budget so we canceled the first one out and went for the last two.

The antique market was close by to where we are staying so we planned to walk down and visit there first and afterwards head on to the Sneaker Fest. Alas, the market was not were we thought it would be. The green park was empty, so it was adieu to the antique market idea and straight on to some sneaker fun. We caught the tram to Blå, where we were yesterday.

Today Blå was full to the brim with people all sort of people, unlike its ghostly town feeling it had yesterday. There were tourists like ourselves, families with children enjoying the fun and you could spot the trainer fanatics a mile of.

The empty bar was now filled with tables covered in trainers; not just those you can get in the shops but also personalised and limited editions. Our favourite pair would have to be the "Back To The Future II" trainers, an identical replacer of the trainer Marty McFly wore in, what 1989 expected to be the style of 2010. Watch the clip down below to remind yourself of the scene in the film!

There were also racks with t-shirts and hoodies and tables with snapbacks and caps. It was great to see local designers as well as the dominant Nike. The collection of caps you see above are from a young Norwegian duo together known as Rubble Company. I thought the unique designs of the caps were very eye-catching and would not have minded taking one home with me!

To my liking, there was quite a bit of art there as well as trainers. Paintings and drawing were hung up on walls ready to be bought by an eager art dealer and live street art was being created in front of our eyes. Not only paintings that you could hang up on your wall, but also live tattoo art was happening. I did not want to take a picture because the person had no top on and I would not be too happy if someone snapped me with no top on!

It was an experience I will take away with me and remember. Within each conversations that the different pair of trainers created, you could see the personal attachment and love towards them. As a art and fashion driven person, it was wonderful to see so much enthusiasm for these two great aspects of life put together for people to enjoy.