How many times it has happened that you have been absolutely mesmerized by the surroundings and have gone speechless or dropped a tear. It has happened with me whenever I have been in Europe. The picturesque scenery here takes my heart away as well the power to express its beauty in words. It has always been a wish to wake up in the lap of Mother Nature’s uncomplicated and un-tampered luscious beauty.
I am living a dream in Oslo. I had always wanted a relaxed holiday like this one and God has been kind after a little stressful days. I guess that makes me more humble and Him more gracious. Coming to Norway had become almost impossible due to the Visa goof-up but now that I am here, I am thankful to everyone.
Weekend party begins from Friday evening. The shopping centers were abuzz with crowds and the Holiday Deals and Christmas Sale banners were up. It was a rainy day and in the evening the temperatures were towards the minimum, hubby and me wrapped in caps, mufflers and coats decided to walk down to the city center around Karl Johans gate. Since he has been here for a month now so he knows the city better and it was easy to find our way. It was a 15 minute walk to the T station from our hotel apartment.
I loved the band playing outside the central station, Jernbanetorget. Across the road, the street around the Karl Johansgate was shining bright. i walked down with curiosity completely in sync with the traveler’s joy. The street was buzzing with activity and there were numerous independent shops and occupied eateries on my both sides.
To the left and the right, there are several lanes that make way for the Islands, Theater Square and Aker Brygge. A straight walk on the road leads one to the Royal Castle. One can enjoy it all at one place and the best its all navigable on foot. The whole area is taken over by independent shops, cafes,restaurants and bars where one gets to see Norwegian specialties.
Saturday was the day for sight-seeing. It was freezing cold outside but we had to make it a great day.
To begin with, I was all excited to see the famous Opera house which was opened in 2008. It was close by, a five minutes walk from the central station. It is Oslo’s prime attraction. It looked beautiful sitting on the banks of the sea surrounded by the city on the other sides. It is a majestic building made in glass, concrete and marbles. The sloping marble roof looks appealing and one can actually traverse the whole roof. In the inside it had wooden interiors and a plush auditorium. We are yet to catch a performance.One may enjoy the cultural performances and also explore the world-class roof-top. It started to rain while we were climbing the roof and finally we stood on top of the Opera House under the umbrella. What a lovely moment it was!
It was already 4 by the time we finished and since it is winters, the stars had descended. The sky was clear after the rains. We took a bus to IKEA, Oslo. IKEA is a popular furniture warehouse brand and about to make a headway in India.
In the morning we took a tram to Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park. It is a large park which houses 212 bronze and granite sculptures. It is very beautiful and exhilarating one that boasts of splendid artistry from the artist Gustav Vigeland. This place has abundance of sculptures of humans in their natural form and In the middle, stands the unique 17 metre high ‘Monolitt’ structure made of one rock. Everyone around was busy taking pictures and we did the same. There was far stretching lawns all around and the Norwegians could be seen strolling and enjoying the winter sun. I was lost in the beauty and its appreciation.
After basking in the sun for around 2 hours, we had plans to see the sunset at the Holmenkollen, my hubby was very excited about it. We boarded the train and the journey was comfortable. Europe’s beauty can be best appreciated through train routes. This wasn’t a big journey but was enjoyable to see both the greener city below and the snow-clad houses at the higher altitudes. The sunset was great but the most amazing view was yet to be discovered.
We walked to the top for another ten minutes and I saw a dragon’s mouth protruding towards the sky. It looked intriguing, we followed it to get closer and after sometimes we stood in front of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump platform. It speaks of world class engineering. Climb and climb until you get on the top of the ski tower to view the beautiful city of Oslo. The amphitheater and the whole set up around guarantees state-of- the- art- technology. What a marvelous man-made design it is! I am sure the athletes have a great time here during ski jumping games.