Day 6 - Oslo (NO)

This sums up the city for me - nature and green spaces are to be enjoyed!

A beautiful and compact city surrounded by the Oslo Fjord on its south side and forest to its east, north and west for hiking and skiing. There is also a vibrant harbour and waterfront area from which ferries sail to the many nearby islands.

The city has the highest number of electric vehicles per capita of any city in the world - 50,000 and by 2025, 50 to 60 per cent of all cars in Oslo are expected to be electric.

Interestingly though, there are not as many bikes used here as in Copenhagen or Amsterdam.

We arrived in the snow and daytime temperatures of -2. As we were moving further north, we were gradually adding extra layers of clothes. It did take ages to don all the gear each time we entered or left a building, but we were managing to stay warm and cosy! We will see what happens when we head up to Abisko, north of the Arctic Circle?

The Oslo Opera House is home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet and has won several awards for its modern and innovative design. The striking sloping roof is covered in white marble and granite and it looks like an iceberg emerging from the Oslo Fjord. We climbed to the top of the roof and we were able to get a great view of the city and the harbour area. In Oslo you are free to walk anywhere, even on the grass and rooftops!

The Royal Palace in Oslo was built in the first half of the 19th century as the Norwegian residence of the French-born King Charles III John, who reigned as king of Norway and Sweden. It is now home to the monarch of Norway, King Harald V and his wife, Queen Sonja whilst their son, the Crown Prince, resides at Skaugum in Asker west of Oslo.

The palace is set on Bellevue hill at one end of the city and is surrounded by a large and beautiful park which the public is free to enjoy.

The changing of the guard takes place every day at 1.30pm all year round and in the summer months it is possible to go on a guided tour of the palace.

Oslo cathedral dates back to the 17th century and is used by the royal family and government for weddings and funerals.

The Nobel Peace Centre is a showcase for the Nobel Peace Prize and the ideals it represents. Since 1901, the prize has been awarded annually on 10th December, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death, a Swedish inventor and industrialist. In his will he instructed that most of his fortune be set aside as a fund for the awarding of five annual prizes “to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.” The prizes are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace. He stipulated that three different institutions in Sweden and one in Norway should award the prizes and so it was decided that the peace prize should be given by the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo.

Stortinget is the  Parliament building and the seat of the Norwegian National Assembly since 1866.