I went to Norway for the first time with three of my best friends that I’ve known for over 10 years and we were all wondering how it’s taken us so long to go on holiday together. It was one of the best holidays ever, partially thanks to how beautiful Norway is.
Before we had even arrived in the country, we were concerned with money since we’d heard the rumours about it being one of the most expensive countries in the world. Fortunately, we were careful with our money and managed it quite well. We were all quite shocked to find everything was either cheap or expensive with no in between.
I’m sure you don’t want to hear all about our journey over to Norway, but I will give a little overview and what we did once we’d arrived at our Air BnB. Spoiler alert: not much.
- Our flight was delayed (classic RyanAir) and I was sat on the first row (an experience, for sure)
- We tried to hire a car but realised it was too expensive even if there were any cars left
- The bus to take us to the train station stayed parked for a good half an hour, and even when it did finally move, it literally went one space forward to pick up more passengers
- We somehow managed to get on the train for free? The conductor kept walking through, but he never asked to see our (lack of) tickets so…
- We arrived at our Air BnB in the nicest area. A family friendly neighbourhood. Our Air BnB owner wasn’t there when we arrived, so her lovely husband filled us in
- To save ourselves some money, we agreed to go food shopping and eat dinner in, and shockingly, it wasn’t extortionate prices
- We took the scenic route to the shop, then found a quicker way home
- While eating dinner, we watched the TV on the only British channel we could find and decided we were all tired so we stayed in
Excited to explore, we ventured out for the day, ready to see Norway. We wanted to see as many of the sights as possible that were relatively cheap, or free.
We headed for the harbour first with the intention of finding the opera house and the palace. However, by some chance, we managed to walk in the opposite direction of both and ended up by this incredible building. We obviously climbed up it and saw stunning views around. Then we had a little break where I bought some delicious ice cream.
We didn’t stay here long, partially because there wasn’t much to see. It was literally some ruins. I don’t know any more than that. I was too busy taking pictures, then running after my friends since they left without me.
We decided to take the scenic route to the Munch museum by going round the Botanical Garden. It was beautiful, but we didn’t see too much of it. If we had had more time, I definitely would’ve enjoyed the beautiful flowers and general scenery.
I’ll be honest, Edvard Munch really liked death, illness and portraying women in a negative life. We had all wanted to see the iconic Scream painting, but as it turned out, it was in the National Gallery and none of us wanted to pay into another place for one painting. Still, we got to see one of the paintings from the Scream series, which was something I never knew before. I assumed it was one painting, not a series of paintings.
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We then tried to find the food market but had somehow missed it. By this time, we were all feeling the heat, so we agreed to head back to the Air BnB for a while. I say a while. A while turned into a few hours. We kept trying to find places for dinner, and by the time we were done, the sun was really setting. Still, we’d travelled to go to…
We’d watched a documentary before coming with Richard Ayoade that showed a statue park. Fascinated by these quirky statues, we headed over. I wish we’d gone a little earlier so we’d have gotten better pictures of the statues, but we still had a good laugh. I posed beside a statue and watched two of my friends reenact some.
Hike to the Ski Jump
I’ll be honest, a hike isn’t my idea of fun. I actually dreaded it before we went up. However, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Sure, I had to stop several times, but I was never that far apart from my friends. In fact, my friends were proud of me for reaching the top, as was I! AND I didn’t feel sore the next day*. Progress! The view was magnificent. Totally worth it.
*I haven’t exercised properly in at least five years, so this hike should’ve left my legs hurting the next day, but it didn’t.
Along the way to find an ice cream shop near the palace, we stumbled on a crowded beach. It was so nice to be next to the sea again. I’ve honestly missed the sea so much. I definitely need to head to a beach some time this summer.
The ice cream shop was so worth finding! I adore ice cream shops and a mint choc chip ice cream was so nice after wandering around in the heat. We chilled out by a bridge in the shade, just chatting and enjoying our ice cream.
By the time we reached the palace, the heat had gotten to me. I tried to be enthusiastic, or even chatty with my friends, but I couldn’t. I took a picture of the palace, but like, it was just another palace. Sorry but I’ve been to too many by now. Even the ones in England don’t make me feel anything. Not from the outside anyway.
I was so grateful when we got to just lay down in the grass in the park. Me and my friend napped, while the other two chatted. I desperately needed it. The heat had gotten to me, so napping in the shade was an actual necessity.
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We then headed back to cook dinner and have an early night since we had to wake up at 4am. Yikes! But hey, watching Shrek 2 after dinner and before bed was nice. It was chilled out, which is what I love to do with my friends.
Again, you probably don’t want to hear about our journey back, but here are the highlights:
- We woke up at 4am and managed to get out in half an hour
- We walked to the bus stop, and while we were waiting, I appreciated how wonderfully quiet it was. Don’t get me wrong, Norway isn’t like big cities so it always feels quiet, but this was on another level. So peaceful
- I napped on the coach to the airport and don’t regret anything. I’d had five hours sleep so…
- Our flight was delayed by at least half an hour
- I hadn’t eaten breakfast because I assumed our flight would be on time and I could eat something at the airport when we landed
- Naturally, you can imagine how hungry I was by 10:30am
- I bid my goodbyes to my friends and grabbed some breakfast before continuing the rest of my journey
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While I wasn’t the greatest out and about, especially on the last day, I definitely appreciated the moments we got to chat or laugh. Basically, be ourselves. Those are the moments I really love the most, and I’m so glad we had those moments while on holiday. These three have been in my life since childhood, so they mean a lot to me. Having those moments where we could have a deep conversation, or we could just be goofy dorks, is incredibly important to me and any friendship I have. It honestly made the holiday for me, because it reminds me why we’re still friends, and probably always will be.
I’d definitely revisit Norway, but in a slightly cooler climate, because I didn’t feel like I fully appreciated it while there. The heat got to me a few times so I couldn’t enjoy it. But it was so beautiful, and so different from society as I know it. It’s so safe and quiet, albeit expensive. I could see myself living there for a short period of time, especially since they have wooden panel housing (my favourite!). But I think it’d be too quiet for me in the long term.
Norway is a beautiful city that’s just so quiet and safe. It blew my mind how safe it was. You could literally keep your front door open all day and nobody would rob you. Insane! I wish it were like that elsewhere.
I’d highly recommend Norway, for the scenery just as much as anything else.