I was approached and invited to teach workshops at Scrap4Fun in Haugesund, Norway.. and so because M & I have never been to Norway we took the opportunity to combine it with a trip to Oslo...
We LOVED Norway! Everyone is so friendly, it's beautiful, clean and quiet!.. oh, and almost everyone speaks English! - which is good for me because my Norwegian is very limited - but has grown by at least 2-3 words since my trip! :o)
So here are some highlights - its going to be a photo heavy post!
We spent the first 2 days in Oslo before moving onto Haugesund on Friday - two half days in the city (after and before flights) and so it was a taster visit of the city.
Our Oslo hotel was lovely - relaxed, welcoming and so comfortable. It was the first time we were introduced to the single-duvets-on-a-double-bed layout!! well in my humble opinion that is a genius idea!:
* no more fighting for duvet
* you could have different weight duvets on each side of the bed to suit the sleepers
* easier to wash and iron!
Oslo seemed really quiet, busy but quiet - lots of electric cars which lessened the traffic noise, and the town has a tram system which lessens the amount of car traffic around the city.
On the first day, armed with our trusty map, we strolled around the redeveloped dock area of the city (taking it easy due to our VERY early start from Heathrow - 5am check in - OUCH)..
Dock buildings have been redeveloped into restaurants, shops and offices - as has happened in lots of cities - including London
The Norweigans are a hardy bunch - their idea of cold is different to the English idea of cold - here I am sitting OUTSIDE a restaurant in the Aker Brygge area of the city in just a cardigan - no coat!
OK, so I was only able to do so because there were heaters all around us (thats why I'm so red!) - but it was lovely to sit outside and have lunch.
I wish I'd been able to see this 'christmas tree' lit up - looks fab unlit so must've been sooo pretty lit - all those little 'spikes' are fairy lights :o)
EDIT at 14.30: I just googled 'christmas tree oslo' to see if there was a photo of the above tree lit (or similar).... google never fails... here it is in all its festive fparkliness! lovely
I really liked this avenue of trees - evidence of the landscape history of the city - at one time there must have been a road or path there but now it just leads down to metal railings and the main road... look how perfectly straight they are!
You can walk right up to the Royal Palace (obviously there are a couple of guards to stop you getting in but you can get quite close - closer than you'd get to Buckingham Palace!). It sits right on the top of the hill overlooking the city..
Down the hill past the University with a very nice paved forecourt... loving the circles..
In the main shopping area lots of department stores with lovely architecture.. (& lots of H&M shops! lol)
And this proud looking chap was in the middle of a square holding a flower market..
... where I saw these, I LOVE ornamental cabbages - all those frilly layers of colour...
.. and all these interesting pumpkins! (well it is the day before Halloween!)
Quick look at the Parliament...
... and then it was time to head to the airport for our flight to Haugesund...
I think thats enough for one blog post - the Haugesund leg of the trip will follow in the next blog post...
(one last thing - Panduro has shops in Norway - in the UK its only online so to look around a shop was a treat!! (and it would've been rude not to!) (I'm easily pleased! lol)