Oslo is great. It really is, despite the freezing cold and the tons of snow and ice during the winter, and part of the spring… and fall and sometimes summer. But yes, you get used to it, to the cold and dark nights and the never-ending days during the summer, it’s part of the fun of living in the North. A and I have been living here for a couple years now and we slowly got used to the culture, the living standard and wintersports. Obviously both of us do prefer the southern summer heat but as far as life goes, I cannot imagine a better place than Norway, not only because A and I are living here together but because life here is just awesome.
Every now and then we go look at museums, walk in the great and definitely worth-seeing parks, do some letterboxing and a little of sight seeing. But last weekend we got to be real tourists in Oslo. See, every year for one day Oslo arranges this great opportunity for residents to check out all the museums and ride the public transportation for free as well. The arrangement literally translates to “be tourist in your own city”. So I, of course, dragged A through all museums, that we could possibly get through in one day.
We started at the Nobel-Peace-Center and it was great. A collection of all the people that contributed to peace on this planet, what is greater than that? I believe close to nothing. And the technology they used to present the great thinkers and philosophers and action-takers of this world was simply incredible and very recommendable!
After taking in all the peace we could, we ran towards the National Gallery. And to be honest, that was a little bit of a downer. I mean seing Munch’s original scream was obviously awesome, but it also raises the question, why the original is not at the Munch museum, which we visited a few months ago. Norwegians have their own take on that… but either way, there was only one other room to visit at the National Gallery and that was a Medieval exhibition, which was neither mine nor A’s style of history. So after 20 minutes, we were out of there.
We jetted to the Akershus Festning afterwards. It’s a fortress and a castle, in a way and a place for soldiers to perform soldier-y things and a wonderful place to enjoy the view and a mausuleum. It was great, very enjoyable and a lot of fun. Many families were strolling around, couples were enjoying each other’s company, history lovers falling in love with old buildings and A and me, being tourists.
After all the cultural and historical stuff, A and I needed something for the children in us. So we headed to Oslo’s reptilepark. Which by far was the most awesomest experience, if you like children screaming, grown ups pushing you forward before you are done looking at exhibitions, bad air and overheated rooms. But no, seriously, it was awesome and I will return, most likely though without A. He apparently can’t handle the fact, that the staff takes out snakes and spiders out of their terratariums for visitors to look at them and touch them. I was the first in line, for doing that, after all, how often do you get to touch a spider as big as your hand or pet a snake? Not often, very true, but apparently to A that also didn’t seem like a lifetime goal anyways, so he ran like his pants were on fire, which of course they were not. But let’s just say, he was relieved being out of the reptilepark, double checking that there was no 8-legged blind passenger on or close to his body.
Our last stop was the Natural history museum. After all the living reptiles, A needed to look at something, that has been dead for years and years. So naturally, the Natural history museum was our frist choice. What we didn’t know, when we entered the museum at 4.45pm was that they closed at 5pm. So, we ran through the museum, ‘enjoying’ every little fossil we could possibly get our eyes on. And it was awesome. I mean seriously, name one thing that is not great about dinosaurs? I dare you. Name ONE thing.
All in all, Oslo is a great place to visit, it really is awesome and fun and if you haven’t visited before you definitely should… but take it from me, wait for the summer.
I love vacationing with A. I always learn something new. Whether I gain knowledge about something or get to know A even more. There is always something. It is so much fun and so exhilarating and exciting, even when we take the same trip over and over again. In the past year we went to Copenhagen four times and we always took the boat from Oslo to Copenhagen. We once went to Tivoli, once went to the zoological museum and twice to the aquarium. I say twice because we first went to the old aquarium and then just this trip went to the new aquarium that opened earlier this year. Both aquariums were quite interesting and no matter how often I look at fish in huge tanks, the most exciting part about this is still experiencing it with A.
Now A and I not only just go to the aquarium when we travel. We usually locate the highest vantage point of this city and make our way up there to enjoy the usually beautiful view. In Paris we went to the Eiffel tower and Arc de Triomphe. In Vienna we went to the Donauturm and up Stephansdom. In London we went up the fire monument and in Copenhagen? Well, so far we didn’t really make it up any significantly high buildings, mainly because most of the city’s buildings are quite small, so visibility is not really an issue but this time we found ourselves walking up the crooked stairs of…
Wait a second, let me back up here. Flying with A is a painful experience, mainly because he gets so jumpy and nervous that 95% of the time I pretend not to know him. It’s not the flying itself that makes him nervous, but the fear of falling. A cannot stand ferris wheels. He will much rather overeat on gross carnival food and get really sick before he gets on a tiny children’s ferris wheel. A is fine being high up on what ever mankind created existence there is, as long as it stands firm on the ground and is enclosed. Now when we went up the Eiffel tower, A was happy as a child in a candy store. Donauturm? Oh, no problem, he was sitting with me enjoying his coffee while the rotating restaurant, that was supposed to show us the city, showed us nothing but fog.
I am a taurus and if there is anything that tells you about me, it tells you that I love hard ground underneath my feet. And if I have to be on a high platform I at least want to be protected by some kind of net or fence around it, so I don’t feel like the small little fence between me and the rest of the world is the only thing saving me from falling real fast, real deep. I get sick on rocky boats, I hated skydiving because I didn’t feel ground underneath my feet. I hate to swim in very deep water because you cannot see the ground and you don’t know what’s underneath you. But I do go on rocky boats, I did go skydiving (and might even do it again some time in far distance…) and I do swim in deep waters. That’s what life is about. Conquering your fears.
So now, back to Copenhagen. A and I were wandering around on Easter Monday in the city. Easter Monday is a holiday in most parts of Europe, so therefore all the stores are closed and the only people you will see wandering around are in fact tourists such as ourselves. We discovered this beautiful tower with a staircase shaped top in the near distance and decided to check it out. Much to our happiness it turned out to be a church, open to the public with the option to walk up the stairs to the platform. In no time it was decided that we will go up the tower and enjoy the view. After all it was a gorgeous day and how could you do anything else but enjoy it?
I have no idea who build this church or whoever thought it would be fun to build the tower with as many crooked steps as possible and who thought that a small railing was enough to hold on to when walking up to the platform. We spent ten minutes walking up this tower, stepping over weirdly shaped wood all the whilst it was making a creaking sound. The steps were big enough to hold one person at a time, not two, not three and certainly not four. Just one. But we wouldn’t be human if we weren’t to proof that wrong, right? People were coming down from the platform as we ascended and if it would have just been one single person at a time, I guess we all would have been fine, but as several people at the same time were descending so were several people at the time ascending. For me, this was more than just merely uncomfortable. For A that was fun.
Finally we made it up to the platform and an instant feeling of uncomfortableness struck me forcing my body to clench up every muscle and hold on to the wall of the tower as tight as possible. Meanwhile A was taking pictures and pointing out several buildings of significance to me. Which of course, in my state of mind was just useless. As we made our way around the platform, me still pressed against the tower, A pointing at a million buildings, we discovered that we could go up all the way on the staircase that we admired from down below. Full of excitement A accidentally dropped the camera lens protector to his camera. We both and the fear struck people around us, watched the protector fall down to the ground of the platform and roll to the edge of the platform were it gently laid down. I guess we all got a bit numb at this point. A stared at me in discomfort and then slowly bend down to get the protector. He slowly came back up again, his face white as the most puffiest clouds that were surrounding us.
I was amazed how quickly he recovered from this incident though. He grabbed his backpack and was determined to go up the staircase. Only after 6 steps did he turn around to me and said, “I am done with this, I cannot go any further.” I looked at him puzzled and asked him why and he just shook his head and said, “no way. I just want to get off this tower.” I was debating whether or not I should just follow him but I didn’t. I looked at him and said, “I will go up.” And so I did, all the whilst my knees were trembling with fear. I walked higher and higher and higher and higher while the wind blew from East to West and I had to hold on even tighter to the railing. I walked past some people, making sure to never let go of the railing and I walked up for what seemed like an eternity. And finally I was all the way up at the end of the staircase and to my surprise… The staircase just ended.
Out of nowhere. It was just done. Like an artist, deciding that no matter what you do, you should never overstep your boundaries. A staircase should stop in the middle of nowhere because that’s what a staircase is all about. Realizing that it gets lonely up there and that you should do everything to be with the one you love… Well, I wasn’t that smart when I stood there, “enjoying” the view. I made a quick turn around and basically ran down the stairs to be with A. Meanwhile he was barely alive, holding tight on to his life while waiting for me. His face lit up in delight and together we walked down the stairs back to the ground. Still not letting go of the railing.
As we reached save grounds both A and I were exhausted and tired and the adrenaline rush slowly died down. I know A will probably never go on a ferris wheel with me again, nor will be voluntarily sky dive or bungee jump or walk onto high buildings, but no matter what I know he will be with me and wherever I go, if his fear is holding him back, that just means I have to be double brave and make sure that he is not missing out on anything. After all, that’s what love is about, completing each other. Or doing stupid things together. Or just being there for each other or just accepting the other persons faults and being okay with it. Or… just loving one another. You choose.