December 24, 2015
Today is our last day in Oslo. RP has taken the morning flight back. Our flight is much later and we have half a day to explore the city. Last evening we strolled past the Christmas gaiety and had dinner in the “ethnic” quarter of city. Today we will walk the tourist attractions.The husband has seen some of it on his day alone in the city and is my walking guide for the day. The Norwegians are not great church goers, but we discover that almost all of Oslo has shut down for Christmas and will reopen only on January 4, the first Monday of the new year. On the bright side, we have the city all to ourselves. We walk to Akerhaus Fortress and wander around inside. The ramparts offer a wonderful view of the harbour and the Oslo fjord. Every year on 10th December the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is held in the Oslo city hall. Note the date; what a remarkable coincidence!
The city hall is closed, so we walk around the entrance admiring the beautiful wooden friezes depicting tales from Norse mythology.We wander along the harbour, and pause by the Nobel Peace Center and a troll shop. It’s lunch time. Since I didn’t get RP and the husband the promised “dal” in Svalbard,last night I had to make up by having so-so dinner at an Indian restaurant that turned out to be owned by our brother-turned-mortal-enemy-neighbour (country). Today we are going to have to pick up something from a local deli near the Christmas Market since all restaurants are closed and also because we want to catch the afternoon mass at the Oslo Cathedral. By the time we reach the cathedral, people are pouring out. I mentioned that the Norwegians are not great church goers, but clearly Christmas mass is a BIG thing! We enter once the crowd thins. The cathedral is beautiful and felt quite alive. Inside we met a wonderful lady dressed in traditional Norwegian attire. She gladly posed for us and even sat down and explained a good deal about the attire. These days few people dress in traditional clothes, but on occasions like Christmas it is not uncommon. She recommended that we stay for the choir as it is one of the best but we have a flight to catch.
Soon we are on our way to the airport – to the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER 🙂