As some of you are aware (if you read my ‘How to…Pack for -11 Holidays‘ blog post) you will know that I recently just went on a work trip to Norway. Although it was for work, I was very lucky to spend an extra three days in Norway to explore the city of Oslo and as usual decided to share my adventure with you here.
We began our journey from Norwich to London Heathrow airport in the early hours of the morning to ensure that we were at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Luckily, there was little traffic/no accidents so we were able to check in within 10 minutes. I’d like to just quickly point out that I was travelling for work purposes so I was extremely lucky to be travelling business class and that it’s not something I would usually do for a holiday.
After getting through security we made our way to the British Airways lounge for a quick pitstop before hitting the duty free. I stocked up on some of my favourite make-up products and saved a substantial amount of money. Before we knew it, it was time for us to board our short 2 hour flight to Oslo. The flight was quick and simple with wonderful service – if you ever get the opportunity to fly business class, I cannot emphasise enough just how worth it/amazing it is.
Upon arrival we were picked up at the airport and to be taken to our hotel in the central of Oslo via the train/car. By this point it was roughly 4pm so I was feeling tired from the flight but ready to go out into the city and explore. Our hotel (Hotel Christiania Teater) was in the centre of Oslo and couldn’t have been more beautiful; I quickly unpacked what felt like my entire wardrobe and got ready to go out and meet some friends also on the trip.
We had dinner at a local Thai restaurant with interesting service (something I soon discovered was considered ‘normal’ in Norway) but wonderful food and company. Before returning to our hotel we stopped at a local supermarket and picked up some random Norwegian sweets, a few favourites of mine were ‘Smash’ and ‘Bamsee Mums’. As we walked back to the hotel I was very grateful I had worn many layers, including thermal leggings as it was absolutely freezing.
On the second day I woke extremely early to ensure that breakfast was not missed – it finished at 10am and I had a big day ahead of me. It was in this moment I had the perfect moment to take in how beautiful the hotel was which luckily coincided with its perfect location. Breakfast was a wonderful spread of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and expanding all the way to various fruits and cereal. I of course indulged in all of the above and a cup of tea whilst endorsing the beautiful view.
After breakfast we decided to explore Oslo a bit more by visiting the Royal Palace and a few shops in the city centre. We soon had a quick pit stop back at the hotel where I was now ever so grateful for all of the food I had packed (its important to mention that Norway is extremely expensive) and then we ventured back out to meet our Norwegian friend for a tour. With a few other friends in our company we made our way to the Holmenkollen ski slope via the train/trams where we ventured deep into the mountains. When we first arrived at the ski slope we were lucky enough to see a couple of people jump which was terrifying yet amazing to witness. Sadly, after waiting a long time we didn’t see many more jump so we had a quick hot chocolate before hitting the road once again.
Next, we visited the famous ‘Vigeland Sculpture Park’ where we spent some time indulging in the wonderful sculptures and discussing their meanings. By this point, we were extremely cold and hungry so we made our way back into the city centre. Before heading for a dinner reservation, we made sure to stop at the location where the picture of Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill (above) was taken. We then made our way to dinner at a restaurant where the upcoming movie ‘Snowman’ was filmed and I of course had to have fish and chips (English at heart).
Day 3 was our final morning in Oslo before heading out to Finse for the ‘Visit Hoth’ convention so we had to be up super early to grab breakfast, pack and get our car to the train station in preparation for the train journey. Although the train journey was nearly five hours long I occupied myself with the Hamilton soundtrack, reading, writing and to my surprise stormtroopers! Now, if you’re confused, Finse is where ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ Star Wars movie was filmed and this was why we were heading out there for the 2017 ‘Visit Hoth’ convention. The entire train carriage was filled with Star Wars fans also attending the same convention.
Upon arrival I suddenly realised I really was in the middle of nowhere. The train slowly pulled up to the platform which actually was the front door of the hotel; in the distance I noticed a few small huts, but other than that, there was nothing else for miles. I quickly dumped my luggage in my room (wanting nothing but to explore) and layered up for the cold outside temperature of -3.
After a quick cup of tea and rolling about in the snow for an hour I made my way inside for dinner where there was of course, a Star Wars cake. Being a lover of Star Wars and chocolate cake I was extremely excited. After dinner there was a massive talk from a few people that worked on the film out here in Norway – from extras to photographers which was just so wonderful to listen to; I loved hearing all of their stories about the fabulous trio: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.
By the end of the talks I was starting to feel extremely tired so after a quick dance in the ‘Boggin’ (the downstairs bar that was under the hotel in the cellar) I made my way to bed ready for the big day tomorrow.
Day 4 was the big Star Wars event day so I of course had to be up extremely early to prepare for my work duties. During this day I didn’t get to have a huge amount of fun until the evening because I was working for majority of the day. But whilst I was working, I did manage to meet a countless amount of Stormtroopers, hang out with my old friend R2-D2 and even hug Darth Vader (hugs really are better from the dark side). Prior to this I quickly put my Rey costume on and ran out into the snow to take some awesome pictures – even if I did nearly freeze to death.
Into the evening there was another talk but this time by the wonderful Craig Miller. Prior to Craig’s talk I was extremely lucky to meet Craig and his wife Genny in the train station where we talked about everything under the sun (even non-Star Wars things).
After Craig’s awesome chat about everything he did in the Star Wars world I was slightly crazy and ventured out into the -7 snow storm to take some super cool pictures in my Rey costume in the dark (it’s all about the Instagram picture opportunities). With the exciting and busy day coming to a close I knew it was time to once again crawl back into bed for some rest.
The final day in Finse kicked off in the best way possible by venturing out on a dog-sledding ride into the mountains and out to the filming location! I absolutely adore dogs and was missing my own from home so was extremely excited about crossing this one off of my bucket list. However, on the Saturday night and Sunday morning a storm had begun to brew and the winds were getting as quick as 20mph; so as soon as we ventured out into the snow I of course became freezing through my thermals and waterproof clothing.
As soon as we arrived back at the hotel I ran up to my room with a cup of tea and wrapped myself in the duvet until I felt human again. By this point I didn’t have long to pack before we had to board the train back to Oslo.
After boarding the train and fast forwarding 5 hours we were back in Oslo and back at the original hotel that we stayed at (Hotel Christinia Teater). For dinner we ventured to the Hard Rock Cafe for a burger (something I had been craving the entire trip) and then we made our way back to the hotel for one final night in Norway.
During our last morning in Norway we ventured out into Oslo to check out some final bits of the city that we had missed. We visited a few shops in the train station and in the city centre before heading out to the Opera House which was absolutely beautiful. If I ever get the opportunity to return to Norway, I would absolutely adore the opportunity to see a ballet piece there.
We quickly grabbed some lunch at Mcdonalds before heading back to the hotel for one final appearance for work. Within an hour we were back in the train station with our cases and on our way back to the airport…our trip had sadly come to an end.
SHOP MY NORWAY WARDROBE:
In case you were interested in seeing more of my trip to Norway check out my Instagram account: @elliebrowne, but also my new YouTube account where I videoed the entire trip, I shall link the video of it here. If you’re interested in visiting the ‘Visit Hoth’ convention next year, I shall link the event page here.
Where are you going on your next trip? Let me know in the comments below, I always love to know for inspiration for my next adventure!
DISCLAIMER: All pictures are my own apart from the feature photo, photo credit: Marcin Ptak. Some of the links provided are affiliated links.