Oslo Bike Tour
Oslo is a beautiful city, perhaps unfairly overshadowed by the waterbound beauty of Stockholm to its east, and the mountainous splendor of Bergen to the west. It is also a staggeringly expensive city, often rated as the most expensive city in the world.
But a bike tour lets you enjoy the city for very little money, and if you plan it right, you can see most of the city’s sights in a single day (museums excluded, of course).
There are several places to rent bikes around the city. We chose Viking Biking not least because I appreciated the rhyme, but mainly because my travel buddy and I could see it from our hotel room. The bikes were all quite new and in great shape. The owner, an American ex-pat, even helped us plan our route, to cover all that we wanted to see. He mentioned it was a lot, but figured we could do it all in a day (he was right on both counts).
We headed north into the city proper, then west, weaving our way past the museums and parks, up towards Frogner Park.
Frogner is… unique, in that it holds dozens of statues by Gustav Vigeland. Odd, creepy, and fascinating are three words to describe the stone sculptures of humans in various poses.
Heading down out of the park, we headed southwest towards Huc, on the water. Before we reached there, we stopped off at the Viking Ship Museum. Having started our adventure around 9:30, and it was just after lunchtime, we figured this was a good place to have a snack. We regaled ourselves with the foodstand adjacent to the museum.
Inside, the museum presents three Viking sailing ships in stark beauty. No pomp and circumstance, just the ships in a white-walled, cathedral-like setting. It’s beautiful, perhaps hauntingly so, once you realize ships like these carried Vikings all the way to North America, long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
From there we continued south, making it to Huk and enjoying a lovely view of the fjord.
Curving up though the Bygdøy, we looped around and crossed over our original path, headed back along the water towards Oslo.
We cut across the city, and followed the waterfalls north. The incline wasn’t steep, and the waterfalls were gorgeous.
Near the top we broke off and made our way to Tim Wendelboe.
Tim Wendelboe (the person), owner of Tim Wendelboe (the store), is a World Barista Champion and World Cup Tasting Champion. The coffee here, suffice it to say, came highly recommended.
It was a little after 3pm at this point, and we were in solid need of a bit of a boost. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but this was easily the best cappuccino I’ve ever had. Rich and delicious, without a trace of bitterness.
Our time with the bikes winding down, we headed back down towards the water, through colorful streets and past even more parklands, finally ending up back where we started, with minutes to spare.
There’s a lot more to see in Oslo if you have more time. Check out WikiTravel’s Oslo page for more ideas.