We finished off our time in the Northern Hemisphere in Norway. We had the privilege of spending a week with my brother’s girlfriend Stine’s family in their home in Andebu, about an hour and a half away from Oslo.
We had such a great week with Line, Birger, and Stine (and for a short time, Stine’s brother Preben). Line and Birger absolutely showered us with hospitality and generosity and treated us as their own family. They were wonderful with Elena and Kilian and both our kids really enjoyed their company. Line and Birger, thank you so much for having us!
After arriving on the Saturday and enjoying a meal altogether, on Sunday we headed out to Oslo to explore some of the sights around the city. Oslo has plenty of great museums to choose from and we chose the Framm museum, which details the incredible expedition Roald Amundsen and his company took to become the first explorers to reach the North Pole. It was really interesting to see the actual ship they used and learn a bit about Norway’s history of exploring. We had lunch after at the beautiful Vigeland Sculpture Park and admired some very interesting and strange statues there, with a play at the playground of course. We then headed into Oslo city centre, which is a really beautiful and modern place, right on the Oslo fjord. We had a look at the royal palace and found out that Norway has a beloved King and Queen who live there. We followed this up with dinner with a wonderful view out on the fjord. We really liked Oslo, and it was a really nice day to be able to get to know Stine’s mum Line, dad Birger and brother Preben a bit better.
Elena had a little afternoon out with Stine one day, visiting a friend’s farm and new puppy. It sounds like she had a really nice time with Tante Stine, picking carrots from the garden and exploring.
We spent a day with Stine visiting the local city Tonsberg. We looked at a beautiful stave church on the way, Høyjord which was designed like a Viking ship. It was a really impressive and beautiful church, and refreshingly different to the many traditional churches that are found around other parts of Europe. Tonsberg was a really pretty city built on a fjord. We walked alongside the fjord and saw a Viking ship being built with traditional tools, and we climbed the hill up to the ruins of the castle and had lunch upon the steps of the newer castle tower.
We were all very sad when Stine left to go back to Australia, so we distracted ourselves by going to a whaling museum in Sandefjord. Norway has a great whaling history, and we were fascinated by the fact that some Norwegians eat whale. Unfortunately part of the museum was under renovations (the whaling part) so we didn’t get to learn a lot about the whaling history, although they had plenty of animals to see and some huge whale bones.
Kilian started walking! It was pretty exciting to see him tentatively take some steps across the room, and even nicer to be able to share the moment with Line and Birger. We saw Kili’s confidence grow a little, although he still isn’t too keen on walking by himself, and prefers to drag us around by holding one of our fingers.
One of the loveliest things we visited in Norway was Verdens Ende – World’s End. This incredible place is right at the bottom of Norway and has an amazing view right out to the ocean, with some huge rock platforms to clamber across and explore. It was beautiful to look out and see so much rock and sky and sea all in one place. It was also freezing!
We had the chance to visit the Slottsfjellsmuseet in Tonsberg, which was a great way to soak up some local medieval history and see the remains of the Klastad Viking ship and plenty of other relics from Viking times.
We had a nice day out with Line and Birger in Tonsberg visiting the markets, and the library, where Birger and Elena set themselves up in a reading chair with lots of books, Birger translating the Norwegian to English for Elena.
Pete and I had a lovely night out at a outdoor cinema in Tonsberg, while Line and Birger babysat. It was really fun to get out without the kids and even better knowing they were being looked after by some very great people!
We loved our week in Norway and our time with Line and Birger. Definitely looking forward to coming again one day!