Country #11 & 12 Day 94-97, Oslo & Stockholm
Much like the rest of Norway, Oslo its capital reflects nature, it has forests on the fringe, lakes and public parks galore. But the story lies in its relation to the other Scandinavian countries and the interlinkages they have in history. So much so that whenever one refers to Oslo for travel, there is also Stockholm and Copenhagen in the plan. Thats just like our golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur! Thus, it makes more sense to mention at least Oslo and Stockholm together while Copenhagen deserves a separate page altogether.
Oslo, has been the capital of Norway for over 700yrs now but has had a topsy turvy ride due to personal unions with Denmark from 1397 to 1523 and again from 1536 to 1814 and with Sweden from 1814 to 1905 which reduced its influence giving more prominence to Stockholm and Copenhagen which also in a way reflects in the sites that you visit across the two cities. But nevertheless is a very modern city with bustling commerce and plenty of heritage to see. It has been ranked one of the best cities in the world to live in apart from also being its most expensive.
We being nature and history buffs, the best part of our trip here was our visit to the still in use 750yr old fortress Akershus. The highlight here was the great preservation of the fort and the fact that you still have military personnel patrolling the fort in ceremonial attire. Something which is present at the historical sites in Stockholm as well.
Stockholm on the other hand spread over 14 islands is more about grand public buildings, palaces, rich cultural history and museums that tell her 700 year-old history beautifully. Take for example the historic Stortorget neighbourhood in Stockholm old town with its many old taverns, restaurants and ice-cream parlours with seating in the streets outside. It’s a very lively atmosphere, our first experience of everyday life in a major European city. And then also there is the Vasa ship museum where the salvaged and beautifully restored 17th century ship is on display with 4 floor full of its articles and also exhibits about life on the ship. Once can also visit Drottningholm palace, the private residence of the Swedish royal family. Stockholm has enough for one to see for 4 full days, a luxury we did not have and thus had to skip a few places like the national museum and Haga park but then we live to see another day and maybe we will come back to see those places as well!