I recently took my last trip in Europe and I couldn’t have picked a better time to do so!
I went to Oslo, Norway for 5 days to visit a few friends I met in Zaragoza and while I was there, I got to see the Norwegian Constitution Day. Oslo’s a little city (a little smaller than Indianapolis) and is quiet and easy-going. Coming from a bustling Madrid, it was quite the comparison. Nonetheless, Oslo is a great city and I think it’s mistakenly overlooked as a great travel destination.
Getting to experience their Constitution Day was something I’ll never forget. There are hundreds of street vendors selling everything from traditional Norwegian food to Arabic food and thousands of people in the streets in traditional clothes (called a bunad). There are also a number of younger people in red overall-type get ups. They’re referred to as russ which is a part of their graduation tradition there. The picture to the right is of my Norwegian friend Christina in her bunad with my other friend and her boyfriend Jørgen. Some men also wear traditional-style clothes but many nowadays just wear a suit like Jørgen. The traditional dress also depends on what area of Norway you’re from so Christina’s dress is different from a typical dress from another region of Norway. In addition, I got a quick glimpse of the king of Norway and the royal family of Norway as they were waving to the crowds from the balcony of the palace.
One of the things that surprised me about Norway was the prices. Everything is extremely expensive. Going to a normal cafe to buy a caramel macchiato and a muffin cost me around $11. It’s not just the restaurants either. Everything in the grocery store is more expensive as well and in some instances, the clothes in an H&M, for instance, were about twice the price as in Spain. Something else that surprised me (but in a good way) was that because Norway is so far north, the sun began to rise around 3 a.m. when I was there. I suppose I should have realized this before going but it was so cool looking outside at 3 in the morning and actually being able to see the streets lit up but empty. During the summer, there is very little darkness and in the winter, there’s not much light at all. This was just one of the few oddities that made Oslo even more interesting for me.
In all, I had a great time there and I’m so glad I got to visit my friends Christina, Jørgen, and Sandra. It’s a really beautiful place to visit and I can’t speak highly enough about it!