My final week in Oslo was crazy one. Despite having lived there for five months, I still had so many things to discover and staples of the city to witness. So I spent my final week doing as many things I wanted to do and could feasibly do. I did not get to do everything and I was sad but hey, it is an incentive to return!
I planned to include what I got up to socially in this post but as I began writing this, it became so big that it seemed best to maybe dedicate a separate post to saying goodbye to the friends I have made and my final moments in Oslo.
For this entire semester, I have been promising myself that I would visit the 1200s Gol Stav Church and it only took five months to finally do so. The Norsk Folkmuseet is home to 155 traditional houses depicting all areas of Norway as well as indoor exhibits about Norwegian art, culture and religion.
I initially came with the intention to just see the church but it was so wonderful to have had the time to fully explore one of the world’s biggest open-air museums where I could venture into many of the homes and educate myself even further on this country I have come to love.
OSLO REPTILE PARK
I have always been afraid of snakes and spiders. Whilst with spiders, a string of scares during childhood made this a rational fear, my fear of snakes was not rational at all. Recently, I have been educating myself on snakes and through this, I have grown to appreciate them rather than be afraid. That is what made holding my first snake at Oslo Reptile Park such a special moment.
My journey in Norway has been so much about facing my fears and I suppose this is quite literally facing a fear. So forgive me for this but the experience of holding this snake (below) was surprisingly tranquil and I was more afraid of dropping him as if he were like a baby rather than afraid he would bite me. I was always concerned my sharp nails would harm him but instead, it apparently sufficed as an adequate scratching post for this snake’s chin. He was not slimey nor cold, but instead smooth and warm and it was a strange experience to feel his muscles contract as he slithered up to smell my perfume.
I was far less enthusiastic when we reached the spider hallway. I have overcome my fear of them insofar as that I can appreciate their beauty… but from behind a strong plate of glass. I would highly recommend visiting this cosy reptile park where the animals are happy and comfortable.
Whilst I may have lived in Norway for a number of months now, I have walked by the the landmarks of Oslo many times but I have never fully stopped to look, appreciate and explore them. So I decided to dedicate some time to see and remember all of these beautiful places.
ASTRUP FEARNLEY MUSEEET
I finally visited the Astrup Fearnley Museet and I am still sat here in awe and disturbance at the power of formaldehyde. I was really taken by the more contemporary and subtle works within the exhibitions and the liberty of every kind of material and expression that has been taken by the artists. This is a bucket list item for anyone visiting Olso!
GOODBYE TO SOGNSVANN
I ended my final week in Oslo with something that should not surprise any of the long-term readers here: a final walk around Sognsvann Lake. Sognsvann Lake has offered me so much in my time in Norway and I will miss it the most. I have witnessed it in all of its seasons in a mere few months and it was simply magical to wander round it when the mist had overcome it.
To anyone who walked behind me, I must have seemed mad as I talked aloud and processed the highs, lows and experiences that Norway offered me this semester. I have never been good at living in the now, as my previous post perfectly examples, but I lived so much for the present in Norway that I struggled to think over all of the memories made. There are too many. That final walk and retrospect took a couple hours and, taking one last sombre look, I left Sognsvann and my time in Norway.