When I had arrived at my hotel, the person who checked me in mentioned that most of the Norwegians celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve so most everything would be closed that evening and the city would be pretty quiet. I learned from my trip to New Zealand that traveling on Christmas or at least around the holidays can make things a little bit difficult but that’s part of the fun. After changing, I headed out to the city to see what was going on and get an idea of the city.
One thing that I’ve found absolutely charming about the holidays is seeing the decorations around the city. I love seeing the European cities with the narrower streets filled with festive lights hanging between the buildings. As we had driven to the hotel, I saw various areas that had the lights strung between the buildings and so I made my way around to see the evening with everything lit up. I did a short loop around my hotel, toward the Royal Palace and then over to the city center right along the border of the water. I didn’t make it to the water on Christmas Eve but I wanted to at least get my bearings for my adventures the next day. I walked through various little streets to see what was around where I was staying and eventually ended up by an ice skating rink in the middle of the city (Spikersuppa). The little booth that rented skates was closed and so people were walking along the ice rink in their shoes.
Since the sun sets so early in Oslo during winter time, it was almost completely dark by the time I wandered out into the city and so when I stumbled upon Spikersuppa, the holiday lights around the streets gave this beautiful warm glow on the rink and the buildings around the rink.
I found an open deli right by the skating rink, purchased some food that they warmed up for me and I walked around the city center snacking on my warm food. After a bit, I was too cold to really function, so I made my way up along the path of the Royal Palace and then cut through the nearby park to walk back to my hotel to settle in for the night. I wanted to get some sleep to make sure I could wake up bright and early for breakfast so I could get an early start to my day.