Oslo, Norway – Christmas in the city center

After I felt defeated by the Munch Museum, I finally decided that I wanted to go back to the city center and see what was happening there.  Plus the sun was starting to set and I wanted to get a little bit closer to my hotel.  I knew that if I started to walk toward the water and back the direction I came, I would eventually find where I needed to be. I ended up getting lost and wandering down some random side streets but eventually I found myself at the main city center where it was filled with tourists.  And by filled, I mean, I saw more people than I had seen all day on this one street filled with shops.  None of the shops were open but a couple of the restaurants were open, the holiday lights between the buildings were on and there were buskers playing Christmas music along the street.  I found a cafe that I thought I could sit at and read with a cup of coffee but it ended up being a restaurant that did to-go coffee so I bought some to hold in my hands to keep myself warm.  I walked along the street and people watched as I wandered along.

At one point, I found a little trinket shop that was open and went in there to buy my mom a magnet. It’s one of the few traditions for all of my travels.  I’m usually terrible about buying things for anyone, especially since I travel with just a backpack buying things makes repacking a bit more difficult.

After I got to the end of the shopping street, I found myself back at the skate rink in the city center and decided it was time to check out the water.  Oslo, being on the coast of the country has a beautiful view of the fjords just outside of the city center.  When the weather is better you can take boat trips out to the fjords but since it was so cold, that was not the case for me. I walked along to the water and eventually found a path that led to a small pier. Just past the boats, some very modern buildings, and a museum, I found a tiny little dock with a ladder to the water which would be perfect for the summer days.  As I walked up to this little pier, the sun was setting and there was one other person out there.  He was only there for a bit and then I had the entire dock to myself and it was the most beautiful and peaceful experience.

Standing on that dock by myself, watching the sun set over the fjords, I found a new sense of calm. It was so peaceful, tranquil and absolutely beautiful.  It was the perfect end to the a fantastic day.  Having walked through the entire city of Oslo and feeling like it was just me and the architecture, then ending the day standing by myself looking out over the water – it was a great way to end Christmas Day.  I know that sounds kind of lonely but when I solo travel, I love being able to just wander aimlessly.  I’ve found that when I wander aimlessly, I find little treasures that make me appreciate the experience so much more.  Being on that dock with no one around, I knew that I had made the right decision to go on this solo trip.

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