Today brought sunshine and slight warmth, so I thought it best to spend most of the day outdoors. I took the metro (T-banen) to the National Theatre stop and headed south. It’s just a quick 10 minutes to reach the boardwalk called Aker Brygge, a mostly commercial area with fancy shops and condos. It’s right on the Oslo fjord and makes for a lovely place to grab a hot dog or some tasty ice cream and people watch. Just across the fjord is the medieval Akershus Fortress, where I wandered next.
(just click below to read the rest of this post)
On the way to the fortress I passed a few boats that had pulled right up to the docks to sell fish.It was similar to the idea of the food trucks that are everywhere now except that this was much more fishy-smelling and has probably been going on for decades longer. It was charming and next time I pass, I promise a photo. I also walked by Oslo City Hall which suffers from 50’s era architecture (however, it won Oslo’s “Structure of the Century,” so I can obviously take my ideas of what good architecture is and shove it). The roof of City Hall has a 49-bell carillon which serenaded me (and does so every hour every day) as I explored the fortress. That was more than a constantly-in-need-of-background-music-girl could ask for, and I promptly forgave the architects.
The fortress (Akershus Festning) was built around 1300 to protect Oslo. It was under siege 9 times, so much of the original structure has been destroyed. You can still see constructions from the 17th and 18th centuries and one area from the 1300’s where there are still remnants of the foundation. Upon entering the grounds, there sits a nice statue of Franklin D. Roosevelt gazing out on the fjord and city below.
The actual castle is closed on the weekdays, but the grounds are a wonderful place to simply wander (and marvel at tiny medieval doors). Next time I go, I’m taking Morty and a picnic basket.