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Thursday, 09 June 2016

A visit to Oslo, Norway (part 3)

It took us about an hour on foot from the hotel, via the main station, to the Opera House and then later a half hour walk north of the station brought us to a food hall called Mathallen (pic). Part of the way went along the River Akerselva, an old industrial area which had a different feel to the city centre. The food hall itself has about 30-40 speciality shops and eateries.

We had some tapas and Ringnes (Norwegian) beer and then set off for nearby Telthusbakken, a small street characterised by its old and colourful wooden houses (pic). The route led us on to Vår Frelsers Gravlund, a well known cemetery and the final resting place for both painter Edvard Munch and playwright Henrik Ibsen.

The next morning we did a 50 minute trip out to the islands, using a 24 hour ticket that covered buses, trams and the type of ferry we were on. From the water you can clearly see Oslo City Hall, the place where every December the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded (pic).

We popped in after the boat trip, not just to admire the murals on the walls but to see the plaque commemorating HMS Devonshire. The cruiser was part of the fleet which returned King Haakon of Norway from Britain to his homeland on June 7, 1945, after the German occupation. My father was on the Devonshire that day and during the celebrations met a young Norwegian man. His family and mine have kept up a strong friendship ever since.

Shortly after leaving the City Hall we passed a photographic shop and there in the window was a very large black and white photograph of a crowded Oslo harbour.....on June 7, 1945. It was an extraordinary coincidence.

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