When you are super lucky like me and you save your pennies for a year or so and you get yourself signed up for an amazing cruise – you are sent a list of excursions from the ship essentially asking you how you would like to spend your days.
Are you one of those folks who prefer a slow vacation – where you don’t really do anything scheduled, but instead bum around on your own? Or are you on of those folks who want to dive into as much as you can in an attempt to fill up every minute of your stop?
I’m mostly the latter – although there are days when I’d prefer the former.
With my parents – this usually works out perfectly. Much of what they want to see is also what I want to see, so we do our excursions together. (I do have the ‘go-ahead’ to do something on my own ~ and actually signed up for Sea Kayaking in Tallin, Estonia on this trip (I’m not 100% sure my mom was on board with that one). Of course, Tallin was the stop where we didn’t stop because the sea was not behaving.)
Oslo, Norway is at the end of a long, long fjord. Right, so a fjord is a narrow inlet with steep cliffs on both sides and water that is generally deeper than the actual see. In other words – it’s not ugly at all. All the way into Oslo we passed beautiful marinas and homes.
Because it takes so long to get from the sea to Oslo, we had another shortened day – arriving at about 10am, touring from 1pm to 5pm and then back on the ship to head back down the fjord to our next stop.
Being the crazy go-getters that we are – we decided to hop on a Hop-On/Hop-Off bus parked at the port and take a pre-tour of Oslo before our scheduled excursion.
I can’t really explain how glad I am to have done that.
Because, evidently when I was picking out excursions with my mom and dad I failed to notice the part of our tour that said, “Spend day at three separate boat museums where you will quickly tire of history and begin a staggering quest to maintain a pulse.”
Sometimes I just get museum-ed out. Or it might be that I don’t need much time in a museum to get the picture. Or maybe I’m not a fan of items stowed behind glass where I can’t touch them. Or maybe we were just so deep into the trip that my brain was fried.
We did three museums…The Viking Ship Museum, the Kon Tiki Museum and the Fram Museum. And yes, I can tell you what each of these museums hold and what part of nautical history they represent.
But I’m not going to.
I did vow to read the Kon Tiki book at some point in my life.
Now, our Hop-On/Hop-Off tour – that was cool. Although too quick. (PS – if you’re ever abroad, these tours are a really easy way to learn the city quickly – and you have the freedom of hopping on and off to explore where and when you want to).
Oslo is one of those super-progressive cities – they seem to have a total handle on thinking ahead and being proactive. Currently they are finishing off a tunnel that will take all the city traffic under ground to alleviate congestion.
And, of course, there’s that national health care thing – they have it, it works. Oh, did you have a baby? Take a year off. And make sure your husband joins you for the first six weeks. Okay, I’m sure it’s not REALLY all rainbows and unicorns, but the guide did a pretty sweet sell job.
So while the excursion wasn’t my favorite of the tour – I really did like the city. We got to see the Royal Yacht coming in from a vacation trip…and the Royal Horse Farm (another place I’d like to live). There were some decent old castles that could use an exploration or two next time.
Plus it was another stop where we came back from our touring, dropped dad off at the ship and then did a u-turn to go shopping. Which is always a win.