My very Dutch experience in Oslo

Hello everyone! I just got back yesterday from an amazing week in Norway, and it was the easily the most unique experience I’ve had here, and probably one of the most unique experiences of my life. It all started last Wednesday when my friend Andrew and I decided to spend a day in Oslo, and then meet up with a bunch of our friends from the Netherlands for the World Cup Qualifying match between Norway and the Netherlands. It was sure to be a great day.

Our initial goal was to walk from the train station to the pier and take a ferry to the viking ship museum, so we started our walk and stopped at the National Theater and University. Here are some pictures.

Leaving the Train Station
Looking toward the Royal Palace
National Theater
Statues near the theater
University where some Munch murals are, but viewing was closed.

I never feel more comfortable in a foriegn city than when I am near the local university. Probably because it is always beautiful there and all the people are the same age as me.

Near the Univeristy
Columns at the University

After our scenic-route walk to the pier, we found to our dismay that the ferry service had ended the week before. So, with little other options, we snapped a few pictures and walked back to the National Theater to take a bus to the Viking Ship Museum. Here are some pictures from the Pier.

Nobel Peace Center (The Nobel Prize is awarded in Stockholm, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo)
City Hall, much less aesthetically pleasing to me than Stockholm’s.
Boat at the Pier
Looking out from the harbor

So, after a ten minute bus ride, we found our way to the Viking Ship Museum, home of some of the best preserved Viking ships in the world. It was a super cool place, and as Andrew kept hearing me repeat, I wish I was a viking…

Museum Exterior
Ship One
Ship’s Bow
Ship Two
Andrew thoroughly examining everything

After the museum we rode the bus back to the main part of town where we walked around the Royal Palace for a while and then went to the Castle near the bay, which was a stronghold for the Nazi’s when they invaded Norway during WWII.

Royal Palace
Looking out from the Palace steps
FDR Statue just outside the Castle
Entering the Castle with Autumn Colors
View of the Bay from the Castle wall
Part of the Castle
Looking out
More Castle with more colors

When it was time to head to the game, we realized we were some of the luckiest Americans in Oslo at the time because there is nothing comparable to the Dutch soccer fan in any sport, and just by being near the subway it was apparent that the Dutch had invaded Oslo for the evening. We were able to meet up with Marc, Bas, and another Dutch friend Nic outside the stadium, but because of a miscommunication, Andrew and I got seats, but they were across the stadium from our Dutch friends. But all was fine in the end, our seats ended up being directly above the “Orange Sea” of Dutch fans. Here are some pictures from the match.

Warm-Ups
Andrew and I repping Holland (they did get us the tickets…)

Van Der Sar, the Dutch goalie, is probably the best goalie in the game today. He is Manchester United’s goalkeeper, and he has recently retired from playing for the National Team, but because the new guy is hurt he came out of retirement for only a few games, and I got to see one.

Van Der Sar
Game Play
The “Orange Sea” after the game ended

Overall the game play was pretty slow, with the Norwegians playing hard but just not close to the level of ability that the Dutch have. When the Dutch decided to play they scored their one point easily, and then went back to letting the Norwegians play hard but not score. The final score was Norway 0, Holland 1. Holland is my team in South Africa 2010, hopefully I’ll get to see them play there as well. After the match we met up with our Dutch friends, and then parted ways so we could make the bus back to Karlstad for class the next day. We also had some time to take some pictures around town waiting for the bus.

Dutch and American Karlstad Students
Downtown at night

We then headed back to Karlstad for the day, and then the next day I went back to Oslo for a 6 day camping trip in the Mountains followed by the Matchstick Ski Movie premier in Lillehammer. That is the subject of the next post, so check it out!

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