Quirky Scandinavian Roadtrips with my Parents: Karlstad to Oslo and Back

Day 3: Karlstad

I was super stoked to have my parents visit me in Karlstad and to walk around with them. It was a great excuse to see some of the things I wanted to see but couldn’t think of a good excuse to go to, but with them here we were able to get into the opera house and the egg classroom on campus, but unfortunately the coffee factory was closed. Because of the bad weather we also went into a bunch of the little stores that line the streets, many of which I had never been too, but were cool to see nonetheless.

Mom by the river
Dad by the river
The two on my campus

After a brief tour of Karlstad University we ended up getting into the egg classroom, which is this large orb that suspends from the roof of the science building.

The Egg

We were the only ones inside, and seeing how the thing had at least a dozen Bose speakers in it and perfect acoustics, my dad and I tried to get some Dark Side of the Moon playing off his iPod. After randomly pushing buttons for 5 minutes on the really intense control panel I could only get sound to play off a television (but no picture) and couldn’t get his iPod to play. Just then some people walked in, right as I pushed the “power off” button, so the curtains closed, Dad unhooked his iPod, and we walked out discreetly, joking about how we had just downloaded the information we needed. Ironically a security guard passed us on his way to the egg a few seconds later…

Day 4: Oslo

After a thorough discussion and research session to see if we should see more castles, Swedish fjords, or Oslo, we decided to spend our Sunday at the Norwegian capital. The first stop was to see some of the ruins from the medieval town of Oslo, located in Gamlebyen. The ruins here range from 5,000 years ago to the 1800’s, and I don’t think it is on many visitor’s “must see” lists, so it was cool to be off the beaten path to see the “Pompeii of Scandinavia.”

Dad examining the Clemsonkirken remains from 1100AD
Dad strolling near St. Halvards Kirke
Oslo Ladegård
Crypt at St. Halvards
Mom near Minneparken in Black and White
Dad posing in Minneparken

After the ruins we made our way to the Akerhus fortress, which I had visited last time I was in Oslo, but because it is free and super cool I didn’t turn down the chance to see it again. It was my parents first visit to a fortress, so I am pretty sure they like it. A lot.

Mom and dad on the fortress wall
Near the cannons
The two coming into my favorite doorway in the world.
View from inside the fortress

We then made a quick stroll over to the Nasjonalgalleriet to see Edward Munch’s finest collection, and is regarded by many to be the finest Scandinavian artist. I was partial to the viking art, however, and spent a good amount of time looking at “The Hunt for Odin.” After an hour at the National Gallery we went to the Hard Rock Oslo, which is probably the most expensive Hard Rock restaurant on the planet, or at least top three, and then drove back to Karlstad.

Day 5: Karlstad and Hammarö

On the fifth day, my parent had to drive back to Stockholm in the evening because their flight left really early the day after, so we decided to take it easy and walk around Karlstad some more, and then take a quick drive down to the Hammaron Peninsula south of town. I’ve tried to make it to Hammarö twice this year, but each time we either missed the bus or only made it to Skoghall, so it was a special treat for me to go south and see Lake Vänern again. We arrived just in time (3:30PM) for some sunset colors and some ridiculously strong winds.

Dad and I on the rocks
Dad and some colors
Mom risking the winds
The two and the sun
A little further down the road and the sun had almost set.
Mom and I with some color in the clouds

After the sunset we journeyed back to Campus Futurum, said our goodbyes, and my parents left for Stockholm Arlanda, and they are probably back in North America right now. It was a whirlwind trip of Scandinavia, but I am super happy they came and got to see my current part of the world. I hope they enjoyed it too. It also reminded me that I won’t be at home for Thanksgiving for the first time ever this year (in fact I’ll be at a concert in Helsinki) so this was as close as I was going to get in terms of spending time with my family, and I am really thankful I got to see them for as long as I did. So, since I’ll probably forget on the next post, I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and have a wonderful time with your families!

Don’t forget to check out the first part of my parents’ trip here in Scandinavia as well.

I also just recently created a map page on my blog so you can see where I’ve been so far on this trip. Check it out.

This week in Karlstad should be pretty fun. I’m headed to see some James Bond action tonight and I’m going to a Färjestads BK ice hockey match on Thursday. Then on Friday I’ll be headed to visit Karl-Gustave and Anne-Marie in Alberg, and then Sunday I’ll be taking a cruise to Latvia with almost every exchange student in Sweden. It should be fun times, so be sure to check back next week! Hej då!


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