My second part of Oslo consisted of more fun activities (I’m quite surprised how we managed to fit so much in AND do a 9-5 at work everyday). Early in the week we took some friends of Mum and Dad that were travelling in Scandinavia out for dinner. Dad and I were a little stressed about finding a resonably priced restaurant that also ticked boxes for all the allergies and dislikes the family had. Luckily Israel, a collegue of Dad, came to our rescue and suggested Kolonihagen in Frogner. The restaurant was a stunning little gem in the heart of Oslo, found inside a little white courtyard decorated with lush green palms and vines. It felt like we stepped into a little corner of France of Italy. The meal was also fantastic, I had a fish burger whish was so yummy, although I do regret not getting the trout which the Dad’s got and which looked delicious (Dad claimed it was the best trout he had ever had in his life). After dinner we walked along the streets in Frogner up to Vigelandsparken to show the family all the wonderful statues.
By the second weekend I went to visit my friend Kristin (that I met in Australia) at her cabin by the sea in Filtvet. We met on the outskirts of Oslo’s East side and from there we drove together to her beautiful spot by the ocean. It was wonderful to see her again, I really like that girl. We spent most of the day catching up, introducing me to Tinder (Hahaha….. don’t worry mum, harmless), speeding across waves on the Oslo Fjord in her little motorboat and eating a delicious meal with her family. In the evening we watched “Jeg reiser alene”, which is a sequel to the much adored film “Mannen som elsket Yngve”. The sequel’s plot was set in Bergen, which was looking absolutely fabulous on screen. They must have filmed the whole movie in the one week it was sunny there. The next day we went for a morning swim and floated on blow-up mattresses in the beaming sunshine. We then headed into the small town of Filtvet where a famous restaurant was to be found, and where we were going to eat! Villa Malla had an amazing atmosphere and we enjoyed sitting outside on the deck in the sunshine, looking out on boats zooming up and down the fjord and a little white lighthouse glistening against the bright blue water. The food was a fresh, summer buffet, with salads, breads, cheeses, fruit and cold meats, and we stuffed ourselves with two portions! After lunch we explored the art gallery inside the little white lighthouse and enjoyed the paintings and art of local Filtvet artists. On the other side of the restaurant, was a bathing spot where families were enjoying a day at the beach. Behind the beach stood the most realistic fake palm trees I had ever seen in my life. Suddenly time was up and I was looking out the window on the summer scenery and glistening water on the fast ferry back to Oslo city centre.
On the Thursday Dad and I went to the Astrup Fearnly Museum on Aker brygge, as Dad’s company can get us in for free! The Astrup Fearnly is a super modern art gallery, exibiting everything modern, surreal, insane and bonkers. When we an exhibition by Los Angeles Alex Israel was on, exploring perceptions, cliches, and everything romantic and shallow about LA and the American entertainment industry. Very interesting, although I found some of the art a bit superficial beyond the initial level of shock or parody of the chosen subject (but maybe that was his point – to further the point about shallowness – duh duh duhhh.. ). Maybe I’m just not that good at art yet, or maybe I want everything to have so much depth and so many layers I can’t be pleased. Kinda hoping for one of those “wow” moments I’ve heard people have when they see a piece of art that takes their breath away and moves them beyond words. I would like to know how that feels.
On our final evening, on the Friday, we went for a little meal at an Argentinian cafe recommended by Rolando, another colleague of Dad. It came about after he let us try Mate, a traditional Argentinian hot drink, much like tea. He said he get’s the brew from this cafe, Caminito, that does amazing Argentinian food and recommend us go check it out! So we headed in on the trikken to Torshov, through Skøyen, Oslo city centre, Grunnerløkka, riding past gorgeous ambassador houses among large, green, beautiful gardens with old apple trees and rose bushes, through the busy streets of oslo’s centre, into the older, more alternative streets of Grunnerløkka where street art and cosy bars set the scene. We got off at Torshov and made it perfectly timed on the doorstep of the café as the rain started to pour. Caminito was definitely another hidden gem. With tables for no more than 5 groups, the atmosphere was inevitably cosy, intimate and peaceful. This was also obviously a place that catered for friendly regulars too, so it felt a lot more charming and personal. In one corner two people in love enjoyed some beer and food, and next to us a group of five trendy men and woman talking away and enjoying a bottle, or four, of wine. At the bar two young men were chatting away in some latino language (I am going to be brave and guess Argentinian) with the chef and waitresses in the open kitchen. We ordered Argentinian empanadas and beer, and enjoyed the delicious food and nice conversation. Perfect ending to my time in Oslo.