That History Girl Travels ~ Oslo Day 1

Day 1 of our Christmas holiday, and we’d just landed in Norway! After an hour delay at Stansted it was more early afternoon than late morning! 1st things first, getting into central Oslo from the Airport. There are 2 routes, either by tube or an express route. The express route, run by flytoget, takes you straight to Oslo Central, but costs about £20 return. The metro also runs, it takes longer, but I believe it’s cheaper.

20161217_143133.jpgWe were told to buy flytoget tickets, not knowing any better, and proceeded to take the metro. Don’t do it, your tickets aren’t valid, and the conductor may give you a talking to when he inspects them. It’s fine, I think the Norwegians don’t think the British are the brightest, it’s fairly easy to play the dumb tourist card.

As soon as we stepped out of the heated airport and onto the train platform the cold biting air was upon us. Sub-zero temperatures needled at us until we donned our scarves, hats and gloves, much to the amusement of the surrounding locals as they stood remarking as to the ‘mild temperature’ of the day.

20161217_171741.jpgNorwegian winter days are rather short; The sun rises at about 11am, and sets by 4pm, although I’m not sure if you can call it sunrise or sunset, we didn’t see the sun once over the trip, just slightly different shades and brightness of grey sky. By the time we wandered to the hostel and left our bags, it was firmly night time, at about 5pm.
Too late to visit any museums, we decided to walk through the city center and up to the palace, via some dinner. Norway truly do get into the Holiday Spirit! Every street was lit up with beautiful lights, Christmas trees were abundant, and trams chundered past with fairy lights draped elegantly from the roof. The Christmas market with Ferris Wheel and Ice Rink was packed with tourists and locals, searching for a last minute Christmas gift. Unfortunately, by our final day in the city the market had been dismantled, following the horrific terrorist attack at a similar market in Berlin.

After a long day of travelling we were looking forward to our first meal in the capital. Neither myself nor Emily eat meat, which has never been an issue travelling before. Unfortunately, this was going to prove to be rather an issue. After pottering round for some time, searching for options we found the Norwegian answer to Pizza Hut. £26 for a medium pizza was not to be. Vegetarianism does not seem to be a thing in Norway. Precious few restaurants have a veggie equivalent, and virtually none affordably. McDonald’s, our last resort, had even removed their Veggie Deluxe from the menu, and Subway had a 200% price increase.

Hard Rock Cafe, usually an expensive option, proved to be our saving grace! With affordable food, a whole page of vegetarian options and bottomless drinks, it was a jewel in Oslo’s crown!

A 20 minute walk later, and we were tucked up in bed, exhausted from our 3am start and excited for our 1st full day of exploring.

Advertisements

You Say You Want A Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970 at the V&A

Who doesn’t love the Swinging Sixties? Great music, outrageous fashion, social reform and the constant threat of nuclear warfare! If I could have lived at any time, I’d probably have chosen the 60s; That or the 80s.

Records and Rebels is a new exhibition running from September 2016 – February 2017 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. Housed in the temporary exhibition space, its an amazing set up, with plenty of content to keep you entertained for hours!

Upon entering you’re handed an audio guide and some very good quality headphones. There’s no need to search for headphone signs around the exhibition, or fumble with badly-calibrated touch screens, this audio guide knows your location, and adjusts its track accordingly. It is a truly genius system.

Walking through a succession of 8 rooms you find yourselves immersed in the art, fashion, literature, media and of course music of the age. The 60s were a huge time for political and social change, and this was reflected throughout the exhibition, with each room focusing on one or two topics. From feminism, mini-skirts, LSD, police violence, the Vietnam war and the Beatles you gain a comprehensive understanding of what it was to be alive in the late 60s.

My favourite room was a celebration of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. 3 sides of the room are covered in 10 foot high, 30 foot wide screens showing intimate footage of Jim Hendrix famous set, closing Woodstock. Guests are invited to lie on bean bags on the floor and utterly immerse themselves in the sublime music.

img_20161121_143053.jpg

The exhibition would have taken us about 2 hours, had we been allowed to finish it. We were in the 1600 time slot, and we weren’t warned that the exhibition would take more than the 1hr45 we would have there. What we saw of the exhibition was fantastic, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to do the final 2 rooms, and when the announcement went up to tell us 30mins left, it knocked out the audioguides for about 15 minutes. At nearly £20 a ticket, it’s not exactly something we can pop back to finish, and by no means did we linger in each room. It’s such a shame, as it meant we left on a sour note. It would be worth the museum pointing out you may not finish the exhibition, if you go in past 1530.

Despite the timing issue, this was a fantastic exhibition, which I would wholeheartedly recommend, although make sure you’re early enough!

You Say You Want A Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970 is on at the V&A until 26 February 2o17. Ticket prices are £17.60 or £13.50 for students.