Day 8: Start of the Free weekend!

Dear Readers,

It’s not difficult to tell that we have all had a jam-packed schedule since we touched down in Norway. It has been a full week of bouncing from one amazing learning experience after the next. We are also very excited to have a couple of days to explore the city at our own pace as we approach the weekend!

Today, some of us embarked on a 2-hour cruise of Oslo’s fjord on board the SS Helena, a 101-foot-long sailboat that was built in the year 1947 and was used as a fishing boat until the 1980s.

Island Tour
As we listened to the waves lapping against the hull of the boat, we were treated with a view of the Oslo Opera House, the Munch Museum (more on that later), and other landmarks of Aker Brygge (downtown/harbor area), as well as some sights that were a bit farther out on the water. These included a former Norway Navigational School, countless picturesque summer homes, a former airport strip from the 1820s, and an island that was inhabited by Cistercian Monks during the Middle Ages! The monks who lived on the island of Hovedøya followed a strict doctrine that forbade them from being asleep during hours of daylight. Given that it is light for almost 24 hours a day in the peak of the summer here in Oslo, the monks had themselves a problem. They eventually appealed to the Pope to have their doctrine changed, and this change came to be known as the Scandinavian Exception. The boat tour was a truly enriching yet serene experience that I will not forget.

After the boat tour, some of us headed to Barcode Street Food to eat dinner near the harbor. I have noticed that Oslo is home to an immense variety of food from cultures all around the globe. There are also quite a few “food halls” like Barcode and Oslo Street Food (where we ate last week), which have many different vendors and a food option for everybody! Also, there were recycling stations all around the food hall! Oslo supports sustainable development goal #12, Responsible Consumption and Production, by offering a variety of recycling and composting sites.

Barcode FoodBarcode food 3

With full bellies and persisting creative appetites, some of us visited the aforementioned Edvard Munch Museum to get our artistic fix. We walked around the 13-story building and looked at works by Edvard Munch, the Norwegian painter who is most famous for his painting, “The Scream.” The most interesting exhibit to me was the “Solen” room, filled with massive paintings that were commissioned by Oslo University in the early 1900s as a backdrop for the school’s Hall of Ceremonies. I could not believe the scale of the paintings in this room. They towered over any person who walked up to view them! There was also an interactive exhibit in which you could walk through a floor plan of Munch’s home and learn more about his life while looking at objects that he actually owned and used. This museum is an example of how Oslo adheres to sustainable development goal #4, Quality Education. The Munch Museum is one of MANY museums in Oslo that are not only educational but offer discounts to students and other population groups. The museum was well worth the visit!


Stay tuned for more updates from Norway!

Thanks for checking in,


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