Our last day in Oslo was just really a half day since we had to travel to Bergen in the afternoon. I hate travelling during the day since it feels like such a waste, but with a kid it does make it easier. I tried to fit in a some shopping in Bogstadveien and a visit to the University Botanic Gardens before our epic train ride to Bergen on the Bergensbanen rail! If you would like to see the amazing landscapes I captured on our journey, scroll down towards the end of this post.
One of the places on my list to visit was Bogstadveien, which is one of Oslo’s best shopping streets. Luckily it was quite close to our apartment. Also on my list of bakeries to try was Baker Brun, which was on this street, so that’s where we went for our last breakfast.
Baker Brun is a historic bakery, was founded in Oslo in 1911 and has been in this location on Bogstadveien 30 since 1924. The family originally hailed from Bergen and had a bakery there, but later relocated to Kristiania (old Oslo). Today the bakery is still being run by the 5th generation baker in the family and they also have a second location in Klingenberggata (few minutes walk from City Hall).
We arrived at the bakery quite early as they were opening, so everything was coming out freshly baked. Marco was really happy to see something savoury on offer, so he had the Osteslkoyfe (cheese loaf), which was bread filled with cheese, ham and mustard. Octavia and I were more interested in the sweet, so we got the vaffel med brunost (waffles with brown cheese) and the Kanelsnurr (snail with cinnamon sugar and custard centre). Marco and I also got cappuccinos, oat milk and regular, which were very nice. Nobody wanted to share with me, but I think the brown cheese in the waffles tasted fantastic. It has a slightly sweet flavour and goes perfectly with the sweetened waffles. I did try my companions breakfast which was also really nice. So although this breakfast was a little bit pricey, it was definitely worth sampling the good quality Norwegian baking.
After breakfast we walked along Bogstadveien, which is a strip, which stretches from Majorstuen to Hegdehaugen. Here you can find high-street stores, unique boutiques and big chains.
Since most of the stores weren’t opening until 10am and we were still really early, we didn’t get a chance to have much of a look around sadly. Marco really wanted to get the suitcases packed so that we could go and wait at the train station. If you in town definitely stop by this street to get you shopping fill in.
University Botanic Gardens
So after we packed up, we bought a few pastries from Backstube (see day 1) and made our way to Central Station. Instead of sitting around with suitcase for a couple of hours I left Marco to sit there and Octavia and I went on our own adventure. The closest attractions that we hadn’t seen from Central was the Intercultural Museum (free admission), Grønland bazaar (shopping and food) and the Botaniske hage (University Botanic Gardens). Since I didn’t have time to do everything I thought the gardens would be the nicest thing to do with O. So we caught a tram from outside the train station and within 10 minutes we were there.
Did I mention how hot it was today and my child doesn’t walk and my stroller was really cheap? Well I didn’t factor that in. We did have a nice time, but only saw a small portion of these gorgeous gardens. If your visiting you can see the English map here. To visit the gardens are free but there is a fee for the Robert Collett’s House (zoological and geological exhibitions) and Brøgger’s House (currently being renovated). There is also a cafe in the centre of the gardens, which offers organic and local food and you can also take guided tours (available in english) of the gardens.
These photos below are as we entered the Sars Gate and walked up through the Scandinavian Ridge (17), the Rock Garden (16), past the greenhouses (below) to Lid’s House (4, no entry) and The Systematic Garden (12). We saw many people walking around, young and old. Norwegians love to be around nature so its not surprising to see them spending their spare times in beautiful gardens and parks.
In the Botanic gardens there are two green houses. My favourite of the two was definitely the Victorian House (Victoriahuset, 5), which features tropical plants that have traditionally been used by mankind. It was opened in 1876 and is just a beautiful collection of colourful and lush plants and flowers and lots of butterflies.
The Palm House (The Palmehuset, 6) is the oldest greenhouse in Norway, opened in 1868. It features plants from temperate tropical zones and is split into three rooms, the evolution, the desert and the Mediterranean room. We didn’t enjoy this greenhouse as much since it had no flowers or butterflies. Being that it was extremely hot in both these greenhouses we didn’t take much time to explore this one.
The last place we visited was Great-granny’s Garden (Oldemors, 22). This had the most beautiful array of flowers and lots of nice places to sit and take it all in. This garden exhibits traditional perennial plants, some are more than 50 years old and have been collected from gardens in south eastern parts of Norway. This garden has been designed as a sensory garden, for people with dementia.
Once we got back to Oslo Central Station it was lunch time. There was a quite a large food court inside, which is where we left Marco. Most of the food was quiet pricy, ei. Sushi box for $25 AUD. Luckily the Flavours Food Market had larger dishes that you can buy to share, as well as individual self serve salads, sandwiches etc. We bought a Potato salad and Skagenrøre (prawn salad) to share, as well as a fresh berry smoothie for the little one. It was quiet enough for all three of us, and I definitely got my fill of those delicious baby prawns in. Afterwards we got some coffee from Steam Kaffebar, which came highly recommended from a someone Marco spoke to. They weren’t wrong, the coffee was just great.
Train to from Oslo to Bergen
Finally the time had come for us to take the train to Bergen. Why did we decided to go with the rail instead of a flight? Well we were planning our trip I discovered the the Bergen Railway line (Bergensbanen) is considered one of the most scenic train rides in the world. It was also cheaper then a plane ticket across, so Marco was sold. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to spend that much time on a train with a toddler. However, she was really great. She quietly watched movies on my Ipad for most of the trip. I got to take plenty of photos and listen to my audio book (Outlander). Marco made friends with a nice old Norwegian lady, who answered all of his burning questions about Norway and their way of life. It was actually really nice trip. So if you can spare 6.5 hours, you will get to see some of the most beautiful landscapes, that you may otherwise would of missed. Below are some of the best photos that I captured along the way. We saw mountains, fjords, snow, rocky terrains, rolling green hills, suburban homes, farms and rushing river ways.
Between Drammen and Hønefoss
Between Hønefoss and Nesbyen
Between Gol and Al
Between Geilo and Ustaoset
Between Ustaoset and Finse
Between Finse and Myrdal
Between Myrdal and Voss
Between Dale and Arna
Arriving into Bergen