Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Walk Along the Akerselva

When we were in Oslo last fall I made a point to contact an old friend living there and get the inside scoop on the city. The friend, an American living in Oslo (and fluent in Norwegian), went above and beyond that request and provided us with not only a list of things but also a map! Although we didn't get to see her in Oslo (she was, ironically, vacationing in the U.S. at the time) I am ever so grateful for her guidance.
After going through it and narrowing down our options for a relaxing three day sojourn to the Norwegian capital, I decide that a walk down the Akerselva was one thing we must do. 

The Akerselva is a tiny river running through the city.  It provided the most picturesque walk for us and we explored the city. We began at the very southern base of the river, which, coincidentally, was right by our hotel. I thought the river walk would be full of tourists or locals at least (walking up and down the Willamette River is a popular pastime in Portland) but for the most part we were the only ones.  

Around this area we still had a very metropolitan view. Further up the river emerges several sprawling parks to both sides, and the view of city buildings all but disappears.

At a certain point, things get a little bit, well, artsy. I mean the Oslo trademark  graffiti starts to reveal itself and random art projects pop out from the trees. 

About halfway through the walk,  you end up being right in the middle of the amazing coffee of Tim Wendelboe, and the Oslo School of Design. So, coffee in hand, we took a nice little tour around the design school. 
At the information desk we asked if there were any art bookstores in Oslo, and the man told us to check out a place called Torpedo. Torpedo is really worth it's own blog entry so I won't go into that here. It's just funny how one journey leads to another.

We ended our walk around the Grünerløkka, which is a fancy little neighborhood littered with vintage shops and restaurants. In one shop we met a Norwegian girl who grew up in Portland, Oregon. So in a way, the end of the river took us right back home. There the three of us, a Greek-American, her Chinese boyfriend, and a Norwegian salesgirl, stood around a pile of vintage purses and shoes discussing the things we love most about Portland.

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