Summer day in Oslo

View from Hovedoya.

Oslo is officially the most expensive city in the world. That’s an ugly place for your average world traveller. And there’s no question that it is a visibly expensive place; not perhaps enormously more so than Sydney, but way more so than most other places we’ve visited.

One of the few reasonably priced things we’ve found though has been public transport. For around $100 we’ve got complete access to all forms of public transport for a week. That compares very favourably to many other places. It’s also easy as the whole thing runs of a single smart-card. You just swipe the card over a reader and you can use any transport you want.

Exploring the Cisterican ruins.

We took advantage of a beautiful warm day to catch a bus to the ferry and the ferry out to the islands in Oslo’s lovely harbour. Oslo sits at the end of a long fjord dotted with islands. The islands are in turn dotted with holiday homes and surrounded by marinas – you can see where the Norwegian wealth goes. Apparently over 60 per cent of Norwegians have a holiday home – if they are well-off that home is in Southern France or Spain; otherwise it’s in the Norwegian countryside.

We visited the island of Hovedoya which sits not far into the harbour. The island is small, no more than 800m in any direction. It is charming and verdant; it even has a few plant species on it found nowhere else in Norway. There are the ruins of a Cistercian monastery and some old harbour defences. There are also a couple of beaches, one of which has extensive earthworks on it thanks to the boys building efforts.

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