Friday, April 12, 2013

Sophisticated Lady Tours Oslo on the Wrong Side of the Sidewalk

Friday workout: walk 5 bajillion miles around Oslo
Saturday workout: 10 miles, 10:30 average, Connects

Yesterday, I walked. And walked. And walked and walked and walked. You get the idea.

Walking's no joke when you're out of practice. When I lived in New York, I was the walking queen. I walked all day and all night. Walking for 3+ hours was no big thang.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

It's easy for me as a runner to look at a proposed route and think, "10 miles? I can run that just fine, so I can obviously walk it even more easily." WRONG. I can't say for sure that I walked ten miles yesterday, but I was on my feet and moving for four and a half hours so it must be something like that. Although I was literally taking survival breaks on benches whenever possible.

That's my very long introduction to, "here are some pictures of Oslo!" It's a beautiful city, albeit a city that's still very much dead. It was cool, rainy, grey, and windy yesterday, but like the intrepid tourist I am (side note: my ex-boss once called me intrepid and I think it was the best compliment I've ever received), I got out there and took in the sights.

Without further ado, a tour of Oslo through Jeano's eyes!

First up: Munch Museum.

If I'm being honest (and we like to be, here at JJ-o), I wasn't crazy about this museum. I'm a Munch fan, but they didn't actually have much of his work displayed. They're in the process of changing exhibitions or something (All I heard was, "The Scream isn't here"), so they actually had the work of a lot of other artists who influenced/were influenced by Munch on display. Some of his work was thrown in, but not nearly enough for my liking.

In fact, the piece I liked best was on display in the basement by the bathroom:

Lover of bathroom art. AKA sophisticated lady. Also, can we talk about how taking pictures of art in a museum is dumb? I realize my hypocrisy in posting this. But really, you see tourists spending every second taking pictures of every single piece of art without actually stopping to take it in through their own eyes!

Sir Jahren, you have the handwriting of a 12 year old. This suggests you are, in fact, a 12-year-old (making me an extra sophisticated lady), but I doubt it.

So austere.

Because it was right there, I went to the Botanical Gardens. Obviously, there's not much to see right now.

The route to Old Akers Church:

Old Akers Church! In addition to having tons of dead people (always an attraction, amirite?), it was on one of the steepest hills I've ever ascended (it made my heart stop seeing how many runners were using it for hill repeats), which allowed for some nice views of the city.

I obviously had a love affair with the church door. Leave me alone, it was vibrant!!

The tiniest stained glass window I ever did see. 

Miscellaneous houses:

I love all the yellow buildings. 

I decided to take a scenic route back to my hotel via the Akerselva River, which runs through the middle of the city from north to south. It's rather dirty, honestly, and there is pretty major construction what seems like every 100 feet (there must be some initiative to clean it up), but it's still a gem.

So that's what I was up to yesterday afternoon. I'm gearing myself up for today, which is going to be even longer (and thus more painful). I'm not an "eat in fine dining establishments when I travel" kinda gal (sophisticated lady. Also, my pocketbook would thank me if I had one) and much prefer to just walk around and see pretty things, so there will be a lot of walking.

Oh, what's that? What about running? Wasn't I telling you all about how excited I am to run here? This is true. I was really, really looking forward to it, and running is a great way to see a city. However, the running clothes vs. regular clothes issue is too much for me to deal with when I have so little time here and want to see as much as possible. I don't need to wear much clothing while running, which is all well and good, but that means that when I finish running I need to be back inside immediately or I'm going to get hypothermia and die (or something). If I want to run somewhere that's far from my hotel (which I do/did) and then continue to explore the area post-run, that would require two trips, which I'm not cool with. And yes, if I wanted it badly enough, I could probably figure out a way to make it work, but I'm on vacation, guys! Let me live a little! My muscles are not atrophying (quite the contrary, in fact) and I'll be back at it come Mondag (oh god, Mondag is going to be miserable. Also, see all the Norwegian I'm learning?!).

[UPDATED TO ADD: I'm such a liar]


As for my totally interesting observations from a couple of days ago, I've got one more to add:

From what I can tell, Norwegians walk on the left-hand side of the sidewalk and not the right (Americans do do that, right? It's not just me?).


I guess it's the freakin' weekend for you guys (and me!) - go have some fun! Get in lots of runs so I can train vicariously through you and not feel guilty once I get back to Alaska.

And thus we conclude the longest post in JJ-o's history.


  1. Lovely photos, as always! You have a great eye for composition. I really love the pictures of the cemetery, but I'm a huge sucker for old cemeteries; I think they photograph really well. I hope your legs are recovering after your massive walk. Enjoy your weekend in Norway!

  2. Love the photos! I love walking through European cities...there are always so many gems to find. I firmly believe that walking is 10000% harder than running, ha. My legs are always so much more exhausted after a 5 mile walk than they are a 5 mile run.

    I've got 22 miles (my longest distance ever) on the plan for today. Ahhhh. Hope I don't die. At least the weather's back to reasonable.

  3. Great pics! I love to walk, but sometimes when I walk a lot my shins hurt so bad. What's up with that?