Never before have I heard of one place having so many festivals in one month as Oslo is this September. The busiest weekend I would have to say was the one that just passed, of the 12th and 13th. “But Amanda,” you protest, “the 12th and 13th were a Friday and Saturday, what about Sunday?” Well, on Sunday almost nothing is open in Norway, and that is by law. I know, it’s weird.

Anywho, this past Friday was Oslo Kulturnatt, a night intended to showcase the best the city has to offer. I had never lived in a place with a culture they thought was unique enough to be worth celebrating before. Museums were open late and had free admission, the parliament building was open for tours, the philharmonic performed downtown, and there was even a massive party inside of a three story library downtown.
The party was a bit too crowded to be fun for myself and my unprepared companions, but just the feeling of the city was great. The people were out, and the city was alive. If you ever find yourself in Oslo around the time of Culture Night, I recommend doing something. Personally, I went to the Folk Museum, which normally charges admission, and partook in a free tour of an old stave church and a medieval home built for a wedding.

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I also viewed the inside of the beautiful Oslo Domkirke

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and I stopped by that party briefly (which admittedly was really awesome, except for the huge lines for alcohol).

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Two things which began Friday but I did not get to until Saturday were the Bokfestival (book festival) and Matstreif (food festival). Everything is ridiculously expensive here, due to a high minimum wage (around $15.50/hr) and high taxes, and so I jumped at the chance to be surrounded by tents full of books that were half off. Similarly, Matstreif had very expensive specialty foods from all over Norway, from potatoes to reindeer burgers, and I couldn’t afford much of anything. What my friends and I could afford, though, were the many free samples we consumed. Mmmm. (If you were wondering, reindeer sausage is actually pretty good).

Sunday was spent at art museums, viewing Norway’s pride and joys such as The Scream and lesser known works by Edvard Munch and others. All in all I’d say it was a lovely, successful weekend. How was your weekend? Did you do anything wonderfully interesting? I’d love to hear all about it!

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