Across Europe: London to Oslo

19 to 21 August 2012

To get to our schooner sailing holiday starting in Oslo, we travelled by train and ferry from London. It was the Eurostar to Brussels from where a German ICE train should have taken us to Cologne. But when we went to board that train, we were told it had been cancelled. Much wandering around Brussels Midi station revealed the plan that we should get a train to Liege, then one to Aachen, then one to Cologne, taking over four hours and getting us to Cologne after the sleeper would have departed. Fortunately there was a Thalys high-speed train which we were able to buy tickets on for 160 euros, which got us to Cologne in time.

It was a very hot day, well above thirty degrees even now at half past ten. Our sleeper train is running late, like almost every train here this evening.

At last an opportunity to lie down in our sleeper compartment

Next morning, the view from Stephen's bed as we cross Denmark. It had been a very disturbed night with a lot of rough tracks and shunting at stations as parts of our train from Amsterdam were split off to go to either Warsaw or Prague, and new carriages from those destinations joined our carriages. The Danish tracks seemed much smoother too.

Leaving the island of Funen behind we begin our crossing of the Great Belt towards the island of Zealand

In Copenhagen we stored our luggage at the railway station and then went to Tivoli Gardens

Lucy on the ferris wheel

From the ferris wheel looking to a modest roller coaster we tried next

Stephen on the ferris wheel

The lovely Tivoli Gardens

The final ride we took, pairs of chairs being flung out by rotation as well as being lifted up and down. Afterwards we had a lovely lunch and then ice-cream before returning to the railway station. We picked up our bags and took the train to Nordhavn from where it was a very hot and tiring walk with heavy rucksacks to the DFDS ferry terminal.

At last on board the ferry in our spacious cabin, where Lucy is having a rest.

The view from our cabin

On deck as we set off from Copenhagen

Leaving Copenhagen behind

Ahead we see the harbour wall with a wind farm beyond, and the Øresund bridge in the far distance

After dinner in the steakhouse, we watch the sun set from the pleasant lounge/bar reserved for those with Commodore-class cabins

On deck the crowds have gone indoors

Next morning, Lucy watches Oslofjord go past

Approaching the city of Oslo

Our first glimpse of the schooner Trinovante - her three masts can just be seen to the left of the large black stage area

A close-up of Trinovante from the ferry

After another tiring walk we finally shed our ruck-sacks on Trinovante, which has our DFDS ferry behind, before setting off for a few hours' exploration

This set of quays near the Rådhus contains a lot of tall ships, as well as the ferry to Bygdøy which will take us to a number of museums. We had considered going to the Viking Ship Museum, but feeling tired we decided to visit the Martime Museum and Fram Museum as they didn't require a walk to reach them.

Gjøa, the first ship to be sailed right through the Northwest Passage

After a tour of that part of the Maritime Museum that was open, we had lunch, then moved on to the Fram Museum

Fram is a ship that was used in expeditions of the Arctic and Antarctic regions by the Norwegian explorers Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup, Oscar Wisting, and Roald Amundsen between 1893 and 1912. It was designed and built for Nansen's 1893 Arctic expedition in which Fram was supposed to freeze into the Arctic ice sheet and float with it over the North Pole. Fram is said to have sailed farther north (85°57'N) and farther south (78°41'S) than any other wooden ship.

Exploring the ship was great fun, and on three levels around the outside were extensive displays about Fram and Arctic and Antarctic exploration

We took the ferry back to central Oslo, walking back towards Trinovante. She was moored in front of the opera house, shown here with its sloping roof on which people are allowed to wander

A glass and steel sculpture in front of the opera house.

So one journey ends, and time for the next, the sailing holiday to take us back to Copenhagen...


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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson