I thought I would start a series of posts on my recent adventures in Norway. Despite living in Denmark for almost three years, this was the first summer I’ve had without family and friends visiting, providing me with the opportunity to explore Scandinavia further. Truth be told, I need the time to save up enough money to afford the trips. Although that’s a slight exaggeration, Norway is shockingly expensive, even by Scandinavian standard.
For those traveling to Norway via Copenhagen, one way to save is by taking the Copenhagen-Oslo ferry. Although there are frequent flights between the two cities, the ferry provides a more relaxing experience, particularly during the warmer summer months. Better yet, it serves as a de facto hotel, departing from the center of the city at 16:30 and arriving the next morning 9:45, leaving you well-positioned to explore the city.
But by far the greatest benefit is the cruise itself. The trip up the Øresund between Denmark and Sweden is beautiful, providing excellent views of Copenhagen, the Swedish island of Ven, Kronborg Castle and the Kullaberg Penninsula. The highlight of the trip, however, is the last several hours as the ferry makes its way up Oslo fjord. The weather was absolutely spectacular for our trip with temperatures in the mid 20s (70s) and not a breath of wind.
An interesting piece of fjord history is that during the German invasion of Norway in World War II, the Germany fleet was repelled and the battleship Blücher sunk as a result of shelling from Oscarsborg fortress and accompanying batteries on either side of Drøbak Narrows. The attack was particularly daring as Norway was officially neutral and the German fleet remained unidentified when the order to fire was given. When questioned by subordinates, the commander famously stated “Either I will be decorated or I will be court-martialed. Fire!”
The sinking delayed the invasion enough to allow for the evacuation of the Royal family, Norwegian Parliament as well as the country’s gold reserves. The wreck of the ship remains in one of narrowest parts of the fjord.