Hovedøya (main island)
This island is an interesting relaxing place for the inhabitants of Oslo. From Vippetangen you can take the ferry all year long. On the island you'll find hiking routes, old ruins from the monastery and great bathing places.
the boat leaves from Aker Brygge (Aker Harbour)
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
hovedoya, the island of lost girls
Until recently I didn't know that Hovedoya had such a dramatic history. From 1945 the island was used as some sort of a boot camp for young women who had been involved with german men. The mission was to isolate the women to protect the rest of the population against sexually transmitted diseases, but other women who just lived a scandalous life could also end up there.
To be detained on Hovedoya just having a sexual disease was reason enough to get there , or if someone just poined out a woman who was a "tyskertøs"-, a norwegian woman with a german boyfriend . Over 1100 women were detained for months withouth sentence and justice. The women were seen as a danger to the society.
In 1946 the boot camp closed down, and the women were put a shore on vippetangen harbour after after signing a declaration where they forced to agree to not be shown in public places with foreigner. Many of the girls were then deported to Germany.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Family Travel
Hovedøya, the " the main island"
Hovedøya is an historic island situated in the Oslo fjord. On this island you’ll see ruins from the monastery form the 100 century, public bath from 1914 and other historical buildings.
Our island has a rich animal and birdlife. And an very infrequently amount of plants. That’s why the whole island is preserved. If every visitor vanted to pick rare flowers there would not be any flowers yet. Visiters should not interubt the bird life on the island
Hovedøya used to be a millitary area and you’ll see some signs of that. Most of the buildings, the ruins of the monastery are old military buildings. At the top of the island you’ll find the western powder house with 12 gunner.
The most famous attraction on the island is the ruins from the monastery which was built in 1147. the ruin is still well conserved. It’s an interesting place for adults and kids. Why don’t you visit the tower? And old roumer says that it excists an underwater tunnel from the island to the ruins in Gamlebyen (old town Oslo). The ruins has a mystical aura. I guess it’s even more exciting visiting the place in the dark.
In 1532 the monastery was sat on fire and later taken apart. Stones from the monastery were used to build the Akershus Fortress
the local cafe sells muffins, coffee , waffles and some other stuff. Many visitors bring their own grill and have a barbeque at the beach instead of eating at the cafe
Many painting courses are beeing held at the main island. I believe it gives a really special atmosphere painting at an island like that
Grunerløkka used to be an industry area. It used to be a working place area but now is one of the trendiest and coolest place to live.. Some people believe grünerløkka means the same thing for Oslo as Soho for NY. All types of people live here (foreigners, celebrities and Gays to mention something) Grunerløkka has some of the best cafe and restaurant life and markets where people of all skin colors live together.
When you're here visit some of the pubs and restaurants (like Tørst( thirsty) and Sult (Hunger)
Grünerløkka is an exciting place Especially when it comes to literature. it's so exiting that a big amount of our authors who write Crime novels( like Anne Holt) let their main person live in one of the famous streets in Grünerløkka like Toftesgate and Markveien.
The writer Oskar Braaten who grew up here, described the life around the factories brilliantly in books, theatre plays like "ungen" (the Kid)
Olav Ryes plass:
this place has always been the heart of Grynerløkka. it's named after a war hero Olaf Rye who participated in the field parade against Sweden
- Study Abroad
- School Holidays
the Fairy tale Bridge (Ankerbrua)
The bridge was originally built from wood. That was around 1875 and in 1937 four sculptures in Bronze was added. These sculptures have their origin in our Norwegian fairy tales. These are Peer Gynt, Little
Freddy with the Fiddle Katie Woodencloak(Cinderella) and the white bear king Valemon.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Aker Hospital- the real beaten path
This is my birth place and it's one of the few attractions that I don't really hope you feel the need to visit inside. but if you get sick you know where to go.
Health and Social Services
in 1984 the Norwegian government introduced a limit for how much people have to pay for medical and psychological visits and for vital medicines during the year. in 2014 the limit is set at 2105.
Parliment has also passed a law to ensure that all people who are seriously ill will not have to wait longer than three months to receive care.
Akerselva river and the waterfall.
After passing Ámot brua bridge one reaches the most beautiful part of the river - in my opinion. Here is a beautiful waterfall called Nedre Vöyenfallene waterfall - and Beierbrua bridge with a lovely statue of Fabrikkjentene or The Factory girls. The factories here were cotton and textile factories from 1846 until 1955. The river was coloured by the colours used in the factory - it is said that even the rats changed colours - they were either blue, green or violet in colour, depending on the colour being used dying the textile in the factory.
I love what the Norwegians have made out of this area - here are bars and restaurants and it is so cozy sitting here by the river. The red painted house opposite the factories is called Hönse-Lovisas hus (house) - a former home, but is now a café/gallery.
This is a highly recommended area to visit - it is just an adorable area of Oslo. It is also lovely walking along Sagveien with its old houses.
I visited this area again in mid April 2013. The lakes were still frozen and had just begun to thaw and the river and waterfall looked like a glacial river. I have added a short video of it.
There is a lovely walk up Akerselva river with all its bridges and waterfalls and old factories.
Since there was construction work by the river in 2012 one has to start the walk by Ankerbrua bridge. That bridge has got 4 statues on each corner of the bridge - they are lovely - and naked like most of the statues in Oslo. The bronze statues were made in 1937 and back then they caused a lot of controversy - seeing that they were naked.
Ankerbrua bridge is named after one of Oslo´s richest families, the Anker family. It is sometimes called the Fairy tale bridge (eventyrbrua) because the statues are Norwegian fairytale figures, made by Dyre Vaa.
My last photo is of poor quality. By it an old gypsie lady sat day in, day out and I could never get a decent photo of it. The gypsies hang out by the river and the church next to the bridge. I think they sleep here as well. I was finally able to get a decent last photo on my second visit in 2013.
Above the bridge is an old factory, which is now housing DogA (see my tip).
Dyna Fyr (Dyna Lighthouse) is located right outside the Bygdoy peninsula. We happened to see it, as our Cruise Ship sailed close by. It has been here since 1874, and it looked so cute, a great place for a wedding reception. We could see all the tables and chairs set outside like something was happening "that" day.
The Lighthouse can be booked for private parties for 20-40 guests, from 1 April until Christmas. Must be booked well in advance. Guests are picked up by boat from the City Hall Pier.
- Historical Travel
- Sailing and Boating
Akerselva river and the lower waterfall.
Once you pass DogA you cross a small bridge and take the path to the left, which then leads you to my favourite place in Oslo, Ingens gate and the café Blá and the art work in the trees and on the river. There is a big wooden statue of a naked man in one tree - it cannot be missed really ;)
Then the path leads one up to the street Nordre gate and Grunerbrua bridge. It is not possible to walk by the river at this point, it can be crossed by a small bridge though close to the silos, which are now used as student-apartments. The path then leads you to Grunerhagen park where one can again walk by the river. In this park there is a big celebration on the 17th of May - Constitutional day. It used to be a fancy private park with peacocks and fruit-trees.
Here is Vulkan, which was an old smithy factory in 1873 and was the first factory where steel-bridges were made, but this area has now turned into a sport local and "Dansens Hus" or The House of Dance.
Here is also Nedre Foss - or the Lower waterfall, which is the first (or last) waterfall in Akerselva.
Further up is another lovely waterfall by the old sailcloth factory in 1858 - which now houses Kunsthögskolen i Oslo - The National Academy of the Arts. This building used to be the second biggest building in Oslo - second only to Slottet - The Royal palace.
The next bridge is Ámot bru bridge.
Akerselva river - my final stop.
Walking further up - there are more factories by the river, one called Myrens Verksted (workshop), which was a factory repairing "things" for other factories, like turbines.
Here are also the Lilleborg factories, which manufactured soaps.
The multicoloured silos are Björnsen Valsemölle´s silos from 1939. I ended my trip up the river here as it was getting dark and it was getting more and more difficult finding the path up the river. So I crossed the Treschowsbru bridge, which is a modern bridge very high up. I hope I am not mistaking with the name of the bridge - if somebody knows it to be called by another name, then please do correct me. It just seems to be such a new modern bridge and when I was reading up on it then it sounded like an old bridge.
By now we are way up in the district of Oslo called Sandaker. I wanted to see the factories on the other side of the river so I walked a bit in Sandaker until I found a street leading back down to the river. I love what they have done with the factories - and on this particular spot by the river they have turned them into apartments with a lovely square.
Further up the river are more factories and the biggest waterfall in the river, 16 metre´s high, but it cannot be seen as it is closed in by the factory. I would have loved to see it, seeing that it was called Little Niagara, and it was supposed to be my final destination on my trip, so I was quite disappointed finding out that it was closed in. But all in all this walk by Akerselva river is fantastic and highly recommended.
Walking up the river following the sign Mariedalen one encounters the oldest factory building by the river. The yellow Glad´s mölle, dating back to 1736, a paper mill owned by 1798-1858 by Frederik Glad. The factory was closed in the 1870s. The mill is preserved.
Further up one has to cross the street by Vöyenbrua bridge and there was the first water intake of the city dating back to before 1624. A tree-waterpipe was laid down to Akerhus festning fortress. 7 waterpipes have been laid here down to Akerhus through the centuries, the last one in 1845. By the bridge is a funny house called the Skyscraper painted in blue sky colour with clouds painted on it :)
Aamodt bru bridge.
This bridge is called Aamodt bru bridge dating back to 1855 and has been in this location since 1962, but its first location was by Snarumselva river in Aamot in Buskerud. The cost of this bridge caused scandals and a court case. There is a plaque on the bridge saying: "100 mand kan jeg bære men svigter under taktfast marsch".
Aamodt bridge was the first suspension bridge in Norway. The bridge was supposed to be the entrance to the Tecnhological museum, but after a lot of fighting the bridge ended up here and the museum at an other place. There seems to have been a lot of controversy regarding this poor beautiful bridge by Akerselva river.
The Aamodt bridge is located at the upper end of Grünerhagen park.
By Torshov district in Oslo lies Torshovsdalen valley with a beautiful view of Oslo city. On a sunny day it is lovely sitting there. It is a long valley with hillsides, pure nature, not a park, but there are some benches there.
At the end closer to the city center there is Rosenhof skole (one has to cross the street to get to it) where immigrants learn Norwegian. It was built in 1916, but back then there was a shortage of accommodation in Oslo, so instead of using it right away for teaching, it became a home for a lot of people who had nowhere to live and only in 1919 it was taken in use as a school.
I got a map at the library of this area. It is free and big and came in very handy with good information on each area.
On the other side of the valley is Sinsen district, and a motorway lies right by the valley and Sinsenskrysset is right by the far upper end of the valley, by Dag Hammarskjölds vei street and Trondheimsveien street. Sinsenskrysset dates back to the Middle ages and the farmers passed through here with their produce from their farms to the market place in Oslo. There must have been some trading going on as on the way back they brought with them tobacco, coffee, salt, herring and sukker. By Sinsenkrysset the horses could rest and drink water - it must have been quite a lively place back in those days, especially if the farmers got drunk in town. My last photo is taken close to where the Sinsenkrysset was located. I tried to find the exact location but got lost in underpasses and motorways ;)
One afternoon I took a public ferry to the island of Gressholmen which is located in the Oslo Fjord. The trip took about 15 minutes.
Gressholmen with its green vegetation is a lovely place to take a rest from the busy city life. It is famous for its numerous small black bunnies. I saw many of them and they are not very frightened. So taking a photo is not too much of a problem.
Gressholmen can be reached by the public ferry no. 93 from Vippetangen. Every public transportation ticket is valid on the public ferries. No extra charge is necessary.
- Budget Travel