Revisting Oslo

View from the Oslo Opera House - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s time for another between-the-numbers post, courtesy of Blogging 101!

Since I started this course last week, I’ve been making an effort to actively seek out the writings of my fellow bloggers, rather than simply waiting for them to come to me. One of my favourite finds has been travelmagnolia, whose blog I discovered while perusing the “Scandinavia” tag on the WordPress reader. I especially enjoyed her most recent post about Oslo, which reminded me of my own visit there a couple of years ago. Look, here I am hanging out on the roof of the Opera House!
Me at the Oslo Opera House - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis trip was one of many I made in 2012. I had applied for a sabbatical from my long-term job, and at the end of January that year, I walked out of my workplace with no intention of ever going back. Of course, I knew I would need to look for a new job eventually, but first I was going to have some fun with the savings I had accumulated after five years of working full time and living thriftily. A few days later, I was enjoying the sub-zero delights of winter in Berlin, with some friends who were based there at the time!
Berlin in Winter - CrawCrafts BeastiesMuseum Island, Berlin - CrawCrafts BeastiesI also went to Moscow…
Moscow - CrawCrafts Beasties
…And Tokyo!
Tokyo - CrawCrafts Beasties
But my trip to Norway and Sweden stands out for a couple of reasons. For starters, I celebrated my 30th birthday in Oslo – a hilariously low-key affair in the room I was sharing with my travelling companions, in a budget hotel that our Lonely Planet guide described as “barracks-like”. We picked up cake slices from the 7-11 down the street, and washed them down with drinks from the duty-free at Dublin Airport. We were tired after a long day’s travel, and had an early start in the morning, so the festivities were short-lived, but I don’t think I stopped laughing all evening.
Low-rent Birthday Party - CrawCrafts Beasties
I also finally had a chance to see “The Scream”, a painting which eluded me on my first visit to Oslo in 2001. I can’t remember if it had been stolen (again!) or if it was just on loan to another gallery, but I entered the Munch room that time to find a postcard from the gift shop in the space where the painting should have been. Seeing the real deal was, understandably, a much more enlightening experience.

Our travels took us outside the capital as well – we experienced some particularly Irish weather in Bergen…
Bergen - CrawCrafts Beasties
….Ventured north of the Arctic Circle to TromsΓΈ…
Tromso - CrawCrafts Beasties…And even got to see the Northern Lights!

You will probably notice a surprising (for this blog) absence of Beasties from these photos. When I made this trip, there was only ONE Beastie in existence in the whole world – my prototype, Schnocks.
Schnocks, the very first Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesI’d love to say here that leaving my job and taking some lovely holidays to clear my mind was a miracle cure-all, and that when I got home I instantly dropped everything to start pursuing my long-held dream of making monsters full-time. But we all know real life isn’t so easy, so linear or so trite, and those of us who make things for a living are all too aware that it’s a long-term labour of love, not a get-rich-quick scheme. That said, making the break with my old, unsatisfying workaday life was a really important first step on a journey that’s still ongoing, and I relish every opportunity to remember the places I visited while I was trying to figure out a better, more interesting way to spend my days. So thank you, travelmagnolia, for letting me see Oslo through your eyes, and giving me the chance to share my own travel stories!

What about you, readers? Where in the world would you most like to revisit, and why?

30 thoughts on “Revisting Oslo

  1. I think as far as re-visiting I would have to say either Victoria, Canada, or St Louis MO. There are so many other places to see but these places amazed me. I think I would go to Victoria just for the limeade I got from a street vendor there. (Guatemala also has amazing limeade) Chicago was also quite a wonderful city to walk but I only had a few hours while my train was at the station. I’d love to have a chance to get back there and truly explore sometime.

    1. Ha! I’m definitely going to make more of an effort to track down local limeades when I travel… It really sounds like I’ve been missing out πŸ˜€ Thanks for sharing your favourite places, the Beasties and I will have to visit them sometime!

  2. Norway!!! Yey! That is so cool! I am norwegian! Am also very please to see that you did not only go to Oslo, but Bergen and TromsΓΈ as well. I am not a big fan of Oslo… Glad you had a good time though!

    1. Yes, I remember seeing that on your blog! There’s still a lot of Norway I haven’t seen, so I’ll definitely be going back… Next time with some Beastie travelling companions! Which part are you from?

      1. I am from Stavanger on the south-west coast, fourth biggest city and the “oil capitol”. Good starterpoint if you want to go to pulpit rock. I have also lived many years in Longyearbyen on Spitzbergen, so that I strongly recommend. Thats quite pricey though…

        1. Oh, I’d love to visit Svalbard! I can imagine it’s pretty expensive though, given how far it is from the mainland. I haven’t seen much of southern Norway, so that’s something for the to do list!

  3. I love Norway, so it’s good to see your pictures, but I’b really like to go back to Bird Island in the Seychelles – an amazing wildlife sanctuary. When we there the turtles were laying their eggs and I’d love to go back to see the hatchlings emerging.

  4. Hi Helen πŸ™‚

    I loved the pictures. Are you wearing a batman(woman) costume in the first picture?

    Beautiful pictures from Europe. Your prototype beastie was so cute. πŸ™‚

    How do you select their names?

    I had to answer questions you ask for Liebster award nomination. I should say I would love visiting Paris or Vienna because of their romantic/artistic heritage.

    I have nominated you for Liebster award–so please check out the post when time permits.

    I also retired permanently from professional sphere in 2012. And it was a good decision like yours πŸ™‚

    Have a nice day Helen πŸ™‚


    1. Hey Anand, hope you’ve had a good day!
      First of all, thanks for your nomination! Between Blogging 101 and a bunch of Beastie orders, I’ve a lot on my plate at the minute, but I’ll try to answer your questions as soon as possible πŸ˜ƒ
      Would you believe me if I told you I DIDN’T walk around Oslo dressed as Batman? In that photo, I’m wearing my trusty kitty hat… My must-have piece of cold weather kit! I actually nearly lost it in the fjords on that Norwegian holiday, fortunately the ferry captain held the boat so I could go back to the place we had lunch and find it! As for the Beastie names, “Schnocks” was so named because I stuffed him with old socks (clean of course!). The rest of the Beasties are named after what they do, or their favourite thing… At least until they’re adopted πŸ˜ƒ
      Hope retirement is treating you well, and you make it to Paris or Vienna one of these days!
      Take care,

      1. Yes Helen, I had a nice day and retirement is treating me well. Please take care of what must be done as all of us don’t have equal amount of time on our hands πŸ™‚

        It’s nice to hear these stories, I expected something like that.
        The story behind your costume is also interesting. I hope you keep enjoying your craft and blogging.


        1. Hey Anand, thanks for your comment… What I wouldn’t give for another couple of hours in every day πŸ˜€ I think I’m busier now than I ever was when I worked full time!
          Enjoy your day!

        2. Hahaha. Busy doing what you love the most! A life well spent! Cheers Helen πŸ™‚

        3. Hey Helen,
          Would you mind me nominating you for Premio Dardos award? I am asking because I would love to–but I also don’t want to put pressure on you. πŸ™‚

          Please let me know soon as I am composing the post now.

          Thanks πŸ™‚

        4. Oooh, I don’t know that one! Thanks for thinking of me, but if you’re hoping for a quick response you might be better picking someone else… I’ve two Liebster Awards to see to first!! 😨

        5. Hahaha…no I am not looking for quick response. So I would be nominating you now. Thanks πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. That makes two of us! I’ve made a promise with the friends I went with last time that we’ll at least go back to celebrate my 40th birthday! And I’m SO glad I left that job… Bit of a risk, totally worth it 😁

  5. Oooh, Oslo. It’s been so long since I’ve been there it’s almost no true anymore. I went in summer, and only for a day, so I definitely want to go back.

    I’d most want to revisit NYC, but it’ll have to wait a while until the kiddo is a bit older. She seems to have inherited my obsession with New York, though, so I’m looking forward to it.
    Funnily enough, the first time I went to NYC was for my thirtieth birthday…

    1. Oh yes, New York’s on my revisit list! My New York experience kind of mirrors your visit to Oslo… I was just there for a weekend, so there’s no way I even scratched the surface if what it has to offer. I hope you and your daughter have a great time when you finally get to go!

  6. I do love reading your posts! This is why I have nominated you for the Premio Dardas Award. Check it out on my blog πŸ˜€

    1. Hey, thanks so much for your nomination! I’ll definitely check out your post, but I’ll have to knock some things off my to-do list before I get a chance to respond! Hope that’s OK πŸ˜ƒ Enjoy your weekend!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s