When it came to three envelopes and a choice of travel gifted to my boyfriend, he picked the one marked with a flag, and to Norway we went. Admittedly, a part of the world where I hadn’t considered travelling to before, but I’m pretty glad I did.
One of the beauties of Oslo is the accessibility from the city centre to the nature. Whether this is the opportunity to find your feet in the water, sail out to see the fjords, or explore some of the greenery further out. Wanting to explore the lakes and forests that surround this Scandinavian city, we mapped a route and made our way to the Akerselva River, running from our apartment to the water’s edge, heading North along its path.
The river’s edge is known by some as the ‘Green Lung’, which is a pretty apt description. The river leads you alongside the tall trees that shade its path, with views that are made complete with rugged waterfalls, putting the murky waters of the Thames to shame (sorry Londoners). Combined with the natural motion of the water are the few built up areas made for enjoying the river. These teased the child inside me, as well as the procrastinating adult, to jump in. Admittedly, I knew that once I was in I wouldn’t want to get out, so I shook off these two sides of myself, kept on with the marathon training miles, and ran ahead.
Despite short sections where you have to come off the bank and on to pavement, it’s pretty easy to stay on track and out of the way of traffic, and these are few and far between. Generally the track leads you on a gravel path, a woodland trail here or there,
and the odd bridge offering a structure to wander on.
Towards the opening of Maridalsvannet, the river becomes lined with more open areas, ready for picnics, families relaxing,
complete with chilled out locals and a pooch or two. In being the largest lake in Oslo, the views of its blue expanse are ones worth travelling for, as are the forests that line its waters.
Whilst the lake may lure you in, I’d recommend resisting the temptation to try out your front crawl, opting instead for the wider sections of the river. Perhaps I was too traumatised from the reservoir warning videos and horror stories as a child, but there are also signs warding you off doing so. Take a dip at your own risk.
Leading up and around Maridalsvannet is a dusty path that takes you on a
winding trail through the pine filled woodlands, and offers you the chance to
either follow the beaten track, or take your legs into the trees and ramble on
your own route.
If you get the chance to catch a cheap flight to Oslo, go. It’s a beautiful city, with plenty of nature on its doorstep, views a plenty and some pretty good pastries.
Take food with you
If you fancy some grub when you reach the lake,
take a backpack and bring your own picnic. There are plenty of benches, but there aren’t any lakeside shops.
Pretty hilly in places
Distance from city centre
6 .5 miles
Gravel and path – no trail shoes needed