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Oslo City Guide
“There were angels dining at the Ritz… ”
A brass band was playing ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’ as we cycled up to the roof of the Oslo’s Operahuset. Rising like pack ice out of the mirror- still waters of the Oslofjord, the strikingly modern opera house was itself a huge white stage under a heavy grey sky. As the rooftop audience appreciated the jazz, we surveyed the city, spotting, between an office block and a hotel, the Holmenkollen ski jump high on the hill, to which we’d climbed that morning.
Norway is a big country, with not much in it; it’s easy, from the Operahuset or from Holmenkollen, to admire the compact city that nevertheless contains fjords, mountains and woods within its boundaries. And it’s easy, on the bike, to appreciate clothing that takes you from mountain climb to opera house, through cold, persistent rain, in comfort and style.
The journey between the two offered a different take on urban riding. The city’s quiet roads, green spaces and buildings painted in muted ochre colours are a world away from London, Paris or New York. It’s a place you might encounter, while cycling through the old town on a Saturday morning, wedding crowds in traditional dress, and more horses than cars on the road. But it’s also a city of fronts: where imposing exteriors conceal boutique hotels, immaculate restaurants and bars playing techno late into the night.
It’s sedate but sophisticated; understated, elegant and relaxed. When you visit use this guide to help you discover a different kind of city riding.