Intersecting Minds: Education, Business and Technology at the North Carolina State Jenkins Graduate School of Management

Oslo Recap | November 2, 2009

What a weekend. Although our trip was short (<48 hours), we certainly made the most of it. On Friday afternoon, we left our dormitory and headed for Nordhavn and the boarding area. When we arrived, we realized we would be traveling in style. The boat was absolutely massive, a top notch cruise liner. After boarding around 3:30, we took a trip to the top deck, where I snapped some pictures of the CPH skyline before we left. Here’s my favorite:

Copenhagen Skyline

Nice evening

You can see from the picture the other boat in the dock and how bit it was. And we were looking down on it from the top deck by a good ways. Following a quick tour of the boat, we headed to a brief informational meeting about the cruise liner from 4:00-5:00. Then we had a formal dinner featuring ad libitum wine and an amazing array of food (caviar, salad, steak, potatoes… you get the idea).

It was fantastic to get an opportunity to catch up with many people who I hadn’t seen since Introduction Week. After the initial burst of meeting a couple hundred people, it became very difficult to keep track of everyone, so this was a great chance to reconnect with many friends. Speaking of people, another highlight of the trip was meeting my roommates in the ship room. I shared a cabin with three other guys, one American, one German, and one Swiss. Talk about a good group of guys, we managed to have a great time and not get in the way of each other too much despite the small size of the room. Check this picture out:

Ship Room

Tight spaces

And yea, that’s a room for 4 people, not two. Those are fold out beds on either side of the picture frame. Whew. But it didn’t really matter too much because we didn’t spend hardly any time in the room. Between the boat tour, the dinner, and the disco party that followed we only had a few hours of sleep on Friday night.

The next morning, we woke up around 8:30 am and headed downstairs for an all you can eat breakfast buffet. The food definitely hit the spot, and we were ready to go tour Oslo. However, with several hundred young tourists headed out, I realized it would be virtually impossible to move quickly enough in the 6 hours given to us to really see much. So I grabbed one of my friends, Carolina (love that name), and said, “Look, the two of us should head out to the Sculpture Garden. It will be so much faster and easier to get around if we split up.” Needless to say, she agreed, and off we went.

Over the rest of the morning and afternoon, we managed the following:

  • Walk to the Vigeland Sculpture Park
  • Walk back through the downtown area admiring the amazing Oslo architecture and hilly countryside
  • Stop for lunch at Bagel/Juice to spend $15 for a bagel sandwich
  • See the changing of the guard at the Parliament Building
  • Catch the Metro to the other side of the city
  • Toured the Munch Museum, home of one of the most famous paintings in the world: The Scream
  • Managed to get slightly lost on the way back, but found our way again

Needless to say, it was an action-packed 6 hours. Here are a few photo highlights:

Carolina and Ryan at Vigeland

Awesome travel companion

The Kiss

Favorite Munch: The Kiss

The Murderer

Second favorite Munch: The Murderer

Here are a few other impressions from Oslo:

  1. The Norwegians seemed a little more friendly to us than the Danes typically are. I’m not sure if this is because the Norwegians are generally a little less reserved than their counterparts, or if it was simply a function of Carolina and I being a traveling duo, instead of a huge group. But needless to say, people were very friendly to us, offering help and directions on the street and in Bagel/Juice.
  2. Oslo was a more unique city than i was expecting, and that was a good thing. The hills surrounding the downtown area were gorgeous. The architecture was superb, and the large parks and walking streets really made the city seem peaceful and welcoming. Unfortunately, there were no bike lanes though, but I can understand that to an extent considering how much more hilly Oslo is than Copenhagen.
  3. Six hours wasn’t nearly enough to see everything. Even though we had an action packed day, there was still soooo much more to see. If only I had my snowboard, I would have definitely planned a trip up to the mountains.

After our day touring the city, we headed back to the boat. As the sun was setting, myself and one of my roommates headed out to the hot tubs on the back of the boat to check the skyline before we headed out. This is what we were greeted with (and unfortunately the picture really doesn’t do it justice):

Oslo Skyline

View from the hot tub

Needless to say, we had another great dinner and party on the way back to Copenhagen that night. All in all, it was a fantastic trip, and Oslo is definitely on the list of places I want to come back to the next time I’m in Europe.


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