In June, I decided to go inter-railing with my American friend, Jess. She just graduated from University, we’re both in our 20s, in theory the world was our oyster, but alas, money and terrorism exist. Although I’m not usually a fearful person as I tend to avoid the news, travelling with people caught up on global issues can bring me back down to reality and take an extra step of precaution.
When deciding where we should stop on our trip, we had a few disagreements. First things first, we would stay away from Paris for obvious reasons. Secondly, we would try and avoid capital cities and make do with smaller towns. Attacks a day were becoming more common, especially in Europe and Africa and we didn’t want to take any chances. So, Antwerp and Cologne were in, Brussels and Berlin were out – at least for the time being, anyway. We finally decided on the Benelux package and travelled from Amsterdam to Antwerp to Luxembourg to Cologne, making stops in The Hague, Bruges and Ghent along the way. But before that, Jess needed to come to England to visit me.
We had planned on spending a week in the UK then we would jet off to Europe, but as chance would have it, Skyscanner had some excellent deals on flights to Oslo from Manchester and I couldn’t resist.
Okay, yes, Oslo is a capital city and Norway isn’t cheap by any means but it’s Scandinavia and ever since visiting Iceland in November and Denmark in March, I’ve been pretty much obsessed with Scandinavia and Norway instantly became a new favourite.
From the Nordic architecture, to the glamourous, stark-white bricks and eternal daylight, Oslo was everything we could have dreamed of and turned out to be the exact place we needed at that time.The Nobel Peace Center is located along the waterfront in a beautiful old-style building, contrasting to the ultra-modern buildings that surround it. Perhaps there’s something in that about old traditions and old buildings? Maybe I’m reading too much into it.I didn’t know much about the Nobel Peace Prize before visiting. I’m embarrassed to admit I’d only heard of a handful of winners. Still, the prize itself needs no introduction, as it is one of the most prestigious prizes in the world relating to social issues and the peace movement. The Center is the perfect place to learn more about Alfred Nobel, the founder of the prize, and the peace movement as a whole.One of the main reasons to visit the Nobel Peace Center is the exhibitions on view. One of the permanent exhibitions is the Nobel Field, a room dedicated to past winners, with their portraits on small motion-censored screens that display information when you walk passed. The room itself is captivating and certainly beautiful.Allow some time here to absorb all the information and become absorbed in the beauty of the exhibitions. It’s worth visiting the gift shop, too. I found it amusing that the entire thing was painted red, from floor, ceiling and counter, yet all the products they sold were sustainably made, eco-friendly and “green”.Overall, if you’re visiting Oslo, you should definitely try and visit the Nobel Peace Center, especially if you need cheering up about the state of our world at the moment. It’s always nice to be reassured that there are good people out there standing up for peace.