I’m in Oslo, Norway for work again and have a couple of days to myself. My plan today was to rent a mountain bike, but by the time I found the rental place they were closed. My GPS showed tons of trails in the area though, so I just started walking.
I quickly came to a sign that said “Velkommen til Nordmarka.” Awesome, that was my backup plan anyway! Nordmarka just means “north woods” and is a huge forested area in the northern part of Oslo. This isn’t something small like Central Park in NYC, or Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, the Nordmarka just keeps on going and going and going (click the map and zoom out to see). The coolest thing is that I got there by taking the T-bane (aka, the subway).
I looked at the map and started hiking towards the closest lake, figuring it might be pretty. Once I was there I picked out another lake and hiked to there. By the 3rd lake I figured I had a theme going and mapped out a sequence of lakes that would take me back to a different T-bane station on a different line. The whole walk was about 18km (a bit over 11 miles) and I barely saw anyone, while hiking inside the city limits!
I’ve often dreamt of living in a city where one could take public transit to wilderness, spend the day or a weekend there (camping is allowed and popular in the Nordmarka) and easily get back home. The closest thing that I’ve found was Wellington, NZ, but Oslo has it beat.
Sadly I left my camera’s battery in my hotel room, so you just get cell phone pictures.