16 April 2016
As the sun shined upon my face, I stepped out of my hotel room (which I eventually figured out the name of the hotel from my photos landmark, Oslo Hotel Apartment) around 11 A.M.. The weather was a blessing, I haven’t felt the warmth of the sun for almost 8 month since I went back to England. I walked around with no specific destination in my mind. As I go down further the street I found a mosque named Central Jamaat Ahl-e-Sunnat (click for address), Central Jamaat mosque is located at Motzfeldts street and is the largest mosque in Norway and the area are mostly occupied by Pakistani. I went further and noticed a lot of halal restaurants such as Kebabish Original that had been certified as halal from Islamsk Rad Norge (IRN) and a candy shop called Madina Sweets. Unfortunately, I can’t give reviews on the restaurants since the price to dine in are too expensive for a student like me. A salad in a simple small cafe can cost you around £10 (105 NOK respectively) which in England with that amount of money, I can get a proper English breakfast with a cup of coffee along with a dessert.
It took almost 40 minutes walking from my hotel to Oslo city center. While I was walking, I found a hanging sculpture that caught my attention in a park called Vaterlandsparken nearby Oslo Spectrum. From there, I kept on walking down the street to reach the harbor of Oslo but ended up lost somewhere around an unknown entrance with military officers securing upcoming cars. I was standing there, bewildered, checking the maps on Google but there was no indication of the entrance was there. I saw two soldiers talking to each other and later noticed me. They greet me and asked where do I want to go. I told them I wanted to go to the harbor and showed them the map. The officers told me I could go through the entrance and walk straight ahead. I asked one of the soldier what is the building that they are securing and he said it was a castle. I opened the visitoslo app and finally found the name of the castle I was in.
The name of the castle was Akershus Fortress. In 1290’s, Akershus has replaced Tonsberg by King Haakon V as one of the two most important Norwegian castle. It was built to protect Oslo from Alv Erlingsson, a member of Norwegian nobility (Norwegian Nobleman) in Sarpsborg who was also a governor of Borgarsyssel. Alv Erlingsson was caught in 1290 and was sentenced to death by King of Denmark for his act of seizing and robbing Danish and Denmark vessels. Akershush Fortress was also used as a prison for rebels and criminals in Norway. The prison was known as Slaveriet (The Slavery) because the prisoners can be rented to work in the city. Now the place are use for official events and dinners for VIP and foreign heads of state.
The thing that excites me the most is that Akershus Fortress are listed in ‘The Most Haunted Places in The World’ at www.hauntedrooms.co.uk and many paranormal activities has taken place in the Akershus Fortress. They also have a tour named “Ghost Walk” that is hosted by spokelsesvandring (click link for more information) for 150 NOK per adult. Student discount is available too. You can also wander around Akershush Fortress without any cost beside the museums that are available inside. Walking around the fortress was worth while because the environment brings back the 1300s era. You really need do some research before coming here since all of their landmark’s sign was written in Norwegian language. It took me almost an hour walking around and finally getting to see the view of Oslo port from Akershus Fortress. The view was so stunning, I spent my time sitting there enjoying the view while eating my cheap seafood sandwich which costs around £4-£5 that I bought from REMA 1000 (listed as the cheapest supermarket in Oslo). More story yet to come! Stay tune ♥