There’s a reason Norwegians dominate nordic events in the Winter Olympics: they roller ski to places the rest of us access by train or car. Our last day in Oslo, we decided to venture a field to Holmenkollen, home to a 60 meter ski jump, the world’s oldest ski museum and some great hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. During our visit, we saw many intrepid and extremely fit athletes roller-skiing up the hills at an incredible pace.
If you take the train to Frognerseteren station, a short walk takes you to the historic building that houses a restaurant and cafeteria with a large terrace overlooking the Oslo fjord. The food is unremarkable, but the panorama more than makes up for it. The journey is quite pleasant through bucolic forests via thet-banen #1 line and takes approximately 45 minutes from central Oslo. From the restaurant, it is a nice walk downhill on nature trails to the ski jump and museum.
En route, you can visit Holmenkollen Kapel, an exquisite church whose architecture is based on Stave Church or medieval post and lintel construction. The first chapel was built in 1903 and destroyed in an arson attack in 1992. The current building, constructed using artisan techniques and modeled on the original, was consecrated in 1996.
The ski jump itself is a remarkable structure: the start house is 64 meters above the ground; constructed with 100 tons of steel; 96.95 meters in length with the steepest grade of 36 degrees (more information here: Holmenkollen facts and figures). Intrepid visitors can climb 275 steps to the top for an even better view of the entire Oslo region.
If you only have a few days in Norway, this is a good introduction to the countryside.