VisitOSLO recently had a campaign on Instagram focusing on the Nobel Peace Prize award, where you had to upload a creative photo of yourself and use the hashtag #OsloNXT to enter the contest.
The prize was air travel to Oslo, hotel stay, invitation to the opening of the Nobel Peace Prize exhibition and tickets to the Nobel Peace Prize concert.
2700 photos entered, and the jury’s choice fell on the image of Jeremiah Knutson from the USA.
This is how Jeremiah sums up his Oslo experience:
A little background about me, I live in Council Bluffs, Iowa and work in Omaha, Nebraska in disability insurance. The «High 5» reasons I wanted to go to Oslo were to experience the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, see the sites of Oslo, eat lutefisk and get to visit the land of my ancestors on my birthday! Happy to say we got to check off all of these things and the trip was better than we both expected and we had a GREAT time! Definitely the opportunity of a lifetime and you all made us feel very welcome!
My aunt is an elementary teacher and lives in St. James, Minnesota and I wanted to take her because she has taught me everything I know about Norway (based on the stories and traditions her mother passed down to her), but yet she had never been to Norway before. I also knew she would be a great person to pick to come on the trip because she would want to soak in as much as we could in the time we had and do as much as we could to make the most of this opportunity to see Oslo. She kept saying the whole time that she couldn’t believe she was finally there!
The Best Western Karl Johan hotel couldn’t have had a better location for getting everywhere in the city and the staff could not have been friendlier with any questions we had for them. After checking in we quickly put our bags in the room and immediately left to go see The Norwegian Folk Museum, The Viking Ship Museum, The Kon-Tiki Museum, Fram Museum and the Norwegian Maritime Museum.
One of the main reasons why my aunt and I both wanted to be able to go to Norway was because her grandparents and my great grandparents emigrated from Norway and we wanted to see the country they came from (my aunt is 100% Norwegian and I am 50% Norwegian by heritage).
My great grandma passed down many customs to us, but there is nothing like getting to see the country first hand. We were excited to learn that some distant family we had not met before (one of which grew up in the same farmhouse as my great grandma in Ulvik, Hardanger) was willing to meet up with us.
After going to all of the museums the family met us at our hotel to take us to the Torchlight Parade that was going on that night. So not only did we get to experience the Torchlight Parade, but we also got to learn first-hand about our ancestors from family and be shown around Oslo by local family who were very familiar with the city. After the Torchlight Parade we were invited to go to one of the family members houses for a dinner of what we quickly learned was Reindeer (which was a first for both of us), but super good and made the experience seem all the more authentic!
For Day 2 the family members met up with us at the hotel and then took us to see the Opera House, Munch Museum and the National Gallery and then brought us back to the hotel in time to meet up with a former student of the school my aunt teaches at so we could meet him for lunch. One of the traditions my great grandma passed down to us is to have lutefisk every Christmas and so we were excited to be able to find a restaurant called Louise Restaurant & Bar (the brown building below) that was currently serving lutefisk. It really was THE BEST lutefisk we both had ever had! Not sure we will ever be able to eat lutefisk again and not compare it to how good that was!
After having lutefisk we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the Nobel Exhibition. We were both very excited for this opportunity because it really was the chance of a lifetime to be a part of something like that. The Exhibition was very well done and we read and soaked in everything we could find of what the Tunisian people went through and that the Quartet was able to accomplish. Couldn’t agree more that The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet was a very deserving winner and to be able to be there in person made us all the more impressed.
The Nobel Peace Prize Concert could not have been more fun either! Such a great line up of bands and Jay Leno did a great job hosting! Definitely was a great finish to top off an already great trip!
This all really was the chance of a lifetime and the memories that my aunt and I were able to make are priceless! Can’t say enough nice things about Oslo or thank Visit Oslo enough for being given this opportunity! Already planning my next trip to come back and spreading the word to get as many others to come check out Oslo as well!