The Oslofjord is about 100 kilometres long and connects the city of Oslo with the North Sea. As we had traveled the northward passage at night, we had the opportunity to take in the scenery and history of the bay on our southward exit.
The “fjord” in its northern section (Drøbak to Oslo) is lined with tree-lined hills, and small settlements, and it is dotted with islands of various sizes.
The October voyage was cool and crisp, but allowed for much of the changing colours of autumn to be taken in. While much of the coastline was rocky, there remained a sense of tranquility, with calm seas, and natural beauty.
As we traveled further south the clouds came down to meet the hilltops and made for some really spectacular views. The islands, some no more than large rocks, and others tree-topped with small settlements of their own gave a variety and diversity to the scenery.
On one of the larger islands, we came across the Oscarsborg Fortress, which played a vital role in Norway’s defense on the 9th of April 1940. In what has come to be known as the Battle Drøbak Sound, the island’s batteries, and the torpedo batteries on the main land came into action to repel the Nazi invasion. The valiant defense led intentionally to a Norwegian victory with the sinking of the German cruiser Blücher, and the damaging of the Lützow. The success was short-lived as the Germans continued their assault on Oslo via a different route, it remained important as it allowed time for the Norwegian Royal Family, the parliament, and the national gold reserves to escape before the Nazi arrival.
After Oscarsborg we continued into the ever widening bay as it extends southwards towards the North Sea. We soon were into the shipping lanes, and the coastline and islands blurred into the distance.
This was a wonderful passage, and while Oslofjord is not a true fjord in geographical terms, it has made me want to make a “fjords cruise” in the future.