Thursday, 14 July 2016

Oslo Fornebu Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 10.2 km (6.3 miles), terrain: mostly flat, 64-meter gain

NOTE: I first got to know Fornebu as Oslo's airport in the 1980s, and I remember sitting on the rocks on the fjord shore, waiting to check-in for my flight. It was fun to run that same shore now in such a different context.

Fornebu is a quickly developing suburb on Oslo's west side, right along the fjord. It used to be the site of the old airport, but is now being re-purposed as an IT-business-park and as an apartment neighborhood for young families.
The fjord shore in Snarøy
The area is still being built and is changing constantly, as the old runways are removed, to be built upon by offices, homes and parks. The area is home to the Telenor Arena (sports and concert events) as well as to the Expo, with a few big hotels to handle the guests. So you might just find yourself on the edge of town out in Fornebu on your next trip to Oslo.

At first, you might think you've been banished to the boondocks, while all the life is swirling around the city center. But, if you give it a chance, Fornebu has some hidden gems to keep you occupied for an evening or two.

The city of Oslo has made successful efforts to make the area livable, with lots of fjord-side bike/walking trails and a big park. Plus, the older nearby Snarøya neighorhood provides a glimpse of traditional Norwegian living, with wooden houses lining the rugged fjord coast. There are even some original airport buildings still left, clustered around the old traffic-control tower.

So, if you find yourself working in Fornebu, grab the chance to explore this interesting area for yourself.
The Arena
This route starts near the arena, takes you through the huge Telenor headquarters, then along the rocky fjord shore into the scenic Snarøya neighborhood, then back through new housing developments, sports fields, Nansenspark, and then returning via the airport tower to the arena.

So let's get started! Get yourself to the bike/walkway out front of the Quality Expo Hotel, with the ufo-like Telenor Arena looming across the street. Turn south on the walkway, with the main street, Snarøyveien to your right, and start running. The way goes down then up and enters the drop-off area for visitors to the Telenor Expo, the headquarters of the big Norwegian telco. Two crescent-shaped complexes line each side of a big plaza.
Telenor headquarters
Turn left (east) to run between the buildings, then down the steps at the back to come to the bike/walkway along the fjord.

Turn right to continue southwards. The sparkling waters of Oslo Fjord jostle to the left side. You can either stay on this perfectly paved sidewalk or run down to the water's edge and run along a very much rockier, uneven footpath over there.
Little house on a rock
After a few hundred meters, you'll come to the ferry landing and seaplane harbor, with its waterside inn. This little harbor has new apartments lining it on the other side, and a natural bit of coastline behind that.
Seaplane at the landing
So let's take a look: follow the water's edge past the apartments and then take the uphill footpath along the rocky shore to Rolfstangen peninsula. There are fishermen here, and a little beach further south. Follow the shore, and then follow the path uphill above the beach, with a beautiful view out over the fjord.
Rolfstangen point
You'll then be running through a waterside neighborhood along Rolfstangveien. When the street ends, at Pelvikveien (strange name!) turn left and run south. The street will end after a few blocks, but a foot path will continue heading straight downhill to the next street, Haldenveien.
Pelvikveien: keep running straight!
Now turn right and run southwest through this cool shore-neighborhood, where lots of houses have their own docks and boats. Haldenveien will eventually end by running into Snarøyveien (the street where we started the run).

Turn left and run downhill and into Snarøya, a scenic waterside town. This is the main road into town, and it will curve to the left after passing the MENY supermarket. When you come to the terminus for the 31 bus line, you're almost at one of the highlights of the run.

In one more block you'll see a scenic little bay open up to the right, Kongshavn (King's Harbor). There's a little footpath along the water, so turn right and follow the trail past nice waterside homes and boats.
Kongshavn, my kind of place
When you pass the little suspension bridge to the little island, the trail exits to a street, Fürstveien. Turn right here to run northwards.
The little bridge
At the second street to the left, (also called Fürstveien! In fact most of the streets around here all use the same few names!) turn left and run uphill along this short, dead-end street. Now continue along the footpath, with a beautiful little lake in the woods to your right.
The lake
At the top of the hill, you'll come back into a neighborhood, and run straight into Ropernveien, with lots of nice one-family houses. Turn right and follow the street down the hill until it dead-ends into Fürstveien again.

Now turn left, and this street will end back at Snarøyveien, the street we came down earlier. Now turn left and follow this road out past the MENY supermarket again.

Keep running until you see the zebra stripes, where you turn left and follow the next shore trail along a long cove called Hundesunden (Dog Sound). You'll see tennis courts up ahead, and new apartments beyond.

Stay along the water and run past the tennis courts. Now cross the street called Langoddveien and continue up Lillerutsvei towards the new apartments.

When you see the big walkway coming in from the left, turn left there and continue running past the gate, with the apartments to both sides.
Turn onto this little street with the gate!
This path will end on a bluff overlooking the next big cove, Koksa, where you turn right and follow the footpath through parkland, then crosses Forneburingen street.
Overlooking Koksa bay
You'll pass a school on the left side and enter another park Nansenspark.

Run towards the pond with long promenade in the middle of the park, then turn right onto the promenade to run northeast towards the old air-traffic tower in the distance.
Nansensparken pond, with air-traffic tower in distance: head there!
When you reach the tower and the old brick buildings around it, keep to the left to circle the main building counter-clockwise. You'll see the huge Arena sitting beyond it to the north. The old buildings have been offered to local artists, who use the spaces as studios and galleries. It's a cool, creative spot now! Take a look into a few windows.
The artists' studios in the former airport
When you get back to the tower, turn left to take the paved bike/walkway that goes eastwards, downhill under Snarøyveien, almost back at the start. Now just turn left on the other side and you'll be back out front of the Quality Expo Hotel.

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