Welcome to Oslo
James, Alan, Jon, and Mendim. We left from Stroudsburg to JFK, and departed at 10pm.
After a decent flight (just shy of 7 hours), we arrived in Oslo airport.
We took the train (Flytoget) about 30 minutes south to Sentralstasjon (Central Station), where we immediately got lost and wandered around the train/bus/mall setup connecting to wifi. Alan looked for a jacket (He didn’t bring one. To Norway. In January.), but the selection was lack-luster.
We did discover that Norway has Lush though – so there’s that.
Finally getting Wifi, and thus directions to our hostel, we did the quick walk and checked in.
Jon soon dropped this gem,
There are a lot of ‘V’s in girls names in this country [Norway], and I like it.
Since we barely slept on the flight, and it was 7am EST time, we immediately crashed. After 3 hours we have just woke up, are cleaning up a bit, and we’ll be hitting the city to find food.
— Updated: 5:38 Local Time (11:38am EST) —
After a brief thunderstorm we headed out into the city to find food, and get Alan a jacket. Looking around, H&M seemed like a good choice. We headed in and quickly got confused by the lack of Men’s clothing. Turns out it was Women’s and Children only. After walking a few more blocks we tracked down a men’s section H&M.
First day in Norway, and we had Indian food. Spent a good amount of time figuring out whether or not to tip. The server we attempted to ask was a little rough with English, so we finally got around to Googling it and found out ‘tipping’ means betting – as in gambling. So she thought we were trying to watch the horse races. Great.
After dinner we all walked down to the Fjord and waterfront. Cutting across a park we ran into two drunk Norwegian guys who were pumped to try out their english. After a selfie and learning to properly pronounce ‘Thank You’ in proper Norwegian we kept moving.
Walking through Aker Brygge was really cool. It’s a pretty posh part of the city, and 2-3 bedroom apartments were going for a few hundred thousand USD, but they looked gorgeous (we’ll return tomorrow during daylight).
We headed back towards the neighborhood our hostel is in and stopped in at Sir Winston. Two pints and Mendim was falling asleep. We’re all pretty jet lagged and are heading to bed in a few. Looking forward to a great day of bike riding and seeing the city in daylight tomorrow. Cheers.
Turns out jet lag sucks. I figured with our nap I’d be fine. Nope. I tossed and turned all night even though I had only slept 3 hours the past 36 hours. Around 11am we showered and headed out for food. We decided to sit outside (it was around 40°F) and enjoy the people walking by. After a couple of omelets at Cafe Cathedral (and some burger king for Alan) and we went looking for beer for the evening.
Turns out Norway is similar to Pennsylvania. Beer can be found in just about any grocery store, but liquor and wine are only available at state run “Vinmonopolet” stores. And even worse than PA, no liqor/beer sales after 6pm on Saturdays (can you imagine?). Thankfully we researched this in advance and weren’t surprised. After dropping everything off at our hostel we decided to walk north. A few km round trip took us through some suburbs, parks, and churches.
We stopped off for sushi and I accidentally ordered double what I intended.
The walk back took us along a beautiful snowy/icy river.
Everyone else is napping while I get some work done and catch up on the outside world. I need to be tired when bed rolls around.
— Updated: 19:00 Local Time (1:00pm EST) —
We woke up, drank some of those beers, and searched for food. My research said Illegal Burger was the place to go. After getting slightly lost, we realized that the sign for burgers was the size of a sheet of paper, and people were standing in front of it. Of course I got us lost, we walked right past it.
Mendim attempted ordering in Norwegian, which everyone entertained for about 5 seconds until he realized they were out of fish and needed to choose something else. Burger was pretty solid, and then we stopped for a drink somewhere. I literally only got one photo of this evening. Alan and I split a hotdog, and that was it.
Alan woke me up at 9:30 asking for help with cooking breakfast. I said nope and he went back to bed. Waking up around 2-2:30, we finally got to cooking. The hostel’s kitchen offerings were weak, but we did a solid breakfast of eggs and potatoes. It was nearly dark already, but I promised myself a Fjord sunset.
We explored Akershus Fortress, a medieval castle built to defend Oslo.
Next up was the Norwegian palace. We debated how the White House stood in comparison.
We found an ice luge and indulged.
Then back to the hostel where Alan and Jon napped, Mendim and I ate food at a fantastic cafe. Really cool place.
Afterwards we walked around downtown, revisiting some of the areas we’d been before in more detail. Here’s 3 random photos.
Back to the hostel and we packed for an early morning train to Tønsberg.