Oslo, Norway

– Why does Norwegian garbage trucks drive so fastly?
– The drivers are afraid of being robbed!

– How do you sink a Norwegian submarine?
– Dive down and knock at the door. Then they’ll open the door and ask what you want!
Don’t ask me where I got the brilliant idea to go to Oslo, Norway in late October when the weather was obviously going to be frigid and the sun limited. I know, smooth one. And as always, the trip was eventful starting from the get-go. After arriving a bit later than we were meant to, we grabbed the train into the city. It was already nearly midnight and we were exhausted, which doesn’t make the next part very surprising. We hopped off the train, only to realise that one of our backpacks was left on the train. Usually no problem, right? Until it’s the last train for the night with no running service for the remainder of the weekend and no way to retrieve it until Monday. Wait, doesn’t our train leave Sunday evening? CRAP. That said, the guys at the station(the ONLY ones…) were amazingly nice and helpful, which really set the tone for how the Norwegians were the entire trip. I’ve never met so many amazingly nice people before.

The hotel was nearby the station so we dropped off the remaining bags and headed to the only open shop nearby to grab a snack before passing out for the night. The next morning was a late one, but necessary after such a long and emotional prior night It turned out perfect though, as it seems everything there opens late and most people get a very late start. Must have something to do with the light and cold. It was as though nothing was open and ready to go until noon. We hit the breakfast buffet and then got ready to go out for the day.

There wasn’t anything specific we were in Oslo to see. Just a new country and culture that’s different from ours. We ended up spending the day walking around the palace, city centre, shops and markets just taking it all in. We managed to make our way over to the waterfront where the Opera house stands and walk up it, which gives an awesome view of the city from the top. It rivals the Sydney opera house in a lot of ways, especially since it’s completely open for the public to walk up the side of it and to the top viewing area on the roof. Brilliant architecture!

Dinner(how could we possibly forget dinner!) was at the only semi-reasonable place we could find in town, given the prices in Oslo are insane. An oriental-style make-your-own-dish buffet, where you could load up your plate with whatever meat and veg you wanted, hand it to the cook, and watch it being cooked on a griddle right in front of you. For the price, it was well worth it!

Day two was a lie-in, breakfast, and couple-hour stroll around the city again, this time exploring a slightly different area and more of the back streets to get an idea of what the neighbourhoods and daily life are like. Nothing seemed to open until at least 12 or 13:00, and even then, nearly nothing was actually open. Kind of surprising for a capital city, but then again the city only has approx 650k people. Small compared to the millions in our cities back home.

The train and flight out were mid-afternoon, although, as the usual with BA, we were delayed for about an hour. It’s almost expected with them anymore- almost like Spirit in the states. Get there by flight time, but expect to wait around an extra hour. The remainder of the trip was uneventful, and we even managed to get the backpack back during the week thanks to a colleague of Joe’s who just happened to be in Oslo for 24 hours and able to pick it up! Talk about amazing luck…