Monday, March 24, 2008


Normally I try to at least attempt to think of an inventive title but today I just couldn't think of one... At least you know what my post is going to be about!

So, here I am sitting in an internet cafe in Oslo while outside the sun is shining and there is sludge lining the streets. Yes, that's right, it has been snowing in Oslo. Why I did not think of this before I packed my trainers which get water in them if they even hear the word 'puddle' beats the heck out of me...

I was meant to fly into Oslo Torp airport which I found out is actually 123km from the city centre... Anyways, on our Ryan Air flight which seems to be quite bumpy thanks to turbulance, our pilot announces that we cannot land at Oslo Torp airport due to the severe weather conditions and we must land at Oslo International... which is only a 30 minute train ride from the centre of the city! I was thrilled with my good luck!

Oslo is actually a pretty shitty city. I don't know if that is just because I've traveled over the Easter weekend and NOTHING has been open (the shops literally just opened for about 4 hours on Saturday) and I have been living off McDonalds and Burger King because they are the only food shops open... Disgusting. I really just want a banana.

Not to mention that Oslo is ridiculously expensive... for example, I spend 65NOK on McDonalds which would be 6.50GBP which would end up being about 13AUD just for a chicken burger meal... even London doesn't rip you off THAT much. I have somehow spent 180GBP in 3 days... granted that some of that money (60GBP) has paid for my accommodation but still.. the rest of it, I have no idea where it has gone. To catch a bus/tram, etc for 24 hours costs 60NOK which is the equivelant to 6GBP which is the equivilent to 12AUD... rip off.. but nevertheless, it's nice to get out of the big smoke and experience a differnet culture even if it is only doing random bits and pieces cos everything is shut.

My hostel is in a really good location. It is close to the main shopping strip (which means nothing because it's ALL closed and too damn expensive) and it is close to the central station which is brilliant for buses and trains! However, saying this... one of the girls in my room got bitten by bed bugs on my second night. I hadn't been bitten but after she'd been bitten I found out the hostel has a reputation for having bed bugs. Gross! I've been fine though and decided not to change rooms and none have bitten me so I think my bed is okay. Phew!

Yesterday I went to the Norwegien Folk Museum and saw all these cool Norwegien buildings that had been transported from around Norway and placed in this museum for gawky tourist like me. Some of the buildings were quite cool and I especially liked the stave church (with photos to follow at a later date). I even tried some Hardangerlefse which is a traditional Norwegien bread which is cooked almost like a pancake because they flatten it into a large round circle and cook it on a wooden fire... you then eat it warm with cinnamon and butter and it was really nice. It was a sweet kind of bread. Really heavy so I wouldn't want to eat a lot of it.

I then tried to go to the Viking Ship museum which was closed. I was really disappointed because I thought that would be kind of cool to go and see but nevermind. Then, I made my way to Vigelandsparken which is this park that has all these weird looking sculptures in there. Once again, photos to follow at a later stage. It was really bizarre because they were mostly of naked men and women, sometimes standing alone and sometimes with a female or with children.

Today I went to Holemkollen which is a really big touristy area because there is the ski museum and ski jump right near the T-Bane Station. You can get a really nice view of Oslo from the top of the ski jump and normally you can get the lift up to the top but today it wasn't working so you had to climb up to the top. I am not against doing some exercise, especially with all those disgusting burgers I've been eating... however, as some of you may be aware, I get really freaked out about stairs. Normally, I am okay but if the stairs don't quite connect (so you can see undreneath you as you're walking up), I start to panic. This is exactly what happened today... The metal stairs were fine, had no problems with them... but as soon as I got to the wooden stairs that had little gaps between them... whoa. I think I stood at one platform for a solid 5 minutes before I could even look at the next flight of stairs. I hated it. People kept walking past asking if I was okay and I was seriously close to tears. I couldn't stand it. The most annoying part of it was that I knew how stupid I was being. I saw one guy bounding down the stairs and here I was waiting until there was no one on each flight of stairs before I gripped the handrail and slowly walked down, each foot resting on each step before I progressed to the next step. Crazy?!

Still, the view when I got to the top was nice although my heart was still racing from the panicy walk up the stairs so I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I could. Walking down was bad but not as bad... damn those stupid gaps between stairs!

On my way to Holemkollen I was waiting at the train station and this girl dropped her mobile phone and it fell onto the tracks. I could see her pondering what she should do and then all of a sudden she jumped onto the tracks and picked up her phone... but was unable to get back onto the platform (it was about a meter drop to get back up onto the platform) so I ran over to her and tried to help her up. However, as soon as I started to help pick her up she immediately stopped trying to help herself up and I'm standing at the edge of this platform grabbing this girl by one arm while she's trying to hoist herself up onto the platform. After a bit of a struggle she got up and garbled at me in some foreign language that she had been terrified down there.. Compltely understandable but I couldn't help laughing after she left because all in all, it was pretty funny. Maybe you had to be there.

So, that's pretty much been my time in Norway. I would love to spend more time in Scandinavia and explore the countryside as that is meant to be magnificent but it is SO expensive.

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