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7 November 2014

snapshots | oslo

bex and i were up nice and early last friday morning, to get ourselves on a 6am bus to liverpool street. we both had that restless "what if i don't wake up to my 5:30am alarm" sleep, meaning that we were obviously bright eyed and bushy tailed on that first leg of the journey. dalston to liverpool street, on the stansted express and at the airport by 7:30 with just enough time to grab a coffee and magazines, and lazily make our way to the gate. 8:45, off we went!

we landed around midday (two hours ahead, thanks for nothing daylight savings) at oslo rygge airport, meaning a 10 minute shuttle to a train, and another 45 minute train journey awaited us at the other end. these are the benefits of the £39 return flights, i think. when we fiiinally made it to oslo central station, we were starving. our hotel was a ten minute walk away, and it was blindingly cold. and wet. and did i mention earlier how sick i've been lately? we were two sniffly messes, so rather than navigate ourselves through oslo's cobbled streets, we sprang for a cab and felt no shame. well, some shame when the three minute cab ride cost the equivallent to fifteen pounds (inc tip). lesson learned? well... read on.

we checked in to our comfort hotel (which was probably one of the nicer budget hotels we've stayed in recently; minimal but really modern and clean. i found the beds quite comfy, but bex did not), dumped our bags, assessed the map, and made a plan. we had just about 36 hours to fit everything in, and we wanted to make sure we saw all the things. we also wanted it to stop raining, so... proof you cannot get everything you want.

it was about 3:30 and we were losing daylight quiiiickly, so we rugged up and headed out - starving, having not eaten since the wee hours. we wandered the main shopping district, assuming we'd happen upon some super affordable traditional norwegian pub where we could fill up on delicious and hearty stew or warm soups and cheap beer and lots of good, european food. an hour later, we were stumped; there was just nothing of the sort - well, certainly not where we'd been hunting. we gave in to hunger pangs, and headed for the first food-serving-establishment we could find...

an italian restaurant called "da vinci's" where they served pizza, pasta and salad, and the local beer was a budweiser. i meeeeean, just so not what we had in mind! disheartened that we'd failed so early on in the game, we asked our waitress to translate the pizza toppings (no onions for me!), then ordered one that basically had all the things on it, and a serving of garlic bread to share. all the carbs, all the hunger. 

i'd been warned that oslo was not going to be cheap, by a few different people. i suppose i take no note of when people say things are expensive, because i think everything is expensive all the time. i f i learned anything this weekend it's that i guess that's the wrong way to look at it - so from now on, if regular people find something expensive, i'll assume that chances are it's going to bankrupt me. 

guys, i had not prepared myself for just how expensive it really was. if we asses the picture of the food above, consider the following prices (in pounds for clarity): pizza £16, beers £8 (each), and one slice of garlic bread £9. that garlic bread was a starter to share, and the waitress knew this, and did not bat an eyelid or explain it was only one slice, haha. bless her *staring face emoji* but it was also more than half the price of the entire pizza, which... confused me. a lot.

we stopped in at a 7/11 on the way back to the hotel to pick up some essentials (pringles and diet coke, which was like gold in that city. everywhere i asked for it i was offered pepsi max like it's the same thing. it's not the same thing, that's why they're separate things. they're not the same thing. ok. no. enough), and then headed in to the warm for refuge from the relentless rain. there, we did some research on where to spend out first night in oslo. norway is supposedly the home of death metal, and we were pretty keen to get out and check some out for ourselves.

while we drank our fancy duty free champagne and loaded up on prescription medication, we checked out the trip-advisor-rated metal clubs, and settled on two - we planned to start our night at rock in, and then head to de ville's on the way home. by 9:30 we were scratching to get out of the hotel and had cleaned off two bottles while watching ghostbusters (it's how we roll) and listening to a day to remember to get us in the mood (ha, hardly), so we did just that. even though we were warned by the info on the map that people in oslo don't go out until 11pm. we'd been up since 5:30, we were going to fall asleep if we waited any longer, so, we went.

it was pelting down, again, and we'd de-layered for our night out, so we grabbed another cab. see? we don't learn lessons; google reckoned that rock in was a 10 minute walk, and we were a bit drunk so a cab seemed reasonable. in the cab, we chatted to the driver about good clubs to go to, and had he been to rock in (not his type of club, although his cousin goes there a lot. his cousin wears black jeans and leather jackets, he told us. we were happy for him) - and literally, in less than five minutes, we were there. google norway is a prankster, and wouldn't be trusted again for the rest of the trip. especially when we realised the club was pretty much right by where we'd been for dinner...

the next hour or so was spent wondering what the hell kind of lies these norwegians are trying to tell the world about music, because that club was mostly just metallica and a pool table and any old bogan pub in adelaide except there were people playing uno in there too. i'm not even lying. and, we were obviously the only people who'd ever drank wine in there before, because they served it up in proper fancy crystal flutes. it was wine out of a box i'm pretty sure. it was all very weird, but we laughed a lot and got terrific service, and so that's not all bad. we left and walked over to where de ville's was supposed to be, just to find... closed down. so... we retreated back toward the hotel and fell into a pub we'd walked past earlier that day - the scots man. yes, a scottish pub in the centre of oslo. 

i don't know what made it particularly scottish, but there was a guy playing guitar and singing the proclaimers (and also moby, but...wevs) and we drank more wine and made friends with some locals and it was probably the best ending to a very long day. we walked the sixteen seconds back to the hotel and completely passed out like a couple of hot messes who'd been awake for twenty hours and who might've had too much to drink...

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  1. hahaha. Sorry to hear that your trip wasn't quite exactly what you had in mind...x

  2. Have to admit, I chuckled at this. It reminds me of my bf and I's trips. We are terrible for remembering about dinners and always try to 'wing it', it never works and we end up kind of cranky and hungry and eating something just a bit rubbish. This time, on our last trip we actually planned somewhat in advance where we might like to eat and it worked out a little better. I've always wanted to go to Oslo, we went to Stockholm last month and it was really wonderful so I can't wait to see more of Scandinavia!

    ~ K

  3. Was there gold in the beer or something? haha, oh dear >.<
    Deffo a different experience >.< xx

  4. Actually sounds like a really fun exciting first day. I always love reading your posts, they are so funny and well written! x

  5. aw Grace, that's such a great compliment, thank you! x

  6. nooo i just think they have a higher tax/economy (boring reasons) and so everything costs more, but sheeeesh i really felt it!

  7. planning before you go? blasphemy! haha, i think you're right. next time, this is happening!

  8. it all worked out in the end! x


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