04.03.2010 - 05.03.2010 19 °F
So I landed in Oslo, Norway....
The first thing that struck me is the fact that the airport is about the size of South Bend! If your not familar with SB...it's TINY. As we were getting ready to land, I realized that I had chosen my seat poorly. You see, on RyanAir there are no assigned seats and I thought that I needed to sleep so chose a windowless seat. It worked out great as I slept like a baby on the plane but as we were flying low over the Fjords getting ready to land, I realized that I was not able to see the beauty that was floating below me. Sad....
It's cold here. Yep, it is. No....really, I mean it...it's cold! It's a good thing that the sun is shining or I think I would freeze in place. I guess it really isn't that bad. Walking around Oslo today my nose and ears felt as though I were going to suffer from frostbite. I think I stopped about 20 times for coffee just to warm up. I'm goin gto have to find a better way to get warm as a cup of coffee here is about 25 Krone = $4.22 usd !!
Let's back up to yesterday. I was watching the scenery on the bus (in between naps) from the airport into Oslo and my first thoughts were that it looks a lot like what I would think that Alaska would look like. Hills covered in snow with rock walls along the roads, small and large farm-houses dotted across the countryside. It seemed very remote. It took about an hour and 45 minutes to get into town from the airport. Somehow, I thought that I read somewhere that it was only 45 minutes away...oh well, better make certain that I give myself plenty of time to get back to the airport on Sunday. No time to worry about that right now...
We passed my boat/hostel on the bus on the way to Central Station. I tried as hard as I could to keep the direction in my mind but with all the turning and such, by the time we got to CS, I could not for the life of me figure out which way to the boat! I knew that I was close and I should have simply asked but I was stuborn (and tired) and just grabbed a taxi outside the station. Of course, my taxi driver didn't speak any English so I was trying to explain in child-speak where I wanted to go. All I really would have had to say was...take me across the street! Literally! The boat/hostel was RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET!!! Ok, I am not going to beat myself up over the amount paid to get across the street...and I'm not telling you how much either! Lesson learned, but I was tired and at that moment, the cost was well worth it.
After I got checked in, I headed out to get something to eat. I realized that other than a croissant at the airport, I hadn't eaten since about midnight.... Where did I go? To Central Station! There is always food at the station and it was close. I don't know if it was because I was tired or starving but the Turkish Kabob that I had was quite tasty.
There is a wonder view from the MS Innvik (the boat/hostel/theater) where I am staying. I am right on the water and right across from me is the Opera House as well as the Castle. At night, they are both lit up and simply beautiful. Hope to get some pictures tonight to share.
Today, I wandered around lost for most of the day (starting to be a theme for my travels). I think I got a good lay-out of the city. Figured out the Metro. I saw the Royal Palace and wasn't all impressed. The people here are friendly, but not overly outgoing with strangers. I walked the boardwalk at Aker Bridge and had lunch at a place called Albertine Cafe and Bar. I enjoyed a bowl of fish soup full of fish, clams and shrimp. Very tasty. Oh...side note: The bread here is wonderful!!
I'm back at the boat now for some warming up. Enjoying some hot coffee (free) and internet. This evening, I am going to climb to the top of the Opera house for (hopefully) some great photo op's. Then a totally non-touristy activity...I am going to the theater to see Shutter Island. I have been wanting to see it since I saw it advertised way back in October before I left the states and it's playing at the theater here. It's supposed to be in English with Norwegian sub-titles (we'll see).
Tomorrow I am planning to be a complete tourist! Going to take a tour...yes, me...taking a tour! Planning to visit Vigeland Sculpture Park, Holmenkollen & Viking Ship Museum.