Oslo, Norway

It took 3 flights – the last of which we missed and had to be re-ticketed – and two days. We’re in Oslo, Norway.

There was a fun run through the Amsterdam Airport wherein we were sent to a multitude of incorrect places before stumbling upon the one obscure place we needed to be to have our ticket bestowed upon us. The Amsterdam airport was not without its merits, though. We did have time to refresh ourselves with a shared smoothie at an airport kiosk. Despite being fourth in line, we kept allowing people behind us to order first as we had fun trying to decipher the rather enigmatic names the Dutch have assigned to fruit medleys. Forest Fruit is a mix of blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry. Did you know? I kept wondering if it was some rare sub-arctic bush-berry. Who’d-a-thunk?

After a short train ride to a bus station, we hopped a bus to Oslo proper. Normally, it would have been a direct train ride that left us at the station a block from our hotel, but there was some kind of construction on the track. The whole population of the multi-car commuter train was then funneled into 3 buses. We finally found two seats on the last bus, jammed our luggage on our laps (as all the space below was full) and cruised into the city.

We made our way to the hotel, up the six flights of stairs (with the backpack I’d been schlepping for two days halfway across half the world on my back) as the teeny elevator was broken. Ahhhh, Europe! *nostalgic sigh* Teeny out of commission elevators and narrow stairwells pretty much was our previous experience in European hotels. Our tiny room was so beautifully Nordic with its minimalism and cleanly lined furnishings. Everything was in its place and necessary. There was nothing there frilly or just for show, it all had a purpose, it was compact and highly organized. Perfect.

After a brief pause to refresh ourselves, we quickly descended the stairs, unburdened, and flew out into the city to find food and atmosphere. The lovely lady at the hotel desk recommended a restaurant with a truly Norwegian lunch of smorsbord, an open-faced sandwich.
Smorbrod Norwegian lunch

We walked all over Oslo, stopped in churches, completed a walking tour of the city’s highlights, and took oodles of pictures. We walked past political monuments, enjoyed the downtown scene, a street jazz band, through a cute little cathedral, and we walked about the palace fort on the cliff overlooking the fjord. We window shopped through housewares stores stacked with the sleek, shiny lines of Scandinavian design. I love the simple elegance of cups, saucers, bowls, and teapots. If I’d had a safe place to pack them, some surely would have found their way home with me.

And everywhere we went, we were greeted by trolls. Trolls are very popular here. There is an artist who has been producing adorably ugly statues since the 1970s.

There be trolls!

There be trolls!


Oslo buildings
Arches of the Oslo Cathedral

Arches of the Oslo Cathedral


Oslo buildings

As we walked along the pier, we saw kids in gerbil balls. You know those plastic balls you can put a gerbil in and have them run about the house? Those. With kids inside. Upon closer inspection, the balls were tethered to a pool of water. The children step into a plastic bag and the attendant blows air in until they are sealed in a watertight bubble ball. He then rolls the inflated ball with the chewy child center into the pool where they run about and bounce in the water. It was quite entertaining to watch.

Habitrail for Kids!

Habitrail for Kids!

We saw a Nespresso shop while walking the pedestrian Karl Johannes Gate Road, and stopped in to explore the cool coffee toys. There were free samples and they were delicious! Score!

The coffee was rendered even more perfect because, after covering 3 airports, (me with my house on my back) and the city of Oslo, we’d been up over 27 hours – and most of those either squished into an airline seat between two people, or moving briskly, the caffeine actually kept us going an extra couple of hours. It’s been one solid day for me in which I’ve eaten breakfast twice, lunch twice, and dinner once. We’ve returned to the hotel, ready for sleep. It’s only 6:30pm local time. I’m perfectly fine being called weak. Call me what you will, just let me sleep. We’ll deal with retorts after I’ve slept.

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