It’s amazing how much you learn while traveling. Lessons on history, culture, convenience, life and yourself start to intertwine and create the magic that I find travelling to be. If you’re a well-seasoned traveler, you know how much meticulous planning each trip takes; booking transportation to get there, a place to stay, things you want to do, food you want to eat, how to get around the city and communicate with the locals… it’s incredibly exhausting, yet more than worth it.
Oslo, Norway was the first weekend trip I took from London. I left early Friday morning, took a half hour bus to another bus station, then took a two hour bus to the airport, where I arrived so early that I was able to sit in a café for two hours waiting for the gate to open. The flight itself was just an hour and a half to Oslo TORP, which I soon found to be an airport two hours outside of Oslo. After going through customs, I got on another bus to a train station and then took the two hour train into Oslo. After about 9 hours of travel time and time spent waiting for transportation, I FINALLY arrived in Oslo, super hungry and dehydrated.
I guess Ben and I should have looked up the location of the airport we were flying into ahead of time (oops), but at least we had an interesting experience traveling into the city. We were able to see the beautiful (snowy!) farmland of the Norwegian countryside, complete with cute little red barns covered in snow and beautiful horses wearing jackets roaming the snowy pastures. We travelled on one of the most crowded trains I’ve ever been on in my life – most of the space in our car was taken up by a Norwegian “super mom” and about 14 eleven year old kids, all speaking a mix of Norwegian and French, and wearing backpacks twice their size with sleds and sleeping bags attached to them. I don’t know how they camped in the freezing weather or how they didn’t fall over with the bags on their backs while they stood on the train for an hour, but we were definitely fascinated with our first impression of Norway!
When we arrived at Oslo Sentralstajon it was snowing even harder. The stores and museums were closed already and it was dark outside. We made our way to what we thought was our hostel, but wasn’t, so we trekked another 15 minutes to get to the right one. (Unsurprisingly, multiple snowball fights ensued upon exiting the train station, and the snow was perfect snowball making texture!) We put our stuff down in the room and went out to find some dinner.
Walking a few blocks in the adorable yet quiet neighborhood, down a steep set of stairs and over a small bridge (where I took a mis-aimed snowball to the face while trying to take pictures of the river) we came across the section of the city called Vulcan.
There was an assortment of restaurants to choose from and we ended up going into Mathallen Oslo, an awesome and popular indoor marketplace that reminded me of a mix of Eataly and Borough Market.
I ate the most delicious chicken burger of my life, which they made fresh with cabbage on top, and then we went over to the bar and had cider and beer that was brewed just a few blocks away from where we were – probably the tastiest I’ve ever had as well.
(If anyone sees Lovlos cider, you NEED to try it!)
By 10pm most of the stands in the market were starting to close, including the bar, and we tried to figure out what to do next. Ben stumbled upon a hopping bar downstairs while trying to find the bathroom and we ended up going there for a few more hours that night – and also had a really yummy chocolate cheesecake (on the left of the plate is a sesame seed stick – definitely a creative combo of flavors!)
The walk back to Anker Apartments was incredibly serene. We were the only people out and had the opportunity to take in the gorgeous scenery of this new city in total silence among the falling snow. We walked through two parks that were filled with snow and were totally untouched.
It was a pretty magical first day in Norway!
Stay Classy. xx