First Stop: Oslo, Norway

When the idea of spending an extended period traveling began materializing, it did not include stops in any of the Scandinavian countries. Then, a crazy flight deal to Oslo on Norwegian Airlines appeared (around $300 each one-way) and we jumped on it.

Number of things we knew about Oslo at the time – zero.

Okay, that’s not exactly true – we knew that they have lots of daylight in the summer and that there are awesome looking fjords in Norway (later we learned those are about 5 hrs by train from Oslo).

Oslo airport from above
Oslo airport from above (via WikiMedia Commons)

When you land at an airport in a major city, the last thing that you expect is for it to appear as if you are landing in the middle of a forest of pine trees.¬†Yet, that’s pretty much exactly how it felt.

Getting through immigration was a breeze, but navigating through the duty free area where you can buy cheap booze was more of a challenge. But, maybe the worst part of the arrival is that all of the decent restaurants at the Oslo airport are behind the security checkpoint where the terminals are located. So, when you arrive, you have no access to those. Instead, you get a pizza place, a Starbucks, a 7-11 convenience store, an outdoor bar-type place that serves food and another place that was selling really expensive pancakes.

This is the point in the trip when we realized just how expensive eating would be while in Norway.

  • one large coffee at Starbucks in the airport = $6.52 USD
  • two bananas and a bottle of water at the airport 7-11 = $7.35 USD (and no, it wasn’t a large bottle of water, just about 1L)

Why did we eat at the airport? Because our flight landed at around 10am and we couldn’t check into our hotel until 3pm. Eventually though, we decided to split our waiting between the airport the Oslo Central train station. We were also secretly hoping for better food choices.

So, day one in Oslo looked like this:

  • land at around 10 a.m. and feeling super groggy from flight
  • sleepy traveler frustration moments
  • experience sticker shock at price of food in the Oslo airport
  • sleepy traveler frustration moments
  • get confused as to which train to take from the airport to the city center
  • sleepy traveler frustration moments
  • wander around train station looking for decent grub
  • sleepy traveler frustration moments
  • experience sticker shock at food prices again
  • sleepy traveler frustration moments
  • elation at seeing how close the hotel is to the train station
  • check-in at hotel
  • wander about Oslo for a couple of hours
  • sleepy traveler frustration moments
  • crash in hotel room – jet lag sucks
  • wake up hours later and the sun is still up
  • go out in search of some food, experience sticker shock
  • sleepy traveler frustration moments
  • back to hotel for sleeping

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