We are off to Norway! There are a few hiccups along the way, but it is never a good story without hiccups. I am travelling Icelandair for the 4th time in 3 years. I have to keep reminding myself that cheap flights do come at a cost.
So when Sharon texts me to say there had been yet another change in our flights I am not surprised. Her flight from Vancouver would not be stopping in Edmonton, we would go to Iceland on separate planes. So far we were still on the same flight to Oslo, fingers crossed.
We did finally find each other at the boarding gate in Iceland and all was good. It is hardly a girls road trip if the girls never meet up. We had one more flight to Oslo from Iceland and yet again we would not be seated together. I however sat with a lovely Icelandic gentleman, like most Scandinavian people he spoke many languages and inquired which languages I spoke. UGH! I hate having to admit that I just speak English. British English or American he inquires? Canadian. We chatted about many things and I mentioned that we were taking the train to Bergen in a few days. He wondered if I had heard about the rail strike. Noooooo I had not. Oh yes it is rotating everyday different trains you just never know which one, he informs me. Great! Well, I hope we don't have to walk from the airport into town. When we arrive in Norway our train is running and with great efficiency we are whisked off to Oslo. ( Note to self: find out about rail strike). My first impression of Oslo is the temperature is perfect. Yes it is late October and it is +10c but to me that is perfect. It is also very quiet. Oslo is a small city (pop 618,683) and you sense that right away. It is not noisy or smelly is just seems calm. There is a plan in Oslo to ban cars in the city center by 2019, you can tell they are moving towards this as the air is much cleaner in this city then any other I have ever been to.I have walking directions to our flat but we both decide that a taxi would be the best choice.
Neither of us really wants to walk the wrong way dragging our luggage. Tipping is not required in Norway according to my sources, but it is a very quick trip and we don't mind tipping. As long as it is not a insult I don't see the harm. We have instructions on were to find the key to our flat. We both have a giggle when we find it, as Norway is obviously very trusting and built on the honour system. I like that
After a quick shower we head out to explore. The first thing on our list is something to eat. I can't quite remember when I last ate so before I chew off my own arm we need a restaurant. Our flat is located in a lovely residential area and there are a few spots to choose from, we decide on Smalhans.
We are not disappointed, the veggie burger is divine and so is the restaurant. We managed to get in on the lunch menu but as we are leaving the dinner menu is being served and we both think we will need to come back here again. After our amazing lunch/dinner we head out to see our neighbourhood and it is lovely.
Everything is so clean and spotless. People are heading home from work on their bikes, walking or on the bus. There are very few cars so the calmness prevails. Our waiter had advised us to head to St. Hanshaugen
park and walk to the top of the hill, so we would be able to see the city. It is lovely and we see tomorrows destination" the waterfront".
I am off to Noway for an adventure with a girl friend. "Why Norway?", everyone asks. Well, a few reasons, Norwegian desserts dominated our family Christmas dessert tray with Krumkake and Lefse.
And then there is the Cross Country Ski thing, my favourite winter sport. So really that is more then enough reason to go explore a new country.
We are flying over on Icelandic Air. This is my fourth time with this airline and would highly recommend it. There was just one issue as the flight coming home from Iceland to Edmonton was not full and I am now being re-routed through Seattle. Not the best and I wish they would have given me the choice of staying in Iceland until the next flight to Edmonton.
Our adventure is for a week, and as usual I have pre-booked us a few things. Oslo has a amazing Concert Hall so we have tickets to listen to the Philharmonic orchestra one evening.
I also discovered that one of the top train trips in the world is the Oslo to Bergen trip. So we are heading to Bergen. The trip from Oslo is long about 6 to 7 hours so we will have plenty of time to catch up whilst looking out the window. The tickets were a real deal as I booked early. The challenge was paying for them. The online system would not take my credit cards. I did managed to speak to a very nice Norwegian lady and she made it all happen. It seems that North America and Australian credit cards do not work in the Norwegian online payment scheme.
Our accommodation is through Air B&B . I booked our Oslo apartment with a young lady so we are staying with someone. Originally I was going solo on this trip and was thinking it would be nice to be hosted. Gaby used to be in the travel industry and her reviews were wonderful. I have communicated with her on and off getting tips and she was the one who suggested Bergen for a few days. Our spot in Bergen is in the old town as well and we are on our own.
So let the adventure begin. I am really looking forward to the Edvard Munch museum, Vigeland sculpture park .The City Hall where the Nobel Peace prize is presented in December, fish lots of fish and the coffee bars.