Day 23. Wednesday 5 June.
It was going to be a slow day. Our flight from Copenhagen to Oslo was a very civilized 11.45 AM, which meant we could have a leisurely breakfast, final pack and on to the already reconnoitred public transport system. So why did D set the alarm for 6 AM? (it’s because….??????)
Walk, bus, train, plane…. and we were in Oslo. While T was attending to other matters D was accosted by a lady from Mumbai who asked if he was Norwegian. He replied in the negative and she was quite downcast because she wanted advice on how to get to the Central Railway Station (Sentrum). That D could tell her, as he’d already researched it and had the plan down pat. T emerged and the lady attached herself to us, following everything we did until boarding the train. She explained that she was a project manager in IT security in India and had been sent here by her company. We assume that it was at short notice, as she’d only looked for a hotel yesterday. She was aghast at the prices: we gently explained that this was the reality. She did say that as a vegetarian her food costs wouldn’t be too high, and T had to gently disabuse her of that error. Furthermore, she wondered if people would speak English here, as she didn’t have a local phone and would need to seek directions (T thought that she had her survival skills fairly well-honed).
Sentrum was a surprise – unlike most central stations we’ve been through, which have ranged from grotty to unappealing, it was clean, bright and offered what looked like quality dining/drinking outlets.
Before leaving Sentrum, we sorted out what we had to do to get on our bus (a train substitute for the first leg) for Friday’s travel and then began the walk to our apartment. It’s not far on the map, but the sight of the hill leading up to the Royal Palace was enough for a diversion to the nearest tram stop. The tram took us to close to the street we’re staying on – Parkveien – but needless to say, it is at the other end. On arrival we’ve found a tram stop right outside our front window – a mixed blessing, as the noise will disturb us into the night!
A late check in because the apartment wasn’t quite ready, but after dropping off our stuff and getting a bagel (the two bagels cost more that the two bottles of tax-free wine!) down the road, a slow walk back down to town through the palace gardens – Slottsparken – down to the Parliament building. Outside was an interesting chronology of the right to vote: universal franchise in 1919.
No matter how hard you try, it is exceedingly difficult to look dignified with a seagull sitting on your head.
(You can tell how short we are of photos for this blog!)
As a further comment, the beggars/homeless in the streets were far more noticeable than anywhere else we’d been on this trip, but by no means were they a bother other than as a prick to social conscience. Far fewer bikes than Copenhagen, but lots more electric scooters.
Eventually tired legs and tireder feet pushed us back to the apartment. It will be an early night.
Question: Which former Australian PM features in a Phantom comic?