Goodbye Oslo, we hardly knew ye


The first time we came to Oslo last week, it was all about getting the laundry done in the single day we had here. And our plans to see Oslo yesterday and early today were foiled by the floods. Alas, Oslo will have to wait for another time. Although I can’t imagine at this moment a circumstance that would bring me back here, one never knows where life will take us, do we? I head to the airport this morning to catch my flight to Berlin and from there a train to Hamburg, where I will have a temporary office for the next month or so. The trip we have been on has been absolutely incredible, and I am very thankful for all of it and the experiences we have had. Here are a few notes on things we have noticed in Norway and the region in general, or advice we have for the travelers coming after us:

– For some odd reason we can’t figure, it seems perfectly acceptable to the Norwegians to have level changes in the same room or when crossing a threshold. So for example, bathrooms may be a couple of inches higher than the rest of the room, or door jams may not be flush with the floor (as is the custom in lawsuit-averse/happy countries like ours). The number of times we have tripped here is notable.

– The best food by far is in Denmark, the worst is in Norway (where it is also paradoxically the most expensive). Even the couple of nice meals we had to treat ourselves were just so-so in Norway. We found that we could actually eat better and cheaper in Norway by going to the supermarket and buying some of the relatively inexpensive salamis and lox, cheese and wasa crackers of all kinds, and making sandwiches.

– On very many of our trips (especially with the flooding and alternative bus service yesterday), no one bothered to check our purchased tickets. If you are in Norway (and there is a natural disaster happening), you can probably get free transportation from Trondheim to Oslo.

– Throughout Scandinavia, we have noticed all beds made up with no top sheet, just a somewhat thick comforter with white cover that I have come to quite like, as it acts as both a blanket and full body pillow.

– You must dine early almost everywhere in Scandinavia. Nothing seems to stay open for dinner later than 10 or in very rare cases 11pm. Which is odd, because it stays light so god damned long here. At least you would think they would change hours with the seasons.

– Large breakfasts are the key to not breaking the bank here. Always opt for the breakfast when staying at a place that offers it, and eat as much as you can early. Take the hard boiled eggs and fruit with you.

– Don’t ask for directions in Norway. People have invariably given us bad or incomplete advice.

– For contemplating one’s mortality, nothing beats a cruise in the North Sea with people 40 years your senior.