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toxic avenger

Oslo

I'm off to Oslo for a few days in October.

Anyone been? Any pointers, things to see, do or avoid?
Grind

I'm currently reading one of Nesbo's novels that is set there.

It seems to be full of serial killers and pissed-up policemen.

* I'm helpful, me. *
Plastic Man

I passed through Oslo a couple of times 30 years ago - don't remember a thing about the place except that Norway was (and still is) horrendously expensive. The lack of memories is probably simply age related - not that it was unmemorable.

However, I remember Bergen as being postcard pretty, the train journey there through the fjords being spectacular (they stopped the train at intervals so you could take photos) and the flocks of Norwegian Blues. We headed up to the Arctic Circle hoping to see the Northern Lights -we didn't, as they'd been switched off for autumn apparently- but did bump into a Norwegian Villa fan wandering the streets at 7am halfway up the country (Trondheim), a railway guard who was being sent to Newcastle for 6 months to improve his previously impeccable English accent, passed through the tree-line (Norway is great for bringing geography to life - I bet they even have oxbow lakes), and discovered that buying anything in Oslo was equivalent to shopping in Poundland compared to what things cost in Bodo at the end of the line.

Sorry - absolutely no use to you, I know. But that's par for the course on here.
Grind

I used to know a few phrases that would get me slapped in Sweden.

Close enough, eh?
toxic avenger

Just got back yesterday so here's how it went.

It was a bit more subdued than my usual holidays for two reasons: the beer is extortionately priced and I had a female travelling companion keeping me on the straight and narrow.

Why Oslo? Well Ryanair flights were dirt cheap and my friend knows a few people across there who she wanted to catch up with.

Ryanir actually fly into Torp airport, which is about ninety minutes from Oslo by bus. It was a decent enough journey through pleasant but unspectacular scenery.

Upon arrival in Oslo the first thing I noticed was how clean and functional the place seems. It's as if large parts of the city were purchased from Ikea.

We stayed in an eight bed mixed dorm in this place here: http://www.ankerhostel.no/en/ It was pretty basic but affordable. The first two nights we shared with a group of international students. A Dutch guy, an American guy, a Canadian fellah, a German fraulein and a Swiss miss. They were a good laugh and we had a few drinks with them. They checked out and were replaced by a group of Armenian females who could barely speak English, one of whom snored like a fucking lawnmower.

Let's talk dosh. Oslo is very fucking expensive. A beer could be anything from around seven to ten pounds. Even a can of Coke from a corner shop is around three nicker. The currency is also pretty hard to figure out. It's around eight NOK to the pound but the coins and notes are so small and weedy looking that they don't command the same sort of respect as pounds or euros. For example, a twenty NOK coin is worth around two quid fifty but looks and feels like something that should only be worth around fifty pence. So it's easy to spend big time without realising it.  

As for the Norwegians themselves, well the women are very fucking sexy and a lot of the guys are quite cool in a way that the average twat in Manchester's Northern Quarter could only dream about emulating, Y'know? A lot of neat short hair and beards, Norrona or Fjallraven coats, Acne or Nudie jeans and snowflake jumpers. The one thing all Norwegians seemed to have in common though was their complete fucking indifference to my presence. They were neither friendly or unfriendly, welcoming or unwelcoming. I've been in pubs in Germany, Israel and other places were the locals are genuinely interested, where drinks were bought for me. Not in Norway though, they just don't give a fuck about foreign visitors.

There's plenty of museums and attractions that are worth a visit. The Edvard Munch museum is pretty cool, as is the sculpture park. I'm a bit of a military history buff and I found the Resistance Museum to be pretty interesting.

On the third night I was left to my own devices when my friend fucked off to visit her mates. When the cat's away the mice will play so I went looking for Oslo's seedy underbelly, but simply couldn't find it. The dangers and annoyances section of the Lonely Planet guide can usually be pretty useful for this. According to them the area around the bus station is frequented by drug dealers and hookers, but where were they? I couldn't see any.

I noticed that UK indie band The Subways were playing a gig so I pitched up at that. They're not a band I've ever really paid much attention to, a bit too safe and insipid for my liking but they put on a decent show. I accosted the sexy female bass player in the bar before the gig and got her to scrawl her signature across my vast beer belly.

I doubt if I'll go back to Oslo. I've had far more fun at much cheaper prices elsewhere. It's a bit too sterile for my liking and lacks the gritty charm of some of the Eastern European or German cities that I've visited.
Late Doors

Cheers TA, interesting but deffo not selling it. This was the clincher

Quote:
A beer could be anything from around seven to ten pounds


My Giddy Aunt

You been to Iceland?
Grind

I remember going out in Copenhagen as a student type and the beer was farcking expensive - but still cheap enough that the Swedes and Norwegians were chugging it down like there was going to be no tomorrow.

I'd like to go to Oslo at some point just because of the Harry Hole books.
Plastic Man

In 1981 I went to Bodo in northern Norway, an oil town in the Arctic circle.

I had an open sandwich i.e. one slice of bread with a bit of topping, and a cup of coffee in the station waiting room. It cost over 5 quid.

To put the price into perspective, I was away for a whole month and spent a total of 100 quid.
toxic avenger

Late Doors wrote:
Cheers TA, interesting but deffo not selling it. This was the clincher

Quote:
A beer could be anything from around seven to ten pounds


My Giddy Aunt

You been to Iceland?


Never been to Iceland but I believe that's also pretty pricey.

Don't get me wrong, Norway is an interesting and impressive country. It's fairly clean. Everything seems to work. I felt safe walking around late at night. The standard of living is very high and I imagine it would be a great country to live and work in. There was also a refreshing lack of stag/hen parties and brits on the piss type tourists.  

I did enjoy myself, but that was more because of who I was with and the other tourists that I met rather than anything Norwegian.
Grind

I keep meaning to go to Iceland: they have some great meals, errr, deals.

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