Spent the night in CDG and it was kind of horrible but I survived. I passed the time half sleeping and trying to access my Verizon account for 3 hours but I couldn’t because it doesn’t allow foreign IP addresses access. Once I got to Norway I headed into Oslo on the train and met a girl named Rachel from London. She was nice and we hit it off immediately. We walked up to the Royal Palace where they happened to be doing the changing of the guard. We chatted for an hour, then I made my way to the Airbnb. Mark was heavily delayed on the bus so I spent the time just hanging out and booking the rest of my hostels and train tickets for the rest of my trip. Once Mark arrived we went to a restaurant called burger joint and it was as good if not better than most American joints that I go to. Later that night we went to a bar/club called Hagens and saw his friend DJ, chatted with some locals and I learned about how the bars work in Oslo when I went to get more beers and the bar was closed. Oslo requires their bars to stop serving alcohol at different intervals due to not having enough police officers to maintain bar breaks. We were not very far from the city center but far enough that they were required to stop serving a whole hour and a half before the bar was to close. Regardless, Oslo is a very safe city and the lack of police for bar break doesn’t mean that they are busy with more important crimes.
We slept in until noon. Despite the delayed start we were able to get out and see most of what I wanted to see today. We went to Akershus Fortress and Castle after getting breakfast at the corner store. The fortress was simple and the walk there took us along the docks and their waterfront shopping and eating areas. Extremely beautiful and quite busy! While at the fortress we went up a walking path that was not actually a walking path and were scolded by one of the military guards, rookie mistake. Also in the Fortress was the Norwegian Resistance Museum. It detailed the resistance movement in World War 2 in an extremely easy to understand and entertaining way. There were many little scenes recreated with models and art pieces from local artists. One of them was multiple German rifles made into the form of a swastika. After roaming around we headed to a Norwegian restaurant but it was super expensive so we ended up at the next best thing. Dominoes Pizza. It was pretty good. Later, we stopped by Magic Ice Bar Oslo and spent 20 minutes checking it out and having a drink. The rest of the night was low-key and uneventful.
Today is my last full day in Oslo. It has been a really good time so far and today we wrapped up my to-see list by going to Frogner Park. It was massive and filled with a variety of sculptures lining a bridge, which led to a larger “tower” which was just multiple human sculptures in a tower shape. It was all quite impressive. All the sculptures were different in a way while still sharing the same features. The most famous sculpture in the garden was a stomping baby. I got a good picture of that. It was really chilly so we had decided to take the street car back to the Airbnb since it was a kilometer away.
The line for the ticket machine was long and we waited until one of the trolleys came then we decided to just hop on and pay cash. Well, you can’t do that here. We were immediately stopped and asked where our tickets were and I said I was going to pay cash. The lady said this is not possible, so I said I will get off at the next stop and buy a ticket. The machine was very busy at this stop and I thought I could pay cash like I could back where I was from. The lady was not having it, then Mark spoke to her in Norsk to try to explain what had happened. She became furious. She thought he knew better and was trying to get a free ride, he can pay on his phone in the west of Norway, and then she was convinced that I was actually Norwegian and was trying to deceive her. She didn’t speak English to me the rest of the time. I was given a $100 fine. Not going to pay. We cooled off after that encounter with some spicy Indian food then I went to film the sunset before we turned in for the night. The night was uneventful. We had both blown through our budgets on Friday night so were content staying in.
I left for the airport the next morning, it was great seeing Mark and exploring the city with him. When I got to passport control I did the usual banter with the customs agent and she accidentally said “keep in touch” instead of have a safe trip. We each got a good laugh out of that.
Full video: stay tuned