Looking Back at Our First International Trip Together: Oslo, Norway

In just a few weeks, Brandon and I will be visiting London and Paris again… this time with our mothers! Because of this, I thought it would be the perfect time to take a look back at our first trip to Europe in February 2016. Over the course of the next few entries, you’ll see through the eyes of a first time international traveler. Our first stop: Norway!

February 21, 2016
7:20 a.m. Norway time

Oslo, Norway
Long day yesterday so I didn’t get a chance to write, but now I’m sitting in the airport in Oslo waiting for our flight to Dublin! What a whirlwind so far! On Friday, I took the Amtrak train from Rochester (NY) to Penn Station in New York City. As always a beautiful ride, but I had only gotten a few hours of sleep before so I passed out on the train the last hour or so.

When I finally arrived in NYC, Brandon was, of course, waiting on the platform for me. We took the subway to his mom’s apartment in the lower east side of Manhattan where she made us a nice dinner of spinach balls, scallops, fried shrimp, and mac and cheese. It was so great to see her, but so short as we had to be off to JFK airport!

From there we took Norwegian Air to Oslo, Norway. It was a seven hour overnight flight and boy was it weird to experience such a time difference. We arrived in Oslo about 10:30 a.m. which means it was about 4:30 a.m. Rochester time. It was snowing pretty hard when we got here, no surprise! When I left Rochester we had almost two feet of snow up at the lake, only to come to more snow!

We checked into our hotel, the Gardenmour Bed and Breakfast, only a 15 minute bus ride to the airport. It was so adorable! Located in pretty much the middle of nowhere, near a few ranch style homes, it was very quaint and quiet inside, but just perfect. I loved the yellow, bright color and the architecture. Almost felt like we were in a movie.

After getting ready, we headed out to Oslo. When we got the bus stop, just down the street from the hotel, that’s when the snow really started coming down! We did plan this trip in February because the fights were cheap.

We took the bus back to the airport where we caught the train into Oslo. Surprisingly, even though the ride was only 30 to 40 minutes, it was raining with a mix of sleet in Oslo instead of just snow.

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Because it was about 2:45 p.m. by the time we got there, there wasn’t much time to visit museums. Most closed at 4 p.m. Instead we went to the the Akershus Fortress. Inside the visitor center, we learned about how it once served as a medieval castle to protect Oslo, a prison, and it had also been used as a royal residential palace. Afterwards we walked the grounds. It was really neat and somehow we timed it out perfectly where we ended up on a higher part of the grounds overlooking the water during the sunset. It was absolutely beautiful.

From there we made our way down to the water to look at all the ships. Not too far from there, along the water, there was a shipyard that was converted into a mall. Pretty neat! You would be indoors and then outdoors as you made your way through the buildings.

We ended up walking to the Royal Palace which was majestic to see. Overall the streets were really nice to walk. It was neat to see the old houses and buildings with unique architecture. I definitely felt like Oslo is more industrial though. I could see shipping and fishing boats pulling in and out of the shipyard during the summer. I really liked the cobblestone and the rocky sidewalks, but they got extremely slippery with the sleet.

After the palace, we tried to go to a sculpture park (Vigeland Park), but got to the edge of Frogner Park (after getting off at the tram stop near the cemetery and having to go back one stop) when we finally decided it was too late, too cold, and too long of a walk to the sculpture park. We didn’t know if it was even going to be lit.

Getting back on the tram, we stopped and then walked to a restaurant called Tasty Thai. The best Thai I’ve had thus far! Sweet pineapple, basil and other yummy ingredients. Brandon’s chicken curry with coconut milk was just as delicious!

Figuring out money wasn’t too hard, just different. Everything is in NOK. 35 NOK = $4.09 US dollars. The language barrier definitely wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. A fair amount of people spoke English. At places like our hotel, there’d be a few desk assistants who couldn’t speak English, but there was always one that did.

After we ate, we headed back to our hotel the same way we came. Once we got back, we enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate in the “dining/comfy” area. Just so cute, I loved it!

We only got a few hours of sleep before needing to be up by 5 a.m. Hotel breakfast was very good, also very European! They had loaves of real multigrain bread, hard boiled eggs, and crackers with cracker spread. I tried the strawberry spread on a cinnamon cracker which was very good. I also had a crab spread on an other cracker, as well as some others. All were delicious.

All went smooth at the airport. Security was a bit different. It was more intense, as they made us remove many things. I was randomly selected for the hand and shoe test. Other than that it went well. Now we’re on our way to Dublin! I’ll write again soon!
Looking Back at Our First International Trip Together: Oslo, Norway Looking Back at Our First International Trip Together: Oslo, Norway Reviewed by Tara Grimes on February 28, 2018 Rating: 5

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