After spending 2 days in Stockholm, it was time to bid goodbye to Sweden and continue on our journey in Norway, starting with a 'budget' overnight bus ride to the city of Oslo. Honestly, we felt like we could have just spent one full day in Oslo instead of two coz there weren't much to see or do in the city. Anyway, big thank you to Jared for giving us a brief tour of Oslo and treating us with the best meal we had throughout this trip. =)
15 May 2014 (Thurs): Oslo Opera House - Royal Palace - Vigeland Park
We know that traveling on an overnight bus is not comfortable but it saved us a lot of time and money. In fact, the cheapest way to travel is when we're young coz these are the years where we can sleep in hostels and take overnight bus/train rides without it being taxing on our bodies. =P Surprisingly, we slept quite well throughout the 7.5 hours journey and the sky was already bright at 5am!
Arrived Oslo bus terminal at 6am and the temperature was 5 celcius...brrr!! Our day in Oslo started pretty rough coz we arrived early in the morning and couldn't check-in or drop our luggage at our Airbnb apartment till 4pm (that's one major downside of Airbnb as compared to hostel/hotel). Not a good way to start the day with an empty stomach so we had this very expensive hotdog & choco milk that cost NOK55 (RM 30) for breakfast. =P
After 3 boring hours of sitting in the train station and waiting for time to past, we finally got off our butts and walked to the Oslo Opera House with our luggage. This opera house looks pretty 'sophisticated' but the one in Sydney is much prettier. =P The surrounding was kinda a let down with all the construction works going on around.
Managed to secure a good spot with a perfect view of the opera house. The weather was very nice so we ended up sitting there for 1.5 hours taking pictures, boat-watch, and people-watch...just chillin' and tanning. =)
It costs NOK60 (RM32) to rent a locker at the train station but I
brilliantly found this Use-it place that allowed us to store our luggage for free! =P However, do take note of the opening hours. This place is an information center for young travelers between the 13 and 26 (I'm still 26 now), and they offer free luggage storage, free internet, free information, and free maps. Pretty awesome to find this 'free' place in this expensive city!!!
Felt so good after dropping off our 'burdens' and off we go with few more hours of sightseeing before we call it a day. On our way to the Royal Palace, we bumped into this group of people who were all dressed up in suits and national costumes for a parade in conjunction with the 200th Anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17.
It was just an ordinary Thursday and we saw all these kiddos and their teachers picnicking around Palace Park. So fun to be a kid but so stressful to be a kindy teacher in Norway!! =P
The Royal Palace. The procession that we saw earlier ended at the Royal Palace with a group photo followed by a luncheon with the royalties...lucky us to witness this! =) We failed to see the changing of the guards in Oslo as well...fail...lol!!
Saw some nice buildings and cute 'mini' cars along our 2km walk from the Royal Palace to Vigeland Park. These mini cars are actually 'Buddy' electronic cars...yes the brand is really called Buddy. =P Why do we not have this car in Penang?? It's so environmentally friendly and it'll definitely help to reduce the traffic here!! See how it's parked in the middle pic!!
Posed with some interesting sculptures in the park and of course gotta take some selfies. =P
Passed by Grand Hotel and Stortinget (Parliament Building) passing by Karl Johanns Gate on our way back to collect our luggage then check-in to our apartment.
Finally checked-in our Airbnb apartment after a long day...pheww!! Our hosts, Anna and Preben was very welcoming and made us feel at home. The apartment was also very comfortable and cozy. Made pasta for dinner, took a nice hot shower (after 24 hours without shower), and totally passed out at 6pm till the next morning...seriously dead tired!!
16 May 2014 (Fri): Nobel Peace Center - Aker Brygge - Festningen Restaurant
Another beautiful day in Oslo. After a good night's rest, we left the apartment at noon and stored our luggage at the train station as we were gonna leave Oslo at night and take an overnight train to Stavanger.
We didn't have much planned for the day and the only 2 things we had on our list were to visit the Nobel Peace Center and meet my high school friend, Jared for dinner at the restaurant where he works. Beautiful weather and view of Aker Brygge from Akershus Fortress.
The Nobel Peace Center. We were supposed to pay NOK60 (RM32) per person for the student ticket but the ground floor exhibition center was closed so we got a 50% discount. =) To be honest, this kind of 'deep' place doesn't suit me and I was just accompanying Daniel. As expected, it was pretty boring inside and there were so much to read (I could just read all these on the internet). I was more interested with the view outside and the free wifi in the building. =P
Chillin' at the park nearby while waiting for Jared...lol we really chilled a lot in Oslo!! That white house by the fortress (bottom left pic) was where we had our dinner. =)
Finally met up with Jared and he brought us for a tour around Aker Brygge. He's been working in Oslo for almost 2 years and it's been awhile since we last met so this trip was a great opportunity to catch up. =)
According to Jared, the day we visited was the first day Festningen Restaurant launched their outdoor patio and it was only opened for invited guests so we were really lucky. =) The ambiance, weather, view, food, company...ahh...everything was PERFECTO!!
This panoramic photo doesn't do justice to the breathtaking view of the harbour.
Prawns, sea bass, fish & chips, steak, mussels, choco dessert...om nom nom!! Best food we had throughout this trip!!
Big thank you to Jared for treating us to all these yummylicious delicacies (especially the dessert)!! Great catch up indeed!! =) All the best to you in Norway and keep making delicious pastries!!
After bidding goodbye to Jared, we headed back to the train station to collect our luggage and took the 10.23pm overnight train from Oslo to Stavanger.
We purchased our train tickets 2 months ahead and got the discounted 'Minipris' ticket for NOK249 (RM140) per person...very cheap for Norway's standard! The NSB trains are very clean and comfortable. Each seat has power socket and all passengers on the night train get a special package containing pillow, travel blanket, eye mask and ear plugs...nice!! =D
So what's next after our overnight train ride? Next post...a strenuous hike awaits us at Stavanger!!