Oslo, you had me at hello …And then lost me a little with small talk.
My god, what a lovely arrival into Oslo. Taking the train from the airport to the city’s central station gave me a small look into the beautiful landscape that covers Norway and the varied architecture of its capital. The sun was a welcome warmth, one I wasn’t expecting, and upon reflection, was a big factor in how Oslo felt to me that day.
I made my way to Grünerløkka, north east of the city centre, and (almost) immediately fell (partially) in love with it. The locals were sitting in the parks, enjoying an afternoon coffee or beer, and either strolling or cycling along the riverside. The area was vibrant and alive with youth – I was later informed that Grünerløkka is the ‘hipster part of Olso’. They say the summer sunshine always brings people out. I wish I took some photos then, because that was the best Oslo ever looked.
From the very start of the second day I noticed a lack of that energy in the city. It was overcast and fewer people seemed to be roaming the streets (except for hundreds of tourists). Nevertheless, this was my only full day in Oslo and I had to make the most of my time and take as many good photos as I could. However, after wondering around the sights for a few hours and taking in the vibe of the city, all I wanted to do was go back to Grünerløkka. Specifically, the Grünerløkka I experienced the previous day. Don’t get me wrong, the city centre isn’t bad. But Oslo’s real joy is in the north east.
The beer is apparently a little less expensive there too (not to be confused with cheap beer). I was lucky enough to be pointed towards a microbrewery festival being held round the corner from my accommodation, only on for that evening. So naturally I went and tried a few beers. It’s hard to strike up a conversation with a stranger, even more so if the strangers are all taking to other strangers and in a different language. I believe this’ll be one of my biggest challenges, one hopefully I can get through earlier on in my travels. But hey, I did find a stranger to talk to: a Frenchman funnily enough.
Off to Bergen next. Maybe I’ll have better luck with conversations there, and finding a cheap drink.
Lessons learnt from Oslo:
- If it’s nice weather, take some damn photos.
- If you like to stay in one seat on the long train journeys, reserve a seat in advance.