Call of the North (15): Oslo

July 23

The first words I heard in Oslo were “stai, ţine asta”.
Turned around – 2 blondes. I thought I heard wrong. But then – “La cât vine autobuzul?”
Come on, that’s too much Romanian to be just in my mind. So I turned to them and asked them for the Storgata street – “nu vă supăraţi, unde e strada Storgata?”
They didn’t know, but in good Romanian fashion, still pointed at a certain direction, and then hurriedly climbed the bus.

I went in that direction, which turned out to be wrong. After a while I found the street though, and reached the hostel when it was starting to get dark. Around 10-11pm.

I enter “my” room – 4 girls. Oops. Reception told me afterwards that they had promised them to try a “girls only” room for them, if possible. Obviously, I was the one making it not possible, as they didnt have any spare beds. I asked the girls (2 american, 1 german, 1 polish) if it’s ok with them for me to sleep there. They said ok, fine. So i left the luggage, took the laptop and went down to check internet and write stuff up. Came back late, went straight to bed.

Woke up late, around 10 am. Just couldnt earlier, was too tired. I sit up – no trace of the girls. Just a…boy who was yawning, waking up as well. Hmmm… it means their “ok, fine” wasn’t entirely “ok, fine”. Typically feminine? :P. They must have “escaped” last night before I came back.

Went to the railway station, and made the decision to buy an Interrail ticket – the second half of the trip is going to be “on the ground”. Advice: buy the interrail ticket from OUTSIDE the country where you will start your journey. You get better conditions. For me it was too late – I had been lazy in Copenhagen, didn’t want to stand in a queue – price to pay was not so good conditions for the ticket, (10 days in 22, instead of one full month), but it should do for my purposes. Of course, I needed my passport, which I wasn’t carrying with me, so I had to turn back to the hostel to fetch it – not before climbing the tower of the Radisson hotel, with this elevator

to the 33rd floor, where… i coulnt get in. The bar was closed, and the panorama floor too. When I was about to descend, an electrician comes out. “What are you doing here?” “Well, I was hoping to see the panorama”. “Come on, I’ll show you”.

?!?

No further questions asked, I follow him to a spot from where you see the city.

and then another. He says, “i shouldnt let you roam here, but i hope you wont jump.” I wont jump.

All the time i thought – there must be a catch. he cannot just “be nice” and break the law just to show a complete stranger around.

But he did. There was no catch. He showed me to the elevator, we went down, said goodbye and went on with his business.

Well, once more, thank you.

On the way to the hostel I took a detour by the new opera house

a cool futuristique place,

which has raised controvercies, of course,

but i liked it a lot.

It also had mermaids in the menu.

On the way “home” I took a peek at Karl Johans gata,

full of rockers with Iron Maiden shirts. I had read that Oslo is sort of a Black Metal capital, so I wondered if this is the way people look “normally”. Later I found out there is an Iron Maiden concert that night.

After buying the railway ticket I returned on the main street

which feeds into the royal palace.

But till then, I saw this Dar ţambal with skateboard în dotare, one of the most eclectic combinations I’ve seen.

Did I mention how hot it was, the weather? Unbelievably hot, I found out later there were 25 degrees in the shadow. Donno how many there were in the fountain.

As you look back to KJG, there’s a cozy park

with more fountains.

The royal palace & gardens with relaxed people reading,

and serious security.

I feel sorry for these ultra-taken-pictures-of guards, I have apocalyptic visions sometimes how it would be if they lose control one day and start beating up tourists who are harrassing them.

Next, to the harbor, with old ships n houses

and the Anker festing (fortress),

with renaissanceish castle inside

which was closed by now, but I walked on the walls outside

climbed nevertheless for the panorama

viewed by relaxed people enjoying global warming.

This cruise ship was just leaving. Was almost as tall as the fortress on the hill..

So I left as well, by tram, up to Vigelandspark. This man Vigeland, in my humble opinion, had a fair amount of birds in the attic. I mean, was a bit cuckoo. That was probably the reason why he made the spectacular  decoration for this parc. Statues showing people in diverse situations. For example, at the entrance

which seen from above looks like this.

But the sweet spot is this mausoleum

which contains stuff like this

very ingeniously expressed emotions

Very interesting.

Walked back to the center, to breathe the city in, and discovered both that it’s not too big, and that it has some cool residential areas suggesting a very decent lifestyle.

Back on the main street, before turning left to go home, I stood for a while listening to the cymbal player/skateboarder,

whom I didnt film though. After the Yul episode, I’m a bit reluctant to film people on streets. I just listened. And then called it a day.

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