Hei, hei Oslo!

WHY the extra friendly greeting for someone who’s only been to Oslo for the first time? Well, I’m pretty close to the person who made Norway her second home, and she’s my host and travel buddy on this Scandinavian tour.

Vi ses snart Sweden!

I said my farewell to Sweden, a country I fell in love with mainly because of its nationals who I refer to as the “perfect beings of the planet”, ethereal in beauty. It was time to bid Norway hello.

As Des would say, “Welcome to my home, the most expensive country in the Scandinavia.” (Second only to Tokyo, it’s said). While in Copenhagen, she told me that the meals we were both having would be an equivalent to one dish in Oslo. I held to my wallet with fear.

Oslo airport is beautiful, so is this young lady who met us, Abby A., Des’ daughter.

It was late at night when we alit the Norwegian carrier at Gardermoen Airport. Oslo’s principal airport and the second busiest in the Nordic region, and the scene proved just that, plus more-spotless, modern and efficient.

Spotless & efficient, Gardermoen Airport is Oslo’s principal airport and the second busiest in the Nordic region

Just below the terminal is the Flytoget airport express, which runs six times per hour. Like there was no minute to waste, it sped us to the Oslo Central Station 47 kilometers away in 19 minutes. How is that for efficiency and convenience? Impressive.

19 minutes to the city center at 6 times per hour. Impressive.

A few steps away from the central train station was the hotel, home for the limited time in Oslo. It’s location is within walking distance to several of the city’s attractions.

To prove that point, the pleasant walk on a cool autumn night gave me a glimpse of the Nobel Peace Center building, the City Hall, and the Opera House glowing it its night lights. It was an alluring sight that piqued my interest to explore it at daytime.

The Oslo City Hall & its twin towers
The Nobel Peace Center building

We were headed to Aker Brygge, the harbor that was once a shipyard and now turned into a posh high-rise residences, dining and entertainment locale. This area, I believe, is best experienced at night.

Aker Brygge, once a shipyard now a posh center for living, entertainment & dining
Not too late to dine. Walking along the bar/restaurant-lined row atthe Aker Brygge.
The exclusive residential towers by the harbour

My host took me to a fancy restaurant built on the marina. The building wrapped in glass, offered the diners a panoramic view of the glimmering city across the water at night.

The chic, modern restaurant on the marina.

Oslo was going to be exciting, I said to my host as I cleaned my plate with the posh restaurant’s seafood specialty. It would be a sin to leave anything untouched. Des was right, dining is twice as expensive in Oslo that the other Scandinavian cities.

My gorgeous dates, Abby & Des.
Lobster for Des
And Risotto for me. Before.
After.

Over coffee and dessert we mapped out the city tour for the next day. I left it to Des to call the shots. This is her territory after all.

Coffee company 1
Coffee company 2

For more photos about this story, visit http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/ and for lifestyle stories, visit http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 30, 2015.

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