Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oslo - Land of Misfortune

Our fjord cruise concluded with a train ticket to Oslo, on the other side of the country.  We arrived in Oslo around midnight, with almost no idea how to find our hotel.  Unfortunately the only people in Norway that don't speak English fluently are the bus drivers.  Finding our hotel (which was about 1 mile from city center) took over an hour and a half because we couldn't communicate with the bus drivers.  We showed them the address as well but they didn't know how to help us.  Eventually we figured it out but had to walk around steep neighborhoods in the middle of the night with our bags.

By the time we checked in to our hotel and opened the door to our room it was 1:30am.  It was really a shame as well, because our hotel room was really nice.  We found it on and it was cheaper than a hostel or budget hotel.

The hotel room we didn't have time to enjoy

Our hotel room had a washer/dryer combo machine, so we were pretty excited to wash our clothes.  Unfortunately the washer/dryer combo is really slow, and after we started the wash cycle (a process that cannot be interrupted) we noticed it would take THREE HOURS to complete, then they would still have to dry.  This would have been ok if we had started the wash cycle at night, but we started it about two hours before checkout.  They told us they would charge us $50 if we weren't out by the checkout time, so we were pretty stressed.  After half an hour of trying to work something out with the staff the manager said she would just take them out when they were done AND dry them in the hotel's commercial dryer for us.  She told us to just go do our siteseeing while she took care of the clothes.  We did as she said and it really saved us.

From the hotel we went to the world famous Vigelend Sculpture Garden.  The sculpture garden is a massive collection of statues, mostly dedicated to human form and motion.

Horse bucking a baby, happens all the time in Norway

From the garden we went to the National Gallery.  We didn't have much time but the gallery is home to Edvard Munch's The Scream, one of the most famous paintings ever painted.  We double and triple checked the museum's location and visiting hours, only to find upon arrival that it had been "closed for a private exhibition," about 15 minutes before we got there.  We asked the security guards at a neighboring museum if they knew anything about it; they didnt, and they said in all their years they had never heard of an unannounced, mid-day closure for a private exhibition.  We left assuming someone famous or "important" was inside screwing up our day.  We went to a Norwegian history museum instead.

We booked a bunk-bed cabin on an Oslo-to-Copenhagen overnight ferry, but we almost missed it.  We couldn't communicate with bus drivers enough to figure out how to get to the pier to board the ferry.  We ended up run-walking with our bags for a mile, ha ha.  To make matters worse the pavement was covered in pebbles and sand so we couldn't really roll them along.  

We loved Norway and we think about it everyday, but our experience in Oslo told us it was time to go.

Farvel Norway, hej Denmark


Annalisa said...

I love all these pictures.. Addie is looking @ them with me and she excitedly said "oh look! Its my friends!". You guys are doing some awesome stuff!!

Shauna said...

Amazing photos of everywhere in Norway! I am so happy you could do all of this!

Sue said...

Your pics are amazing! Your hotel in Oslo was VERY nice. My brother served in the Norway Oslo mission. He fell in love with the country and people and wishes he lived there!

Alison said...

Wow! What an adventure!!

Devin, Naomi and Spencer said...

Your picts are beautiful, what an eventful unforgettable Holiday!
Keep traveling and enjoying yourselves over there.