It’s January 6th, and I have just arrived at Gardermoen Airport, Oslo. And boy it’s cold! It’s not so bad though, I like Winter and the snow, and everything always looks so much nicer under a blanket of crisp whiteness.
Once I’m through Duty-Free, I exit the main terminal and precede to buy my NSB train ticket, before making my way down to the platform.
As I wait, I have only a Blackbird for company. Although, I don’t think he is interested in forming any kind of lasting friendship; as I notice he is firmly fixated on the almonds I am currently eating.
A short while later I am approached by a couple, in their forties I would say, and the Lady starts talking to me in English, but I think she/they might actually be Italian.
The lady asks ‘if I know whether the next train makes a stop at the National Theatre in Oslo?’
I tell her ‘I’m also waiting for this train, but that I’m not too sure if it does or not, and that I’m not from this area.’
She is, however, some how convinced I’m a local, so then asks me: ‘if they should change at Oslo central?’
Again, I politely inform her ‘that I am just here visiting, but that I would assume you would, yes.’
She seems satisfied by this, I think. However, they then make there way back towards the information board to study it some more. Not long after, I notice they approach somebody else.
The train appears and pulls smoothly into the station. Once I’m seated on the train, I check for the free wifi connection. This is one of those small things that impresses me about Norway; the Internet coverage is excellent and far superior to most of the countries I have visited recently.
The train is fairly busy. I’m sat with a young family both in my row of seats and the row in front. The youngest of the children, is a boy of about 4–years–old, he is looking at me curiously, almost in a trance like state. After a few minutes he breaks his silence, ‘Hvordan står det til?’ — How are you.
I don’t know much Norwegian and so the best I could muster was ‘Engelsk!’ and ‘Bra takk.’ — Good, thanks.
He then pauses for a moment, you can see he is thinking what he will say next, then he suddenly shouts ‘HALLO! HALLO!’ I meet his parents gaze and we all share a smile and laugh.
Once I arrive in Oslo, I notice the snow has really started to come down pretty heavily by now and to my delight of course.
As I meander my way through the streets of a dark and gloomy city centre, I’m struck by the subtle contrast of the modern architecture mixed with the more traditional styles, it some how seems to blend quite well together and has a kind of even consistency to it all.
As I round a corner, Oslo Cathedral comes into view, standing alone in isolation. Much of the surrounding buildings have evolved over the years, meanwhile the Cathedral has been frozen in time almost and in turn making it appear almost out of place.
I realise now is a good time to buy some food. I decide on: a sandwich, an Almond Snickers and a coffee. Then I make the short walk along Grensen towards my hotel in what is a perfect wintery scene.
Inside the lobby at the hotel I am greeted in Norwegian by the receptionist. This seems to happen pretty much every time I meet new people in Norway, either the combination of my surname and/or more likely my physical appearance, so people assume I’m Norwegian, which I actually quite like.
Once I enter my room, I immediately make my way to the window and I’m greeted with the most memorable of views (see picture, below). By now I’m pretty tired, and so I’m happy to grab a hot shower, get cosy in the warmth of the bed and read my book for rest of the evening — That way I will be fresh and ready for my first full day in the Capital, tomorrow.