My summer holidays resumed in the last week of July, with a 3 night trip to Oslo.
Norwegian flies there daily from Edinburgh, so it’s convenient and not too expensive for the flights. £267 return for mine, including the £30 extra they charge for a checked in bag.
I’d been to Oslo once before but it was in the late 90s and purely a business trip. I saw the airport, the hotel and a restaurant.
This time I opted for Airbnb for accommodation. I don’t remember how I found it, but the place I chose was wonderful.
It’s in Nesodden, which is across the fjord from the city centre.
It takes 20 minutes on a ferry and then 5 minutes on a bus to get there, plus a couple of minutes to walk from the bus stop. Several buses (4 was the least I saw) meet each ferry and so you just walk right onto one.
It is well worth any inconvenience as compared to the city centre. It is quiet and peaceful – a cross between suburbia and a wee beach village. It’s so quiet I found a deer visiting the garden one evening – snacking on the owner’s vegetable patch, I think.
In fact you’ll find a beach and marina just 200m from the house. I did, and went swimming one evening at 9pm.
I found a great pizza takeaway opposite the bus stop and right next to it a grocery with a fabulous choice of fruit and veg.
You can get coffee and rolls at the shop in the ferry terminal, or on the ferry itself.
I bought an Oslo Pass for my 3 days in the city – 745Nkr (€78.47 or £68.68). As well as giving me free travel on the ferries, buses, metro and trams, I got free entry to a whole host of places I visited. I reckon the pass covered the cost of all those visits and I got the transport free.
Oslo isn’t cheap when it comes to food and drink. As luck would have it, I’d been alcohol free for a couple of months before my trip and decided Oslo isn’t the place to fall off the wagon.
Quality food is easy to find – in fact I didn’t find any which wasn’t quality (depending on what you’re looking for). To give an example, when I was visiting the Norsk Folkemuseum I had a sandwich and a bottle of water in the Torgkaféen. 130Nkr or about £11.98. Say €13.69. But then the sandwich was fantastic.
Prawns, crayfish tails, crab, scrambled egg, hard boiled egg, two kinds of smoked salmon and vegetables. It was a meal and not a snack.
My takeaway pizza from the wee corner place in Nesodden cost 140Nkr (£12.90 or €15.30). It too was excellent but at least 50% more expensive than in Scotland. Mind you, I don’t know anywhere to buy a decent pizza in my home town (Kirkcaldy). Folk seem happy to put up with crap.
I’d go back to Oslo any day (well, maybe not midwinter) and I’ll need to look at visiting other parts of the country.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2017