EuropeNorwayOslo

My 1st full day in Norway

Oslo Travel Blog

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"Mmmmm Lunch" :) ** scroll to the very bottom of each day's journal entry to see all of the photos

Get up, get ready, and drive into town! Typical event, typical day. Simple enough right ? I mean how many times have we all done this before ?? Oh but wait, today I woke up in NORWAY and this morning I am going to visit Oslo the capital and largest Norwegian city. My 1st time in a foreign country where English is not the primary language. Far from a typical day for me, but bring it on baby, I am excited with anticipation.

So my friend Liz and I head into Oslo around 11:00am or so, after sleeping in (my body clock is a little off because of the 9 hour time difference).  We park the car and right away we are in the old Oslo train station which has been converted into retail shops and is similar to a small indoor market.

I exchange my American dollars for the nice looking Norwegian currency.

ME - holding the norwegian flag :) ha ha - this guy was out side of a tourist shop in Oslo. might be tough getting him home :)
They are handing me $200 and $500 Kroner bills, and a $20 coin - ok, this is kinda cool and different. (for my ESL friends, "kinda" is the informal version of KIND OF)

I check out my first souvenir store and it is very nice and all is well(good) until I look at the prices and do the curency exchange math in my head. "Holy slithery snakes Batman"(I was surprised) I fealt like I was in the forum shops at Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas and everything was $$ (ha ha, well maybe not that bad :) .  Dollars = $30-$35 for a normal t-shirt, $10 for a shot glass, $2-$3 for a postcard... take a deep breath Shane!

Ok, so maybe I might need to cut down on the gifts I was planning to buy ;) . I was trying to wrap my mind around all this, as I am used to different pricing and I am thrifty/careful with my money.

LADIES , I think he is single and available :)
The last time I traveled out of country the US dollar was still doing ok for starters, but now you add the weak US dollar, combined with Norway's high tax's and also its high wages, etc. and voila(pronounced wa-la in English) there is a sudden dose of reality for Shane that the $ budget for the trip might need to be re-thought. 

We leave the old Oslo Station and head up the main strip which ends at the royal castle. As we leave we see a cool statue of a tiger, and little did I know that Oslo is big on statues, but I would soon find out. One of the first things I saw was a McDonalds with a sign for a cheesburger costing about $15NOK(Norwegian kroner) hmmm thats like $3 US, what??? For a cheesebuger at Mickey D's ?? I am laughing at the same time I am agonizing over prices, and all of a sudden I am not as hungry as I was before lol.

oops :) took a pic of the glove table, sign is purple = sale and its $399.00 nok(kroner) for these gloves
 I recall/remember a few years back in the states when a cheeseburger was 49 cents on certain days, and currently it is on the 99cent menu.

We continue up and we see lots of cool statues, I buy some better gloves (really warm, and at only $20 it seems like a bargain considering my hands are freezing :)  We look at clothes as well but just hard to imagine spending twice the $ for pants similar to what I can get back home. ( I say all this so the people that are not used to foreign travel will be a bit prepared for higher prices, perhaps I am they only one who gets so shocked and was so naive going in - only had 4 days to prepare for the trip). I will do a journal on more stuff like getting partial retail tax's back for tourists later perhaps.

Christian Krohg - famous Norwegian painter

We come upon an outdoor skating rink which is a new sight to me for sure, uhhh that means the outside weather has to stay below freezing right?  :)  Then we head over to the Hard Rock cafe, because I really want to get my brother a Hard Rock t-shirt! I have never purchased from the hard rock before, and now I am doing it where things are more $ in the first place, yikes. I see the style shirt I want, I do the math and its $53 US  for a t-shirt that says hard rock with a cool dragon photo. Now, my brother would like that and appreciate it and say "cool" (but not $53 cool), and he could add it to his other 100 concert t-shirts and it will get worn occasionally but $53, maybe if it was sweatshirt? :)  So I thought I would keep looking for him and I could always come back.

outdoor skating rink in the area called: spikersuppa (its like a park) (ya its cold enough :)
 I did buy a trinket(small gift) for someone special back home while I was at hard rock, but nothing else. (it's easier to justify and spend money on a romantic interest than on a brother ;) haha

Now later on in the trip I would adjust and not be so bothered by the cost of things (like gas $9.00+ a gallon US) but this was a huge thing for me at first as I was on a budget for this trip and was thinking to myself "where is the evil wal-mart type place with cheap prices?" lol. Like I said, I am a bit in shock, not culture shock as much as $ shock :) I also want to mention, that the people are very understanding of people speaking English and most speak quite well, so after a while I talked on my own without me bothering Liz to ask stuff for me in Norwegian all the time.

statue in the park by the royal castle

We continue to take photos of more statues, as we head up towards the Royal Castle. The pictures for all of this area pretty much explain everything. Then after the castle we head back towards the station just taking in things we missed on the way up while being too busy with our cameras.

We then decided we were hungry and if we left right then we would be sitting in rush hour traffic, so we decided to just stay in town and eat. Liz had mentioned peppes pizza as we were walking and it was back towards the station, so it seemed perfect.  This day marked the 2 year anniversary of Liz surviving a serious car accident, so she wanted to have a good fun day and go to a decent dinner( she sort of needed a good day to help balance out the memories a bit).

flag flying full means atleast one or both the king and queen were home.
So I decided dinner was on me(my treat/I pay), as I had told her prior to the trip. Now maybe this was not new Norwegian food for me to try, but I have never been to a Peppes pizza before and I ordered a pizza that I had never heard of before(some kind of cajun something :) The place is really cool, never seen a restaurant like this(pizzeria or non pizza), and it was I think atleast 2 floors(maybe more? bad memory) and we were taken upstairs to be seated(2nd floor)... oh wait, this would be good info for a peppes review now wouldn't it?  :)  **see upcoming review for that, let me just say it went along with pricing  $5-8 for pop depending on size and so on.  But our waiter was really cool, and the atmosphere was unique and dare I say "charming".
tiger statue outside "oslo s" train station(old part turned into shopping stalls now)
  Yes I was with Liz  and it was Valentines day, but I had someone else on my mind at the time :) so it was just two friends enjoying a nice meal!

So we leave peppes with my wallet much lighter and we head back to grab some souvenirs and needed supplies (like a three prong power converter for my north american surge protector)(remember this when traveling = surge protector, converter and adaptors especially if bringing your laptop)(I only had two prong northern euro adaptors with me) so all that was done now and after walking around doing that and working off some of the food we decided to head home as we were a bit warn out(tired) from a long day(especially liz who suffers from neck pain due to previous accidents).

she was tired but had lots of fun, seeing her city as she says "in a different way" than she had before. She kind of acted like a tourist that just happened to speak perfect Norwegian :) So we drove home, uploaded pics(photos) and I was too tired to write the journal for day 1 that night, so here it is finally!  :)  I hope you enjoyed it!  ** additional note: I am editing and remembering things as I read this curently in March 2017. We usually took half or full days off in between full days of adventures, so we could upload photos, write blogs, rest, etc. In the old days, you could only upload 5 photos at a time I believe on this site, and you will see that I posted hundreds and hundreds of photos)

 

 

 

mr_shanet says:
I just updated this entry, wow I was lazy back then and didn`t capitalize any I's and lots of mistakes. it's not as greatly written as "poohstanggt" would do, but it's not half bad I think ;) I wonder if cotton_foam and binky have been there. It has been 9 years since I originally wrote this.
Posted on: Mar 21, 2017
cotton_foam says:
wow, this is the 4th time I read about how expensive in Oslo is...gosh, I should just stay in the airport then!! :))
Posted on: Oct 23, 2014
binky says:
I guess I better start saving up! I thought it would be cheaper than the US only because the exchange rate for the USD was higher. Good to know in advance. My friend has been telling me this, but I never believe him! :)
Posted on: May 05, 2008
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Mmmmm Lunch :)

** scroll to t…
"Mmmmm Lunch" :) ** scroll to …
ME - holding the norwegian flag :)…
ME - holding the norwegian flag :…
LADIES , I think he is single and …
LADIES , I think he is single and…
oops :) took a pic of the glove ta…
oops :) took a pic of the glove t…
Christian Krohg - famous Norwegian…
Christian Krohg - famous Norwegia…
outdoor skating rink in the area c…
outdoor skating rink in the area …
statue in the park by the royal ca…
statue in the park by the royal c…
flag flying full means atleast one…
flag flying full means atleast on…
tiger statue outside oslo s trai…
tiger statue outside "oslo s" tra…
area is called: spikersuppa
area is called: spikersuppa
Henrik Wergeland - writer and star…
Henrik Wergeland - writer and sta…
across from TGI Fridays Oslo editi…
across from TGI Fridays Oslo edit…
statues of children watching the i…
statues of children watching the …
statue in the park out in front of…
statue in the park out in front o…
Norwegian royal castle, King and q…
Norwegian royal castle, King and …
Johan the 1st king???????
Johan the 1st king???????
engraved on side of karl johans st…
engraved on side of karl johans s…
Guards out side, acted like the on…
Guards out side, acted like the o…
view from the stairs in front of t…
view from the stairs in front of …
Sone = zone
gagate = (pedestrians…
Sone = zone gagate = (pedestrian…
Dinner, Feb. 14th - no not romanti…
Dinner, Feb. 14th - no not romant…
our waiter at peppes kjetil real…
our waiter at peppes "kjetil" rea…
my friend Liz at Peppes
my friend Liz at Peppes
view from our booth at peppes
view from our booth at peppes
Oslo
photo by: sarahsan