611 words on Travel
The time in Oslo passed very quickly. I saw Stephie and met the friends she has made there. Her friends are mainly from the international community at uni which reminded me quite a bit of my first year at Warwick, when I was mainly hanging out with the international students as getting to know some of the 'natives' proved to be rather hard.
The other similarity to living in England are the exaggerated food prices in Norway – only that they're even higher in Norway. This doesn't seem to be too much of an issue for the Norwegians who apparently earn more but it certainly takes a big deal of ignoring the price or avoiding to convert them back to Euros when you're paying in the supermarket.
Having been in Oslo before, in 1994, I already knew I wanted to see the Vigeland park as well as the Munch museum again. I had remembered the latter as being larger and having more of the famous paintings, though. However, they had quite an interesting film on Munch's life. While not all of the paintings are as scary and twirly as the famous Scream, many have in common that the people in them don't really have faces. Perhaps another dream-like thing? Also, in some paintings, Munch makes good use of perspective, having shores going across the cavas in a large swoosh.
Apart from these, we walked through the town, looking at the city hall and the castle and indulged in student life – on Saturday going to Mono a place Stephie's Norwegian flatmate had recommended and everybody agreed on as being cool (and also having no entrance fee and a 'reasonable' beer price of NOK 46, i.e. about €6, per half-litre). It turned out they were right and the place was quite cool, playing 60s 7-inches all night.
On Sunday we went a bit out of town to Frognerseteren and walked through the snow down to Holmenkollen, where the olympic ski-jumping site is. The snow wasn't quite as much and quite as nice as I'd hoped for anymore as it had been sunny and super-zero in Oslo for a while. Still, there were a number of people cross-country skiing and many little kids riding recklessly downhill on their sleds. When you're that little, nothing seems to hurt.
I had to leave early on Monday morning, catching the T-baner to catch the bus to catch the plane to get to Frankfurt Hahn and am now on a bus to Köln – another 2+ hours of joy. While they were lenient considering my excess luggage for my flight form Stansted to Torp (Ryanair only lets you have 15kg), they were very strict when departing from Torp and I was supposed to pay for 4kg, which amounted to 200NOK. So I decided to do some slight re-packing, fitting some extra stuff into my carry-on luggage and discarding my almost-empty shampoo bottle, but still having 2kg in excess after that which I was supposed to pay for. Luckily I had taken 100 extra Kroner with me which I wanted to use for paying – but even more luckily the lady at the counter for paying couldn't accept cash but only credit cards, which I don't have (well, I've got one but it runs on my dysfunct English bank account with no money in it). So the lady at the counter decided that the fee was too small to bother further and I got away without paying.
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