Jeez, time completely has flown by, It’s crazy to think how fast it’s continuing to pass. Working is still a grind; the attention to detail here is incredible. Well, anyway let’s not talk about work shits.
As hard to believe as it sounds, I flew to Oslo, Norway from Skopje, Macedonia. Yeah I know what sort of questions you are going to ask me. Despite the fact that both are located in Europe (technically), one is in the very north, the other one is in the very south. But in Europe, you don’t really consider that as a big problem, because you have a lot of low-cost airlines that fly everywhere which literally means you could be in for example Turkey and some hours later fly to Portugal just by using a cheap flight. I had purchased my ticket on Wizzair (It’s Hungarian. I’d definitely suggest you to use this one especially if you are planning to travel eastern Europe) one month before, it was super cheap, as I don’t correct all the receipts so I’m not sure how much money I paid for it, but it was around 50 euro including my massive back-packs. Considering the distance between those, It was basically nothing. (Though they have a very strict rule of luggage)
To begin with, getting up at 3:00 A.M was definitely a pain in my ass, nobody would wish to do that, moreover on a winter night. Well, I did it and everything went as I had planned, thankfully. I had a nightmare experience about early flights in 2008 when I was in Dublin, Ireland. I should have gotten up at 4:00 A.M which is really fine, however I didn’t dare to manage to get up on time and missed my dang flight bounding for Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Well, that’s how you learn in order not to blunder once again, don’t you think so? 😉
So, after a four hour flight I eventually landed up in Oslo, Norway. Wizzair, actually many of cheap european airlines tend to use unloved or less-used airports, so you’d better be ready to be patient and get on a bus or a train to get to the city. As for Sandjeford Torp which I landed up in, is located approximately 110 km south-west of Oslo, in Vestfold county. Hence another trip is required, unless you have a car or someone who picks you up upon your arrival. There’s two options, as usual. Bus and Train. I myself used the bus because it was cheaper and easier to get on. “Torpekspressen”(click)
Booking online in advance is cheaper and there’s a student discount as well. You could buy it on the bus but it’s more costly and you’ve got to have Norwegian krone (Card payment available). The bus driver may refuse to receive the money in Euro.
So, at the end I got in Oslo, the beautiful Norwegian capital and got to meet Rasmus, who made it there from Sweden for me. What a splendid friend, huh? 😉
Shocking and Flabbergasting!
As a matter of fact, staying in Oslo for eight hours costed five times more than I would probably have spent in the same conditions in Macedonia. Money is just money, okay whatever I don’t give a crap. But I didn’t desire to sleep over in the city even though it was so beautiful and people were so nice as well, just because of the Norwegian prices. I totally knew it and I was ready to adapt it, yet, everything was simply beyond my imagination. I wasn’t the only one thinking that way, Rasmus, even a close swedish neighbor also finds Norway extraordinarily expensive. So practically we tried super hard to save up our money as we went to only cheap places to eat and drink. So if there should be an useful advice for those planning to go to Norway, it’s going to be “Get ready to open your freaking wallet.” Oh, in Norway, actually everywhere in Scandinavia, card payments are so common, so you don’t necessarily need cash.
Where to go
Oslo is a small capital city compared to Stockholm and Copenhagen which I had been to already, hence you don’t need a tight schedule to travel around. As many norwegians said, Oslo is not the only attraction Norway offers, there’s a lot of different cities that we may be attracted to.
I enjoyed the opera house on the other hand. That’s different from what I saw in Sydney, Australia. I mean they have a couple of similarities, but not entirely the same. The view from the top of Opera house was worth seeing. Besides, there are a bunch of interesting museums in Oslo, so that you can consider visiting. (We lacked of time unfortunately)
Fika is a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning “to have coffee”, often accompanied with pastries or sandwiches. Since I was with a swedish who’s super addicted to coffee (even obsessed!), we definitely had to drink it after having a walk in the city. Not a common knowledge though, the three scandinavian nations (Sweden, Norway and Denmark) have been ranked as world’s most coffee drinking countries. Oh, also Finland.
No language barriers!
Verbatim, no language barriers between Sweden and Norway. They use two different languages, despite that, they can understand (almost) everything without any massive problems. Rasmus, my guy in Oslo (and Sweden :D) for example spoke in Swedish all the time and he had no difficulty of understanding the Norwegians. Funny though as they responded in Norwegian all the time even if they easily noticed he was speaking swedish. Not sure how many of you would agree with me, but here it goes. I find Norwegian even more melodic than Swedish, which sounds also so charmingly melodic. Danish is also similar to both those, but not as close as Swedish-Norwegian. Prove me if I’m wrong 😉
Hello – Hej (Swedish) Hei (Norwegian)
Thank you – Tack (Swedish) Takk (Norwegian) -> spelled differently but pronounced the same.
Good day – God dag (Swedish) God dag (Norwegian)
I am called Felix – Jag heter Felix (Swedish) Jeg heter Felix (Norwegian)
I speak a little swedish/norwegian – Jag talar lite svenska (Swedish) Jeg snakker litt norsk (Norwegian)
Bye – Hejdå (Swedish) Ha det (Norwegian)
See? Those are pretty much the same 😀 According to Rasmus who hasn’t studied norwegian is completely able to watch and understand Norwegian TV programs and vice versa for Norwegians. In case you wonder, communications are not a big deal in the Nordic as everyone speaks excellent english as having an outstanding education of it (The best on the globe…more or less).
The most common stereotypes about Norwegians (or Sweds or Danes)
- They are all blond? – Not entirely true, but a lot of people are, apparently.
- Rich? – As being one of the wealthiest nations on the globe, people think everyone in Norway should be rich. I’m not really sure 😀 If there’s wealthy people, there must be poorer ones on the other side.
- Fashionable – Probably my stereotype. My answer is YES, of course everyone has different tastes when it comes to fashion. But I love the way Norwegians dress up.
- Cold – Not necessarily cold, they’re just not as facetious as Southern europeans (of course my opinion).
- Beautiful girls – Definitely depends on your beauty taste.
- Funny – (My stereotype) Yes, I love the Nordic sense of humor! Remember YLVIS! They are norwegians 😀
Love and peace.