Our hotel, the Scandic Oslo City was clean and friendly. An older hotel less than a 5 minute walk from the train station. Our room was tiny and you wouldn’t have been able to swing a cat around in it. The shower was extremely narrow. triangular in shape and looked more like an after-thought.
The staff were amazing. Jenny at the front desk and Marion from the kitchen went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable. As it was Sunday, nothing was open except the local Joker (pronounced Oo-ker) so we ended up with 1 bag of chips and 1 Fanta to share for dinner. Neither were finished before we fell into our beds for a much-needed sleep.
The breakfast buffet, included in our room rate had a selection of delicious hot and cold food. We asked Marion for her recommendations and she recited her dislike for brown cheese multiple times with her face screwed up in a grimace. That only served to make us curious. Yordie and I both liked it. It really isn’t a cheese at all but the whey which is usually discarded. It has a caramel taste, sweet from the lactose with a bit of a grainy texture that sticks to the roof of your mouth. Are you interested in how to make brown cheese, then click here.
We only had one full day to spend in Oslo, and we wanted to make the most of it. Jet lag hasn’t been too bad. I know it will hit me soon. Dressed in our warm clothes, we ventured onto the streets of Oslo with our GPS in hand. Rain on top of the ice made walking extremely treacherous. We marvelled at the locals as they navigated the icy sidewalks and hills.
Our first goal was to visit the Munch Museum to see the famous painting “The Scream”. The streets of Oslo do not run north/south/east/west and we were led everywhere except the museum. Yordie asked a kind, local woman and within minutes we were there.
There are 3 versions of The Scream. A drawing, a print and the painting. Only 1 is displayed at a time. We were fortunate to see the painting and the drawing. We posed in front of it making a similar face as the subject and giggled like schoolgirls in front of the stern grey-suited security guard with her hair pulled back in a severe bun. We then pretended we were art aficionados and stood back dissecting Edvard Munch’s most famous work. Don’t think we fooled anyone. lol
We explored the rest of the museum which is beautiful and has been opened since 2021. The view of the Oslo fjord from the 12th floor observation area was lovely.
After a cappuccino, we went in search of a recommended Norwegian restaurant. The Dovrehallen is a typical “brown bar”. I had not heard this term before. It is a dark bar where the locals frequent for a drink and the term brown comes from the dark wood stained with nicotine from past years of smoking. It certainly had a hideaway feel. The server, a white-haired bosomy woman in clogs and woollen socks offered us a stained, plastic menu and a smile. We ordered a beer (Hansa) and some schnitzel which was delicious. We skipped the meatballs in white gravy which was the special of the day.
It was raining again so we headed back to the hotel. Yordie introduced me to napping. I could get used to this. A 30 minute refresh. We organized our belongings for tomorrow and enjoyed a beer and taco dinner at a cool diner next door before falling into bed dreaming of our next travel leg called Norway in a Nutshell.
Summary – Oslo is a beautiful city and from what we could see with the rain. 15-30mm each day. I would guess the summer is stunning. Winters are grey, dull and icy. Being further north than we are in Canada, it gets dark even earlier. I found it expensive. It doesn’t have a tipping culture which for a tourist from Canada is hard to wrap your head around but welcomed. I would like to return one day when I am not so paranoid of falling on my new knees. A catamarán ride up the fjord and a visit to the palace and sculpture garden would be interesting. Most people speak English as well as Norwegian. The Norwegian language may be difficult but the people have been far from difficult. We have found them to be warm amd welcoming. A good place to visit as a solo traveller.