A weekend with my fav Norwegian familyNovember 29, 2015 in Norway ⋅ 🌙 2 °C
I'm back in Oslo tonight after spending the weekend with my favourite Norwegian family. It feels symbolic that I began my trip by spending Christmas with them two years ago and now I visit as my trip comes to an end.
I arrived into Oslo on Tuesday evening and took the bus into the city. The guy used this cool iPad to scan tickets and use credit cards – I thought it was great haha! I stayed at a new hostel in Oslo. It apparently it showed up last summer, as I don't recall there being one here when I was here last time.
The Saga Poshtel Oslo Central is located right in the city centre, only 10 min walk from the train station. I had a delightful walk through the rain getting here, and once again Catherine's umbrella came in very handy! The hostel is a bit clinical for me, and in direct opposition to the hostel I just came from in Edinbrugh haha. There is no character or hostelly feel. But there are lifts, swipe access to rooms & bathrooms, probably the most comfortable beds I’ve slept on so far, a big downstairs area and a really good free breakfast!
I had a bit of a situation when I arrived last night. Barclays had suspended my account thinking there was fraudulent activity on it, which they advised me of while I was standing in the line to enter the plane!! But after a phone call with Barclays all was well.
On Wednesday day morning I took a self guided walking tour of the Royal castle. Exploring its history and walks, before viewing the opera house and taking a walk up to the Opera House, across to Youngstorget and another before getting ready to leave for Emma's.
At 4.30pm my train was due to depart, however as they were doing track work we had a multiple vehicle option to get there. First we took the bus for an hour, then we caught our train for 3 hours and instead of switching to the Raumba train we caught a mini bus and drove to Andalsnes. We drove through all this beautiful snow, but arrived to a snow free Andalsnes as per usual! Eh!
But finally I was here! There have been a few changes since I was here last time. Emma & Vegard have moved to a smaller village about 30 mins away, a big ugly tourist building is being built in front of their old apartment blocking the beautiful view, Eirlirl is now two and has grown up and Emma & Vegard own their own house.
Their new house is beautiful and sits in front of the port where the ferry to Molde docks every half an hour. They have an equally beautiful view looking out into the fjord and sea. It is a truly beautiful part of the world.
On Thursday I spent the day chilling in the house, failing at starting a fire, writing about Scotland in my blog and looking out the window. In the evening I was to meet the family in the Andalsnes as there was a Christmas party in the town centre for the local hiking community.
But, as with all good stories mine begins with missed transport. The bus I needed to catch was coming off the ferry. I waited patiently looking around for where the bus would dock, but it didn't! I wondered if I had missed it. But Emma assured me that if the ferry hadn’t arrived yet, the bus was still to come as it was coming off the ferry. I couldn’t see any particular bus stop, so I waited in the warm hut ready to dive out when the bus arrived.
Unfortunately the bus was faster then me! The ferry docked, I walked out and here came my bus cruising off the ferry, waiting for 2 mili seconds in the middle of the car park and then it just shot off onto the road heading towards Andalsnes.
I walked after it but then just stood there staring at my bus, wondering what to do. It’s funny, when you’re on your own you are resourceful to find the next step, when you are with people all of a sudden you temporarily forget that you can manage this with out someone who can speak the language!
I must’ve looked like a right deer in the head lights because next minute this car pulled up asking if I was waiting for the bus, I said yes, the lady inside said jump in I'll chase after it. So I did, thinking once again of the movie Taken haha. She says she saw the look in my eyes, told me how bad the bus drivers were, and that if she wasn't going in the other direction she would've taken me in. We rounded two bends, took over the bus and she waved me off at the next stop. Legend!
Eventually I made it into town. Emma & Vegard’s hiking group was having a Christmas party and the winners of best hikes were going to be announced. The Christmas party was held in the small town square, just behind their old house. Children were roasting butts of dough over fire pits, there was a stall selling hot dogs and sweets, a band playing and a big Christmas tree in the centre.
We stayed to hear the winners drawn, it was not us sadly, before heading home, Eirli was ready for bed.
On Friday Vegard and Eirli were home, so we hung out, watched TV, and had naps before heading into Andalsnes in the afternoon. We visited Emma at her work and took a walk about town before visiting a massive grocery store. I love grocery stores. The food and variety was awesome.
Tonight we are having dinner at Eirli's best friend from kindy's house. We are having tacos, which apparently having tacos on a Friday night is a real Scandinavia thing that everyone does! They were delicious! The house was huge! It was one street back from the House E&V rented in between buying their own home and the lake unit.
After putting Eirli to bed we had a lovely evening catching up on Friday night back at the ranch. Emma tried to sell me on the idea that goon wine is a good in Norway haha and we caught up over the last 2 years. They tell me that they are planning on coming out to Oz next year! Happy days!
Saturday was a cooking day and the first weekend of Christmas. For breakfast we had the beautiful waffles! Oh so good. After Eilril lay down for her mid-morning nap Emma and I set about making some Christmas cookies. These included … Yummy. In the afternoon Eilril, Vegard and I played in the garden. Vegard showed me their hot spa they use in the summer, it was all made out of wood and just like something you’d see in this country.
On Sunday my time drew to a close with this wonderful family. I packed up and said goodbye to the view from my window. Enjoyed some final Norwegian treats and Vegard drove me to the train station.
In true form a truck was driving ahead of us laying out salt in preparation for the snow predicted the next day, which came. Two days too late, one day to early L Oh well. Lucky I hadn’t planned on seeing any snow on this trip!
And with that I was gone. Back on the Rauma express, which was now running, but into the city of Oslo. I dropped off my belongings at my hostel and rather funnily was back in the same room as last time. I chose a different bed though!
I had pizza for dinner, which cost me a fortune, but desired. A glass of wine cost more then half a pizza and salad :/ On Monday morning I got up earlier and headed up to the Spikersuppa Christmas Market as it had opened the night before. I took in all of the smells, sights and sounds. Trying to absorb as much as I could. I walked up past the National Theatre and almost to Slottsplassen aka the Palace Square, right in front of the Royal Palace.
As time marched on I headed back to my hostel, grab my bag and headed to the bus stop, Sweden was awaiting.
Goodbye Norway, you’ve been amazing. Maybe next time I could visit in the summer, or spring or autumn, just to change things up a bit haha.
God Jul to you all.
Norway Christmas Traditions
Oslo Christmas markets