Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oslo is closed

Oslo – is not cold at all. There is no sign of snow but – like Vienna – they say it will snow after we leave. Yeh!

We have a list of restaurants we would like to visit but they are all closed – all closed - until 3 January – so our plans for fine Norwegian dining have been thwarted. It is strange that all the good restaurants go on holidays at the same time – but there you have it.

And it is almost impossible to get into a good café in the middle of Oslo – they all have crowds of people waiting to get in. What is it with these people? Don’t they have jobs? I just cannot imagine what it would be like in the tourist season.

It is - as expected – excruciatingly expensive. I came with a bundle of Euros but no Norwegian woggles and have not been able to find a single place where I can exchange Euros for woggles. What? I hear you say. But these are everywhere in every city!

Well yes – everywhere but in Oslo. I have seen one in two days – and it was closed for renovations. And as for banks – I have seen two – and the one I entered was crowded and required me to take a ticket and wait – which I declined to do.

So for money I am reduced to the limited amount I can get from cash machines – and they are remarkably parsimonious.
Last night we went for dinner to the Grand Hotel café which was a wonderful experience and we just had to grit our teeth at the cost.

Tonight we were more circumspect and went locally to Ali Baba’s which was still scary but within reason.

Tomorrow is our last day in Oslo then we catch the train to Bergen.


  1. I wandered around Oslo in Google Earth to see if I could locate the pretty colorful building of your picture. I think I found it at coordinates 59 54 54 N by 10 45 33 E, but I couldn't find a name. So I tried something new of asking Google by using the coordinates and came across the Oslo Bombing that I had read a few weeks ago. I think the bombing took place just west of that building a little ways.

  2. Sounds like our experiences with Iceland prices in 2008. I thought that I was going to have to extract my gold tooth at one stage. Scary.

  3. I just started reading the history of Bergen. Its had so many problems with flames that it would have been easier to have named it Burnagain.

  4. I have friends in Bergen. They've been trying to get me there for years. Take pictures!

  5. Are the closed restaurants a sign of a humming economy? Who earns enough during other times of the year can well afford to close during holidays. The clocks in oil-rich countries tick differently, apparently.
    Maybe they should put out a travel advisory to warn potential visitors?

  6. Did you take butter with you? I reckon that would have opened some restaurant doors for you if News of the Antipodes is to be believed.

    Have fun.

  7. So, you found out that the gastronomic blight also occurs up there close to the Arctic circle? Well, your report of the closed shops, the queuing and the public and private leeching (aka: high living costs) fits nicely into what other people told me of Norway. Not sure whether this information is of any help (my understanding is that you are off to greet father Christmas and his reindeers, but maybe you manage to squeeze it in upon your return there, while waiting for transit): try the Solsiden. According to my sources, it is close to Aker brygge and famous for its seafood, ghastly styling (it is apparent sitting in a warehouse where a normal person would not even house a dog...) and - for Norway standards, anyway - relatively moderate prices. No personal experience for that place on my side, though, but several independent sources recommended it highly.

    Anyway, best wishes for the new year and please return speedily, in a healthy and relaxed mood and continue to regale us with your stories...


  8. I love your life.

    Happy New Year, my friend.

  9. Happy New Year (sorry you can't find any restaurants open or anywhere to swop your money !!) - I hope your year gets better !!!

  10. esb: I will have a look and see where it is.

    nzm: It is indeed a scary place: We will be paying this off for a while

    esb: There is still a lot made of wood

    SK Waller: I will do that

    Merisi: It's a Norway thing

    Sandy: No butter problem. They seem to have solved it - there is butter everywhere

    David: Thanks for there info. Will see what we can do. It seems that any decent restaurant is closed from 23/12 until 3/1 - that is just the way it is.

  11. smedette: Thanks my dear - I am rather fond of it -and of you

    Me: I really cannot complain

  12. esb: by my reckoning it's 59.914936,10.759289

  13. Yes, its the same spot, your 59.914936,10.759289 are fractional degrees to my degrees minutes seconds notation. I found the switch in my Google Earth to change to fractional degrees.