Flying cheaply definitely has its perks but generally it means you wind up in airports far from a large city at odd hours. When flying to one of greater-Oslo’s 3 airports (3!!), we were lucky enough to find a cheap flight on a real airline at a ‘reasonable time’ (for twenty somethings with low standards). By the Friday we were leaving, we were both considerably tired from a week of work and definitely ready for a weekend away.
The flight went smoothly, we landed on time, determined we needed to take the national railway into the city center, and took the last train into the city. We should have read better. It was the last train – gold star to us. But it wasn’t into the city center – it was 60 kilometers in the other direction to Eidsvoll. We were disoriented to say the least when we got off at the last stop in Middle of Nowhere, Norway.
Fortunately, we’d planned ahead for this trip and invested in an international phone plan. Just kidding, Mom and Dad. We definitely never do that. So, Wi-Fi-less and dependent on the generosity of the train conductor, we evaluated our options (along with a nice, Korean study-abroad student and a Polish guy from Łödż who worked in Oslo – you’d think they would have known better…).
Take the train into the city at 6:30 AM
- Pros: The train conductor offered us a free ride at 6:30AM
- Cons: Hypothermia from sitting outside a train station for 5 hours
Take a cab back to the airport and then a bus into the city
- Pros: No sitting outside
- Cons: The buses stop running before we’d make it back
Take a cab all the way to the city
- Pros: Bonding with two strangers for an hour and a half (and the cab driver makes 3); fastest option, no hypothermia
- Cons: Scandinavia (expensive) + monopoly cab company (expensive) = poor
Given these options, we went with 3 and took a lovely ride through the Norwegian countryside, seeing all the fjords and forests along the way. Not really. It was dark.
The cab driver finally arrived to our destination, which was surprising considering he “rarely gets to visit the city”. After we were let off near central station, Polish guy gave us some moderately racist warnings regarding the neighborhood we’d have to walk through to then reach our AirBnB. No surprise there. A brisk 30-minute walk at something like 2 A.M. and we had arrived at our nice flat, not without greeting our new roomie for the weekend (a kitten that liked to hide in the washing machine).
Highlights of our visit were the (not actually) graffitied Opera House, giant park with… interesting… statues, and deliciously affordable <$20 burritos. Ryan also spotted upwards of 30 Teslas in 36 hours… did we mention Norway was expensive? Overall, we’re proud to say the rest of the weekend went very smoothly and we navigated back to the airport without a hitch.