We paid just 342€ (each) to fly from Prague to Bangkok... with a 24 layover through Oslo. Pretty sweet deal, right? That's what we thought too, until we got off the plane in snowy Oslo.
What went wrong...
We changed plans too many times. Originally we thought we'd sleep at the airport. After a little research it seemed like the best option... until I realized we could just as easily do some couchsurfing! We messaged a few people in Oslo, with two invitations ready to use whenever we felt like it. Unfortunately, panic hit us in the last minute.
Tomy booked an airport hotel using an online coupon, landing us at approximately 65€ for the night. That all seemed great until the shuttle bus to the hotel cost 12€ per person (So, 24€). We dropped off our luggage and decided to go to the city. To do that we had to take the shuttle bus back to the airport, from which point a speed train can be taken into downtown. There goes another 24€. There are two options for taking the train into town: public transportation (NSB) and a private company (Flyjet). For the sake of price we chose to take the NSB ticket. As it turns out, a day pass costs about the same as a return ticket to and from Oslo Sentrastasjon. Huh. Well, there went another 22€ each.
The grand total for transportation and shelter came to a whopping 135€. Ouch.
And that's before we even got to dinner!
What went right...
But not everything was a tragedy. In fact, Oslo was quite pleasant. As usual, the height of our evening was the food. I spent almost the entire flight from Prague reading the in-flight magazine, where a small caption at the top of the page recommended we try the Scandinavian classic, salted herring.
One quick Foursquare list later we were off to find the famous Fiskeriet fish market. Although from photos the restaurant appears larger, it is in fact compact. Hungry as all hell, we walked in with eyes wide open. The word "østers" caught my attention instantly. It's been ages since I've had oysters!
A British waitress sat us at the bar and gave us menus. The atmosphere is casual and bright. Many groups of friends were having fish & chips... which we considered but opted not to get since it's not as memorable as eating something actually popular in the area. Oysters and three types of herring came to our table within a quick 15 minutes. Bellies satisfied and fingers fishy, we were now ready to explore the Friday night scene.
What surprised us...
Like I said, it was a Friday night. Most of the nightlife seemed to be happening inside of restaurants, but other than that there really wasn't too much going on. Probably the most popular part of town was the ice skating rink and this cute little taco truck. We didn't order anything, but took a photo because it was just so cute.
Last time I was in Norway, I was with my dad and his Norwegian friend in the northern village of Sogndal. The fjords are very different than the rough architectural city. Next time in Norway I hope to relive some of that middle of nowhere bliss.