An hour and forty minutes, the flight time from London to Oslo. I think the pilot managed to cut it down by a further 15 minutes. As the plane came down to land we could see the green fields interspersed with forests of pine trees, parts of it still covered in snow. The mountains in the distance also has sheets of melting snow covering them. Colourful houses, architecturally similar but individually different and most with wooden exteriors, dot the landscape. According to the forecast it’s going to be a cold and wet day, but should get better in the next couple of days.
We catch the train to the city centre. It takes 23 minutes. There are express trains and ordinary ones. Both taking the same duration, but the express trains are more frequent and double the price.
The hotel is walking distance from the central station. We’ve taken the Oslo pass to use for the next 48 hours. It lets us use the local buses and trams and also you get free entry to a number of attractions and discounts for others.
It usually takes us a day at least to get used to a place and when we go for short breaks, this eats up a lot of the available time. By the time we check in to the hotel and have a look at the local map and attractions we realise that most museums close by 5 or 6. We take a tram ride around the city. It gives us a bit of time to unwind and rest as we get a taste of the city. Most of the city is like any other European city, but as the tram climbs the hills and reaches the suburbs, I can understand why the Norwegians are rated as one of the happiest people in the world.
When we get back, we walk around the old part of the city. There is a band playing. As we watch it, we hear a family of malayalees walk past. There is a free concert in the National theatre, but we do not have time for that. Back at the hotel, I ask the girl at the desk to recommend a good local restaurant and she directs us to a nearby one. She has never been to it herself but it turns out quite nice.
Fish is one of the main dishes here and we thoroughly enjoyed ours. Short of licking the platters clean, nothing was wasted, but looking at the food and drink prices here, we can’t afford to waste any either. We’ve all had a good day. The little one has been smiling and charming everyone along the way. Tomorrow we need to make the most of our Oslo pass and so need a good nights sleep.
In the evening we get news that back home the NHS is being crippled by cyberattacks. My hospital has escaped, but it means work from all the neighbouring hospitals are being diverted to ours. Will have to read all about it in the papers in the morning.