Posts Tagged ‘Oslo’

Hiking in Flåm

In the end, it was a good decision to stay 2 nights in Flåm. I was a little worried that there’d be nothing to do in Flåm. Flåm is so small that during the off peak season, which was the time we were there, there were only 2 restaurants open, with only 2 set dinners to choose from and no ala-carte.

A lot of people try to rush the whole journey by hopping on to the next train back to Oslo but what’s the point of coming then? I say there are no prizes in reaching the finishing line first. The whole journey goes like this:

Bergen –> by train to Voss (1hr) –> by bus to Gudvangen (1hr) –> by cruise to Flåm (2hr) –> by train to Oslo (5hr)

Thanks to our leisurely pace, we had the opportunity to go “hiking”in the mountains. Here’s pictures of city girl roughing it out in the woods.

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First, picture of the view from my hotel Flamsbrygga. Damn cool view, if I say so myself.

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Proof that I was here!

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Before we can even get out of the hotel area… Check out the dancing people

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Didn’t get a chance to see the Tanjong Pagar Railway lines before they were removed so I found a substitute instead

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Keep your farts down

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The goal of the hike was to hike up to the Brekkefossen waterfall, a hike that would take about 2hrs, return.

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It’s no walk in the park. That white patch there is the waterfall

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Stopping to enjoy the little stream, possibly fed by the Brekkefossen waterfall or the numerous other waterfalls around.

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The partner got tired of waiting and moved to higher ground

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View of the residential area from up above

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It’s tiring business so we stopped for a break

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In the end, I never did get higher than this spot. The Partner went up further but it was really muddy higher up so we gave up. Ok specifically I gave up so he had to give up. I have this huge fear of heights and falling. You can see from the photo that the incline is quite steep, and coupled with muddy tracts and no real proper path, I was just too scared to go further.

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Went back down to admire the mini waterfall since I couldn’t get up close to the real thing.

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Me looking wistfully at the Brekkefossen waterfall. Notice the stick I had in my hands. That was really useful in aiding my descent. If only we had found it while going up, we might have made it to the top. For my next trip, I’m definitely going to buy a hiking pole. I just googled for hiking poles and I realise that lots of seasoned hikers use it and it’s not just something for losers.

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Me giving the finger to the waterfall for being so unfriendly

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This river must surely be fed by the Brekkefossen waterfall, the volume is substantial!

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The river in slow mo

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Interesting sights along the way back too. Baby cow here sticking its tongue out at me

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Those horns look fierce. This is not a bull I believe, as bulls are normally not kept together with the herd

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Farmer trying to attract the lambs with the food bucket

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I don’t know why these lambs were so hesitant to go towards the farmer. We stood still to watch for a while and when we finally started to move, the lambs all turned around and scooted back and the farmer had to start all over again!

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After a hard day’s worth of hiking (we took 3 hours to complete the journey, with all the stopping and photo taking), it was nice to have a drink on our balcony overlooking the fjord.

Strøget–World’s Longest Shopping Street

The one great thing about Singapore is that shops open till late! I’m sure this is one thing I’ll never get used to if I ever move to a European country, or New Zealand/Australia for that matter. Shops in Oslo slam shut at 8pm while in Copenhagen, it is 7pm! For London, if I don’t remember wrongly, it’s 6pm! And shops are not open on Sundays! How do people buy their things if the shops close so early? I was stuck in the rush hour traffic just now. That was 4.30pm, HELLO??? Well I suppose if you leave work at around that time, there’s still 1 or 2 hours for you to get what you need.

Worse still for tourists, museums and castles close at around 4 or 5pm at this time of the year, 6pm if you’re talking about summer. I like to take my time when I’m on holiday, so it’s okay for me, but for those tourists who like to pack their days chock full, I really think that Europe’s not the best place for that. Europe’s a place where you just have to take things slowly, enjoy a very long dinner and go to bed early.

If you want your evenings and nights to be buzzing, definitely go visit an Asian country. The US is not that bad either. I recall when I was in Florida Orlando, some museums were open till 9 or 10pm! I recall being able to visit Disneyworld in the day time and still make it to Ripley’s Believe it or Not at night!

I know the reason for this is that Europeans value family time. Shopping is not a pastime, it’s just an errand that has to be done when supplies run low. But surely you would think that it would be the Asians that value family time just as much if not more?

Anyway, let me leave you with pictures of Strøget in Copenhagen, the world’s longest pedestrian street. It’s a shopping haven, but buy what you will before 7pm!

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Magasin du Nord

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Danishes in Denmark

Hello everyone! I’m now in Copenhagen! This city feels so much more city like as compared to Oslo. The buildings here remind me of London and Paris. The prices here are much better too. Food is almost half the cost of what it was in Oslo. Can you imagine how much I have been suffering in Norway when it comes to eating out? I hate having to pay S$40 for a burger at some TGI Fridays kind of place where there’s no guarantee that the food will taste excellent. I’ve had to be very strategic about my meals when I was in Oslo, and now I feel like I’ve been let out of jail. For the next 4 days, I can buy what I see and eat what I like, instantly! The only idiotic thing is that coffee is still expensive. It’s the same price as in Oslo, which is like at least S$8 for a latte. ‘

But one thing that Norway did to me is to introduce me to really tasty croissants. My croissant eating repertoire isn’t all that great, but seriously, the best croissants I have eaten in a long time was at my breakfast restaurant Egon in Oslo. The best thing about waking up every morning is that I got to head to the buffet breakfast and have my fill of chocolate croissants. They taste SO GOOD! They aren’t the “airy” kind you find in Singapore where you bite into a large croissant and it flattens into a tiny one. These croissants have body, while remaining flaky, and they aren’t dense. (Special note for my mother: No i didn’t just eat croissants. I ate lots of beetroot, cucumber, organic muesli and oats as well)

I’ll have to see what this new hotel has in store for breakfast tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures of the droolsome Danishes. And no, I don’t mean the men.

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Holm’s Bager seems to be available at every corner!

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Cute! All these chairs facing outwards reminds me of the cafes in France! But no one is sipping a cuppa outside!

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Aker Brygge

Oslo has a sort of “museum-island” called Bygdøy Island. Well technically speaking, it’s a peninsula, but from the city part of Oslo looking out to Bygdoy, you would think that it was an island. Our Oslo Card allowed us to take the Mini-Cruise to Bygdoy, which I shall comment more in another post. On our return journey, we sailed past the most modern part of Oslo I have seen to date. Compared to the old buildings in the city centre, this was a refreshing change. Hip cafes, restaurants and more shopping centres galore. Kind of reminds me of Sydney. Interestingly, a lot of the Norwegian tourist information websites don’t seem to mention much about Aker Brygge. Maybe Norwegians prefer their history and fjords, and shopping just ain’t that fascinating.

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Lucky people who live here

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The temperature is below 10 degrees Celsius but people still insist on sitting al fresco. The cold is not a worry though because every restaurant provides radiators. See the orangey lights near the roofing? If only we had machines blowing cool air for us to enjoy if we so choose to dine al-fresco in Singapore. It is a waste of electricity I must admit, both ways.

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Normally the tram tracks are laid on the vehicular roads, so there’s no risk of walking in the tram’s path unknowingly. There is an area near Aker Brygge where the tram tracks are laid on non-vehicular roads. It makes me wonder if there have been cases of people strolling along and enjoying the views and suddenly having a tram honk at them.

Nobel Peace Museum

The Nobel Peace Centre and the City Hall are just next to Aker Brygge.

Greetings from Oslo!

It’s COLD COLD COLD! On the first day that I arrived, which was yesterday actually, it wasn’t that bad at all . I only had 3 layers on. Then the weather turned so cold in the evening it was a struggle making it back to our hotel from the shopping street just opposite. We had to take refuge in 3 separate stores to “defrost” before making it back. And I heard that today is the coldest day for Autumn in Oslo! Not that I should complain, I purposely lugged 3 jackets here for a reason!

My hotel is in a superb location. It’s just next to the Oslo S Central Station. We took the normal train from the Oslo airport to Oslo S and it was 25 minutes with just 2 stops. The great thing about being here is that there are so many shopping centres around this area, with the Karl Johans Gate being the main attraction of it all (something similar to our Orchard Road or Oxford Street if you know London, except cars are not allowed there.)

As expected, food has been darn expensive so far. For my 1st meal in Norway, I had …. Chicken Tikka Masala! Yeah I know, but I really need some time to assimilate to having to pay S$40 for a cafe meal! The Chicken Tikka Masala cost only S$25 and was thankfully pretty tasty. The organic movement here is pretty strong, or perhaps using the word “movement” is wrong. You get the feeling that food here always been natural and unadulterated. Even my complimentary hotel buffet breakfast served organic milk and organic bread, something which I can say would be extremely rare to find in Singapore.

Here are some pictures of my stroll along Karl Johans Gate. Just this street alone has 3 H&Ms! I know all the Orchard road malls feature the same stores anyway, but this is different because they can all be seen from the street!

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And that’s the palace right at the end of the street

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