Friday, December 08, 2006

Trip to Oslo, Norway

A few days back we 5 friends made a trip to Oslo, the capital of Norway. We bought return tickets of the cheapest airline "Ryan Air" for only 15 euros each. A combined room in a hostel in the center of the city was booked for about 20 euros per person. It was just a two day trip with one night stay. The airline Ryan Air offers such cheap tickets across Europe as it operates from non-regular airports far from big cities. The airport we were to fly from laid about a two hour drive from Frankfurt main airport. So we traveled there in a friend's car. We then took about a two hour flight to an airport in Norway from which it was a two hour bus to the Oslo city. This bus costs 40 euros for a return trip to Oslo.

Temperature in Oslo was not much below that in Germany, but strangely we felt extremely cold there. We reported at the "Anker" hostel at 11 am as required but they told us that check-in starts at 3 pm. Since we had the accommodation in city center, we didn't have to travel on bus or tram. We could go to the tourist places by foot. There were lots of Pakistanis on the streets. You could hardly walk for ten minutes without seeing a Pakistani. They were employed everywhere, from restaurants to security. The day was very short as Maghrib (evening) started at 3:15 pm. It is a city of just 500,000 people but it looked much more than that during the day (Wednesday). We saw the king's palace, Nobel peace prize building (where the ceremony was to be held on the coming weekend) and the (small) port. We also elevated to the 34th floor of a hotel to see the city. There were zebra-crossings on the road, but with traffic signals :) People were frequently breaking those signals and traffic had to stop even on green signals because of that.

One pleasing thing was that everybody could speak English, even on the streets and in shops. The old people could also communicate in English. We met only one old women and a couple of forigners who couldn't speak English. The most disturbing thing were the prices there. We were happy to receive about 5 Kronas but were startled by the prices even in the super market. A mere sandwich bread costed about 2-3 euros; 5-6 times more than in Germany. A small bag of chocolates candies costed about 10 euros.