The Anonymous Widower

We Need A Duty-Free By-Pass At Airports

Oslo Airport had one of the largest duty free areas I’ve seen in a long time. It was very crowded too, with passengers trailing cases and carrying overflowing baskets.

I found it difficult to walk through  and it was a completely wasted few minutes, that I could have spent much better.

It’s all totally pointless, as if duty-free was banned on flights and passengers bought their duty free as they arrived in a country, airlines wouldn’t waste fuel flying all that useless junk around the skies.

I wonder how much duty free contributes to global warming?

The EU should make it the law, that every airport has a by-pass for those, who don’t want to buy any duty-free.

And was there anything to eat that was gluten-free in the airport? I didn’t see anything that was!

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Museums On The Bygdøy Peninsular

There are several museums on the Bygdøy Peninsular.

I took a ferry to see two of them; the Viking Ship Museum and the Fram Museum.

I would have gone to the other two; the Kon-Tiki Museum and the Norwegian Maritime Museum, but the weather had turned and I was suffering a bit from the cold.

There is a lot to see on the peninsular and I wish I’d been able to devote more time to it. I think it would be easier, if on the peninsular, there was better signposts and maps and perhaps a bus on a route past all the attractions. An inclusive ticket for all the attractions on the peninsular would save time too!

September 10, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Oslo City Hall

I didn’t like Oslo City Hall. But then it was designed in the 1930s and opened in 1950s, so it’s of the same era as that great British eyesore; Battersea Power Station.

Oslo City Hall

Oslo City Hall

it’s scale is all wrong and except for the clock, it has nothing to recommend it.

September 10, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Mind The Gap – Norwegian Style

As I got into the Metro train to go away from the stop at the Munch Museum, I thought I heard the familiar phrase from the London Underground – Mind the Gap.

There was this picture on the train window.

Mind The Gap - Norwegian Style

Mind The Gap – Norwegian Style

However, when I took the Airport Express it was more obvious.

MInd The Gap On Airport Express

MInd The Gap On Airport Express

This article from Wikipedia explains the worldwide use of the phrase, but Oslo doesn’t get a mention.

September 10, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Anybody Fancy A Drink?

I saw this outside the National Theatre in Oslo.

Anybody Fancy A Drink?

Anybody Fancy A Drink?

You don’t see many these days.  Especially, in such a prominent location.

September 10, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring Oslo

The hotel I was in, wasn’t bad, but it was in the wrong position, as the web site said it was ten minutes from the centre.  I assumed that was walking, but it was by car or taxi and there wasn’t any Metro station nearby. However I took a bus to the centre and friendly young lady, told me to get off at the National Theatre.

Norwegian National Theatre

Norwegian National Theatre

It was a good place to start, as a lot of the museums and other places to see are around that area.  There was also a customer service centre, where I was able to buy a 24-hour ticket for the trains, trams, buses and ferries. It is also a station from which you get the train to the airport.

One thing about Norwegian and Swedish for that matter, is that a lot of the words can be guessed.  For instance the stop for the Nation Theatre is Nationaltheatret. At least the Norwegian National Theatre is more centrally placed than ours in London.

From the theatre, I walked around for an hour or so, until I got to the National Gallery, as I wanted to see the Munch paintings.

Norwegian National Gallery

Norwegian National Gallery

At the moment there is a celebration of Edvard Munch, so I bought a ticket for the two venues at both the National Gallery and the Munch Museum.

September 10, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Crazy Train Ride

it should have been very easy.

I was dropped back at Vasteras station and then all I had to do was take a train to Hallsberg, where I would get a fast train to Oslo, where I would arrive around nine o’clock. The aim was to then spent a day in Oslo, coming home on the Wednesday to London by British Airways.

The first part of the journey was uneventful, except that to me it seemed that no-one had adjusted the heating system on the train I got to Hallsberg.  But it was in time to get my connection to Oslo at 17:06.

Hallsberg was a station that was the mix of old and new and had a wide bridge over the tracks like Reading and other rebuilt stations in the UK.

Hallsberg Station

Hallsberg Station

But the train that arrived to take me to Oslo had seen better days. But if I thought that was a bad train, we were then informed that we’d be changing to another train to continue our journey.

Changing Trains

Changing Trains

The new train was one of the worst I’d travelled on in the last couple of years and I’ve even been on a Pacer that was in better condition. None of the toilets were working.

No Toilets Were Working

No Toilets Were Working

All of this game of musical trains was because there works on the lines and they had to get the passengers through on only one line.

Eventually, we got to Kongsvinger, where Swedish Railways had assured us the fast train to Oslo would have been held.

But it hadn’t been held, so about fifty of us gathered in the waiting room at about eleven. Luckily, I had details of my hotel  in Oslo and was able to get them on the telephone to assure them I was on my way. But I know others weren’t so lucky, as they hadn’t any rooms to go to in Oslo.  They’d just hoped they’d get there early enough to find one.

Customer service was non-existent and even the toilets needed a credit card.  Luckily a forceful Swede knew how to fix them, so everybody could have a much-needed pee.

Eventually, a train arrived and although it was fairly new and very clean, it wasn’t the fastest, as it crawled its way to Oslo.

A Train Arrives

A Train Arrives

It was an enjoyable journey though, as the Swede was handing out beer to fellow passengers, who included a teacher from Devon and his German girlfriend. Just as we did on that memorable night in Venice, we enjoyed ourselves and put the world to rights.

I got into Oslo about midnight and wandered around for perhaps half-an-hour until I found a taxi to take me to my hotel.

September 9, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment