Archive for Norway
I woke up bright and early at 8 AM . I got myself ready and went straight for breakfast. I decided not to do any touristy stuff today as I believed that I have seen most of Berlin anyway.
I did most of my work that was way overdue in the morning and I checked out at 12.30PM. I got the cab to the train station. The train fare was very reasonable. 1st class 1 way ticket cost just 80 odd Euro.
The train station in Berlin was very impressive. It looks more like an airport than a train station with many levels. Kings Cross is definitely nothing compared to this one. Hahahahahaha.
My train was due to arrive at 2.30 PM so I had plenty of time to kill. I had a quick stroll around the shopping area and got myself fish and chips for lunch.
The train arrived about 10 minutes late but I wasn’t fussed. Views en-route to Prague was okay. I didn’t see much as it was getting dark anyway. However, I did see loads of ‘Wind Farms’ along the way.
The journey took 4 hours. It was quite an effort to take my baggage out of the train as most of it was oversized . Anyway, I went to straight to the money exchange counter and got my Chezk money.
Unfortunately, I was duped by the taxi man. He charged me a fortune for just a 3 minutes cab ride to the hotel. A bit of warning to anyone out there who may be planning to come for a visit – Be Wary With Taxi Drivers In Prague! Some of them can be quiet dodgy.
The hotel I stayed in was great. It’s called Eurostars Thalia. It’s a five star hotel that is close to the main square and located just opposite the National Theater. The room was fab. Extra large bed with ‘Kelly Hoppenish’ design. That was enough to make me happy after the taxi incident
Today the 4th Feb was the last day for us in Tromso. We packed our bags and went down and had our breakfast at the hotel lobby.
The taxi came on time and I went out to put my bags in the boot and while I was heading towards the taxi, I slipped real hard on the snow. The taxi man was concerned because I banged my head against the hard iced snow. Luckily, I didnt hurt myself and but most importantly I was glad that Janet didn’t see it because she would laugh real hard…hahahahahaha
It took about ten minutes to reach the airport and we immediately checked in. This was Janet’s final message:
I will definitely come back to Tromso next year. Here’s why…
Janet and I went our separate ways. I was on my way to Berlin and she was on her way back to London. Here’s our final video message together:
I hate saying goodbyes as it’s very disheartening. Janet walked with me to my departure gate. We hugged yet again and that was the last I saw her. ‘Nuff said. Hopefully, she’ll come and see me in the Far East this summer.
The flight to Frankfurt was ok. I immediately changed my connecting flight to Berlin and the flight took 50 minutes.
I got at Berlin airport around 5.15pm and I was already knackered big time. I got my bags on the carousel and walked straight to arrival area. The distance from the airport to the city centre wasn’t that far but unfortunately I didn’t have a euro to my name so I had to look for a money exchange.
I made the biggest mistake of my life for not having euros on me because it took me 20 minutes to find a money exchange counter and when I had finally found it, it was closed.! Darn.
In the end, I walked to the next cash point and withdrew some money. I reall couldn’t moan as it was all my fault anyway. I should have brought my cash well in advance.
Anyway, the taxi didn’t cost that much. I paid 14 euro to get to my hotel which was right in the heart of the Berlin shopping district….( my favourite, of course )
I checked in and went straight to bed. Just couldn’t be asked to do anything else. Too tired.
I bought my much needed pair of gloves at the local store and Janet bought her new matching red hat and gloves at the souvenir shop J. You can watch her taking my video at the link below. (WARNING: Videos are for adults only. Loads of bleeps )
Later, we walked to the aquarium where we watched seals being fed. I’ve been told that this is the only aquarium in the world that’d let you watch seals in captivity. Again, you can watch it all at the link below.
More pictures for your viewing pleasure. These pictures were taken whilst we were on our way to the aquarium / sea centre.
It was already 2PM when we finally completed our brief trip at the sea life centre. We were quite famished and we had just an hour left before our cross country skiing so we went back to the high street and I had a quick bite at the local KEBAB shop (I know… they are quite ubiquitous J Janet did not eat anything. Told me she’s on a strict diet…Yeah right J
We were picked up at the Radisson Hotel by our ski guide. Here are the videos taken during the journey.
At exactly 3PM, we were driven to another island in Tromso called the Whale island and if you have seen the video above, you should then know a little more about the island as told by the tour guide.
The last time that I skied was probably in Italy about 4 years ago. Naturally, I got a bit nervous putting the ski shoes on and all the gadgets. Wasn’t sure weather I could hack it again.
I felt even more nervous for Janet because she never skied before and as normal she was yapping away her worries. LOL. Watch her
I gained my confidence back after about 5 minutes on the slope. Janet, on the other hand, fell down to her knees numerous times and I know she’s not going to be happy about this; but I did laugh senseless every time she fells. J
The view from the island was absolutely gorgeous particularly the sunset that was completely breathtaking. You must get here yourself to experience it.
We finished off with our adventure on Whale Island by snow walking up the mountain tops. We had to put on our ski shoes (that looked like tennis racquets J) so we can get up there easily.
For obvious reasons, Janet did not quite manage to get herself up to the top. Being at a vantage point, I had the perfect target view for my snowball throwing session. And yes, the only target was Janet. J Bless her.
Well she did try to return the snow ball back at me but failed miserably. Well Janet, if you are reading this, then you’d probably have to try again next year J.
We were sent back to the hotel around 6PM and we had about 15 minutes to relax in the hotel room to soothe our sore and cold feet.
The meeting point for our next trip was still at the same place as our first tour and we were there bang on time. We thought we were early but our guide was already there and she escorted us to a big van with other like minded tourists
It took about 30 minutes to reach our dog sledding destination and we immediately heard the huskies barking the minute we were there. There were probably hundreds of them. Amazing!!
I can’t remember the exact location for our dog sledding adventure but it was V something. I know it’s not helpful but I seriously couldn’t remember. Those who had been here before and are reading this bit of my blog, please comment for the sake of our readers out there
The husky ride was seriously an experience that I’ll never forget. You know what I mean when you watch this next video
and more here…..
We had traditional Sami dinner in their tent (eskimo version) with a big fire in the middle. Smashing.
We got back to the hotel close to midnight and went straight to bed. ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I spent most of my day walking around Oslo with my good friend, Melissa. We walked from the hotel to the Central Station then to the high street, the castle, park and the harbour.
I am still very impressed with Oslo. The city is so clean and people are so friendly. The only thing that bugs me is the price. It is way too expensive for my liking.
The snow was still there in the morning. It was so surreal. Loved it to bits.
Oslo is such a small place where everything is so easily accessible. If you are used to the hustle and bustle of London then Oslo can be considered like walking around
Mayfair. It’s really an easy place to walk around.
If walking is not what you’re into, then the tubes are practically everywhere and it’s fairly easy to get to where you want to go.
Melissa and I had lunch at McDonalds (I know…) that overlooked the beautiful Oslo harbour and we later walked back to my hotel and took the cab to the train station for the airport.
We said our goodbyes at around 2PM and I continued my journey to meet my travelling buddy – Janet Johnson who was already waiting for me at the airport gate. Our onward journey was Tromso – above the Arctic Circle and only about 1,000 odd miles to the North Pole.
Janet was with me for just the weekend and she would then fly back to London.
Our flight departed from Oslo at around 4PM and the flight took around 1 hour and 40 minutes to reach Tromso.
It was already dark and raining when we arrived. However, snow was everywhere and some of it were much higher that me. Blimey J Imagine that!!
We waited for the taxi outside the airport and unfortunately, the taxi stand had no heater installed in it and there weren’t any doors that’d stop the snow from coming in.
It took about an hour before the taxi arrived and my feet were already freezing. I didn’t prepare myself for the Arctic weather and I had brought my sneakers and my office shoes. Janet lectured me all the way…I know she loves me. Bless her!J
The soles of my sneakers were quite thin and the bitter cold went straight in like there’s no tomorrow and I immediately felt the icy cold snow biting my feet. If we had to wait for more than one hour longer, Janet would probably had to send me off to the hospital and get my feet chopped off or something J
Also, I didn’t bring my gloves with me so I had double lecture from Janet J
It took about 10 minutes for us to reach the hotel. We stayed at Rica Ishavshotel. It’s a nice hotel and it overlooks the bridge and the snowy mountains. I’d definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who plans to visit Tromso.
We had our dinner that night in a posh restaurant. Apparently, it was the oldest restaurant in town. Food was delicious and we had reindeer and deer cuisine. Service was fine and attentive. Absolutely smashing!!
I can’t remember the name of the restaurant but I’ll update you later on.
I’ve arrived in Oslo, Norway on Thursday, the 1st Feb 07 at around 4PM local time. The weather here was crisp, cold and snowy. The temperature was probably at around -1 C.
Upon arrival, I immediately took the fast train from the airport to Oslo Central Station. The trip took about 10 minutes but the cost of the fare was unbelievable. It costs double the price for a Heathrow Express return ticket! I really didn’t mind but I still thought it was like daylight robbery
I was greeted at the train station by a good friend of mine whom I have not met in more than 10 years. It wasn’t planned and I was only told that she was going to be there whilst chatting on Messenger. And yes, I was already feeling really excited even before the journey began
We took the cab to the hotel. It wasn’t really that far. I think it took us less than 5 minutes to get there.
We later walked around the city and had a Chinese dinner at one of the local restaurants. The scenery was really beautiful. It was almost surreal.
Here, the snow settles for weeks and you simply can’t compare it to our London snow that seems to melt in 5 minutes .
I’ve begun to realise that Oslo is THE MOST expensive city in the world. So, if you are planning to come to Oslo please make sure that you bring in lots of cash. Everything here seems like double the price in London.
I don’t think you need to take any public transportation as most tourist attractions in the city are just within a short walking distance away.
My friend and I spent the rest of the evening at the Hard Rock Cafe and later on to a local Oslo club.
I got back at the hotel at around 3.30AM.