It was a Tuesday night after our weekly yoga class together that my friend Abi and I deliberated about my future trip. Realising that I had a finite amount of time to see people before I go away we decided a day trip was in order. As always though things soon escalated.
Whilst pondering on the idea to visit London and all its museums for the day our minds started to wonder further afield. Soon we began looking on skyscanner for cheap April flights.
There was a plethora of options for us to choose and we couldn’t believe the options we had. For the price of a meal out we could fly to Norway/Switzerland/Morocco or even Greece for the day.
I decided to let Abi do all the work because I’m kind like that. I left her that evening with my credit card and instructions to book the cheapest flight out of the UK. The next day I soon received a text confirming all was booked. We were off to Norway for 2 days for the grand total of £20!
She soon found an apartment on Airb&b just out of the centre and all was arranged. For the total of £60 each we had return flights and accomadation booked for 2 days.
The flights we had chosen left early Tuesday morning then returned home late Wednesday night. This would give us the maximum amount of time to explore the new city.
We left Cheltenham around 3:30am and set off for the airport. The personal use of my works van meant we didn’t have to pay any petrol money so getting to the airport was free 😁.
We parked nearby and called a taxi to take us the rest of the way. Airport parking is crazy expensive and would have cost nearly as much as our combined trip simply for 2 days.
We got to the airport, followed the normal formalities and set off in a sleep deprived slumber for Norway. ✈️
After a 2 hour flight we landed in a tiny little airport somewhere in Norway. On arrival Abi received a text from our host saying it was snowing in Oslo 😳 England was on the verge of a heatwave and we’d changed sunshine for rain and snow!
A replacement bus service for the train took us on a hour commute to the centre of Oslo. We found the metro and made our way to our apartment under the instructions of our host.
Our host was called Erlend, he shared the apartment we think with his partner. After a quick once around the apartment he left us ready to explore the city.
After the early start, the flight and bus to Oslo it had taken us nearly 10 hours to get there. Abi took a rest and I decided to pop off and explore the surrounding area of our apartment.
It turned out we were in an almost Turkish district of the city. On every corner kebab shops and Turkish bizzars lined the road.
Soon I noticed though that on any available wall space people had painted amazing works of graffiti art.
With the excitement of discovering new hidden gems of the city I decided to return home and drag Abi from her comfortable slumber.
Abi had researched some of the areas and districts an so we headed to a suburb called Grünerløkka. Widely reported to be an area for live music, trendy bars and restaurants.
As we walked to the district we found a gated park and decided to go in and explore. It turned out to belong to the grounds of the natural history museum in Oslo.
The grounds were filled with wild flowers an tress from all around the world and local pieces of art.
As is the way when I go anywhere now I also couldn’t resist the urge to have a photo of me doing a handstand.
We walked on for another half hour and soon found ourselves in Grünerløkka . A cafe on the side of the square with large sofas called for us to go in. We sat and rested and enjoyed the comfort of the chairs whilst people watching through window.
Amusingly Abi soon noticed and pointed out to me that she hadn’t seen a unattractive person since we’d got to Oslo. In that moment I soon rescanned the surroundings and couldn’t disagree with her. Every single person walked with an air about them as if they’d just walked off a catwalk or photoshoot.
We continued to wonder the streets and slowly fell in love with the atmosphere and architecture of the city.
We stopped for dinner in a small burger bar. I scoffed a handmade double burger and chips within minutes an sat full and content. After the meat sweats had subsided we headed out to find Abi pick n mix.
It turns out in Oslo ever corner has a shop selling sweets and yogurt. She filled her back with the same enthusiasm and abundance as a unleaded child. It filled her with an equal joy and we set off home for then evening.
Once we finally got home exhausted from the days travelling and walking we changed into joggers and sunk into Erlands sofa for the night.
Semi refreshed after a nights sleep we soon washed and squared away the apartment. We left with all our belongings packed into our rucksacks and set off to hire bikes for our final day around the city.
I’d found via Google a local shop to hire some bikes and after a slight detour through Oslo we found the shop.
The shop was owned and ran by an American now living in Oslo. He was awesome and gave us a map and route for the city for us to follow.
We’d decided we wanted to head to the sculpture tail in a park on the west side of the city. We headed off to play in the city.
We stopped at the grand palace to take the normal touristy photos but soon moved on find the park.
We had no real idea what to expect from the park. We also had no real idea why the statues were designed in the way they are but we had great fun imitating them.
Time was dwindling away fast so we had to head on down to the coast and make our way back to the city. We followed a path out of the park down through waterfalls and wooden bridges. Sun beams shone on banks of blue bells and the bridges because lined with “love locks”
The final leg of the bike ride took us along the marina and through the most modern of surroundings. The apartments designed in a beautiful contemporary fashion lined with restaurants and trendy bars. The kind of places even the locals dream one day of living.
It was a great way to end random spur of the moment trip. Always to be remembered for its spontaneity, architecture of the city, random art works and sculptures hidden around every corner of the city.
An so the journey home begins, a train, plane and van ride will take us home and back to the grind. It’s a trip il look back on fondly, shared with a friend closer to me than any other. Sure it had its ups and downs but that’s how moments with genuine people always are. You can’t be a perfect person all the time and relationships are built on the foundations of people’s imperfections.