So, to say that the issue is only slightly delayed, is about the biggest understatement of the year. My apologies. It seems that moving your life back from one country to another takes more time and effort than first thought; it doesn’t help that now I’m not technically working anymore, I’ve become increasingly lazier than I was in the first place, I know, I’m as shocked as you, I didn’t think it was possible either.
February 2015. School holidays have arrived. Time to set off on a Scandinavian adventure. Working as a language assistant, in another country, with very small children, I relish the opportunity to get away. So, me and another assistant Emma have planned a two week adventure travelling round Scandinavia and Berlin, first stop: Oslo.
I always knew that it was ruddy expensive to travel, especially from little old England, and that it’s much easier and cheaper to travel from the continent to the continent, but I didn’t quite expect how cheap. Setting off from our little town in France, we managed to hop on a €20 flight to Gothenburg, Sweden, and then catch a connecting bus to Oslo. €15 for a five-hour journey. I’m all for doing things on the cheap, but when you’re squished on a bus for all that time with a dead leg and an urgent desire to pee, there’s a small part of me which wishes I had just paid extra and taken the upgrade in the first place.
Upon arriving in Oslo, the first impression is that it’s very industrial, much more than what I had expected, I mean, the construction work may have had something to do with it, but its completely nothing what I had first thought it would be. Challenge 1: finding our Air-B&B, with no Norwegian krones or speaking a word of the language except ‘hei hei‘ and ‘takk‘. Oh, also, its freezing, its snowing (really.. in Norway?!), I’m tired, and peeing has become more of a need than a desire now; our taxi driver (who speaks English, but isn’t brilliant) doesn’t really know the way, or where exactly we are staying, but luckily, thanks to Barclays card, we’ve managed to grab some krones, without being charged a ridiculous rate! (I highly recommend getting a Barclays card if you’re travelling, I’ve used it everywhere and haven’t been charged an extra dime, kuna, or euro).
Eventually, after a few times round the block we find the apartment, we had pre-warned the lady who we were staying with our ETA, but was she there when we arrived? I’ll give you two guesses. Bearing in mind, it’s still snowing, and quite heavily now, I’d say temperatures are probably in minus figures too; we’re standing outside this random apartment block in the middle of Oslo, with no clue what to do. We’ve rung Lindus (I think her name was Lindus; if not, we’ll call her L for now), multiple times, but has L picked up? Take a guess, it’s the same answer as Question 1. Half an hour passes (although it seems much more) and L arrives. Her excuse? She needed to buy toilet paper. She makes up for it the fact that she has heated flooring in her bathroom, a comfy-as-Hell sofa-bed thing, and cupboard of tea – always a plus for a Brit. L recommends this perfect little bakery-cum-pizzeria by night for dinner, it’s a plus as it’s literally a stone’s throw away across the street. You can always tell an establishment is worth visiting by the line that’s forming out the door.
Åpent Bakeri is a little gem hidden away in the back streets of Oslo, but well worth a visit if you fancy great pizza, or traditional Nordic treats. Myself and Emma decided on a Reindeer and Pomegranate pizza (see pictured), €20 (a little pricey, but between 2 people, it’s worth it), only slightly more extreme than a typical Margherita, but I can assure you it was divine! The rich, wild taste of reindeer, paired with the sweetness and the crunch from the pomegranate, was a match made in heaven; I dare you to try it, and not love it. Not to forget the actual pizza itself; usually I am one for a pan-style base, but the handmade, crisp foundation of this masterpiece was perfect for me. You can really tell the effort and skill put into making each dish in this pizzeria, every single pizza and its flavours had been thought through; from Salami with Black Truffles, to Svinelår Ham with Red Onions. Now, I know that Norwegians aren’t renowned for their pizza, Italy doesn’t have anything to worry about just yet, however, I can safely say that this was hands down one of the best pizzas I have had in years, and that’s not just because I was starving!
Settling down for the night, we had already decided that a trip to the bakery in the morning for breakfast was in order. If their pizza was anything to go by, our taste buds were waiting in anticipation for their home-made bread, jam and goodies to start our travels in Oslo.