Oslo, Day 1. Transport Ode

When I travel, every bit of the journey tends to become an experience I might talk about extensively, whether it’s miling around duty-free shops before boarding or noticing the absence of row 13 on a SAS aircraft. I feel like I haven’t been on a vacation in six months, which is not the case, but after some hard post New Year working, I am more than looking forward to this highly anticipated city break.

Oslo is a city that is green, excitingly urban, vibrant and relaxed in that special Norwegian way, all at the same time, eliciting enthusiastic praise from both guidebooks and visitors alike. These adjectives and snippets of information went through my mind as our captain announced that Oslo would soon be visible from the cabin windows.

My friend and I looked out eagerly to see a seemingly endless expanse of snow-covered mountains underneath a blue sky.

Photo credit @juniperlu

Photo credit @juniperlu

Pristinely white stretches followed, dotted with clusters of what were even from this height obviously recognizable Norwegian houses in dark red, brown and creamy white with triangular roofs. We spotted a road, and before we knew it, we had landed at Gardermoen Airport.

My trips are usually divided in to clear steps (I have spent a long time in Germany, after all, ja). The next one was catching the Flytoget (which I still pronounce like fly-to-get (something…)) express train to Oslo Central Station. The company has a very helpful video that shows you how to get to the train from the arrivals area at the airport, and it’s so incredibly positive that I wanted to hug the people who made it. The whole thing is as easy as it is presented. After exiting customs/ baggage claim, you turn right and head straight down the hall. Even if you forget this, there are immediately visible signs. One swipe of a credit card, and you proceed down to the train platform. There’s a screen just above the escalator that shows you your platform number and departure time, but, again, even if you forget to look, the first thing you see is another screen on the platform. Trains arrive every 10 minutes and the journey to the city center takes 19.

There was absolutely no way to get lost, and I was also heartened to read the train’s safety flyer (I always grab anything readable within reach): the safety philosophy is zero injuries. Not that I was expecting anything, but all this continuous consideration for passenger feelings was delightful. There were also two clearly visible power sockets below the window by our seats! Take that, Deutsche Bahn.

Getting somewhere from an airport in a new place is a particularly thought-consuming process for me, which is why I’ve devoted more than one paragraph simply to taking a train. Five stars to Oslo on the reducing travel anxiety front!

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