Saturday, May 31, 2014

Oslo local feel



Feel the water in her body, water's never going out x8

And she's going on a journey
Always walking down the road
And the water is always calling
My little child, please come home

Aurora Aksnes: Awakening 


Aurora Aksnes, Norwegian singer and songwriter

First impressions and my favorite cafe in Olso

Straight to the point: I enjoyed my stay in Oslo a lot, and I wish I could go back there. Although when I arrived my first impression were a bit mixed, because it was warmer than what I expected (Scandinavian problems..), and I could see hardly anyone Norwegian until I got to the hostel.
As I got to know later it was because the area close to the Railway Station is a district where many foreign inhabitants are living.

The hostel itself was really nice, it had a large and very esthetic common room, a kitchen where you could cook all day whenever you wanted, there was free wifi and good buffet breakfast every morning with all sorts of foods and drinks.

I spent the first whole day of my stay with visiting the Viking Ship Museum and the Fram. And since I like museums I visited also on the second day three of them from which one is worth mentioning: the Nobel Peace Center which had a really cool interactive exhibition about social media and its impact on democracy. Plus they made a room where you could see the photos of each Nobel Peace Prize winner, and when you stepped in front of a photo a short description appeared on the screen showing why that person won the prize.

I think it is good to leave space also for the "random-factor" when you visit a new city.This is how I found Kaffebrenneriet (Universitatsgata 18). I was coming from Subway and saw the yellow building and symphatic-looking people sitting inside, so I decided to give it a try- which was a good decision.


Kaffebrenneriet Universitatsgata, Photo by Monika Csapo


I have been always a big fan of cafe-culture, and when I used to live in Budapest we always had our favorite places with my friends where we could sit for hours and chat while drinking a good latte, or hot chocolate. I kept this habit of mine, and also during my trips I collected many good memories from the nice cafes I have been visiting.

What I liked about Kaffebrenneriet Universitatsgata was that the place has a clean yet elegant interior design, and the cookies and the coffee still have a reasonable price. One piece of cake was around 4,5 euros which is standard Finnish price, and one latte was approximately 4,14 euros which is a bit more expensive than in Finland, but if I understood well they use fair trade coffe which might explain the price difference. Besides the design and food an important element to mention: the staff was friendly, and the cafe had a good atmosphere.


Kaffebrenneriet Universitatsgata, Photo by Monika Csapo


An extra point goes to Kafebrenneriet for the benches around the cafe. Since the weather was warm people were sitting and drinking their coffee also outside. The benches are not separated, which can be a good occasion for getting in to conversation with locals sitting next to you.


Kaffebrenneriet Universitatsgata, Photo by Monika Csapo



Photo source: http://kaffebrenneriet.no/images/uploads/butikkene/KB12_Fasade.jpg


While I was sitting there I could see finally more Norwegians. I was already very interested in how they might look like. Might be because Kaffebrenneriet was close to the university, but I saw a lot of good looking men and women having a nice clothing style, and being in a very good shape.

After the cafe I went back to the hostel, and we started to get ready for the evening.

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The law of attraction: meeting Lars, Lars, Anita and Cecile

We met Lars, Lars, Anita and Cecile at a graveyard. Haha, this sentence sounds so stupid that I had to leave it here. So the story is that we went to a place first which turned out not to be what we were looking for, therefore we decided to head to Ingensteds. At Vår Freslsers gravlund we stopped to check our map since I was suggesting to cross the graveyard, because I was already tired of walking.

At this moment someone asked us where we are heading at- it was Lars- and our adventurous local evening started. It was funny, because I just told Aline two minutes before how cool it would be to meet some local people by accident..

After we met with Lars, his wife, and his brother in law and his wife, we continued together through the graveyard towards the district where Ingensteds was located in. I saw the grave of Ibsen from distance, and an other really nice grave with a Norsk cross on it. Who would have guessed when I had to read The Wild Duck from Henrik Ibsen at high school that once I will be walking through a graveyard with four Norwegians and a Brazilian friend listening stories about Norway in the graveyard he was burried at.
Vår Freslser gravlund is by the way a honorary graveyard- not that it would matter too much where one is burried after he has passed away..

For people who know me the problem might be familiar: I had to charge my phone, but this time I had no charger with me, and our new friends were so kind that they let me to charge my phone at their place.

I will not misuse our hosts` hospitality but I can tell some details which were not so personal. For example we found three similarities already at the beginning: both Finns and Norwegians like to grill in the summer, drinking, and people change with sunlight in Norway as well. I do not know how Norwegians are in the winter, but I liked them a lot in the summer!

As we got to know each other more, and the amount of Baileys-coffee and wine was getting more and more the evening was turning to a surrealistic dream, because what is it if not surrealistic when people from different countries (and also continents) who have not known each other before are talking like friends about everything, listening to music, laughing and having fun. It was nice to look at the map on the wall where the places visited were marked with red and meeting somene likewise who loves travelling just as much as I do. It was also nice to see that also other people like to be open and welcoming. And also the stories we could listen about the distant mountains in Norway and the Norwegian culture, like for example having two official written languages were very interesting.

(One small remark: just when I was writing this post Aline wrote me on Whatsap to ask how I am doing. She is my Brazilian friend who I was talking about in this post.)

An other fun-detail was that our hosts had a maine coon cat called Sofia who let me pet her!

PS: If you are reading this post, thanks a lot for everything once more! I hope we meet if you come to Helsinki, or when I visit Oslo again!




Walking on Damstredet, Photo by Monika Csapo


Houses in Fredriksborg, Photo by Monika Csapo






Fun evening, Photo by Monika Csapo



PS2: I should have taken more photos, but the atmosphere was so good, that I could not :).




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Party,party,party: Ingensteds

I liked Ingensteds a lot, that night was one of the best parties where I have been for a really long time. The place had a great interior design, but it had still that certain human touch, the people were stylish, but not snobbish, there was good music and the drinks were not so much more expensive than in Finland.

There was also a terrace what you can see on the photos, and I took also one of the videos here.

Might be the relaxed atmosphere (see the last dancing video), the drinks we had, the kindness of Norwegian people in summer- or all of this elements mixed together, but  we had a really great time with my friend here. For example I set a mission for myself at Kaffebrenneriet that I have to take photos of Norwegian people to show people on the blog how they look like, and me who is too shy to take pictures of people in general was having no problem at all asking people if we could take a picture of them as represening how Norwegian people look like. Too bad I did not pay much attention, and did not caught the best angles, so I rather do not publish those photos here. But it was fun!

I took also videos as a memory, and you can see that people realized it (tourist-alarm), but they were very laid-back, and did not make a problem of it.

One of our favorite part of the evening with Aline was THE dance. I could not reists not to record it. Those people were dancing so cool! And the best of it was that no one was making faces or so, it was absolutely this "live and let live" atmosphere ruling the place.

It was a fun night, we got to know great people, and if I could, I would go back to party there every weekend this summer, because I felt awesome at Ingensteds.




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Photo by David Gallefoss/ N&D


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Photo from Ingensteds Facebook-page


Photo from Ingensteds Facebook-page

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Here you find more Oslo-insider trips from the locals:
http://www.spottedbylocals.com/oslo/page/2
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What this trip made me aware of

I don`t neccesairly seek for conclusion everywhere and in everything, but this trip reminded me of certain things so strongly that it would be hard not to realize them. 

One was that travelling is a mentality and a lifestyle, not just a hobby. Now that I stayed at a hostel, not at a hotel, I could meet people like myself, and it was a great experience to see that other people share the same passion I do, although each of us travels in his or her own personal way. But the drive of being interested in the world, and wanting to see more is common in each of us.

The other conclusion was connected to being open and following one`s intuition. I discovered it also other times that when I am more relaxed, and open for good things, I usually find the places I want to be at, and meet that sort of people I would like to be with. Thanks to all the people I met during my stay, and also to the Visit Oslo page, it was great to feel welcomed in Oslo!

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