In Oslo our first stop was (surprise!) IKEA. Free coffee and a bit of internetting before heading into the City. We got to Frogner Park and parked in the car park. I popped some coins in to the ticket machine and it jumped from 2 hours to overnight parking! We took a walk through the park, quite busy with runners, cyclists, students and tourists. Lots of weird statues of naked men, women and babies. Many of the female statues had clear ‘wear’ marks on the boobs and bums haha
It was getting dark and rather than hunt around for somewhere to sleep we just stayed in the car park! Was a little noisy in the night with students and revellers but I didn’t think it was too bad.
Next morning (Tues) turns out it was that bad, and Shaz didn’t get much sleep, with the noise and worrying about all the car theft warning signs… I slept like a log which is unusual!
We got moving before the ticket ran out at 9am and headed for the Opera House. Bit of a nightmare to negotiate the city and find parking but we managed to take a walk in, around and on the opera house. Interesting building, made seemingly out of marble but with different textures applied such as polishing, stippling and grooving.
We drove down to a harbour area where huge cruise liners were being painted, sharing the docks with old wooden shops.
We then headed to some museums, Shaz and I walked around the Viking ship museum and then I did the Fram museum on my own, as I’d found the whole Amundsen/Scott/Shackleton stuff pretty interesting. I didn’t have enough time to do the Fram museum properly, it’s pretty big with the buildings built around Fram and the Gjoa boats and multiple floors.
After a drive around we left Olso with the intention of visiting Alex and Linda again in Gothenburg. We were in need of showers and we wanted to be visitors at Alex’s, rather than ‘service users/abusers’ so we found a place off the motorway at the Swedish border that had pay shower blocks.
We pulled up and just as we were getting our shower gear together a Chinese tour bus arrived. They piled off and were very interested in the Landrover, posing with it for photos and chatting to me whilst Shaz tried to carry on getting things ready!
Inside the shop that managed the showers it was heaving with the Chinese tourists and the very odd silver-haired playboy that ran the place knocked the shower price down to 4NOK’s as we were sharing but insisted on taking our keys as insurance against the shower block keys. Did not want to do it but as we were only going to be in the showers for 10-15 mins I thought it would be ok.
10-15 mins later, we emerged from the shower block to find the shop in darkness, closed, tourists gone. Just a couple of migrant workers smoking crumpled/bent cigarettes. Banged on the door, no one there! One of the guys hanging around waived his hand across the road shouting ‘buss, buss!’ and Shaz saw someone who looked liked our Swedish Stringfellow jump on the bus and it left immediately.
What followed was 30 mins of red mist and swearing, that nearly culminated in us going and getting the keys ourselves using the large crowbar we had in the truck (still had shaz’s keys so not locked out thankfully!)
The restaurant next door was open and the guy inside explained that Hefner actually lived above the shop, and would probably be back soon. Eventually a bus turned up and the douchbag got off, apologising profusely claiming he ‘saw his bus home’ (but you live above the shop?) and ran for it and got on before remembering us and getting the next bus back. Very strange. Inside the shop, I saw that at least he hadn’t taken our keys with him so I expressed my displeasure before leaving.
We were now too late to arrive at Alex’s at a decent time so we let him know and agreed to meet in the morning. Slept in a quiet carpark in a small town about 20k’s outside Gothenburg.
Weds morning we headed down into Partille where Alex’s place is, to a mall to get some breakfast to take to Alex’s. Ended up with some filthy pastries... Took them over to Alex’s to find they’d been trying to avoid eating too many carbs. Oops! You can always start again tomorrow… Linda and the kids weren’t there and we were sad to have missed them but it was good to catch up with Alex again and chat about our trip over coffee and cake.
At Alex’s we’d been laughing about how paranoid we were about security, in a part of the world where up north people feel safe enough not to lock their doors. After saying our goodbyes we went back to the mall to stock up on some food. Pulled into the overflow car park to find some poor chap standing next to a car with a pile of broken glass and blankets. Spoke to him and he had just got back to his car to find it broken into and his laptop amongst other things stolen. Paranoia reinstated, we drove to the busier main car park and parked in front of the entrance!
Back on the road again we headed for Malmo and ultimately towards the Oresund bridge back to Denmark. Of course we ended up stopping at an Ikea, and ended up sleeping in the car park there!