A visit to Oslo was bound to happen while we lived in Copenhagen. The Norwegian capital is a day's drive north along the west coast of Sweden and into Norway along the Oslofjord before arriving in Oslo. The drive up took us across the Oresund Channel separating Denmark from Sweden crossing on the Helsingor ferry located on the northwest tip of Denmark arriving in Helsingborg, the Swedish port. From there the route is along the E6 autobahn thru the Swedish cities of Halmstad and Gothenborg before crossing the Danish border at Svinesund with much open country along the route. The land is forested in places with many rock outcroppings. It was late winter but almost no snow on the ground until we reached Oslo. The road was clear and dry, easy driving all the way. Occasionally there was a glimpse of the coast as E6 lies just a bit inland. Being a weekend there was no truck traffic. Large trucks are not permitted to use the autobahns on weekends in many parts of Europe.

Our visit to Norway's capital was just a quick probe, only a couple days, because we were conserving vacation for trips later that year. One can see quite a bit in cities like Oslo in only a couple days because the tourist infrastructure is well developed and the city is modest in size. Lana had found a really good deal on a hotel that operated as part of a hospital. Strange as that sounds it was just perfect for our purpose. The room was equipped like a typical hospital room with only the medical monitors and other specialized medical equipment missing, but the provisions for these items were available. Built like a high quality hotel it had all the expected features including a bathroom designed for physically challenged patients. The hospital provides these rooms for the families of patients who come to visit patients. If possible, the patients can stay with the family members in these rooms for several days. When the rooms are not reserved for patients and their families they are rented to tourists such as ourselves. The accommodation included a breakfast in the hospital cafeteria. We arrived late in the day so went out to eat in town that evening. To do that we took the electric trolley located very near the hospital entrance. It was so convenient and inexpensive that driving a car into town would have been a poor choice as we would have had to navigate and park. The trolley took us directly into the heart of Oslo.

We walked around in the center of town and found an open restaurant that looked cozy and traditional. Our meal was excellent as was the service, all high quality. The price was on the expensive side as are most of the services and products in Norway. Everyone we met spoke excellent English. It always makes us feel humble that the natives speak our language but we don't speak theirs.

The next morning we ate breakfast in the hospital cafeteria. The buffet style meal was impressive, something you would not expect in a hospital. Several long tables were stacked with food selections many of which we could not identify. The Norwegians are a fishing country and their cuisine expresses that traditional. I've never been big on raw seafood products especially for breakfast so I stayed away from those items. But I did try the pickled herring and a few other seafood selections that were cooked. The pastries were of course extensive and that is where Lana spent most of her calorie allowance. One thing that most Americans will notice in countries like Norway is how good the coffee tastes. The US has come a long way in their coffee culture in the past 20 years so the availability of a good cup of coffee isn't the challenge it once was, but the Norwegians and other European countries have been enjoying great coffee for a long time. I won't say I've never had a bad cup of coffee in Europe but it is rare even in the lesser developed nations. How Dennys continues to get away with the coffee they serve is a testimonial to the American coffee dysfunction that is slowly disappearing. Now even McDonald's serves decent coffee IMHO.

For the two days in Oslo we did the town mostly on foot. Our photos show the places we visited and the links below help explain the points of interest better that I can do.

Oslo Official Visitor Guide

Wiki Oslo

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