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Norway 186

Oslo, Norway: Beyond the Heated Sidewalks

I had the good fortune to spend 4 days in Oslo.  This city reminds me of Zürich and Geneva in that it doesn’t really have the energy or distinct architecture that London, Paris, Rome or Amsterdam has.  And while I found the city to be kind of “blah”, the city sightseeing tour and museums were actually pretty interesting. A few interesting facts about Oslo: 1.  It was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved during the reign of King Christian IV. It was rebuilt closer to Akershus Castle, and renamed Christiania in his honour (also spelled Kristiania in the late 1800s). In 1925, twenty years after the dissolution of personal union between Norway and Sweden, the city reclaimed its original Norwegian name, Oslo. (source Wikipedia) 2.  This city rich.  And I am not kidding (a regular pizza & Diet Coke from a chain called Pepe’s Pizza cost me $50 USD!  I wanted apply for Norwegian food stamps so I could eat.).  In 2009, Oslo … Quit waiting around, join the overall game now with lightning link continuous good luck and several victories watch for anyone!

image sourced from Thon Hotel Astoria website.

Nikki’s Nest: Thon Hotel Astoria (Oslo, Norway)

Thon Hotels is one of Norway’s largest hotel chains with hotels in Norway, Sweden, Belgium and Holland.  They have 4 types of hotels; City (typically in the city center), Conference (professional conference hotels geared towards business travellers), Budget (simple accommodations) and Resort (suburban accommodations).  I spent 1 night at the Thon Hotel Astoria located at Dronningensgate 21 in Oslo, Norway.  The Thon Hotel Astoria is in their “budget” class of hotels and is centrally located close to the main pedestrian street (Karl Johan), the Oslo S Station, and many restaurants and boutiques and sights. Promotions Oslo is expensive.  Seriously.  A small pizza for 1 person averages $40 USD.  With that in mind, taking advantage of promotions is critical.  Thon offers promotions at most of its hotels.  By booking at least 7 days in advance (via their website), you can save money on your stay.  My stay cost 653 Kronor/night (which was approximately $117 USD). Rooms & Suites There are 3 types of rooms available:  Standard Single, Standard Double and Standard Triple/Family.  As stated above, this is a budget class hotel which …

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The “Norway in a Nutshell” Experience

“God dag” from Norway! A couple of months ago, I saw a picture of a Norwegian fjord on Pinterest.  It was so breathtaking that I promised myself that one day I would visit.  I was blessed to have a business trip here so I added a couple of days to experience as much as I could of this country.  Getting to the fjords isn’t as easy you think.  You need to take a series of trains, buses and ferries.  After a lot of research, I found that the easiest way is to take the “Norway in a Nutshell” tour. This tour is a series of pretty well-organized connections from Oslo to Bergen (and back) via rail, bus and ferry.  Along the way, you will take a train halfway across a mountain, then ride the Flamsbana train down to the Sognefjord for a ferry ride thru 2 off-shoot fjords (Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord). There are also other city & fjord combinations (for more information, check out Fjord Tours). You can buy your ticket directly from Fjord Tours or at the train stations.  One of the great …

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