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Day One: Oslo

Posted on Monday, March 24th, 2008

Dave!"Huh? You're going to Oslo for vacation?? What in the hell for?" —Just About Everybody I Know

Trying to explain how sometimes I like to travel to places "just because I haven't been there before" is a challenging ordeal. But here I am in the capitol city of Norway for exactly that reason. I've never been here, there's a Hard Rock Cafe in the city, and one of my first blogging buddies (whom I've never met) lives in the area. That's more than enough reason for me, even if people I know have trouble understanding why I'm here instead of Hawaii.

The tough thing about Olso is not the cold, snowy weather this time of year... I'm used to that back home. No, the problem is affording to spend time here. As The World's Most Expensive City, Oslo is a real challenge for the tourist traveler. And when you compound that with the INCREDIBLY F#@%ING WEAK U.S. DOLLAR, an expensive city becomes almost prohibitively expensive. Because, let's face it, on the international market, the American dollar ain't worth shit.

In fact, I'd be willing to wager that if you forced somebody here to choose between our dollar and a pile of shit, they'd actually take the shit because it could be used as a fertilizer, whereas a U.S. Dollar has practically no value at all. And the fun starts the minute you get here... a train from the airport into the city, which would be around $5-$10 anywhere else, is $32 in Oslo. And, since I measure everything compared to the price of a roll of toilet paper, I found out that the Blogography Toilet Paper Index Score for Oslo is $4.50.

If my hotel didn't provide toilet paper, I'd be wiping my ass with the U.S. currency I had left in my pocket... it just makes economic sense.

But enough about the INCREDIBLY F#@%ING WEAK U.S. DOLLAR, here's a few things I saw today...

One of my very first blogging buddies is Karla from "Tales of a Texpatriate." She is funny as hell, loves to travel, and has a similar outlook on things as I do. I'd say this makes her a hotter female version of me, but my ego won't allow it. Instead I'll just say I love her to death, and couldn't wait to meet her at long last. So imagine my excitement when I get a text message on my iPhone telling me she'll meet me by the giant tiger at the train station...

Oslo Tiger!

That doesn't look very "giant" so here it is again, but with people so you can see how tall it is...

Oslo Tiger!

Well, not how tall "IT" is, but how tall "HE" is, ahem...

Oslo Tiger!

After a walk down the main street "Karl Johans Gate" we arrived at the Hard Rock Cafe Oslo, where Karla bought me birthday dinner! I guess she wanted to delay that inevitable moment where I run out of money and have to sell myself on the street for food...

Dave and Karla HRC

After a lovely chat over potato skins and nachos, we were off to Akershus Castle down the street. Along the way, I was surprised to see a statue of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He's honored here because of the assistance the U.S. offered Norway during the war. It's kind of nice remembering when we had a president that was liked and respected around the world. It's been so long...

Franklin D. Roosevelt Statue Oslo

Once at the castle, we could look down into the harbor. It was snowing pretty hard by now, which made taking photos difficult, but I did get a nice foggy panorama out of the deal...

Oslo Harbor Pano

Oslo has a lot of public art, some of it very strange. Like this "Let Your Fingers Do The Walking" kind of thing here...

Finger Statue Oslo

After a a little more wandering around, my lack of sleep from the past 32 hours finally caught up with me and it was time to say goodbye to Karla and head back to my hotel (conveniently located near the train station). Karla warned me that this is a popular area for hookers to hang out, but I haven't seen any yet. At first I was disappointed, but then I figured if hookers are as expensive as everything else here, I probably couldn't afford one. Besides, my bed is barely big enough for me...

My Oslo Bed...

And before I go, a big thanks to everybody who was kind enough to send my birthday wishes via Twitter, blog entries (I'm a holy day now!), comments, text messages, emails, and e-cards! Getting older sucks a little bit less when you know people are thinking kindly of you.

Categories: Hard Rock 2008, Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink


  1. Suzy says:

    A long time since we had a President that the world loved? Uhhhhh that would be only 8 years.

  2. sam says:

    Hope you had a great birthday Dave!!

    The one thing I’ll always remember about Oslo was just how comfortable my bed was! LOL

    The Viking Museum is very cool and downtown is gorgeous… I forget the road, but it only has pedestrian traffic and it was beautiful, some great photo ops!

  3. Hilly Sue says:

    Awww, I am glad you had a fabulous time! That pic of you two is adorable and I love that tiger! Rowr!

  4. Hilly Sue says:

    Holy DumbCunt…I meant to say Happy Birthday again!

  5. Oh, you have to explain your vacation choices too? I know what that’s like. As kids my sister and I were taken to Spain every year and we’d sit around the swimming pool all day every day for two weeks. I honestly thought that’s all you were supposed to do on vacations. Needless to say once I was old enough, I figured out that vacations could be anything you want them to be. Going to new places and countries is far more interesting.

    Even today my parents (in their 60s) still go to Spain and they still make little comments like “oh, not going on a proper vacation then?” when I go to non-beach locales 😉

  6. What a cool trip you’re beginning.

  7. Whit says:

    Happy birthday! Do they celebrate old people in Oslo?

  8. claire says:

    Happy birthday, Dave!!!

    Two of my earliest readers were from Norway, so I totally get wanting to go there. After reading their blogs, Lofoten totally made my list of places to see some day. It looks pretty spectacular.

  9. Robin says:

    Looks like you are having fun! Have a great vacation!

  10. Tug says:


    Holy shit – if you weren’t paying attention that tiger could give you a heart attack.

  11. Sharon says:

    Wow, cool!

    My boyfriend is 100% Norwegian-American, and his parents are going to visit Norway this summer. I will have to send his mom a link to this post so she can get a preview of Oslo.

  12. turnbaby says:

    Glad you are having a good time sugar.

  13. Jeff says:

    Great… 3/4 of my family comes from Oslo and I’ve never been there because I can’t afford to drag 5 people across the ocean to make it happen. Then you up and go there just for the hell of it. Can you at least say Hi to them for me? 😉

  14. matkins says:

    Happiest of Birthdays to you!

  15. Avitable says:

    By the hoary balls of Tigros, that looks like fun.

  16. Iron Fist says:

    Huh. I thought Moscow was the most expensive city right now. Then again, with our worthless dollar, pretty soon Tijuana will be expensive to visit.

  17. kilax says:

    Happy Birthday Dave! I would go to Oslo too 🙂

  18. adena says:

    Ooookay….NOW I understand the Viking thing of yesterday. 🙂

    Have fun in Norway!!

  19. Lisa says:

    I love that you are so adventurous and travel to places like Norway. I hope you enjoy your vacation and don’t go broke in the process!!!

  20. Belinda says:

    Happiest of birthdays to the best of people. Oh, who cares if I’m not EXACTLY on time? Enjoy your vacation, too!

  21. yellojkt says:

    Great pictures. And the dollar is awful. I was just in London (another astoundingly expensive city) and I wish I had brought enough dollar bills for toilet paper. The hotel tissue was rougher than sandpaper.

  22. stephanie says:

    Happy Birthday Dave! Hope it was a good one! Enjoy your trip!

    Pee Essss: I found you via Avitable. You have a new reader!

  23. ajooja says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen an FDR statue before. How cool is that!?!

    (Off to Google to see how stupid that statement is. Love the Internet.)

  24. Happy Birthday! And, please, if you do start wiping your ass with US currency, please post it as a vlog. I beg you! 🙂

  25. Glenda says:

    I’m Norwegian so I think that Norway is an awesome place to go! Would one day like to visit myself 🙂 Happy Birthday, and I wish you a great year!

  26. Karl says:

    Aw, looks like a grand time indeed. Very happy you had such a fun birthday.

  27. Catherine says:

    Hippo Birdy Two Ewes, and many happy returns!

  28. Wade says:

    Happy Birthday Dave! Have fun on your vacation.

  29. Troy says:

    Oslo would be awesome. Those people asking “why Oslo” are idiots 🙂

  30. Cathy says:

    I went to Oslo in 1989…however, I was there in May as opposed to March. It was still a little cold though. I love Scandinavia, and Oslo was one of my favorite cities. I remember visiting Vigeland’s sculpture park, and cruising along the fjords, and seeing a ski jump that was used in the olympics (so the ski jump wasn’t that impressive, but the drive up was nice). No need to justify your traveling adventures. I love to visit all different places, not so much for the weather or the sites, but because I love to learn about different cultures…that is what really fascinates me.

  31. sue says:

    I’m late… as usual. *sorry*
    Happy Birthday, Dave!!! Have a great next year!

  32. karla says:

    I would just like to point out that I am SMOKIN’ hot…even if the picture does not show it. Right Dave? (Even if your ego won’t allow it.)

    Between the two of us, we should totally start a Hot Bloggers Club. Because WE ROCK with the hotness.

  33. ChillyWilly says:

    The world traveler adds another destination to his map. And another Hard Rock Cafe visited, too.

  34. delmer says:

    I was going to comment that the tiger must be female else it would have gigantic balls hanging down. You never disappoint.

    What’s a hooker go for is Oslo?

  35. suze says:

    I’m glad you had a good birthday. I’ve always wanted to go to Oslo myself… so my reaction would have been completely different than the typical 😉

  36. Dustin says:

    Dude, if toilet paper is $4.50, no way you can afford a hooker. Maybe you could cut a deal for like a slap on the ass, but only if you find one that’ll accept travelers checks.

  37. Sayuri says:

    I freaking love Oslo, it’s one of my fav cities in the world and not just for the obvious! Heh!

    Hope you enjoy your vacatiion.

    Heh, that hotel room looks suspicously like the one I stayed in the last time I was there. The Thon’s are great though and don’t worry, I never saw any hookers either.

    It is possible to find some cheapish places to eat in Oslo, you just have to search. There is this one great place which the name of eludes me now. Most times I end up eating at friggin BK beacuise Oslo is so freakin’ expensive by anyone’s standards. I can’t imagine what you are suffering right now. But it so worth it.

    You are planning to go to Vigelsand park too, I hope? It’s amazing.

    Oh My god, I forgot, you need to go to the ‘Underwater Pub’ on a Tuesday or a Thursday night. They have real live Opera performed there by training singers. Heh! I promise you will enjoy it!

    Happy B-day!

  38. Happy, happy (late) birthday to you! And I’m loving the vacation blogging!

  39. rachel says:


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