"Powellite" Bagnall 3ft gauge locomotive at Black Sands, Victoria - 1938. Photograph: P.G. Dow

06 August, 2010

Thursday 5 August 2010 - back to Oslo

Nothing much doing today. Went to Hamar post office to send some books back to Australia to lighten my luggage. Then in the early afternoon took the train back to Oslo. Noted a large number of people joined the train at the Oslo Airport station, rather than pay the higher fare on "Flytoget" (the Air-train) which is a high-speed service. The disadvantage of this is that the normal train lacks sufficient space for all the luggage these travelers bring with them, with the result that there is luggage everywhere. Anyway the normal train keeps up a cracking pace after the airport. Last stop before Oslo is Lillestrøm, then there is a very long tunnel almost the whole distance into Oslo. Don't know the length of the tunnel offhand, and don't have access to my reference books here, but it must have been at least 8km long I would think.[It is actually 13.8km long].

Back to the Thon Terminus Hotel at Oslo. No energy or enthusiasm to do anything, having hardly slept last night, though why I have no idea. Dinner at an Italian restaurant next to the hotel, during which there was a very heavy downpour of rain, the like of which I had not seen in Oslo, but it only lasted a couple of minutes.

Was having major problems sending email at Hamar, seemed that Bigpond objected to the private wi-fi network I was using, but they do not object to the Telenor wi-fi networks that are used in the bigger cities. So today I was able to upload three photographs I took on the phone- camera on Monday and Tuesday. Not very good pictures, trust those I have taken with my "proper camera" will be much better!

On Wednesday instead of taking the 3.6km walk back from the Hamar Railway Museum to my bed and breakfast place, I decided to take the local bus service, which only runs every hour, but it's schedule aligned well with my schedule on this occasion. Anyway I had no idea how much the fare would be, but assumed it would be about 25 kroner, as this is about the going rate in Oslo and Bergen. So I got on board and put 30 kroner on the tray next to the driver, and he said something to me in Norwegian which I didn't understand, so I put on another 10 kroner and he said something else which confused me even more, so I said "jeg snakke ikke Norsk", (I don't speak Norwegian), and the light dawned on his face and he laughed and said "Only ten crowns!"

And in Norway that's good value (about $A1.85).

Incidentally, in the morning I had indulged in the rare luxury of taking a taxi to the Museum (as I had been walking more than I could comfortably cope with, and also to maximise my time at the Museum library). Took the taxi from the railway station taxi rank, not from my b and b, so it still involved a 1km walk. Anyway that fare was 87 kroner (about $A16.00).

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