We were fairly leisurely in getting going, as our first stop was a renowned coffee shop, Tim Wendelboe, which opened at 11 am. Thankfully, it was only a relatively short walk away, and we rolled in right as it opened. Perhaps the most striking thing we noticed right off the bat was it wasn’t really set up as a coffee shop, as there were only a handful of chairs. Ultimately, the space was roaster-oriented, with a coffee shop attached in order to showcase the beans. D ordered an aeropress of their Ethiopian beans. He declared it to be the best aeropress he’d ever had–light bodied, tangy, tart but sweet. He was so intrigued that he chatted with the barista about her particular brewing recipe and was able to glean a few tips to take home with him. Unable to resist, he grabbed a double espresso as well, which was equally outstanding.
Buoyed by his excellent coffee experience, we hopped on the tram and headed for the National Theater. We came upon a beautiful part of Karl Johans Gate, the main thoroughfare of Oslo connecting the Royal Palace with Oslo Central Station. Beautifully ornate and brightly-coloured buildings lined the street, and we were happy to take a walk down and bask in the sun. It was just a short jaunt over to the National Gallery. It was actually something of a deal, with the student-price for two tickets setting us back about $10. It was a lovely gallery–just the right size for an afternoon walk–with a wealth of Norwegian artists, including Johan Christian Dahl, Christian Krohg and, of course, Edvard Munch (of ‘The Scream’ fame), as well as a nice collection of other European artists. Definitely a good choice for a chilly Oslo day.
From there, I’d wanted to check out a recommended restaurant for excellent fish and chips that was a fairly short walk away. Fiskeriet (‘Fishery’) is a fish market with a little cafe/bar space attached. You pull up a seat at the bar and make your order. Our waiter was very congenial and happily volunteered information about the fish, the different kinds of oysters, and the times of year that the different types are available. I’d heard that this place made better fish and chips than the UK, and I would have to concur. Fantastic fish and chips–probably the best we’d ever had–made with Norwegian cod, as it’s apparently in season. Firm and moist and full of flavour. It came with an interesting side of sweetly pickled onions and cornichons. We’d noticed that several patrons had been served this yellow, cloudy drink, which we inquired about, and it turned out to be apple juice made from relatively local apples. We ended up grabbing ourselves a bottle to take home with us, it was so delicious (it really tasted like they’d squeezed apples directly into the bottle).
D still had work to finish up for this presentation, so we found ourselves a coffee shop (Wayne’s Coffee) in which to hunker down. I curled up with a book and a ridiculously over-the-top hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows and chocolate syrup. We loitered there for several hours until D had finished his work. The sun was setting by the time we left, but we decided to take a quick look around the waterfront before it got dark. We weren’t exactly sure where we were, but it was a beautiful sunset over the boats. We made our way back to Central Station and caught the bus back to the apartment for the night.