Living at a hotel is actually quite nice – after being told that SIO (the student accommodation company) would be paying for the room & I would also be allowed a free breakfast, along with free internet, not being allocated my room immediately seemed great! Not only is the Rico Oslo Hotel in the very centre of Oslo – directly by Oslo S, the main train station in the city but it is also surrounded, and within walking distance of all attractions. If I were to be living at Kringsja, it would require traveling on the T Bane to visit anywhere.
That’s not to say that I haven’t purchased or used the T Bane – which is actually very easy to understand and use, once you are used to the ticket machines. There are six train lines, which join the same track at the centre of the city. To see the map, look below or on the link: http://www.tbane.no/userfiles%5CLinjekart.pdf
A single adult ticket costs 25kr – about £2.50 for an hours travel. There is an option for a ‘Flexikort’ (180kr) which entitles the rider to 8 journeys (each journey with the limit of an hour) but you must remember to stamp your ticket in the yellow machines. Trains are fairly regular and, so far, they have been on time. My hotel is at Jernbanetorget, so to get to Kringsja I take the Green Line (3) in the direction of Sognsvann. These train comes through Jernbanetorget four times an hour for the majority of the day, with normally about a 15 minute wait between the arrival of the train to Sognsvann.
For those that don’t like how crowded the English Tube is – the T-Bane stations have much more space, are far less crowded and also not so far underground! Once outside the centre of the city, they are not underground anymore.
So, enough about the T-Bane. This is where I am living right now:
I have a room mate called Su, she is from China. She is studying for an MA in Businness at the BI Management university in Oslo. She will be here for two years & when she is allocated a room to live in, she will be a Sogn accommodation, which is a ten minute walk from Kringsja accommodation. Apparently she has already lived in Denmark for two years – though she cannot speak any Danish!! Her English is good, though she has quite a strong accent.
We have explored around the hotel – we are surrounded by shops, being only one road away from the main shopping street Karl Johans Gate. We bought some food from Kiwi – possibly one of the cheapest food shops to find in Oslo, definitely the most accessible – there are a great number of them around the capital. For this week I am going to be living off Ryvita, cheese, salami, plums & strawberry yoghurt! Yum.
I found out that a number of other student are living in the hotel too – so we asked for a list of the room numbers. We met two girls Sabine (Latvian) and Anna Lisa (German) who are really nice. Sabine is a composer, studying here for a year toward her MA at the Music Academy, whilst Anna Lisa is only here for the semester at NIO, the Sports Academy.
Sabine & I walked around Oslo – reaching the docks and having a quick look at the Akershus Fortress.
The Akershus Fortress surrounds the Castle, the Norwegian Resistance Museum, the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum and (I believe) the old Opera House. It is free to walk around the grounds between certain hours during the day, but there are entrance fees to the museums. Because it was quite late when Sabine & I reached the Fortress, we just walked around and admired the view of the harbour and the city from the Fortress.