Day 1 / Hello Oslo
This post is part of my #teamwayland2017 travel journal set. Besides myself, Team Wayland was comprised of my father, my brother, and my best friend. We took off for an unforgettable Norway / Iceland adventure from August 25 - September 7, 2017.
LEAVING NEW YORK CITY
After a busy morning of last minute errands, I left my apartment in Brooklyn around noon on Friday, August 25th.
My flight wasn’t until the late afternoon, but I left early since I'd decided to take public transportation to Newark over taking a car. Since I only had one suitcase to check in and a backpack, the journey wasn't so bad.
It felt funny being at Newark! I hadn’t had a flight out of Jersey since my very first time visiting New York back in 2015. At the time, I was dropping by for a job interview and to just visit NYC for the first time. I remember feeling shocked after landing in Jersey when I realized how far my destination in Flushing, Queens was from the airport. Hahaha, I don't know what I was thinking.
Anyways—can't believe it's been two years since that first visit. I love that I get to travel out of this same airport for an international flight and not just have it be associated with that first naive arrival.
LAYOVER IN STOCKHOLM
The layover in Stockholm was chill. I had about two hours until I had to board my final connecting flight to Oslo. I was impressed with the area of the airport I was waiting in! It had some nice new renovations. Pssst. Does anyone else end up comparing the sad dingy American airports with these shiny ones abroad?
The first hour was spent fighting sleepiness, being intrigued by European toilets, and avoiding the loud elderly Korean tourists nearby. For the second hour, I did some journaling in my notebook. It felt nice to get out random thoughts floating around in my brain that were still lingering from the day before. I really didn't want to bring them with me on the trip. Getting loud thoughts onto paper always helps a lot.
ARRIVING IN OSLO
My plane landed in Oslo right on time at 10:30 am. Luggage came out relatively slow, but I was fine with it. I wasn’t in a rush... Jasmine, my friend from California, was going to be landing around 12 pm. My plan was to wait for her to land and then to meet up with my dad and brother afterwards.
To my surprise, my dad and brother were already waiting for me at the arrival gate!
I spotted my dad instantly. He stood on the left side of the crowd with his uniform look — black rectangular glasses, tight button up plaid shirt, khaki pants, and leather shoes. Ivan, my brother, trailed behind him. I actually didn’t recognize him at first! He looked leaner and tanner than how I last remembered him.
The first few minutes were kind of awkward, hahaha. I hadn’t seen or really talked with my dad since last Christmas when I visited friends and family in California. Ivan and I FaceTime quite often so I felt natural talking with him, but it took an hour or so to get warmed up with my dad.
We just talked about my flight and waited two more hours until Jasmine arrived. Her plane's baggage came out late on the carousel too, so she made it out to us a bit past noon. It felt great to be reunited with Jasmine!!! I also hadn’t seen her since last Christmas and didn’t recognize her instantly either. I think it was because her hair color was much lighter than I last remembered.
After all the excited greetings, we hopped into the rental car and drove to our hostel in the city. We quickly checked in, unpacked, changed, and grabbed a bite to eat nearby before going into downtown Oslo to explore.
OSLO OPERA HOUSE
With just the evening free, we decided to go explore a bit of Oslo and specifically to see the Oslo Opera House. (We were all tired, but wanted to make the most of the evening before diving into our intense itinerary the next day. My dad and brother seemed tired since they’d already been hiking in Norway for six days.)
AROUND THE OPERA HOUSE
We spent about two hours or so at the Oslo Opera House, exploring the outside and inside. Coming from New York, it was interesting to see how quiet and empty the city's streets were on a Saturday evening. It almost felt a bit spooky to me, hahaha.
The last sprint of our first evening was spent looking around the downtown square area. I liked seeing the city hall building and the Nobel Peace Center building. After a quick stroll around the city, we headed back to our hostel to unpack and get ready for our first full day.