Oslo to London
Lucky me, third day straight I need to be woken… This time is was for myself and not Alex. I had set my alarm for 4:45. I had breakfast and a shower and then walked to the metro stop where I could catch a bus to Oslo S. I nearly missed the bus. Well I thought I was going to to. For a couple of minutes. I had built in heaps of time in case I did miss it but it would have been pretty annoying if I had. I would have had to stay out in the cold for an hour waiting for the next night bus. It stressed me out a little though. I just don’t understand where I lost the time but I really had to push myslef when walking. Normally I am really good about getting up and ready in time. But not that morning… I still made it and I actually managed to get off at the right stop and everything. I had to wait 45 minutes for a train to the airport. This is one of the reasons why flying is not always the fastest/cheapest and option. You need to spend so much time and money getting to the airport that sometimes it is just quicker, and more comfortable to take a train or a bus. I waited around for a bit in the station itself. Actually, random side story. When I was sitting in the station, I was on some benches, there was a few other people around and I could hear some faint talking coming from somewhere just above me. From the roof. It was actually a walkway above me. The sounds, considering they were in Norwegian, didn’t really seem to make much sense. It was talking but it was like the pitch and the tone of the voices kept changing. And they weren’t singing, they were only talking. Lots of different voices. I was looking around on the roof and could not see a speaker anywhere. No one else seemed to be worried by the voices at and considering it was 6 in the morning, I thought I must literally going crazy. I mean, I like to talk to myself, but I have never heard voices before! I figured they must have been coming from something on top of the walk way so I tried to ignore them but it was pretty difficult. I imagine this is exactly what people who do hear voices feels like. It was one of the strangest feelings I have ever had. If I was fulling awake, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it, wouldn’t have let it got to me but because I was quite tired and was a bit stressed out earlier, I couldn’t help it.
Back to sane Jacob. With about 15 minutes until the train left, I went down to the platform. (the voices stopped.. for now) The train pulled up about 1 minute before it was due to leave and then it didn’t. It just didn’t leave. And then there was an announcement in Norwegian and everyone sighed and got off. So I followed. I asked some people what was going on and it turned out I still needed to be on that train. It wasn’t going to be stopping at some of the stops. Apparently all of the stops that these people wanted to go to. So I waited for it to leave. The board said it would be 10 minutes. More than 10 minutes went past and I poked my head out to see what was happening and it said 15 minutes. I was getting a little worried. The train ride takes up to 45 minutes and my flight was leaving in just over an hour and a half. I was cutting it pretty close. I wanted this damn thing just to leave. It eventually did, only a couple of minutes later. What a stressful morning it had been. I thought I was going to miss my bus, I was hearing voices and then my train just wouldn’t leave the station. It was a major relief when it did finally pull away. At least I was on my way again. The train did take a shorter time than I expected. I made it at 7:10 and the flight left at 7:50. I had to check in my bags, using a system they only use in Norway I think where you put the tags on your bags yourself and then hand them to the person at the counter. I got through and got to the gate at 7:35. Too easy. Plenty of time.
The flight was good. I had booked with an airline called SAS (Scandinavian airlines something) , it was the same one as I had taken from Alta to Oslo. They are a nice airline, not a Ryanair/Virgin Blue budget one and we got fed on the plane. The best bit is they do Youth tickets which pretty much halves the cost of the airfare from a full adult price. So I was flying cheaply and in style. And I would be landing in Heathrow which means its easy to get into the centre of London. When I arrived in London, I got off the plane and grabbed my bags. And started sorting my stuff out. I realised I had left my laptop and iPod on the plane…. I have never left anything on the plane. What a stressful day. I think I deserve to hear voices with a day like that one. It was pretty easy getting my stuff back though, I just had to wait.
I got out of the airport, and down into the tube. Cost about 14Pounds to get to Kings cross where I was staying. I was just going back to a hostel I had stayed at before. On the last trip I was on. I didn’t really like it all that much there before but at least it was familiar territory. The tube took about 45 minutes from the airport. And they say Heathrow is more central… When I arrived, I was able to find the hostel easy enough and I checked into my room. No I didn’t. I arrived to early to check in. It was about 12:40. I put my luggage into the luggage room and raced out. While waiting to check in, I had seen the free walking tour that started at 1:00 and I just thought why not. By the time I left the hostel, I only had 10 minutes until it started but I knew from experience that they always start late and and even then, they spend a bit of time at the meeting point talking about the stuff in that spot. I got there 15 minutes late. And they were still there. The tube is good but it is not perfect. I needed to change and that made me late. Didn’t matter, I caught onto what was happening, quickly. The tour took about 3 hours and took us to Buckingham, Hyde Park, Trafalgar square and finished at Westminster Abbey. After the tour, our guide took whoever wanted to go to a pub for some lunch/dinner. I had bangers and mash. Except they called it something different. I was talking to a bunch of people at the pub and they said they were going to a thing called Winter wonderland. It is a new thing they do in Hyde park during Christmas.
We walked there and it was amazing. There were so many people around, the atmosphere was great. They had food and rides everywhere. There were several of places you could get mulled wine and the lights! There were so many lights. My poor voice-hearing brain was struggling. To keep up. We walked around for a while, there were 5 of us and we were constantly looking out for each other so that we didn’t get too separated. We had a grand time. It was a large carnival with plenty of different things to see. It is hard to describe. I realise everything I have said sounds like any carnival (that isn’t in Australia) but this was different. It might have helped that for the first time in just over 2 months, I could understand the random people that were walking around me. That was pretty cool. Normally, if I hear someone speaking English, I just get a little excited inside and swing around to have a look to see who it is. This led to me getting very dizzy that night.
We all stopped and had some mulled wine and chatted for a while at a stand. After a bit, I said that I wanted to go. I had planned on going to a Couchsurfing meeting with the plan of finding a host to stay with rather than the hostel. I asked if any of the people I was with wanted to come and just 2 of the guys did. I felt bad cos I was having fun, and enjoying their company, but I wanted a host to stay with so I had to bail. All I knew was the name of the place and the area it was in. I had the idea that we would turn up and just ask people if they knew. We arrived in Leicester Square and started asking people. No one seemed to know of it. We walked around a bit and couldn’t find it at all. We were asking people as we went and eventually, after putting the clues together of about 5 different people, found it. I was on the guest list which I had signed up for on the Couchsurfing event site so we all got in free opposed to paying 10Pounds which is a lot.
When we got in, I started talking to people. I was having a good time but I did forget my purpose a little. While people were still sober, I forgot to ask if anyone had space for me. As the night drew on, I got desperate. I was just walking around to all the surfers that I could, tried to find out if they were hosting, if they could host me and if they couldn’t, break the conversation after 10 minutes or so. It was all a failure. I found some guys who was a huge Couchsurfing snob and talked at me for about 40 minutes about the good old days of Couchsurfing and how it’s nothing like it used to be and people do it for the wrong reasons now blah blah old man. Just give me a free place to stay 🙂 haha, I should have said that to him. Might have got a nice big fist to the face if I had.
I searched for a while, and eventually just gave up basically. I couldn’t tell who was a Couchsurfer and who wasn’t any more. (It’s not like we walk around with badges on) and I was starting to get pretty tired. I had been up for a fair while There were a couple of people that were asking me if I wanted to go to a different place and I just said yes in the hope I might get one of them to host me. We walked around to a few different places but none of them were letting us in for different reasons. Either they were full or it was ‘members’ only and stuff like that. We did end up going to a place which does cheap cocktail jugs. There was about 6 of us and we had 2 of these jugs. We sat in a circle and the game was the pass it them around as quickly as possible and drink at the same time. It was actually a lot of fun. We went out again and looked for a different place that they knew of. It was bitterly cold. I only had my jumper on and wasn’t really prepared for the cold like this. I simply got bored and tired and cold. I ended up heading home. They were able to help me catch a night bus as the tube stops at 12/12:30 and I was too far away to walk at that time of night. It was pretty easy. I knew the stop I needed (Kings Cross. It is kind of obvious) and I jumped on the bus. I didn’t quite have the right change. I was 20 Pence off so I asked some old guy in the seat right next to the driver if he had any change. He gave me some lecture about not having the right change and how could I not have the right change when getting on the bus ect ect. Just cos I don’t spend an hour before I leave home working out the exact route and times I need to take and the exact fair I need to do it. I had arrived in the country only hours before hand. I didn’t even know what the coins meant. Anyway, he annoyed me. He did give me the money but I nearly didn’t accept it as I didn’t want his money. He was just really rude.There were others on the bus I could have asked and probably would have got it too
I made it back to the hostel and checked in at about 1:30. Maybe the latest check in I have made? I don’t know. I bet the people in my dorm were pretty pissed that I was making my bed at that time. I fell straight to sleep. I have no idea what happened to the two guys I brought along. I had seen them a few times during the meeting but I hadn’t seen them in a while before I left. Hope they got back to wherever.