Day 23-1. A day in Oslo. Shopping.
Not entirely refreshed we extricated ourselves from the train and into the chilly but sunny morning in Oslo. Within a few minutes Damae had an urgent need for a toilet and, biting the bullet paid the money to use the one in the station. I sat watching the world go by looking after our bikes waiting for Damae to get back. We sat there eating our breakfast and drinking our soya drinks as it was a lot warmer than the outside world. The first task of the day was to pick up our boat tickets which meant going to the Color-Line terminal to the west of the centre.
Taking a slightly unorthodox route we found the ferry terminal and discovered that there were also left luggage lockers there. As we had to wait a few minutes to pick up the tickets we decided to put most of our bags in a locker and pick it up before we had to board. We also made use of the facilities; for some reason the gents was lit with a strange blue light rather than the normal white variety. We didn't try to find out. I was suffering a bit from the interrupted nights sleep, a grumpy Stan in Oslo and was only to start enjoying the day after the business had been carried out.
Taking a slightly less unorthodox route out of the terminal we headed first to the area around the old fort of Oslo, although this was not entirely intentional. We thought we could cycle from where we were to the harbour but the road seemed to be part of a military base. Once this minor hiccough in our progress had been sorted we decided that perhaps a cup of coffee was in order. This took a surprising amount of effort to achieve as it appeared that we were just too early. The first place was only serving coffee to people having breakfast whilst the second had no seating, the third was not open yet and then in desperation we headed to the Burger King just across the road from that amazing cinema. There we discovered that although we could have coffee their machine was broken so no cappucino. We ambled back to number three and decided to wait the few minutes before they opened.
We both ended up with large Cappucinos and drank them a little slowly. It was just warm enough to be able to sit outside and watch the early birds of Oslo come and go. Our coffees finished, Damae then dragged me off to the tourist information behind the Oslo town hall. I still find this one of the most striking town halls I have seen and took a picture of the rear of the building. We didn't get round to visiting it so we have pencilled it in for another trip. Damae wanted to know where we could find various things, and we'd decided it might be fun to drop in on the Norwegian Cyclists Federation shop just to have a chat and maybe get some new maps. We also wanted to find a health food shop as I was having tofu cravings for some reason. The lady at the tourist information was able to show us where everything was, and armed with a couple of maps we headed up and away from the harbour area towards one of the health food shops.
Oslo was by now bustling and busy as we cycled slowly up the hill. Most of the time we had separate cycle tracks and didn't have to concentrate too much. Damae found the health food shop without too much difficulty but we decided to come back later and do groceries rather than carrying extra weight around all afternoon. We headed up to the Storgata 23 and the pedestrianised Operapassasjen where the Syklistenes Landsforening had its shop. This turned out to be in a lovely arcade with a walk through to a large square with a market and place to eat. We locked our bikes up outside the shop and went inside. There were two other people in the shop and we started by looking at various maps and guides.