Trondheim to Oslo (train)
The hostel provided free coffee in the morning and, as hostels often do, free food. Free food is food left by other guests, and there was a bag of coffee in the free food cupboard, which I took advantage of when the morning coffee wasn’t available, I also purchased a bag of coffee for the following days, for it was now the plan to do at least three more days of cycling.
The plan was: Get the train from Trondheim to Oslo, stay in a hostel, cycle three days to Gothenburg in Sweden, then get the train to Malmo (on the south coast) where I could get the ferry to Germany, and from there get a trian (or two) to Berlin. The reason I have to cycle to Gothenburg is that the swedish trains do not accept bicycles (unless they are packed as luggage). An internet rumour has it that this is because of “Security Concerns”, although what these are, I cannot guess.
So I had booked the train and the hostel. The train to Oslo cost around €120 including the bike, and the hostel around €35. There is only limited space on the trains for bikes, and there seems to be a high demand, as there were multiple trains and the only one availble for me was the one leaving at 15:30. So I waited in the hostel until around 14:00 then set out for the near-by train station.
I made a sandwich for later, but decided to buy lunch anyway, the sandwich would be dinner. There was precious little in the station shop that was vegetarian, indeed I havn’t seen many vegetarian options anywhere in Norway. At the counter they had three different types of Calzoni, three types of sandwich, and two types of pannini. The tomato-mozeralla pannini was the only vegetarian option.
I put my lunch in my bag and made my way to patform four to get the train. I noticed a large tandem bicycle and an older couple standing by. I said hello, and asked them about their journey. They were also getting the train to Oslo. The train had 2 bicycle compartments, it turned out my bike was in the same compartment as this couple, but there were two other touring bikes going in another. So this seems like a popular route home for bicycle-tourers.
I loaded my bicycle and sat down in my allocated seat. I got my laptop out and started working on my project. The train had power outlets but no Wifi, and I think I spent about 3 and a half hours working, another hour or two reading, and the rest of the time staring blankly out of the window, and eventually listenting to an hour of “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”. The train was slightly delayed and got into Oslo at around 22:45.
Getting out of the train I walked around to the bicycle carridge and waited for the cycling-couple to extract their tandem from the train with the help of the conductor. When we were all unloaded and on the platform I asked where they were staying “The Anker Hotel” the man said. He was a red-faced, grey bearded, man from Bavraia with his wife. “Me too” I said, “Oh, then do you know the way there?” “I think so”. They were actually sitting 2 seats behind me and for the last hours they were chanting the directions to the hotel to themselves “recht, recht, links, zweiter rechts” etc.We decided to go to the hostel together.
I led the way using my GPS, unfortunately my map had automatically switched to night-mode, unfortunate because I rely largely on colors to determine where I can cycle, and now they had all changed. But I just made assumptions and we cut through a pedestrian square, passing some revelers “Are you doing the Tour-de-france?”. I thought it was obvious that we were not.
The hotel was less than a kilometer from the train station, upon arival we parked our bikes outside the glass revolving door and the couple checked in first, the hotel let them and I put our bikes in the baggage room and gave us receipts. When I checked in they couldn’t find my booking, eventually the young girl looked up and said “Did you perhaps check in at the hostel?”, “Yes! I did!”
The hostel was just the next building down, but run by the same company, so I was able to keep my bike in the hotel’s baggage room.
In the hostel there was a small number of people queuing at reception, a group of three americans talking to the barman and me waiting to check in. When I was served they also couldn’t find my booking. They asked if I had my booking confirmation, I showed it to them, but they seemed less concerned that I had made an incorrect booking, than that their system was wrong. It took ten minutes for the receptionist to finally concedede defeat “Can you show me the booking confirmation again?, I will need to create it from scratch, this system really pisses me off”.
In the male-only eight-bed dormitory room there was a middle aged man reading on the bed, and an Australian sitting on his bed hunched over his phone. I took a shower. The bathroom was part of the room, and there was also a mini-kitchen. It wasn’t luxurious, and the bathroom sink at pubic hairs in it. There was no locker to put my stuff in, so I stuffed my bags (all of them) under my bed and sat down and read. We were soon joined by another man who sat on his bed and worked on his laptop. Then the Australian started watching a video on his phone with the sound on. I read a chapter of my book and then checked if it was OK to turn out the light, and slept pretty well.