We made it to Oslo – a little bleary-eyed from the overnight flight. We were in awe of the snow-capped mountains that we saw from the plane. This will be an adventure!
Our first surprise is that the whole plane rushed off and made a frantic bee-line for duty-free, grabbing shopping carts as they went. Men and women were throwing whatever they could find into their carts – mainly wine and spirits. We have seen duty-free in other airports and while fun to browse, there was a whole level of desperation here we have not seen before. What in the world?
Well, it turns out that alcohol is very expensive in Norway – and hard to find. You can only buy wine and spirits at certain government-run stores – called VINMONOPOLET – that are only in urban areas (apparently the Norwegian government’s answer to social responsibility). So citizens take every chance they get to stock up on duty-free when flying in and out – sometimes they fly for this very purpose!
Thinking maybe they knew something we didn’t, I left Frank with our bags and grabbed a few bottles of our own. Since we haven’t really learned kroner yet, we aren’t sure if we got a good deal (100 kroner is about $12 US). And we will probably regret this decision as we haul our hooch from town to town. But we are proud of ourselves for living like Norwegians!
Next Up: We spend the night at the Radisson Blu Airport Hotel (literally across the street – excellent if you need an airport stop-over). And then take the Flytoget airport train to central Oslo tomorrow – where we board what has been billed as “the most beautiful train in the world.” Join us!