Oslo seems to have more than its fair share of them. We kicked off our trip, ultimately to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, with a short stay at The Grand, Oslo but not before an interesting beginning to our adventure…

List to my audio introduction above

There isn’t much worse than arriving at an airport when your luggage doesn’t. Especially when that luggage contains winter coats, boots, thermals needed for a trip to the Arctic – with a deadline a day later to get on a ship!  I could say fortunately we weren’t alone, in fact it appeared a whole pallet of cases were clearly left at Heathrow, but that meant the lost luggage queue took an hour and the BA website decided to have a moment, so no online reporting! Felt really sorry for the lovely taxi driver, that patiently waited and took us to the comfort of The Grand Hotel albeit late.

Imagine my delight checking in when they had upgraded us to a suite AND they had a roof top bar.  Funny incident though, our friend travelling with us, was also upgraded but his room key didn’t work.  Second try, still didn’t work and one of the staff came up with him for the third try. Got into the room this time – but it was already occupied!  

Mistakes happen, it’s how they are dealt with that count.  The BA lost luggage service was excellent at keeping us informed, and BA even communicated directly with me on Instagram when I posted what happened. Our right bags arrived next day by lunchtime, phew.  The Grand treated our friend to a free breakfast because of the person in his room, so he was happy! All sorted…

Back to the Roof Top Bar

Hubby headed off to find the bar while I helped our friend sort the room dilemma out.  What a delight to find a glass of champagne waiting for me when we joined him! He earned brownie points for that. 

A special place with special staff. Turned out to be our favourite place to finish the night on that roof top bar. Olig, our ‘Vinnie Jones’ look alike bar host, was such fun and looked after us as if we were family.

Turns out Oslo is a very friendly and welcoming city, wherever we went, from the lady in the cafe serving us ice creams to the young ticket collector on the ferry from the City Hall pier to the Bygdøy peninsula in order to visit Fram museum who remembered us for our return journey

Impressions of The Grand Hotel: Classy, comfortable and welcoming spring to mind.  Our suite was palatial, with multiple rooms, an impressive sweeping table and antique inlaid chairs. Quirky paintings and artefacts added a funky modern touch to the more traditional look and feel to our suite. Slap bang in the centre of Oslo so easy walking to, well pretty much everywhere it was perfect.  Breakfast was quality and as substantial as you needed it to be and help with taxis, booking a restaurant and delivering your lost luggage to your room completed with smile. It was an excellent stay and a hotel we added to our list to return to. Check out my short YouTube video on the room here: https://youtube.com/shorts/Yy29XxSXC9c

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Impressions of Oslo

Historic, scenic, safe, green, fun. 

There is always something going on at the harbour. It was a good place to start a little sightseeing especially with so many tall ships docked to check out. We took in the National Museum and found we loved much of the art especially the Edward Munch room and the Ancient Greek and Egyptian sculptures.  

Walking up the hill to the royal Palace and looking back over Oslo city, not only was much of the architecture both impressive and pleasing but we could see how green it was too.  

A boat trip was a must so the short trip from the harbour to the Fram museum let us get a feel for the numerous picturesque and craggy inlets.  So much exploration history belongs to Norway. Not only is the building the Fram is housed in quite special so is the exhibition. We learnt a lot about Roald Amundsen, his Artic and Antarctic exploration and easily spent most of the day there. Well worth a visit if you are in Oslo.

Oslo for a couple of days was a perfect start to our Arctic adventure. Perfectly placed to walk everywhere and close to the harbour where much of the ‘things to see’ are. Taking in an Aperol Spritz in the sunshine, looking at the ships. We loved it, everyone was so friendly.