My second day in Norway was sort of ruined by the Oslo Marathon. Unlike the marathons in Singapore which usually end around 11am, Oslo Marathon stretched from 6am to 6pm. Because of the long hours, many museums were closed. And the “hop on hop off” bus which we planned to take was cancelled. Evie and I spent the day roaming around Akershus Fortress (but the castle and guided tour were not available) and the city.
We returned to the city the next day and we were thrilled to take the “hop on hop off” bus (150NOK/ S$32/ US$26)*. It may be touristy but it is one of the best ways to see Oslo. Furthermore this bus does not operate all year round. I was lucky as it was the last week of operation and they will be closed for winter.
The first place that we hopped off was the Viking Ship Museum (60NOK/S$13/US$10). At the museum, ships from Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune were on display. Besides the majestic (and fragile looking) ships, items like tools, kitchenware, were also showcased. The museum is not big so you can finish touring pretty fast. Still I was in awe by the grandness of the ships and the history that encompassed.
After our quick tour around the Viking Ship Museum, Evie and I got really hungry. We stepped out of the museum to see if there is any nearby cafés. We spotted a signage that said there was a café around the corner. After a 5 minute walk, we found Café Hemma Hos.
Decorated in Victorian-styled furnishing, Café Hemma Hos has a small but interesting menu. Both Evie and I have our eyes on the salmon cake (How can I go Norway, and not eat everything salmon?) and we ordered one each.
The salmon cake (189NOK/ S$40) was served with quinoa, roasted vegetable, garlic aioli and two slices of toast. When we looked at our plates, Evie and I wondered if it is enough to fill our tummies (we ain’t small eaters). And it did. And we were stuffed. The salmon cake was stodgy and packed with salmon – they were definitely not stingy with the fish. The cake itself was not fishy. The taste and texture reminded me of our otah minus the spice. I also love the accompanying quinoa and roasted vegetables which had beautiful chargrilled look and taste.
Before our meal was served to us, the waitress made a mistake with our orders – she gave us chicken sandwiches instead. Hence we waited much longer for our food. Once the owner of café arrived, our waitress immediately fessed up her mistake to the boss. The owner came and apologised and offered us more tea and cake. I was really impressed with the service.
Café Hemma Hos is not just your ordinary cafe, it is also a furniture shop. While we were having our tea, someone eyed the chair that I was seating. So if you fancy the dining table, the plates you are eating from, you can actually bring them home.
As much as we would love to stay in the café and have more tea, we have a tight schedule and more museums to visit.
*The tour is about 75 minutes. You can pay via credit card. If you are paying cash, it is better to pay in Norwegian Krone than Euros.Akershus Fortress
Akershus Festning 0150 Oslo
Entrance is free. But you will need to pay for guided tour and entrance to castle and museum. Please check website for opening hours.
Viking Ship Museum
Huk Aveny 35, 0287 Oslo
1 Oct – 30 Apr: 10.000am – 4.00pm; 1 May – 30 Sep: 9.00am – 6.00pm
Café Hemma Hos
Fredriksborg Road 16, 0286 Oslo
Opening hours: 11.00am – 5.00pm (Tue-Sun)