East Side Easter in Oslo (and a little bit of West)

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At least I was not going to starve…

This year I had decided to stay at home during Easter holiday. I had time off from work for 10 days (yippie) and had prepared myself for a relaxing holiday more or less in solitude, because my friends were all going  to visit their families. I had stacked up with magazines, food, wine and chocolate. And I had promised myself to read at least one entire book during the holiday. And how many pages did I turn? Not a single one. I seem to have lost the ability…

And I blame it on my friends (my iPhone being one of the closest). For different reasons, most of my other friends suddenly decided to stay in Oslo during Easter. The weather forecast said sunshine, sunshine and even more sunshine… 🙂

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April 26th at Frognerkilen (on the West Side). Sunny but freezing…
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Sunset (bloody cold sunset) at the new beach at Tjuvholmen, situated outside the new Astrup Fearnley Museum.

How lovely with a sunny week! However spring had forgotten about Oslo this year. It was still way too cold to go outside without a lot of clothes on. And many sidewalks were still a bit icy (or muddy), meaning that the conditions for long wheelchair excursions were not ideal in my opinion.

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Slippery slopes in the city centre.

In addition, the city was smelly because of rotting grass and dog pooh coming to the surface after hiding under thick ice for many months. My friend Ingrid disagreed that the weather conditions were not excursion friendly (and her wheelchair looked and smelled according to it afterwards).

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Ingrid washing wheelchair with….snow!

I forced my friend to wash her chair before we could enter one of my favourite restaurant in Oslo – the tasty Mr. Bay at Tjuvholmen. The restaurant have stairs at the entrance. But give them a call – they have a locked accessible entrance at the back. It’s definitely worth the hazzle. Food is good, service is friendly and they have mini towels of soft textile instead of paper in the disabled friendly bathroom. Not very environmentally friendly perhaps, but it sure gives you a feeling of luxury. 🙂

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Aker Brygge (the canal) at night.
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Something Norwegians MUST have during Easter (and the world’s best chocolate). 🙂
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Pitstop break at Oslo’s cosiest bar – Oslo Mekaniske Verksted. I was freezing and I needed a toilet (and to check when the last bus home was scheduled).
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Schedule said: Time for one more glass of wine. Stupid idea of course. The last glass usually is… 😉

On the last Sunday during Easter, Ingrid even managed to lure me out on a loooong trip around the entire East Side – around Etterstad, Kampen, Tøyen, Grønland, Oslo’s new skyline in Bjørvika (Barcode) and home through Gamlebyen (the old town) and Vålerenga. Which was really nice – I must admit it. But the last 30 minutes were freeeeeezing…

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Funny shop at Tøyen (how can these kind of shops even survive??): “Did YOU remember to buy dinosaur teeth for the Easter entertainment?”
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Ingrid testing the new universally designed pedestrian bridge in the Barcode-area. When the area is finished you will be able to cross the railway track this way. However the other end is not open to cross yet (construction site).
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Barcode. The good thing about Oslo looking like a big construction site these days, is that the result will probably (because of the ADA-law from 2010) be new and more accessible buildings for wheelchair users.
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Barcode sunset I.
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Barcode sunset II.
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East Side Toilet Statements!
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Another funny shop close to Teaterplassen: “New Music. Far out from 1938”.
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I cross this bridge by car almost every day to get to work. Is it possible to cross it by wheelchair as well (on a sidewalk)…? Hmm, only one way to find out…
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Yes it is! The entrance to the sidewalk was hard to find. But a nice shortcut to know, when you are going to Middelalderparken (the medieval park) and the old town, when you are at Grønland.
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Cool bridge…
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Building in the old town. Why did I choose this one? Because it’s yellow and Easterish of course!
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Sunset at Vålerenga (was really cold at that point)…

Many people say that Easter in Oslo is boring. I disagree. Many restaurants and museums close from Thursday (Easter week-end), some the entire week. But not as many as they used to “in the old days”. And these days you can always google what’s open and what’s not. Oslo is quiet and relaxed during Easter and you can use the time to get to know new areas without crowds.

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Wine pitstop at the café Lyst @ Enerhaugen (has a ramp and disabled friendly toilet).

There’s always something new and quirky to discover. And if you haven’t been to the East Side yet – check it out soon! It’s not as scary as people from the West Side like to tell you. And you usually get cheaper (and often better) food. And friendly(er) people… 😉

To sum it up – we agreed that it was a nice trip and that Easter 2013 in Oslo was nice, sunny (but cold) and very relaxing. 🙂

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