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Blog: Blog2

Ascension Day, Mathallen, and Wendelboe

 So breakfast today was yogurt, more blueberries, and a muesli bar that I took from dinner the night before. It was good mixed in with the yogurt and blueberries. I arrived at the ship’s coffee shop at 6:59 AM just before they opened at 7:00. I also ordered an orange juice, which was expensive, but it was freshly squeezed and wonderful.

The ship was arriving in Oslo at around 9:45, so all I had to do was gather my belongings and relax until we reached the port. I noticed that it was a beautiful, sunny day, so I went out on the deck to see the view. Although it was beautiful, it was a bit chilly with the wind, so I eventually went back to my cabin since it had a window. From my cabin, I watched the ship dock in Oslo. The mob of people waiting to get off the ship was crazy—much more than when we arrived in Copenhagen.

The weather was beautiful as we arrived in Oslo, and I had a very nice, easy walk back to the place I was staying. It’s a perfect, central location. I found out from my host that it was a national holiday because of Ascension Day. Certain stores and shopping centers were closed, but tourist attractions and restaurants seemed to all be open. By the way, I passed by the Mini Bottle Gallery, which apparently doubles as a museum of mini bottles and an event center.

My plan was to go to Oslo’s food hall, Mathallen Oslo, and then to go to the Viking Ship Museum and Norwegian Folk Museum. My host suggested that I check out the food hall that is by the central train station, so I did. It is nice, with just a few restaurants and the nicest grocery store I’ve seen in Norway. Someone was cooking samples of a pork sausage that he said was made from pork belly, so I had one, of course!

I then got on the tram that was going in the direction of Mathallen Oslo, which apparently goes by a different name by locals. Once I got off the tram, I realized that I was very close to Tim Wendelboe, a coffee place that I read amazing reviews about. It is a great space inside with a huge coffee roaster right in the middle of the floor. I asked the person at the counter how one orders at this place. He said that they brew all of their coffee with the AeroPress, which I also use at home to brew my coffee. He continued to tell me why they use it, which is because it is the best way to get consistent results. He also said that they go to great lengths to buy quality beans, they roast them in-house, and having a brewed coffee (instead of espresso) would probably be the best way to experience what they do best.

I ordered the coffee that was from Columbia and sounded appealing to me. The girl prepared it with great care, from weighing the beans, then grinding them, weighing the water, and setting a timer as it brewed. I asked for the exact method, and she was happy to tell me that they use 14 grams of beans, 200 grams of water at 96 degrees celcius, etc. After I finished the coffee, which was wonderful and served on a very nice wooden tray, I asked about the details to confirm them, and she told me that there are videos on their website that describe the whole process. I had just read online, from NPR, I think, about an AeroPress competition, so I knew that there were quite a few different methods for getting the perfect cup of coffee. Some people are probably yawning by now (and need coffee), but this fascinates me.

I thought I was also near that waterfall that I had such trouble finding the other day, and I actually had to cross it to get to Mathallen. I didn’t realize until later in the day that there was a rainbow in my photograph. Mathallen was a very nice food hall, much like the one in Copenhagen but about half the size. I scoped out the options and was torn between fish soup at a fish place and duck confit salad at a French place. I figured fish soup can be found all over Oslo, but how often do I have a change to eat a duck confit salad. I also saw the duck confit, and it looked and smelled amazing! What I didn’t know was that I was going to get a heaping portion of the duck on top of the greens. It was amazing, and the mustard that was served along side it was the perfect compliment, along with the sun dried tomatoes and olives. I was completely stuffed, but it was so good. I’m ashamed to mention that I had a scoop of ice cream at a place across the street. I’ll be doing some sort of major cleansing, reset, fasting, etc when I get home!

Everybody likes fried chicken!

On the way to Mathallen, and after I left, I encountered some very interesting street art, which I always enjoy for some reason. After lunch, since I was close to an area with historic wooden houses, I decided to walk over and see them. It was a very charming area that I suppose is “Old Norway.”