Gate 19 at Gardermoen Oslo Airport

Gate 19 at Oslo Airport isn’t just one gate, but six (Gate 19a-f) and has in the last years become famous among Norwegian travelers. As a temporary gate in use during the construction of a new terminal, it is far away from the rest of the terminal, and up until recently completely void of any place selling something to eat or drink. To get there you have to walk down a long and sterile corridor, it looked like a construction site. Recently the corridor has been covered with some weird art to give you something to look at while walking. It did not take long after its opening before a new Facebook group appeared, declaring their hate for the gate. It quickly became clear than even cabin personell closely followed this group (article in Norwegian. A girl running to make her flight at gate 19 was posting photos of this in the group and was met by a nice surprise when she finally boarded the plane).
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Book review: Sarajevo Marlboro

Sarajevo Marlboro

by Miljenko Jergovic

As an avid reader, I will also post book reviews on my blog, usually connected with places I have been or places I am planning to go. Reading books about places where I am traveling I have found to be of great value. Learning about a city or country through its literature I find greatly rewarding, both before I go and after I return.

My first book review will be of Sarajevo Marlboro, set in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war.

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Always ask the locals

The following episode took place in July, 2014

‘You know,’ he says. His English perfect, just like all Dutch people. ‘I’ve been coming here ever since it opened. Almost thirty years now. This is where I would come with my friends after work. We would have a beer, chat about life and then go home. Back then this place was a quiet local pub. Now….’ He looks around and points at the crowd.

The place is packed with tourists drinking beer. Noisy, drunk, animated. We are sitting on a bench a little bit away from the crowd, my friend and I, with the married couple we just met. They are in their early sixties, well dressed, sipping each their beer.

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Trainspotting in Tokyo

The following episode took place in March 2014.

I got off my train at Ueno Station, took the escalator down from the platform, headed for the main hall in search for an exit. I was on my way to meet some Japanese friends of mine.

I noticed the main hall was a lot more crowded than usual. There is always a lot of people in Tokyo, everywhere, all the time, but now there was even more people than usual in Ueno Station. There were even a few TV-crews there as well, and everybody was heading toward a specific platform.

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Confused in Strasbourg

The following episode took place in December 2013.

Strasbourg was a city it took me quite some time to get. Usually I am a really good navigator, and it doesn’t take me a long time in a new city before I have a general idea of its layout, and able to get around without a map. Many a time have I impressed fellow travellers with my ability to quickly get my bearings and get around in a new city.

In Strasbourg I felt really lost the first three out of four days. Only on our last day there did I finally understand the layout of the city, and then it dawned on me. The problem wasn’t me or the complexity of the city streets. The city was quite easy to get around in actually, and I should have been able to create a mental map of it much earlier. The problem lay with the locals, and the really strange way they got around in the city.

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One night in Paris

The following episode took place in April 2014

I arrived in Paris at four in the afternoon, having taken the train from Nice earlier that day. My flight back to Norway would leave the next morning. Flights out of Nice had been so expensive, it was cheaper to take the train to Paris, spend a night here and then catch a flight back to Norway. I had one night in Paris and had to make the most of it. Next morning the train for the airport left at seven am.

So, what should I do? What is the best way to spend only a few hours in Paris? I hadn’t prepared at all, knew nothing of the city.

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