17th September 2009 - Clear
Today is a rather challenging day for us. We have planned in our itinerary to rent a Volvo S40 to go around places. For me, when I am in foreign place, the thought of driving actually gives me fear what more that the whole of Europe (except UK & few other place) are all left hand driven.
So, we went to pick up our car. I continued with many worries, and topped up with new ones such as how to fit so many bags into one medium sedan like S40, erm, and also where to park when most place we going are short of parking spaces, etc. As soon as we were at Hertz in Vasagatan, we realize the baggage is not longer and issue because they've upgraded us to a S40 wagon with no charge.
So far so good, :P. And so, we started our first long journey crossing border and continue driving to Oslo Norway.
First time being greeted by endless stretch of farmlands. Along the way with many lakes too. Found a cable car system running among farms only to discover is used to transport produce from one place to another!
Was quite stressful when we came across our first Toll Booth that is fully electronic. Not a single soul here. We were suppose to throw the coins into the basket but coming Stockholm we didn't had a chance to grab any coins at all. Then I tried with the credit card method, and it didn't work as well. Kinda depressing when all other cars are zooming pass us when we seemed stucked here.
Eventually my dad had enough and he said just go and decided where to pay later. In my mind I was already imagining hundreds of summon tickets already their way back to KL waiting for us when we get home. Duh. I tried to check on the internet about this much later, and was relieve to find that there was an unwritten rule that foreign cars does not have to pay any tolls (PHEW!).
How the toll system work is that if a car didn't pay, the number plate will be captured on the camera ahead. Then the traffic department will actually send a bill (Note : Bill/Invoice, no ticket) to the car owner's house in about two weeks time comprising of toll charges + handling fee. Then the owner can one lump sum paid it off. Pro-long delay of settling the bill will undoubtedly resulting a ticket for real after that. So, as you ca see, it is impossible to bill a foreign car isn't it? Hence we travel for free. Think of it this way, we as a tourist are bringing them foreign money and spend you know, what's this small petite amount $$ compare with other stuffs that we will be spending there ain't it.
Even when we arrive in town it was no better. Whole of Oslo looking so old and kinda depressing as well. Black people wandering around, shouting about. We don't see many people walking around at night, gives me a creep when looking down from the hostel from above.
It is a hush hush situation.
Everything cost a bomb here in Oslo, even to park our car for a night with the hostel, we've got to pay a extra USD30. I thought I didn't like Oslo so much after all.
Hopefully tomorrow when we are on our way to Bergen, it will be a better day ahead. I am keeping my fingers crossed for that.