Work took me to Oslo this week. Having booked the hotel at the last minute the only remaining option at the IBM rate was the Quality Hotel Mastemyr. This turned out to be some 6 miles south of Oslo so I decided to hire a car. Fortunately, Hertz decided to give me a nice Toyota Rav 4×4 as, in my attempt to find the hotel, I visited some very snowy back streets. Eventually I admitted defeat and asked at a service station only to discover I was just one mile from where I wanted to be. Having looked at the map since I still can’t work out where I went.
The hotel turned out to be far from “quality”. The door to my room didn’t fit the frame, the sink was cracked and there was a slight smell of mold in the bathroom (which was perhaps not surprising as the bath didn’t actually fit so a shower always ended up flooding the floor). My attempts to get the wireless access working also failed as it required me to text a Norwegian short code whereas my phone was determined to try and send my messages to the UK. Reception eventually gave me a scratch card with the login details which had the added advantage of being free!
It was only the following morning when one of the local IBMers picked me up that I discovered why this hotel is on the books – the IBM Oslo site is just 5 minutes round the corner. Just a shame that the customer I was visiting was on the other side of Oslo, over an hour through rush hour traffic.
Braved the -14Â°C temperatures that evening to go out for a meal with the local team. They all seemed keen to try out the Hard Rock Cafe which opened in Oslo at the end of last year. (Who says Norway isn’t cosmopolitan?) All of the meat seemed a little overdone but perhaps that was related to the fact that it took over an hour for the main course to arrive.