A long text by;
Jørgen Amundsen, Oslo, Norway
The new sneakers had arrived, and although we had already tested the sneakers thoroughly during development – we were eager to put the last and final version to the test. The weather in Oslo was fair and we felt like doing a small urban field test across our beloved city Oslo. Julie P, Erik, Tee and I agreed to meet on the tram first thing in the morning – following the line eastward to Brynseng station. From there we would walk – not the fastest route, but the most interesting one – back to our offices at Lysaker (at the western boarder of Oslo).
Brynseng – Fuglen Coffee Roasters
Almost straight out of the tram station we hit the Alna river and followed it south through Svartdalen – one of Oslo’s virgin forests. The ancient trees embrace the river like thick long fingers creating natural bridges and hinders as if to protect the river from trespassers.
The forest ends in a park and we followed the river further down to the Old Town. First stop was Fuglen. A true coffee shop were they roast the beans right there behind the counter. It was filled with people both inside and out enjoying what some would say is the best coffee in town. (and that is something; Oslo is after all considered the coffee capital of the world…..!). With its simplistic and authentic style it is no wonder why Fuglen is now also a popular coffee shop in Tokyo. We had each a double cappuccino with oat milk and have to admit it was a coffee way above what we are used to getting at the more typical coffee shops around.
Fuglen Coffee Roasters – Lille Tøyen
Happy and more awake we continued the walk towards Kampen, a little hill up from the Old Town. We had not been walking that far, but we still made comments about the comfort of the shoes also on urban grounds. Especially considering the shoes are brand new and not broken in (which a welted shoe normally needs to be). We passed through the charming small streets of Kampen with old wooden houses on all sides and continued to Lille Tøyen.
For all of us this was our first time to Lille Tøyen. But after a stop at the local shop we now believe this must be the heart of Oslo, where you meet “everyone”. As we sat down, Arve – a former board member of Amundsen Sports – rolled up in his car. He was delivering some cold Kombucha to the shop so he sat down for a chat. A few minutes later, another known face approaches – this time it is Martin – our cliff diving ambassadors for many years with climbing rope on his pack and skateboard under his arm – on his way for some bathing as he calls it. We were happy to see him in Amundsen from top. Martin now joined the gang. Not more than 5 minutes after, Jakob comes riding past us on his bike, our childhood friend who has moved to Kampen… In the middle of the day he would normally be at work, but just today he passes here as he comes from a fresh korona shot in his shoulder. Our gang has now grown from four to seven in a few minutes…. And what are the chances really? To visit a part of town you have never been before and the only 3 people passing by are people you know well?
As we laughed about this crazy coincident comes along the fourth coincident. It is Dapa maps guy, who delivers hand drawn maps which we sell at our website. His bike-trolly is full of maps – and he hands over a brand new map of downtown Oslo. Quite handy for the remaining of our walk!
Lille Tøyen – Syverkiosken
One after the other of our new gang members disappeared to continue their daily chores, and back to the original crew we realised what a great day at “the office” this was for us, as we continued through Tøyen and Grünerløkka. It was by now mid-day and we were hungry. The idea was to stop by a deli and pick up some snacks to eat on the way. But as we passed by Syverkiosken – a tiny kiosk selling the best “pølse i lompe” (wiener dogs!) in town – we had to break the fast here. The owner, the second generation behind the counter in Syverkiosken asked us to wait a bit while he instructed the street artist spray painting the wall outside the kiosk.
Back behind the counter we started talking and while preparing a dog for each of us he explained about his home made ketchup, mustard and most importantly his own mushroom onion sauce made from his own mushroom harvesting.
If you are ever in Oslo – a dog at Syverkiosken is a sure must.
We continued our stroll up to St. Hanshaugen and stopped by Gutta På Haugen for some cured ham, salami, olives and Gruyere. In a back alley at Bislet we found an extended pavement, sat down, unlaced our sneakers and folded out all our snacks. While greedily munching on, we inspected our bare feet…. No blisters! The sneakers truly are great walkers.
Gutta på Haugen – Amundsen HQ (Lysaker)
After the meal, we are in more familiar neighborhoods and our stops are less frequent. And it is good for us get some faster and longer walks now as we continue through Majorstuen and Briskeby towards Frognerparken. Passing by all the sculptured people there, we went separate ways as Erik had to pick up some kids – the three remaining of us continues through the park to the other side leading us down to Skøyen and the ocean front. We stop by Maschmanns for a bottle of beer to go – and continue the walkway along the waterfront downing a beer as we got closer and closer to the city boarder and our office.
When we passed through the door of Amundsen Sports HQ, there were only Erika and Frithjof still working…. But enough for us to brag about the great new sneakers and how nice it is to sometimes be a tourist in our Own Town.