Ski Things to Do
There are 2 churches in Ski - one right outside of the center of town, which is a mediaeval church, believed to be from 1160. Back then the congregation stood during the service, the men on the south-side and the woman on the norht-side. The church has been through so many reparations and renovations and the baptism font is the only artefact remaining from the mediaeval church. Once the church even got struck by a lightning :( Unfortunately it was closed while I visited.
The other church is a new church opposite the railway tracks.
There is no real park in Ski. I had seen one kind of a park, more of a playground really though. In June it blossomed though and I noticed some beautiful flowers with tags on them, like at a botanical park.
There are some benches here and a kiosk, which wasn´t open. And a big lawn with some playground equipment.
The only other place where one can sit is the square in front of the City hall.
When I first arrived in April I was looking for a place to sit on the only sunny day we got for 5 weeks. We found a lovely place under some trees just outside of the center. Only to realize later on that this was a farmer´s land and that we had been picknicking there like trespassers.
There is a big mall in Ski called Ski Storsenter. I add this tip under "things to do" instead of shopping as I would say that the mall is the main attraction in the small town of Ski :)
It is located just opposite where I am staying in the very center of the town of Ski. It has got 146 stores and restaurants and is 2 malls really connected by a glass-bridge where the restaurants are located. I kind of always get lost there and tend to exit from the opposite entrance...
You can get an appointment with a personal assistant, who helps you put together a nice wardrobe :) You pay 600 NOK for the first hour and get the next 2 hours for free. This is considered to be cheap here in Norway. I have never been to a more expensive country than Norway and cannot afford anything here...
There is also a library there and a cinema with 8 movie halls. And there is a hotel there as well, Thon-hotel, a bowling-hall and a health-centre.
It is just a very nice place to browse and sit down and rest after shopping.
The opening hours are from 10-21 weekdays and 10-18 on Saturdays, apart from the liquor store "Vinmonopolet" which closes at 18h on weekdays and at 15h on Saturdays (and, yes, I found that out the hard way by arriving too late to buy vine both on a Friday and on a Saturday).
Ski is in zone 2 so a single train ticket costs NOK 50 to Oslo. So I bought myself a season ticket for NOK 1.100 which lasted for a month and gave me unlimited access to all the public transport in zone 1 and zone 2. And that paid off. Later on I bought a week´s pass to Oslo for NOK 400.
There is also a bus station next to the train station which takes you to the neighbouring areas which have no trains, at least some of them. F.ex. Vinterbro and the amuzement park Tusenfryd, which is just outside of Ski.
There are at least 4 lines running from Ski to Oslo, one coming from Moss. That line is an express train only making one stop, in Kolbotn, on the way from Ski to Oslo S, so the trip only takes ca 20 minutes. The line going from Ski to Sköyen in Oslo takes ca 30 minutes as it stops at every station, of which there are 13 on the way to Oslo S. For that train Ski is the last station. There is also one other train stopping at Ski coming from Oslo S going to Mysen, making one stop in Holmlia before Ski. Then there is the Göteborg (Sweden) express, which goes to Oslo. But that train is more often than not full, so I have had to stand in the steps on the train the whole way. But if one can find a seat then this train is the most comfortable of them all, with tables and free Wifi on-board.
There is a night-bus "Nattbuss" on weekends from Oslo to Ski at 03:45.
There is a Flybus Flybussekspressen leaving directly from Ski to Gardermoen airport. A one way ticket costs NOK 230 if bought on the bus. It is quite cheaper if bought on-line. This "express" bus stops every 3-5 minutes in every village and picks up passengers, until it reaches the high-way by Oslo. I don´t know why it is called an express bus. Last time I took it, it arrived 20 minutes too late at the airport and it took me 2 hours to get to the airport from Ski. If there is going to be a next time then I will take the train to Oslo and take the Flybus from there or just spend the money on the express train to the airport.
You can find REMA 1000 all over Norway and it is one of the biggest chains of grocery stores in Norway with more than 500 stores. It is a big grocery store with a wide selection of food and it is a bit "cheaper" than Meny f.ex.
Seeing that food is very expensive in Norway then every little thing helps in saving on food.
Opening hours: weekdays 8:00-22:00, Saturday 8:00-20:00, Sunday closed.
What to buy: Groceries.
What to pay: A little less than at Meny f.ex.
Rimi is a chain of grocery stores around Norway. There is one in Ski and it is a bit less expensive than Meny for example. And it has got a good selection of food and drink. And it is open from very early in the morning until very late at night.
They often have good offers 3 for 2.
Opening hours: 7:00-23:00 weekdays, Saturday 9:00-20:00, Sundays closed.
What to buy: Groceries.
What to pay: It is one of the "cheaper" grocery stores in Norway.
1 Hotels in Ski
Favorite thing: The name Ski has nothing to do with skiing, but derives from the old norse word Skeiði meaning a running track for horses. In Icelandic we are still using "ð", but the Norwegians don´t use that any more. We use an Icelandic word "skeið" having to do with horses running. The Ski coat of arms are 3 horse-heads.
Favorite thing: This is not my favourite thing, but we had to go to NAV often. NAV stands for "Arbeids- og velferdsetaten". I came here with my partner to look for work for him, as the crisis hit Iceland hard and the nation started flocking to Norway to look for work. He was on the dole and it is allowed to go once abroad to look for work for 3 months. If one hasn´t found work by then, then one has to back home. So we headed for NAV on our second day here. A wonderful lady helped us the whole time and she was the only one who knew what to do. I am very thankful that she worked there.
At NAV you can find a list of "ledige stillinger" or openings, but one has to speak Norwegian or at least Scandinavian to find work in Norway.
There are so many "indvandrere" here in Norway and many of them have a totally different mentality and religious beliefs than the Norwegian nation. A lot of them have found loopholes in the system and I have read about many incidents when people have faked illnesses to get benefits and reported too many children to get benefits.
The Norwegian nation says that now they have to wake up and stop handing out benefits left and right. And there was a new proposition in May 2012 demanding that people on social benefits will have to go to work from day one or if they will refuse, then they will have to live on NOK 70 per day, which is impossible in Norway. They will be put to work cutting wood or cutting grass or shovelling snow. Some have been receiving social benefits for up to 20 years. In 2010 18.000 people in Oslo received social benefits of NOK 167 daily.
Fondest memory: Here is the website to NAV. It is not my fondest memory but my partner sure was happy when he got the first cheque from them and could open up a Norwegian bank account. Which had been impossible to do, we were sent from one institution to another, DNB (Den Norske bank) was just rude and had no idea what to do and sent us to the police to get a confirmation from the police that he was allowed to stay here and get a bank account. The police just laughed and said that DNB should keep up with the times and get better educated about the rules. And choose another bank. Another bank told us that only Norwegian citizens could open up a bank account etc. So we were happy when finally Handelsbanken gave us a green light after our bank in Iceland had sent them a confirmation that my partner was without debt in Iceland. I don´t know how the other Icelanders were able to manage to open a bank account as the people flocking to Norway are those who overnight were facing a double mortgage after a total collapse of our Icelandic króna. But if you have got a job in Norway it is ok to open up a bank account, but not if you come here while you are looking for a job.
If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.
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