Tag Archives: lofoten islands

Norway in a Nutshell and Farewells

Rent A Wreck

My last day before leaving this stunning country my mate got to play tour guide in true fashion. We rented a car and toured around the region, visiting stunning gorges, driving crazy hairpin bends and exploring ancient churches.

First of all it was the hassle of trying to find and rent a car. Turned out many places were out of cars except for the delightfully named, Rent A Wreck. Yves had called the day before to ensure they would be open for us to sort everything out. We wondered around the far side of Voss until we found it, sort of down the road under a bridge over the way sort of thing…and it was closed, a full 2 hours before they had told us they would be. Go figure. Yves called and they said they would send someone. About 20 minutes later they called us, apparently the guy had left ’cause he was bored and now could not return, got to love Norway, so we were just going to do it over the phone. No problem they would leave the key for us in a box for the morning. What could go wrong!

Surprisingly nothing, and we got the car in the morning and went off to explore Norway in a Nutshell.

Exploring Gorges

The day before leaving we took a hike behind Voss to explore the local gorge. Absolutely beautiful!


Beautiful flowers at the gorge



Our first stop was the Twin Falls, Tvindefossen, it was the dry season but still amazing, right off the side of the road. Huge signs everywhere asking that no one steal the slate rocks….


Our next stop was on top of the Stalheimskleva, a stunning view of the gorge below. Unfortunately the hotel, that boasts a wonderful collection of artifacts, was closed due to a convention. But we still enjoyed the view.


The gradient is so steep and the 13 spectacular hairpin bends means only downwards traffice is allowed, and it makes one hell of a ride!



Viewing a Fjord

Then it was on to see a fjord, truly stunning!




Norwegian Brown Cheese in Vingerstad


In Norway they have this… how do I explain… interesting… different… unique… yeah let’s go with unique, cheese (or cheeselike). They take the leftovers from cheese and curd, and boil it more, till it becomes a thick paste like substance, then they fill molds and compact it till it kind of looks like a wax model, then they eat it! There are truly no words that I can find to express how it tastes…



But it is beautiful here


On To Flam

I had heard about Flam before and was quite excited to visit this Norwegian town…. until Yves explained that the “town” was in fact more of a cruise terminal than anything else. A few tourist shops and a spectacular brewery.


stunning interior

stunning interior

Stunning exterior too

Stunning exterior too

Tunnels Everywhere

When you drive through Norway you will discover tunnel after tunnel after tunnel. Some go through mountains, some go on the side of cliffs, some go under lakes… but they are everywhere. We went through the longest one, 24.5km, which actually has special lighting in certain sections to wake you up, that replicates daylight. It is so big they even hold activities like concerts inside.


Heading into the tunnel

Heading into the tunnel

The blue light in the distance

The blue light in the distance

Inside the blue light

Inside the blue light


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Posted by on November 22, 2014 in Travel


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Drive to the End of the Norwegian Alphabet

The Plan

The day before, Yves and I had a great plan to wake up at 7am and leave by 8am. Well we woke up at 8am…. Today we decided to give ourselves a break and lie in till 8am, meet Juraj and leave at 9am! We woke up at 6.30am, Murphy really gets a hoot out of these ironic moments…. But at least it meant we could pack up slowly and then check some internet at the main house while waiting for Juraj.

We didn’t have to wait long and soon we were on the road. Since it had taken quite a few hours to get as far as we had the day before we decided to drive half way… after all, the tourist map we had been given seemed to indicate it was the same distance if not further to end of the Lofoten Islands and the town of Å, pronounced “Ooohhr”, or close to that at least. That is also the very last letter of the Norwegian alphabet, which seemed rather handy when you are the last town in a long chain of islands.

Juraj planned to go all the way to the end of the alphabet, and we planned to drop him along the way when we found a place we fancied. It turned out that the tourist map was horribly wrong in it’s dimensions and after barely 2 hours we were well on our way, only a couple of towns from Å, so we just decided to head all the way.

Here are some pictures of the stunning scenery on the way:




Hitting a Jam

Go figure, once we had made the decision to go to the end, we hit a jam. Literally, roadworks had caused a traffic jam (Norwegian Island style), in the most inconvenient location with no way to turn around and at least a 30 minute wait.


It appeared that they were completing work on a tunnel designed to prevent landslides and avalanches, always a good thing when you are north of the Arctic circle. Did I mention that this was me driving, my first time driving a hybrid in a foreign country… I get all the fun. So we broke out the snacks and surveyed the road works.

Suddenly out of nowhere a Norwegian Barbie (sorry but it’s was the term the boys came up with), stalks over and says something intense to the guy holding the flag… next minute we are confused and driving through and incomplete tunnel that would randomly lurch to the left and outside the tunnel, making us drive along the cliff edge. A very high and scary looking cliff edge…remember again, I am driving. We had no idea where the road went to follow and I was just thankful that there had been one car ahead of us, that way I could follow him and if he suddenly drove over the cliff I would know to lean more right than left. The worker in the pickup playing chicken with the civilian cars, he had a real hoot as he just got ahead of me as I was entering the tunnel again through a small one car gap, did not help our confidence.

But, after a fairly insane 7 minutes or so we exited out the other end where another row of cars were waiting to enter the Norwegian Highway’s Merry Go Round!

Welcome to the End of the Norwegian Alphabet

With the traffic jam our well on the way time scale pretty much went out the window. We found one decent camp site a few towns before Å but we weren’t sure if it was the right place for us. So we headed for the end. Finally pulling in we were faced by a delightful town of red fisher buildings a lovely coastal area and even a youth hostel. But that was all, it appeared as if they had set up some decent accommodation for tourists then said “well that’s good enough”. We drove around trying to find other options for accommodation stopping at one point to ask, what appeared, to be a local, where the campsite was. There were signs but we couldn’t pinpoint the location. This wise old gentleman gave us an evaluating look, gave us a resigned expression and then pointed vaguely back the way we had come saying “It’s over there…” . I was pretty certain he mumbled “duh!” under his breath. Of course we were idiots who wouldn’t recognize the apparently vacant grassy lot with no signs as the campsite….

Heading back to the hostel we looked at our options there. I was kind of leaning towards at least one night of warmth, and hoped the guys would go for it to. The only other option, as the “campsite” was apparently closed for the season. Finally we opted for a dorm room price in a small cabin with a kitchen come living room and plenty of plugs and heaters. All wet gear was pulled out and put in a drying position and all electronic equipment plugged in.

this was our little cabin!

this was our little cabin!

The boys decided to try get in a quick hike before dinner and I decided to explore Å and see what I could find, turned out to be beautiful scenery but nothing much else. There were no stores, no restaurants, no bars… it was as if all the locals had gone underground the minute August 31st past, even tourist information was shut for the winter. And all I wanted was a cup of coffee…

I did however find some kittens!

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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Travel


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When in Rome…or rather…Norway…


We drove into Svolvær and found the tourist info center, who had a campsite list. We also asked about the chances of seeing the Northern Lights, but the chances were pretty poor. Then Juraj parted ways, exchanging numbers in case he needed a ride in the morning.

We stopped at the store to grab the next couple of days food supplies then headed out looking for a campsite. The first one we found was situated on a rather stagnant bay, and, well it seemed nice, did not jump out at us as the must stay location. We got lost a bit in Kabelvåg, a medieval town that has preserved much of it’s architecture. We also managed to stumble across Storvågan, a little artsy community. If you saw how small these were you would be impressed we got “lost” but we were certain a campsite was situated here. In truth it was about another 2 minutes down the E10 “highway”. When we finally found it we were in awe of the landscape. I am pretty certain some sci-fi movie with dramatic landscape must have been shot here. Or maybe it was a movie set, it just seemed too incredible.



Our campsite was located just down from the showers and kitchen and on a wall overlooking a beach and bay with the craggy mountains in the distance. A photographers’ dream.

We grabbed a quick dinner then headed back in town to explore the Ice Museum. On the way we spotted the bright yellow jacket that was Juraj. We gave him a quick ride to the road of our campsite and he wandered off to find a suitable site for himself. We agreed to meet in the morning to continue further south.

When in….

Parking the car we walked through the now deserted downtown of Svolvær. Here we found an interesting fellow selling dried meats from a variety of creatures.

He let us taste moose and elk , bear was sold out due to a busload of Russian tourists and the muskox wasn’t ready yet. He did, however, let us try whale… yup you heard me, he had dried minke whale. It looked like a roll of salami but tasted like jerky.

Now, please before getting all incensed and angry, understand that I have a degree in Environmental Education and I do not jump into tasting whale lightly. However, I also understand that different countries have different cultural backgrounds and hunting whale has been a part of Norwegian culture for a very long time. I don’t agree with it, but if they keep to the quota and educate then I respect their culture.


After the rather surreal experience of tasting whale and still rather amazed that we had happened upon it we walked down a rather sketchy street towards the port and a dingy building with a big sign saying Magic Ice.

Apparently this was the original Ice Museum, now over 10 years old, some of the ice sculptures were amazingly the same age. The building was formerly where the ice blocks were kept for the fishing ships, but when a new building was built they decided to turn this one into an Ice Museum. Many have followed around the world.

fisherman, one of the originals

fisherman, one of the originals

It was truly breathtaking…as in literally it was so DAMN cold it took your breath away. We wandered around the various statues showing life and nature and imagination, oohing and aahing until even our eyelashes had icicles.



Yves on his throne

Yves on his throne



One of my favorites, the fish bowl

One of my favorites, the fish bowl

Then it was time for the included drink in a glass made of ice (guess they don’t have a problem of people stealing the glasses). Despite the alcohol we still had to chip through a thin layer of ice to get to our vodka infused blue liquid, while we drank we chatted to two Germans (we would discover a lot of Germans on this trip) about their travels. I love chatting to travelers.



Finally, everything became just too cold, toes and fingers had lost feeling and … other things… apparently… were reacting to the cold too as Yves suggested we find warmer climes. Stepping back into the lobby (that before had seemed chilled) felt like a tropical forest. Heading back to the car we didn’t even need jackets.

Both utterly exhausted we climbed into our sleeping bags, me in thermals, jacket, hat, gloves and socks, and Yves in his boxers (it was a warm night apparently).

Morning we woke to a gorgeous morning!


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Posted by on September 28, 2014 in Travel


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And Then There Were Three!

Hitch Hiker

Leaving Senja island we headed South into the “real” Lofoten’s. We were aiming to reach as far as Svolvær (I sound like the dentist numbed my entire mouth and then I drank a bottle of tequila when I attempt to pronounce it), about 4hrs or so.

The weather had taken a turn, or rather had continued on the turn and hit the highway with clouds and now rain. As we marveled at the scenery through the rain streaks Yves suddenly says “We should pick him up!”, and slows down to a stop.
“Pick who up? What? Where?”
“Him, the hitch hiker.” Obviously….

Looking at what appeared to be a bright yellow rain saturated bear heading towards my window, I asked in a hushed tone, “Is it safe”.
Yves just rolled his eyes at me as he rolled the window down.
“Where ya heading?”
“Down towards the Lofotens”
“Great we are heading that way jump in”

And that’s how we adopted the third member of our merry band, Juraj! He filled the entire back seat and smelled like campfire.

The Thing I Love About Travelers

You can always tell when a group of travelers meet up, within seconds we are discussing recent adventures, future plans, suggested locations, harrowing adventures….and only hours later do we ask “Sorry what was your name?”. Heck, there have been times when we all promised to stay in touch and email those photos, waved farewell and only after watching the other person disappear do we realise we only knew their first name…

This was the same case with Juraj. He asked us all sorts of questions and immediately claimed Yves to be his inspiration working as a tour guide and traveling the world. He was interested in how cruise work was and seemed impressed at my amount of solo travel.

We discovered that he was a programmer who had worked in Denmark, in fact had had the perfect life, by society’s standards, but had woken up one day and realised he hadn’t experienced life, so he quit his job and began to travel. He planned for 6 months, now almost 18 months later he was starting to bring it to an end. Then he started some of his stories:
“When I was in Borneo with the orangutans…”
“When I was in South America with the Amazon natives…”
“When I smoked with the aborigines…”
Or something along those lines!

We just looked at each other amazed.Juraj was someone who has this wonderful childlike wonder for everything and everyone, his smile and laugh are contagious, and his stories blow your mind. He was definitely a likeminded soul and we were happy to have him in the band.

We ended up meeting up with him in the morning after he camped in the wild somewhere on top of a hill with a beautiful view and we all headed further south for more adventures.

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Posted by on September 27, 2014 in Travel


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Senja Island

Renting a Hybrid

Baring with me, as exhaustion makes this day a bit fuzzy, but I do remember the hilarious moments, such as when we went to pick up the rental car. At the hertz office we were informed that Yves had reserved via the super duper US cheap cheap rate… Great we thought… but that meant no insurance of any kind. Apparently most US credit cards come with that built in. I was paying, but had never rented a car before and was unsure if my card covered that and it seemed a little risky to rent without insurance.

To get insurance meant more than doubling the cost of the car, making a $300 rental into around $750 rental… However, the very nice man behind the counter decided to see what magic her could work. He managed to get us a complete deal, with insurance and a couple of extra days, for around $500. We decided this was just a better idea.

Keys in hand we headed out, climbed into our nifty little Toyota Yaris and were perplexed…. there was no key hole for the key, only a button. Yves pressed the button and some lights on the dash cam on but no engine sound. We both looked at each other utterly confused. Yves tapped the accelerator and the car jerked forward, “holy shit it’s on!” pretty much covered it! Apparently we had the honor of a hybrid, and unlike most hybrids in the US it didn’t have the added safety feature of a low whine to let you know you were good to go. Once we got the general idea we headed out into the confusing streets of Tromsø.

We named her Bensin, after the sticker on the dashboard…. ok I named her, in truth that was telling us the kind of gas to put in, but the name fit.

Senja Island – South Side

Attempting to guide Yves out of the city was kind of like the blind being led by a deaf and blind person, due to my exhaustion levels now reaching 30something hours without decent sleep. I was pretty certain I was slurring words. But we figured it out and made our to our first stop Senja Island, around 2 hours South of Tromsø, and highly recommended by the guy at Tourist Information.

Crossing over to the island we thought we were following the North road, in fact we somehow missed it and followed a Southern loop. Senja was beautiful but far from anything earth shatteringly beautiful that could snap me out of my haze of half napping.

We finally came across a campsite around 2pm, with no one anywhere to be found. Calling the number we were told just to camp anywhere and pay in the morning…ok????? Yves said “welcome to Norway”, he would come to repeat it many times.

We decided, instead to keep driving and see if we could find the North road, or at Yves decided, I nodded.

Senja Island – North Side

Still unsure if more driving was a good idea, and inwardly wishing for my comfy pad and sleeping bag, we turned onto the North road. Within minutes all you could hear were “Oooohhhhs and Aaaaahhhhhhs”. The North road appeared to be the road less travelled and was breathtakingly beautiful and wild. Stunning craggy cliffs and atmospheric clouds all surrounded by wild waves made it look like it was straight out of a Lord Of the Rings movie.

We only wished we had found this road first as dusk was fast approaching and with it impending rain….


Yves found a random kettle on the pier... anyone for a cuppa tea??

Yves found a random kettle on the pier… anyone for a cuppa tea??

Campsite 1

We did come across one other campsite set at the shore of a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. A perfect place to contemplate and relax. Unfortunately it would add an extra hour or more to our trip in the morning so we opted for the first campsite.

We set up camp and then, while Yves made dinner, I went and had one of the most amazing showers in my life… after paying 10kroner ($1.50) for 10minutes of hot water…


In the morning we had to call again as there was no one to pay. Again Yves chuckled and said “Welcome to Norway”. However, the friendlish chap that arrived mumbled something about not seeing us on his drive through at 9pm and therefore the cost of 175KR ($27) was too much. He only charged us 100KR, so perhaps there was something to say about the Norwegian way.

We headed on our way further south, heading for Svolvær, the capital of the Lofotens.

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Posted by on September 27, 2014 in Travel


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Lofoten Bound

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

To get to the Lofoten Islands in the north of Norway, above the Arctic circle, you can take a boat, a train or fly. The boat can take upwards of a week as meanders through stunning fjords and rugged coastlines. The train isn’t much better time wise and you get stare at endless forests and lakes as you go through tunnel after tunnel. The final option is to fly, being based in Voss we hoped to fly from Bergen, only an hour by train. However, it turned out that train to Oslo and flight from there to Tromsø was the most economical and timely way to go. So after Yves finished work, we hurriedly packed clothes, tent, sleeping bags, pads, wavered on how to smuggle gin through customs (opted not to) and headed to the train station.

The plan was a 6 hour odd train ride to Oslo, followed by a quick transfer (8 minutes between) to the airport train, crash in the airport and 8.25am flight in the morning. We hit a snag when an accident on the tracks forced us to be detoured by bus around that section, adding almost an hour. Of course this meant we missed our 8 minute window. Luckily, the conductor assured us there was another train precisely 9 minutes after our arrival heading to the airport. Great, no worries then.

We got to the Oslo train station, checked the boards for the appropriate train (which was actually 11 minutes from then) and caught it with no problem, direct to the airport within 20 minutes. At the stop we hit our next snag, there was a barrier turn style requiring a special ticket to get through to the actual airport… looking fairly perplexed, we stood in line behind a gentleman who was paying copious amounts of Kroner (6.20K = $1, give or take) and ultimately was let through the gate. The delightful lady behind the glass explained our error, we had taken the express train, which was about triple what the local train was we had tickets for. In our horror and fear at blowing our budget before we even reached the actual airport we explained our situation. Luckily, this lovely lady, tsk’ed tsk’ed the conductor for giving us the wrong information and assured us we would not have to pay for his mistake, letting us through. It was only later we realised that the train he had mentioned must have in fact been the local train and we had taken the wrong train assuming the board with OSLO AIRPORT was the correct train, how silly of us. The local train simply says city center and apparently the airport is a stop on the way, or something like that.

Important Traveler Information: When buying train tickets in Norway be double sure which train you are getting on. There are the public trains, much cheaper, and then private companies that offer the express trains. If you get on the wrong one the conductor will make you pay again. When in doubt ask someone, better safe than out of pocket.

Airport Nap Time

The clock was already passed midnight when we stumbled up the elevator and looked around for the most “comfortable” place to sleep. There were already a large number of airport campers scattered around, meaning most the chairs were taken. We opted to take a spot behind a particularly obscure statue, with a high potential of being phallic in nature.


We rolled out our mats, me getting to get my first view at my new REI rails pad, super exciting. Lay down and within around 10minutes Yves was off in La-la land. Yours truly, on the other hand, snuggled down, marveling at just how well this new REI rails pad truly prevented any hip to floor contact, and the general cushy nature of it, closed my eyes, took a deep breath…and…BAM Eyes Wide Open! I am not talking, sleepy and not able to sleep, I am mean my brain was on full overload, as if it was attempting to solve a highly complicated calculus equation (and usually it can barely spell that).
I rolled,
I tossed,
I took a “bath” airport style,
I changed out of travel clothes and put on new socks
I even listened to a particular House tune that a Romanian friend gave me and helps block out thoughts
I wrote in my diary
I paced
I got irritated by some dude chatting on skype at 3am

All through this, Yves was dreaming of hiking Everest and other great adventures, waking up briefly, seeing me awake, asking if I had got any sleep and then turning over and getting another 4o winks. At one point he mentioned how a pillow would make this whole experience so much better, he promptly received mine in his face, he gladly tucked it under and went back to sleep.

Nearing the wake up hour I had managed to convince 3 of my 4 personalities to crave sleep, but that 4th one, man he was contemplating if penguins had knees or some other highly important theological topic.

Nap Time Airplane Style

Finally we were able to check in. This was a new procedure for me, as you can now, apparently, print out your own baggage labels, and check your own bag, unless of course the bag check machine decides your bag is too big. It was apparently fine after standing in line for 15 minutes.

Through security, me reaching zombie status and mumbling something about the need for coffee. I never realised my dependence on it until this trip, mornings just don’t seem complete without a cup of ‘jo. Stumbling after Yves towards our gate, which was at the very very very end of some random arm of the airport that seemed to go on forever, we waited for our flight. Thankfully it wasn’t full and I oozed into three seats, buckled myself into the middle and toppled over side ways gaining a precious hour of sleep, airplane style.

We made it, we touched ground, we found the bus to downtown and we made it as far as the tourist info before my eyes turned glassy again. From that point on until sleep it is all a little fuzzy, but I will try to continue in the next installment of Lofoten Bound

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Posted by on September 23, 2014 in Travel


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The Return to Airport World

Curbside Check-in

Feeling quite proud of myself, and rather tech savvy, after having checked-in via the Delta App on my Samsung Tablet, I proceeded to curbside check-in, attempting to not look too confused at this new procedure. As soon as everything was checked, and silently praying that my bag would mysteriously reach my destination from the curb side of the airport I proceeded to security.

Now security is one of the best places to people watch, it seems to bring out the best and worst in people. For some reason the security system as SeaTac appeared to be more of a cluster-fu..dge than normal, almost as if they were in the middle of construction somewhere. All lines seemed to merge and no one line seemed to have a direct route. Add to that about 8 wheelchairs attempting to squeeze through hundreds of already exasperated passengers and it begins to border on a comedy.

The large Indian family saying farewell to parents and grandparents, walking along the outside as they are pushed in wheelchairs through the crowd. Tears in eyes as a son shouts out “Be Brave Mammi!”. Then you see the Tibetan nun, the deep burgundy color of her robes giving away her origin, calmly meandering her way through at peace with the whole process. And finally the old gentleman trying to extricate his laptop to the exasperation of other passengers who finally just push past him.

All this culminates into the final step, what I like to call the TSA carnival ride. Step in, feet apart, arms above your head and “weeeeee” as the scanner scans you. I always feel like I should get a sticker or a snapshot as a memorabilia and have never understood why folks get so indignant at being shown as an amorphous blob on a screen.

Duty Free

Finally making it to the gate with over an hour to spare, I swung by Duty Free to purchase the requested Gin. Now, having never purchased alcohol in Duty Free before I afraid it would be confiscated, since I pass through Amsterdam on my way to Norway, I went over to one of the store attendants, a lovely gentleman possibly from China. When asked if it was ok he replied with:
“No problem! We put it zippy bag”
“I am sorry, a what?”
“Zippy bag, we put it zippy bag”
Or something to that extent, I decided since I understood the first part of “No Problem” I would go with that.
At checkout they placed it in a sealed bag and I had to pick it up as I boarded the plane. So I think it kind of made sense.

Please Remain Seated!

Waiting in the gate area it was very warm, possibly an issue with the circulation system, this ultimately made passengers more fidgety than usual, and with the added benefit of the flight being overbooked, by around 20 seats.

You have got to love it when the airline does this. So of course everyone without a seat lined up, the desk agents repeated over and over again, “please remain seated, we are working on the issue and will call you up as soon as we have resolved it, please remain seated. Anyone willing to give up your ticket, please come and see us, otherwise, again, please remain seated.”
Of course, everyone kept standing in line.

As they were about to board the announcement came through that the plane was “Too Hot!” so they could not board us and to please remain seated. The result 90% of the passengers lined up. I was terribly bemused at the whole thing, watching as passengers got frustrated standing in line when they should just remain seated.

On a side note the exciting experience of Taco Bell from the previous evening seemed to be losing it’s grip as I merrily chomped on pepto chewables.

When Sleep Eludes You….

The plane was packed beyond packed, there was no free seat anywhere… and an unhappy child 2 rows in front of me. This flight was going to be fantastic (please note the sarcasm).

Since it is virtually impossible for me to sleep on planes unless I have at least 2 seats, preferably 3 (allowing me to stretch out), I decided to attempt to take a half tablet of my muscle relaxant that I use when my shoulder acts up.
Dinner was served and I requested pasta, they had to fetch it, after nibbling on the salad, the cold hard roll and the cracker, I asked again, they had forgotten, pasta received and opened…pasta quickly closed!
No sleep!
Certain a movie would help loll me to sleep I put on my noise canceling headphones (that I purchased in Istanbul for a tenth of the price) and flipped to Godzilla. Perhaps a high action movie with sci-fi undertones was a bad idea…
No Sleep!
Then I tried Malificent, the whimsical retake on sleeping beauty, I was so entranced with the movie that I barely blinked.
No Sleep!….maybe I should have taken a whole pill?

Then there was a call for medical assistance, I considered but decided to wait and see if they had help. Being a vet nurse means I can only do so much and I hoped they didn’t ask me to check for a fever…But luckily they had a doctor and 3 RNs answer the call.
Still No Sleep!
Perhaps a light hearted kids movies? How to Train Your Dragon 2, brilliant!
Begin to drift off slightly, the bliss of oblivion within reach… and so too was my butt apparently, as my seat mate attempted to tuck in her blanket mid snore, she ultimately attempted to tuck my butt in at the same time! Awake!
Oh bugger it, I give up! Grab a coffee and play Majong on the plane game station till we land.

Due to the medical emergency, my assessment was possible heart attack from the few glimpses I got, we were granted priority landing.
The flight attendants assured us the gentleman would be ok.

Greetings Amsterdam…Airport

I must say that Schipol International Airport is quite delightful. Easy to manoeuvre about and joy of all joys… an outside area where you can breathe the fresh air… as long as you are upwind of the smokers. But for those of us already 12hrs + in airport air, anything resembling fresh was worth it.
The Final Leg

Eventually it was time to meander to the gate and await boarding. Feeling utterly exhausted I politely asked the gate agent if there was a free row so I could sleep, politeness always seems to help and by the time the plane left the ground I was strapped into a middle seat of 3 and passing out while attempting to ignore a section of the buckle digging into my side.

After a refreshing 45min catnap, I awoke to a wonderful flight attendant handing me coffee and a funky Dutch cookie, two wafers glued together with caramel… heaven to a long haul traveler. As I was correctly trained in cookie and coffee etiquette by my parents I broke it in half and…. DUNKED!

The flight attendant was so delighted she exclaimed “That’s the only way to eat them, but then one is never enough!” and promptly got me another one. I think I am in love with Dutch flight attendants as I was handed a third before leaving.

Journey to Voss

Leaving Airport World, at least for a few days, I discovered I had received a dose of exceptional traveler luck. My bag was one of the first, then I was just able to jump on the bus that was leaving for downtown Bergen, after a short walk I managed to get on a train leaving in 5min (a whole hour earlier than expected), I nodded off now and then and when I finally arrived at the platform, the first person I asked to borrow his phone ended up being a mate of mine and I was promptly handed an exceptionally strong cup of coffee (he was from Spain and apparently the stronger the better is their motto).

Shower, food and meeting all my mates mates ended a very long 2 days… but now the adventure into Norway was just beginning!

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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Travel


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