Day 02 - Friday, July 18, 2014 - Arrival in Oslo, Norway, Transfer to Hotel, Afternoon at Leisure, Welcome Drink and Orientation with Tour Manager
The Scandinavian Airline flight left the jetway at 6:55 PM, right on time. Again, we had a beautiful view of glistening New York City as we flew north over Maine and then east away from the setting sun.
We were offered beverages and then we settled in for our seven hour flight over the North Atlantic. Neither of us was very hungry so we just had a cold drink and then tried to rest.
The pilot had warned us of turbulence for the first few hours. By the time the meal service was completed we were able to get a few hours of sleep. There were several vacant seats and most people were considerate, making for a relatively quiet cabin.
When we were about an hour from Oslo, the smell of coffee started to wake us. A traditional Norwegian breakfast of thinly sliced ham and cheese along with natural yogurt and raspberries was served.
For most of the flight we had maintained an altitude of over 39,000 feet taking us high above the clouds and the turbulence. A thick carpet of clouds below us blocked the view of the North Atlantic and Iceland.
As we approached Oslo we could see the forested mountains peeking out of the clouds. Truly a land of forests, Norway is exceptionally green. Our landing was smooth at 7:45, twenty minutes early.
We were the first off the aircraft and we went right through the Euro Zone passport control. Vic got our bags and then we made a quick stop at an ATM for a few Norwegian Kroners.
Vic had researched the transportation to the hotel in the city center so we went right out to the FlyBussen and bought our tickets for 80K each, about $13.00 US with our senior discount.
When we arrived at the Radisson, it was only 10:00, much too early to check in. However, a wonderful young woman, Ingegorg, found a room for us that was ready so we did not have to store our bags.
We went right to the room, organized our bags, took a shower, and connected to the internet. As we did not sleep much last night, we went out for a walk and to explore the neighborhood around the hotel.
In our travels, we have found the best cure for jet lag is to stay awake until you catch up with the local time. We are so far north, the sun will not set until 10:18 this evening, making for a long day.
The desk clerk gave us a map and we headed out to find a cafe for Turkish kebabs. There were two close to our hotel. We chose Bislett Kebab House and we each had a wonderful pita; beef for Vic with the spicy sauce and chicken for Gennie with mild sauce.
Our hotel is right in the city center making it very easy to walk around. We headed toward the Royal Palace, the residence of King Harad V. The Royal Standard, the flag of the monarch was flying high above the castle, an indication that the King was in the building.
While Vic talked to a group of teens from the city of Bergen, Gennie talked to their mom about other places to visit within walking distance of the Palace Park, or Slottsparken. Gennie also talked to two gardeners who told her about the formal gardens and landscaping around the park.
Everyone we have met has been extremely kind to help us, from the people at the Radisson, the UPS delivery man who saw us looking at the map and offered to help, to the family we met in Newark traveling home, to the groups of teens in the park.
As usual, Vic is the friendly ambassador and soon, we are talking to people, so these new friends can practice their English which everyone studies in school for many years.
The sun was high and hot so we found shady streets and walked down the Oslo Promenade, Karl Johan Gate, the pedestrian street lined with old maple trees, many fountains, statues, outdoor cafes and shops.
There were many opportunities to take photos of the children playing in the fountains and the beautiful flowers in the height of their summer glory. We walked back to the hotel after getting to know a bit more of Oslo and completed the journal and looked at our photos.
At 6:00 we met Birgitte Hald, our trip director, who introduced us to the itinerary of the tour and gave us a brief overview of the rules of Gate 1 Tours. The keys to survival seem to be avoid the pickpockets and the bicycles.
She reminded us that the meals in restaurants would be very expensive, "skål" is the toast when drinking, and one can drink the tap water!
We were able to meet the 27 other people on the tour, many of whom had traveled with Gate 1 before. This will be a new experience for us and we are looking forward to our Norway Travel Adventure!
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel - - - Meal: B
So you have had a view of the fjord and one of the many ships. Pearl of Scandinavian is not as big as the one your have photographed but the sail through the fjord is just as breathtaking. Hope you have a great trip and see you on Thursday.
Pictures are beautiful. Yes, you two are truly ambassadors.
Turkish Kebabs -- what are these? Y'all get to taste so many new and different foods.
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Sounds like an auspicious beginning to a wonderful trip. Stay safe. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. We might want to go with you on your next adventure! Rain here today, and David will report on the amount, I am certain. Blessings!
Day 13 - Saturday, April 22, 2022 - Depart for U.S.
The hotel prepared a box breakfast for us as we had to be in the lobby way before the breakfast room was open.
Last night we found out that our departure flight back to...