Monday, 13 August 2018

Oslo, Norway (Brekkelia 3A)

I was off to a great start this morning as I was getting ready to leave Oslo and fly west to beautiful Bergen to visit a few Norwegian fjords. But first, I will need to pack and clean the flat before I leave. I want to be out of here by 10:30 to make my 2:50 flight.

Perhaps after staying in over 50 Airbnb properties I’m getting very good with the packing and cleaning process. It all seems to come together in the time allotted. What I liked about today is that it was both sunny and cool. At 10:30 I was on my way out the door and up the slight hill to the bus stop – that was the hard part. Pulling my suitcase up a hill.

The bus took me to the Central Station and as I got off the bus I realized I forgot my light green jacket on the bus. Thankfully, the bus driver saw me pounding on the side door and concurrently someone on the bus found my jacket. It was a close call. I haven’t lost anything of value during my travels and would miss my travel jacket very much.

I wheeled my suitcase up to the station lobby where I would buy my ticket for the train to the airport. I was just in time for the next train and was on it with my belongings with a few minutes to spare. I enjoyed the ride and just as we were getting close to the airport station I double-checked to make sure that I had the right airport. (I clearly remember the Milan incident when I didn’t double check which airport I was leaving from.) And then I became concerned. The airport stop was labeled “Airport Gardermoen” and my ticket said the Edvard Munch Airport. I decided not to panic until I had time after I got off the train to figure this out.

Once on the platform I Googled other Oslo airports and it looked like this was the only airport, except for one that was 100 km away. It appeared that the airport’s official name is Edvard Munch Airport and it is located in Gardenmoen. It wasn’t until I saw my flight on the airport’s departure board that I confirmed this was the right place. I had faith that everything would work out okay. And it was.

I was able to check in at the Norwegian Airlines kiosk machines but I had a problem with checking in my suitcase. It wasn’t until a fellow passenger pointed out that the weight of my suitcase was 20.1 km. Only .1 km over? It was probably the new small bag of coffee that I bought and packed that caused me to be over. After transferring the coffee to my carry-on duffel bag the suitcase weighted less than 20 km, the maximum allowed by the airline (unless you wanted to pay extra). After I got checked in I had a coffee and a breakfast croissant to eat at the nearby Starbucks.

The Oslo airport is probably the best I’ve been to. Very modern, spacious, well organized, the architecture, etc. While there were many people traveling today, it didn’t seem to be cramped. I was through security in just a few minutes. No waiting. I simply walked to my gate and waited for the flight to board.

The flight to Bergen was scheduled for about an hour. There was a crying baby in the seat behind me, but I could deal with that for an hour. (Not sure how the other passenger felt about it.) After we landed, I was a little annoying that several of the people around me were anxious to get off the plane. I just sat in my seat and let them get their bags out of the overheads. When it became my turn to get my bag out of the overhead I was being pushed by people behind me that indicated they were anxious to get off as well. I asked them to please wait.

The baggage was a bit slow coming off the plane. I (and others) probably waited 20 minutes for out suitcases to arrive on the baggage carousel. I have to keep reminding myself to have faith that my suitcase will appear. And it did.

Now, I needed to decide to take the bus or the train. Both ticket machines were next to each other and I decided on the train. Both would take about the same amount of time to get into the city (about 40 minutes) but the train isn’t affected by traffic. I purchased my ticket and it was easy to find the train that would take me into Bergen.

As I was sitting on the train, I was trying to figure out which stop to take once I got into the city. It didn’t seem this train stopped at a Central Station. It was either a problem I had finding the trains transit map or there wasn’t one available. I just kept watching where we were on my Google Maps and got off at a location that was close to where I was staying. I let my Airbnb host know where I was and took a taxi for the last mile to the flat.

The Airbnb host, Jonas, showed me around the flat. It was in a quiet part of town but within walking distance to the harbor and tourist section of the city. I was concerned that the description of the flat said it was “cozy” which normally means it is small, but this one was just the right size for me and close to a grocery store. Also I could hook up my Apple TV.

After Jonas left I took a quick nap on the comfortable sofa and then went shopping. The store has everything that I needed and was soon back at the flat. I really didn’t want to cook anything so I ate a couple of bowls of cereal and a couple slices of bread with peanut butter before I started to work on my travel blog and pictures.

Was nice to have a large screen again to watch “The Flash”. Jonas, the Airbnb host, worked in telecom and said my Apple TV could be connected via Wifi and would not need the Ethernet cable. He was right, the option for WiFi showed up when I wasn’t plugged into the Ethernet port. No wonder I never saw the WiFi option. This means that I’ll be able to use my Apple TV at more locations.

I eventually decide to go to sleep. Tomorrow I’ll look for a few fjord tour options and if it was good weather, I’ll take the funicular train up to Floyen Mountain that overlooks Bergen.

To see pictures: 

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