Tags: norway

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Norway, part I

Day -1 (Saturday, July 15) was spent madly finishing up all those little things that need to be taken care of before leaving for two weeks. We took a taxi to the airport — our first one in C-U — and arrived 40 minutes before our scheduled flight, which was, of course, delayed due to a late arrival. Since we only had 50 minutes to connect to our next flight, the agents tried to rebook us, but everything else was full. They suggested that perhaps they could make up time by turning the plane around quickly, and then proceeded to do everything at a maddeningly slow pace. A couple of times we felt like offering our help just to get things moving faster, especially when the agent was typing in our passport information at something like 3 wpm.

We landed in Detroit about 20 minutes before our connecting flight, passed the other aircraft on the way (so close!), but by the time we were allowed off the plane, we had 8 minutes to go between two terminals. We ran all out and made it in 9; the jet bridge had already been moved away, but they moved it back for us and we got to our kick-ass exit row seats with nothing in front of us. They actually did this twice, since another passenger came by before the plane pushed back. Our luggage, though, didn't make it.

Day 0: We arrived at our hotel in Oslo, which fanlain said looked like it was furnished in IKEA, sans luggage. Wandered around and bought ourselves a change of shirts, failed to find a geocache, and had dinner at a nice restaurant. Boy, is food ever expensive here!

Day 1: I got up a little after 3 to finish up the work I failed to get done before we left. We took the train to the airport around 5am, found our luggage, and promptly checked it back in for our 7:30 flight to Trondheim. The flight was followed by a 3 hour bus ride to Namsos, where we picked up our bicycles. The people there were skeptical that we could fit everything inside the saddle bags, but after strapping in the tents and sleeping bags with bungees, we were able to get everything else packed up. We looked for an electronics shop to perhaps buy a replacement charger cable for our camera, but in a town of 12,000, finding a Fry's equivalent turned out to be quite tricky.

From Namsos, our itinerary took us to Rørvik by speedboat, to check out the coastal museum. The museum was a little underwhelming, perhaps because of the cheesy and frustrating automated audio guide, but we did manage to buy a picnic lunch and find our first Norwegian geocache!

We then took the Hurtigruten to Brønnøysund. It was neat to watch the huge ship pull up to the dock, though a little scary to see something with that much momentum drifting towards you, with only the hope that the captain can apply the thrusters in time to stop it. The boat took a short detour to see the hole inside Torghatten, before depositing us in Brønnøysund a little after midnight.

I discovered that the travel guide for the coastal route we were taking included GPS coordinates for every lodging place (though using the unfamiliar UTM coordinates), so I was able to easily navigate us to our campsite. We arrived around 1:30, and the campsite reception wasn't awake, so we left them a note and set up our tent. Despite the early hour, we had plenty of light. We were still south of the arctic circle, and the sun did set at night, around 11pm, but it never went very far below the horizon, and so it was always light enough so that you could read. Welcome to Northern Norway! We curled up in our sleeping bags and went straight to sleep.

... to be continued


Today, BTW, I had the interesting experience of having my glasses fog up when I go outside. Normally, I'm used to glasses fogging up in the winter when I go inside, but right now it's so humid out here that the dew point is around 75F, which just happens to be the temperature I set the AC to. Craziness! Needless to say that our transition from arctic temperatures to the midwest was quite a shock to our system. (fanlain was literally under the weather all day yesterday.) Of course, tomorrow, I fly to Vancouver, where the weather is about at a midpoint between the two extremes, so we'll see how my body adjusts.
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home!

We're finally home! We arrived around 7, after waiting 45 minutes for our luggage, and barely managed to do some shopping and cook and eat dinner before crashing just after 9pm. (fanlain didn't actually manage to finish her dinner before falling asleep.) As a result, I was up around 5:30 today. I figured I'd use the extra morning time to mow the lawn before it got obscenely hot, but no such luck — the grass was too wet from the dew. So instead, I used my morning to catch up on my two weeks of email. I'd managed to briefly log online three times during the trip, but always to quickly do something, rather than check email or LJ, and so I had a few hundred messages to deal with. I'm now mostly caught up, though there are still a few that need replying to. I'm just giving up on LJ and starting anew from today. I wish there was some way to select out only the important posts out of the last two weeks, but I'll settle for learning about interesting new events through osmosis.

The trip itself was great, though perhaps a little too long — both fanlain and I were ready to go home a couple of days sooner than we did. The last few days we spent in Å, I was feeling both restless from staying in one place and too tired to do much wandering around. (Though we did manage a 20km round-trip hike in order to visit an ATM.) I'll try to write down some snippets about our travel over the next few days, but for now I've got to get back to email and housework. Unfortunately, we couldn't find our camera charger cable before leaving, so there will be no photos. Then again, I haven't posted the photos from the last few trips we took, so perhaps you won't notice the difference.