I hope I can write this for you in a coherent way – I think my brain is still airborne. The trip to Oslo, Norway was sudden and hard on me. Did you know that this time of year the sun rises at about 4 am and sets after 11 at night….never really getting dark during the ‘night’. When do you sleep?
When we planned to take our trip into Argentina last month, I didn’t know I would be doing a 5 day turn around for another trip and during those 5 days I would have house guests. We usually plan better than that.
The basis of this trip was some words I spoke over 6 months ago – coming back to haunt me. Over a dinner with out-of-town guest, something Camillo and I do with regularity, I was talking with the young man next to me at the table – he was explaining about a problem he had with documentation – database control for a special project - I opened my mouth and said “Oh what fun, I done similar before, straightening out a big problem is SUCH fun, blah, blah blah” or something to that - second glass of red wine - effect. Well end result, I got ‘invited’ to come to Norway and straighten out the database…. and yes it will be fun. I say will be because this project from now until completion of project will take about 6 months. Okay enough sad story. Let me tell you a little about Oslo.
To travel from Rio de Janeiro to Oslo Norway, I took an Air France flight (11 hours plus a loss of 5 hours), connecting in Paris, that took off 1 hours late and arrived in Paris 1 hour late. My tickets allowed for a connection time of 2 hours – seems a lot doesn’t it? Until you arrive 1 hour late, they check your passport at the airplane door – making a big mess of everyone trying to get off the flight, then your connecting flight is at 10:35 not 10:50 (don’t know whose error that was) and you arrive in terminal C2 and leave out of terminal D2 and end up having to go through passport control again….. and was told it was a ten minute walk…. carrying the computer bag and camera bag… and well I missed my connection! and spent another 5 hours at the CDG. We are best friends now that I have missed two flights in just 6 months for a total of 18 hours sitting and waiting.
From the Oslo Airport there is a train that leaves from beneath the airport and stops 3 minutes from where I was staying. To get on the train you swipe your credit card and click the stop where you will get off, and in about 30 seconds you have paid your ticket, the gate opens and you can go down to the platform. I love new technology. The train is fast and comfortable and stopped for just enough time at each station to let people on and off (with their bags) without having to push and shove.
Going back to the airport wasn’t as nice. Saturday morning, 4am Norwegian time (11pm Friday night in Brasil), I left the private home where I stayed, caught a train packed with travelers, got to the ‘little’ Oslo airport to be greeted by a madhouse of confused travelers – including myself – you have to stand in a long line to do an electronic check in, typing in all the numbers from your reservation prior to breakfast and coffee, scan you passport, move to another line to check your bags, stand in ANOTHER line for security (who were on strike so was moving at half time….) made my flight though with 3 minutes to spare, got to Paris on time and made my flight with 30 minutes to spare – took an Excedrin PM after lunch which was served at 1 pm Norwegian time (8 AM Brasil time) and slept fitfully most the way home. (10+ hours plus gaining back the 5 I’d lost) and you realize this timing means I was up all night Brasil time just catching my flights then sleeping all day while getting home – so I arrived in Brasil at 5 pm and darkness, all turned around to daylight – nightlight just like I passed the week.
In Oslo center after dinner – around 10:30 at night!