Today has been very interesting, despite the fact that I really only traveled from Norway to Iceland. Best to begin at the very beginning (according to the Sound of Music that is a very good place to start - yes I think I have gone insane).
This morning as I was packing my bag I happened to glance out of my window and saw that it was SNOWING! I was so frickin' excited. I have not seen snow since I lived in Korea and even then it was only once. It was still snowing slightly as I walked to the train station. I walked in snowfall for the first time ever!! Yes I was as excited as a little child. This photo is a view out my window.
The trains in Oslo are very well kept. At least the airport one is. It has a TV so you can watch the news. Of course all I see is images of a bus going into a sinkhole in the road, going under the road and then out into the river. No people on board and I have no idea where it was. The next thing I see is information about the plane crash in the Alps. Comforting footage when you are on your way to the airport.
Oslo buildings are so colourful. I tried to get a decent photo out the window of the speeding train. It really does not do the buildings justice though.
At one stage the train had to stop due to a delay further up the line. I managed to get this photo of the snow. Not a very interesting photo but its SNOW!!! :)
I am still not convinced that I am impressed with Oslo airport yet. There is no early check in for those who are there early so I had to sit for 90 minutes waiting in the check in area. That was after I asked three people where to check in as there were so many. Finally the third guy told me about an information board. When it did finally open there were only 2 operators checking us in. There were about 10 people in front of me, and I do not lie when I say it took over an hour for them to be checked in. Seriously I really have no idea what was going on. I find it ironic that the VIP club is called the Saga club. No one was going through that line so the called us over. It really was a saga for some people.
Also I found out that I pretty much take the same amount of weight on board the Icelandic Flight as I could the Qatar. Qatar allows up to 30kg of checked in luggage and 7kg on board. Icelandic air only allows 23kg checked in but get this, you can take 10kgs on board!!! I really had nothing to worry about.
After the check in line there was the line for checking tickets and checking take on luggage. There were 17 stations and they kept closing them. I could see this from the check in line and when I finally got to the ticket/x-ray line there were only 8 left open (one was for families only) and there were hundreds of people lined up. I stood for another hour waiting to go through. I was grateful that on the side they had mini trolleys for the hand luggage. Mine weighed over 7kg and was on my back.
I saw this little guy on the way to my gate. Let me just say that by the time I finally got to my gate I had spent 4 hours at the airport and I pretty much sat for 5 minutes before they opened the gate. Normally you sit and wait forever.
Once again I had to hop on a bus to get to the plane. While I was waiting for the bus to head off I saw a customs dog. He was still a puppy and was obviously in training. I think he was a black Lab. His handler was with him letting him go to the toilet and have a sniff around. When they went to go back inside, the dog kept jumping up trying to get the guys hand. Finally the guy handed the pup the hand loop of his leash. The pup was satisfied then and they walked inside with the leash, attached to the collar, folded in half where the man held onto it and then lead back down to where the pup had the hand loop in its mouth looking so proud of itself, walking itself. It was sooooo cute. I wish I had time to get a photo of that.
The flight to Iceland was just under 3 hours. Here are some aerial views that I took. The airport itself is situated on a lava field so that was a first for me as well. Going through the airport here was a breeze. I found my bus and we drove for another 50 minutes before we arrived at the bus port in Reykjavik. Here I hopped on a smaller bus that took me to my hotel.
I think the hotel is 2 buildings joined together and it is a bit of a maze. I am on Level 3. To get to my room I had to up in the elevator to Level 3, walk down the hallway, turn left and go downhill slightly. Suddenly you get the feeling that you are on Level 2 even though the slant down was only slight. There is a sign that then tells you to go up the stairs to where Level 3 continues. In summary it appears that Level 3 in one building is in fact Level 2 in the other, hence the reason why I had to go up another Level. What gets me is that the buildings are on the same flat ground.
My room is tiny but nice. I have to be careful because the ceiling is slanted right down to a meter off the floor on one side of the room. I nearly hit my head a couple of times in the bathroom. The tap water is divine to drink. I could drink it all day, and for those who know me, I hate tap water. Australia has a lot to learn about tasty tap water.
Well I have an early start tomorrow so I will sign off. Tomorrow I am doing the golden circle. Can't wait.