Norway 2011: Flying home

I got up early and had breakfast and finished packing.

I went down to the town centre to get the Flybussen. It wasn’t due for another half hour, so I went down to the harbour for a bit before coming back to the bus stop to find it populated by men who’d been fishing and sounded like they were from Somerset.

I got to the airport, checked in with the machine, scanned my own passport and took my bag over to be handed in. The man behind the desk decided I was Norwegian and gibbered at me until he scanned my luggage tag at which point he suddenly realised why I’d been looking so blankly at him.

That left me with three hours until my flight went. I went outside and down by the waterfront to take photos of the spectacular view. It did mean crossing a road where there were no crossings but I survived, in both directions.

I sat and read Sherlock Holmes until my gate was announced, got through security without being searched and then sat and read some more until I could get on the plane.

Nice view, nice flight, arrived in Oslo a couple of hours later. I navigated my way to International where I had my passport checked, bought something to drink with my last few Norwegian coins and got on the plane. Only they’d changed my seat at the last minute. You might think, if you were an airline, that someone who’d checked in online twenty-four hours in advance and chosen a seat right at the back next to a window might have done so because they wanted to see out. Therefore, why not move them so they’re in a middle seat right over the wing? That seems like a perfect choice!

And then no sooner were we in the air than the unpleasant lady sitting on my right decided to close the blinds for the entire flight. I have never hated a flight more, or an airline. I did ask why I’d been moved and the hostess just said “Oh, I don’t know if we’ve even got 25 rows”. I do not enjoy flying blind.

At Heathrow, I collected my luggage which had managed to change planes and not get lost somewhere in Scandinavia and walked the three thousand miles from T3 to Central Bus Station where there was no food and I had to sit and wait for over an hour.

The coach was too hot, the heating was broken, there was a small mutiny up the front which involved yelling at the driver who yelled back. And I do not like the blue LEDs that lit up the entire coach. We all had the overhead fans on but it didn’t really do a lot. At Ringwood, the driver got up and did something inside the overhead locker at the front which may house the heater controls – useless if you can’t get at them while driving – and I think he must have switched the heating off altogether because without the heat, the overhead fans soon began to feel very very cold.

And then I got home.

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