Svalbard 2015: to Oslo

Act 1, Scene 1 – London Heathrow Airport, Terminal Two Departures, Section D

A ridiculous creature in ridiculous boots two and a half sizes too big approaches a check-in machine, enters her booking reference, scans her passport and is given in return a sticker for the big red tarpaulin bag at her feet.

Act 1,Scene 2 – London Heathrow Airport, SAS Tagged Bag Drop

CHECK-IN MAN: I’m sorry, you’ll have to pick up your bags in Oslo

The ridiculous creature is pleased by this.

Act 1, Scene 3 – London Heathrow Airport, Terminal Two Security

The ridiculous creature puts her watch into her coat pocket, takes out her laptop and places it in a tray with her documentation and coat, then takes the ridiculous boots off and puts them in the tray. She approaches the security gate with some trepidation, certain she’s not wearing anything metallic but expecting the detector to beep anyway. It doesn’t.

The trays containing her luggage go through the scanner. She waits for them to be shunted off to the side, to be inspected separately but they come straight down to her with no problem. She puts the laptop and documentation away, dons coat and boots and walks away, surprised.

Act 1, Scene 4  – London Heathrow Airport, Terminal Two departure area

The ridiculous creature sits with her laptop open and writes a screenplay about this memorable day.


Our flight was delayed by the late arrival of the incoming plane and it was 7.58pm by the time we took off. The wifi was free for SAS Plus passengers but not for us lowly SAS Go passenger but luckily, it didn’t actually work so I wasn’t missing anything. I was, of course, in the window seat and there was someone supposed to be in my aisle seat but he soon noticed there was no one in the entire row of seats opposite and shifted himself to the opposite window, giving us an entire row each, which was nice.

There was snow in the ground as we came into Oslo. I wasn’t expecting that. Hadn’t given a single thought to the idea that mainland Norway in November might be snowy. We disembarked from the back door of the plane, discovered that the area around the wing is very slippery and icy, presumably because it’s wet there from the wings being deiced and then had to climb a flight of stairs next to the front door to get into the airport. SAS, by the way, give all their planes Viking names and mine was Saga Viking. I’d like to start a collection but my SAS collection would take a lot longer than my Icelandair collection because Icelandair only have a dozen or so planes and SAS have… lots. I might count them in the back of the magazine on tomorrow’s plane.

I knew I had to pick up my luggage but it turns out, I would have had to anyway – something to do with coming in from an international flight and transferring onto a domestic. I had to when I flew to Trondheim as well, although I didn’t when I flew Narvik-Oslo-London. Presumably it’s a different story if it’s domestic to international.

Anyway. We landed at 10.37 and by 11.10, I was on a moving bus, heading for my hotel – which I reached with no problems whatsoever. My first ever successful arrival at a Thon hotel. The room is huge, the TV is enormous and the underfloor heating in the bathroom is so hot that you don’t need a sauna, just sit on the bathroom floor for a few minutes. Basic breakfast starts at 4.30, proper breakfast about 6.30 and my next job of the night is to see what bus I need to get so I can find out what time I need to be up.

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