Today’s blog is quite easy to write, since we had one plan for the day after packing: drive to the Leknes airport, fly to Bodø, fly to Oslo.
We woke up early this morning to the sunniest day since we arrived. We finished our packing, swept floors, washed dishes, took our bags out to the dock and loaded them into the boat by 9:30, as scheduled with HC last night. We said our goodbyes to Dagny and then Captain Hans Christian motored us over to the dock, but not before getting a few final shots.
On the way to Leknes, we stopped at the Esso station to fill up with diesel. We arrived at the airport and got the luggage into the car with no problem. It’s great dropping off a rental car there….just drop off the key and fly away. We all got checked in at the Wideroe desk with no problem, not even a question about being overweight….I mean the luggage.
The flight to Bodø on the Dash 8 is only a 20 minute flight. Hans Christian had told us that his father, Harald (1st cousin), his mother, Gerd, and his mother-in-law, also Gerd, would be arriving in Bodø, likely at the same gate that we’d be leaving from. Sure enough, we saw them coming off the plane and had a minute to greet them before we had to board. Unfortunately, Randi was already boarding, so she missed them. They actually passed in the jetway, but they had never met before. Harald and the 2 Gerds were on the way to Stamsund and would be taking over our place at Tørnholmen.
When we were deplaning in Oslo, we were told that we’d have to exit from the rear of the plane. Unfortunately, we were separated from Randi and Matt, so we didn’t get to say goodbye to him. We met up with Randi in the baggage area. After collecting our bags, we headed to the NSB railway platform to catch the train into Oslo. One of my cousins, Even Bjugn, had arranged for rooms at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel with the Director of Sales, a friend of his daughter’s, Helene. That hotel is a short walk from the train station and the rooms on the Executive Level on the 32nd floor were great!
After getting settled into our rooms and a short nap, we got a taxi to take us to the restaurant area on Karl Johan Gate, the pedestrian mall. The young Somalian cab driver was interesting: has been in Oslo for 15 years, has 10 kids from 3 wives. He told us that he, as a black man, can live very comfortably and be accepted, in Oslo. I had spent some time on Karl Johan in June and knew that the Egon Restaurant would be the right choice for dinner. It was great to sit and relax in the outdoor restaurant and people watch as we ate and talked.
Following dinner, we walked to Aker Brygga, the main tourist area on the docks. We sat at the Asia restaurant to enjoy a lemonade and listen to the DJ’s music on the dock. People were even dancing.
We caught a cab back to the hotel, ready for a good night’s sleep in the comfortable beds.