June 13….Departure Day
After finishing up some last minute gardening, I was ready to begin this year’s ‘Midnight Sun Photo Tour’. I originally had 4 guests signed up for this year’s trip but, unfortunately, one of them had to cancel out for medical reasons. The 3 people with me are Merle, from Oshawa, and a Pickering couple, Barbara and Keith.
Merle lives in Oshawa, so I picked him up at his home in time to get back to the house for a 4:30 pickup by Classique, the airport van service. We were dropped off at Toronto’s Pearson Airport Terminal 3 to catch our 9:00 PM Iceland Air flight to Reykjavik, with a connection to Oslo. We met up with Barbara and Keith, and after a bite to eat and then a 30-45 minute delay, the flight finally boarded and off we went.
The flight was uneventful and reasonably comfortable, since Merle and I had upgraded our seats for an exit row, which gave us more leg room. I watched ‘Dunkirk’ and managed to sleep for a while before landing in Reykjavik.
June 14….Arrival Day
We arrived in Reykjavik about 7:00 AM, June 14th, boarded the connecting flight to Oslo at 8:50 and arrived in Oslo on time at 1:00 PM.
Because we went through Passport Control in Reykjavik, and Iceland and Norway are both part of the Schengen group of countries (26 countries, 22 of which are EU members), we didn’t have to go through the clearing process at Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport. This was the most painless Oslo arrival I think I’ve ever had, certainly the shortest walk to the baggage area.
It was a short wait for our bags and then a short walk to the railway platform, which is inside the airport, to catch the train to the city centre’s National Theatre train station. It’s only about a 10 minute walk from the station to the Best Western Karl Johan Hotel, our home for the next 3 nights. It was cool and breezy, with a bit of rain, but no big deal.
After checking in and getting situated in our rooms, we went to the Egon Restaurant just a few doors down from the hotel. The plan was to eat outside in the umbrella covered sidewalk cafe, but it didn’t take long before the cool wind and the rain drove us inside. We enjoyed an excellent lunch (Lofoten cod with bacon, grilled vegetables, potatoes and garlic butter to pour over it.
After lunch, we headed out for a walk toward the Aker Brygge, the main restaurant/bar and marina area along the docks. It was very windy and cool down there and the rain really picked up, so we walked back toward the hotel, but got side tracked by going into the National Theatre Cafe, adjacent to the Continental Hotel, for tea and coffee.
By the time we were finished, the rain had subsided a bit so we continued walking around for a while window shopping and then went into a pub/restaurant for a light dinner. The salmon and shrimp soup I had was delicious, one of the best I’ve ever had. After dinner, Keith and Barbara continued walking on their own, while Merle and I walked to the Stetson store, before going back to the hotel about 8:30. My goal was to get this blog done for the first 2 days of the trip, but couldn’t keep my eyes open long enough. Lights out by 9:50.