In the meantime, while you’re waiting for the story to pick up again (from the scattered three posts I made during the trip), here’s a two minute time lapse film of the view towards Malmö’s Central Station (on the other side of the canal) from my hotel, built from 1537 photos. That is one frame every 30 seconds for nearly 13 hours (6:14am to 7:02pm).
Number nerds in the US: I post this at 10:11 on 12-13-14
I finished sorting through all the photos, now I’m in Flickr uploading mode. I’ve also written a dozen reviews for Tripadvisor and have more to go.
Miles flown: 14520
Miles walked: 100+
Miles on trains: 800+
Miles on ferry: 300+
Photos taken: 5237
Average photos per day: 308
National borders crossed: 7
Nights spent on moving transportation: 3
Postcards sent: 4
Pies eaten: 6
It’s raining here in Oslo, and it’s dinner time. I felt like looking for pizza, and yelp made a decent suggestion on what to avoid. The good sounding one was about 1 km away. That’s not a problem, but I was planning take away, and cardboard boxes do not fare well in rain. The rain was only increasing in strength, I figured I wasn’t going to make it, and I didn’t want to dine in.
The old stand-by kebab shop to the rescue: I happened upon one right as I decided to give up on pizza (the really close by pizza restaurant had horrible reviews). I’ve already had a kebab this trip, as well as a good hamburger and even a burrito (both in Malmö), and plenty of sandwiches. The nearby malls only had the usual fast food options (US chains, 7-11, sandwich shops), which I didn’t want right now.
I had mixed feelings because I would rather have something new, but I also needed food and couldn’t settle for nearby but poorly reviewed pizza. Burger King was a semi-serious (and more expensive) consideration. I think this lamb/salad/pommes frites (that’s what it said on the menu) plate ended up being a better choice.
Last time I wrote here, the trip was only a few hours old. I’m in Malmo now, having spent three days in Tromso (with two nights of aurora events), a couple of days in Copenhagen (with 7 hours in LEGOLand). There will be plenty of photos from that day and the Northern Lights.
With no computer, it would be challenging to sort through hundreds of photos, upload the choice ones, and link them in this blog. For now, I think I’m doing well enough with sharing them on Facebook (plus the adventures of Pop Vinyl Elsa). The post-trip blogs will have more detail and photos.
I’ve been up for about 31 hours now, and it’s just past midnight. There may be aurora visible in Tromso, but I’m not about to venture far from the hotel after midnight in an unfamiliar city. I’ll probably sleep soon, but hunger calls. Back in Pisa, I found a kebab shop open late that hit the spot.
In Scandinavia, 7-11 stores are prevalent, clean, and open all the time. Think if Starbucks in the US were open 24/7 and had three times as many locations. Decent hot food for a budget price is always appealing. US$8 for a calzone is tempting, but while walking a few blocks radius around the hotel, I found a kebab shop. Had to do it, maybe I’m starting a new tradition. You tell me if you think this is worth US$15. Keep in mind the only food you’ve had in the last 24 hours is airport (pricey) and airplane (least offensive options) food.
Also, I discovered that my hotel room bathroom has a heated floor.
Instead of having a seat at the pointy end of the A380, I got an aisle seat over the shakey wing of a noisier Boeing 747, that had the community television monitors over the aisles. They decided to show a 2+ hour film (X-Men: Days of Future Past) with 80 minutes left in the flight. The good thing was the empty middle seat next to me.
In Frankfurt, I was able to spend some of my remaining Euros (from Italy) on snacks, drinks, and a souvenir for a lucky person. During boarding to Oslo, my pass would not work. Going back to the desk, I was told that someone cancelled my boarding pass. I was quickly rebooked into another aisle seat over the wing, losing my window seat at the pointy end, again (it’s quieter and more stable there).
In Oslo, I have to transfer from the international to domestic terminal, which means clearing customs (no passport stamp😯) and going back through security, which means I can’t bring the drinks I had bought in Frankfurt. Drinking 1L of room temperature soda in 10 minutes isn’t that fun (nor would throwing them away).
Now I wait 5 hours for my last flight to Tromso. I ask about changing flights and am told it would cost US$210 to be on a flight 2 hours earlier. No thanks. I originally booked the later flight in case I missed the 80 minute connection in Frankfurt on Lufthansa, which as you now know wasn’t a problem as itinerary changes gave me a 2 hour layover in Frankfurt where passport control took 11 seconds.