Thursday, April 18th 2002

This trip was my first ever with Ryanair. For just fifty pounds each, me, Eldrik and John got flights from Stansted to Sandefjord. It seemed outrageously cheap at the time, but later I'd come to see fifty pounds as about the maximum I'd ever spend on flights within Europe.

The journey started painfully slowly. We got a train from Tottenham Hale which stopped at every single station on the way to Stansted. It seemed to take hours, and when we got to Stansted Mountfichet I almost lost it. What the hell is Stansted Mountfichet? Why would anyone want to get off there? But we got to Stansted eventually, and flew north. I was looking forward to visiting my first Nordic country since Iceland three years previously. Our plane dropped below the clouds and a rainy Norway came up to meet us.

The bus to Oslo turned out to be three spaces too small to carry everyone. We stood, and got the journey for free as a result. It was the only cheap thing we would get all weekend.

During the journey, fine weather broke out, and it was sunny and almost warm when we reached Oslo. We stashed our bags at the station, bought tickets for the night train to Bergen, and headed out to explore. We got a boat across the harbour to the Bigdøy Peninsula, and had a look around the museums there. In the Kon Tiki museum, I was astonished at how small the Kon Tiki was. The Fram museum was closed by the time we got to it, but we looked through the window at the ship which Fridtjof Nansen deliberately froze into the Arctic ice, to drift across from Siberia to Greenland, and which took Amundsen to the Antarctic in 1911.

Norway 2002 | Vigeland Park »