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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Arriving Frankfurt...and Oslo

Greetings from Norway!

I'm happy to report that we were successful in arriving at Oslo and transiting through Frankfurt.  Our evening is winding down, but I'll do a recap here of how the last 24-48 hours have gone.

After departing on time from San Diego, I arrived to Ohare and met up with dad within about an hour after touching down.  His bus had been a bit delayed, but made it on time and we met after security and had a quick lunch at Chili's. Since we had about 5 hours to burn I wasn't concerned about time.

Eventually we reached the gate, stood in line to get our passports checked, and then another line for the gate for BusinessFirst boarding.  I was able to successfully get a business class award ticket booked for dad, and used two of my Global Premier Upgrades for my ticket so we could fly together.  Dad's first time in global business!  I figured we'd have a good time.

And...we certainly did.  The service was spectacular, our seats were comfortable and able to lie-flat, and the food was very tasteful. I knew dad was having a good time when they brought over the menus and he had to think and make a choice about what to have for a main course.  Ha!  Our glasses were never empty, but soon we were over watching movies and off to try and get a few hours of sleep.

Transiting Frankfurt was a bit fun - why doesn't this airport ever put gate information in pertinent places??  Thankfully we could make use of my Star Alliance Gold status, and camped out in the Lufthansa Senator Lounge near our departure gate for refreshments and free internet (dad caught up on the USA Today on my iPad).  I also took advantage of a shower and cleanup before it was time to head to Gate A8 and our boarding bus. I'm happy to report that I was able to check off SAS on my Star Alliance flying list (and even had a whole row to myself on the flight up to Oslo while dad was enjoying his business class seat). 

Upon reaching Oslo we figured out the Flytoget train to get us to Oslo main station, and 20 minutes later we were standing in central Oslo.  A quick 10 minute walk away was our hotel for the next few days (the Park Inn), and after dumping off our things we were off to explore Karl Johans Gate before finding a dinner option - we also stopped at a pub for a quick drink with the locals.  Our dining choice for the night was the Cafe Christiana, a Norwegian restaurant we found that had reasonable prices and good selection.  Soon we will wind down the night and get good sleep for more walking fun tomorrow.

A few interesting notes:

1. Stepping off the plane in Oslo you get a bit washed over with cooked fish smell.  And the same thing happens when you get off the train at Oslo main station.  Why is that?
2. Avoid the fish soup if you can
3. When people tell you Oslo is expensive, believe them...it is.
4. Smaller restaurants are of fine quality, but can be a bit pricey
5. Walking the city streets really gives you a good feel for old-school Europe

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