Monday, September 23, 2013


I arrived in Oslo 2 am NYC time. I checked into a hotel and crashed for a couple of hours. Grabbed a sandwich and  spent the afternoon in a hotel room reading and resting. It was like a sick day from work. It just wasn’t the expense of Norway that kept in the room (nearly $40 USA for a chicken Caesar salad and one glass of white wine)– but the need to stop and take a break before this trip started seemed to be in the right order. I have come to the conclusion, that the first day of traveling should be a mandatory sequestering for some r&r.
Oslo Hotel

So Sunday morning, my flight left at 8:00 am to Tromso. I was awake at 4:30 (Oslo time) with such anticipation.  Breakfast was on the plane and  dairy was main food group. Ham and cheese with buttered rolls, yogurt and granola, tea or coffee and juice is breakfast. The bread is warmed on the airplane and the smell of baked bread filling the cabin is  irresistible.

Tromso Airport

The flight from Oslo to Tromso was about 1.5 hours. I disembarked from the larger plane that took me from Oslo to Tromso, and then waited for 2 hours for the plane to make me even further north. The light is incredible and clear and  thin – if light can be described like that.  Bluer, too. There are billions of trees in Norway. It is not surprising that Scandinavian design is centered around lumber – trees here are too numerous to count.

Funny to see all the people moving about and having a different life. I am always thinking about my little life but travel introduces a sense of scale that there are so many more people in this world. Then there  is the scale of lifting off and seeing the world from an aerial perspective instead of a lateral one. At first, everything is large on the ground – and as we go up in the sky, more and more life grows and becomes smaller. Something to be uncovered in this scale of self and place.

I need to check out of Norway to enter Svalbard. Here's the customs station for Svalbard.
The gateway to Svalbard
 The Svalbard terminal is tiny and has these signs posted before you enter:

couldn't tell what the animal was - maybe reindeer? let's hope it wasn't human

Finally, two hours later I land outside just Longyearbyen. Sadly, I didn't have a window seat even though my boarding pass confirmed a window seat. (Yes, exepedia you will be hearing from me.) So this is the first view of the Arctic Circle that I see:

 I left Saturday around 4:30 NYC time for the airport and on Monday at 10:08 NYC time. What a journey and it only has begun!


  1. I am so excited for you...have was the long plane ride from NYC?

  2. thanks Elisa! It took nearly 7 hours from Newark to Oslo.

  3. Yay! I'm on your heels, leaving this evening!