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Thread: Norway

  1. #1

    Default Norway

    I am off to Norway for a week this coming Wednesday. Business sadly. But I've had little to no chance to do the slightest in the way of planning as we were only yesterday notified of the site address due to commercial confidentiality. Apparently it is an adventure park featuring a model village - can't wait! LOL

    We fly from Heathrow on the 9th, stop over in Copenhagen for 40 minutes, then on to Oslo airport. Return is direct from Oslo to Heathrow on the afternoon of the 15th. We then pick up a car and drive to the site in the Oyer area, which is near Lillehammer I am told.

    Apart from the drive to site from the airport, the drive to/from the hotel and the drive back to the airport it's unlikely we'll have much time for getting out and about apart from maybe the odd short drive out of an evening. I am not sure if we're getting a day off at any point but, if we do, it'll be real nice to get out on a longer trip.

    Has anyone been? (I did a search on this forum and came up with two very short threads) Any tips for driving and getting around? Will I have trouble finding anyone who speaks English? All the usual questions!

    Thanks in advance. All input required!!
    Last edited by UKCraig; 05-15-2007 at 12:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Norway Resources

    Craig,

    Norway isn't one of the most frequently discussed countries on this forum, but here are two of those threads:

    Off-Season travel options - Stavanger as a base.
    USNewbie's trip

    What I noticed as I searched the Forum was the large number of Norwegians who are members here.... Interesting.

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default

    Yeah, I found those two, it's a shame there's not more but not really surprising. I guess that one of the reasons so many Norwegians are members here is the cost of living in Norway compared to the US. If I thought it was cheap taking a break in the US, imagine living in a place where it costs the equivalent $12-18 for a beer! I am glad I'm on expenses.

  4. #4

    Default I think I NEED a beer...

    18 bucks, or not, I think I need that beer. 12 hours after leaving home I finally arrived at the hotel, in the former Olympic village at Lillehammer actually, sans bags. They are in Copenhagen apparently. So no change of clothes and no tools. And I'm supposed to be starting work in a dusty building site in 10 hours. And we're 200km from the airport. Yeehaa.

    Will post up full details once I get home, just logging on from the foyer of the hotel to track the progress of my bags... 'search currently underway' it says. I've seen the last of them, haven't I?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default I KNOW I need a stiff drink....

    Quote Originally Posted by UKCraig View Post
    I've seen the last of them, haven't I?
    I am afraid so, just wondering what happened to your trip, sans tools and clothes....

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Bummer on the bags!

    I remember once my dad's bag was missing for several weeks. Got it back...once of those old-fashioned, heavy-duty Samsonites...totally crushed and twisted. I hope you have better luck and your bags are delivered to ya tomorrow (or today, depending on when you read this).

    I was in Norway 35 years ago. Too long ago to give you any advice. And I wasn't yet a driver anyway.

    It is a lovely country. I hope you get a chance to explore it a bit. And don't drink one of those expensive beers and then drive. They're pretty dang strict on that.

  7. #7

    Default Back!

    I'm back in England, at last, but only for 48 hours. Gotta fly back out to meet up with some parts that were missing off the containers when they were unloaded. They should be arriving on a flight out of Chicago on Friday dinner time and we have to get them through customs, onto a lorry & 200km down the road and, finally, fitted in time for the grand opening first thing Saturday morning. Urgh :o

    I'm just catching up right now, will post a bit of a report up later. I know it wasn't much of a roadtrip, but someone might be interested?! LOL

  8. #8

    Default A trip to Norway - not so much a roadtrip, but a farce..!

    This was never going to be a real roadtrip, just a trip for work which involved a bit of driving. But I'm gonna post a few details up here as there's very little mention of Norway on these forums and, hey, maybe it'll help someone at some point?

    Day 1

    It’s 9pm and I’m sat here, in my hotel room in the former Olympic village outside Lillehammer. It‘s all but deserted and I’ve just had to walk across the street to buy some extremely expensive toothpaste and shampoo. Why? Because, five hours ago, we were in Denmark. For a grand total of 25 minutes. My bags, I presume, are still there. It was my first visit and, based on this experience, it will be my last! The only clothes that I have are the (smart) clothes that I am wearing, and I am supposed to be starting work on a dusty building site at 7am in the morning. Oh, and my tools are in Copenhagen too. I guess that’s what you get when you try and save a couple of quid by not buying a direct flight. Well done boss, you’ve pulled a blinder.

    The rest of the day was reasonably snag free. I got to work early, sorted out the paperwork and even got to the airport in plenty of time. This is my third flight in just over 3 weeks and, after a couple of reasonable queues on the previous two, I am now truly in love with those self check-in machines. My word, just how easy are they? Fantastic.

    With the bags dropped we made our way to the departure lounge and, after the departure boards decided to crash (surely they’re not running the latest version of Windows?) we had to rush to the gate to board the aircraft for the first leg of the trip. No problem, we got on, we got away - albeit 10 minutes late - and arrived in Copenhagen without losing any more time on the way. And then circled the airport for 15 minutes, all the time keeping a nervous eye on our watches, waiting for a landing slot. When we finally landed we thought, great, we can relax. Until the pilot announced that we would have to take a bus to the terminal and that had been delayed. Approximately 10 minutes… see a trend here?

    Once again we were to be found running through an airport terminal. This time not knowing where we were going and, this time, from one end of the building to the other. Let me tell you now the guy who sat behind us on the flight, spouting off like some sort of travel expert, really didn’t know what he was talking about when he announced, ‘it’s only a small airport’ Okay, it’s no LAX or Heathrow but, try and get from one end to the other, and it’s damn huge.

    We got to the gate just in time to squeeze on, amazingly, but our bags did not. So we sit here now waiting, wondering, and pondering the possibilities of getting an entire new wardrobe on expenses.

    Norway itself, at least the parts we’ve seen, is fine if unspectacular. It’s nice enough, but there was no snow to be seen, which was a shame as I’m certain it’d be a whole lot prettier in the winter. I’d come back and check it out myself but the prices are spectacular. We worked out the exchange rates three times before the reality of having just spent 35 bucks on 2 cheeseburgers, 1 serving of frites and two bottles of water. Okay, they were absolutely fantastic, but 35 bucks?!!

    The driving was pretty straightforward, the only issue I had was that I continually tried to open my window when I wanted to change gear as I’d only ever driven automatics when driving a LHD before. Oh, and my co-driver was a nightmare! I had struggled previously with Streets & Trips but this guy was a million times worse. At least Microsoft programmed their software to stick to its guns. I don’t know who programmed the guy I’ve been lumbered with. John Major possibly? There were enough turn abouts for it to have been.

    The people though are fantastic. I have not yet met one that does not speak perfect English. Once again it puts us Brits to shame. It’s not the fact that they speak better English than we speak Norwegian, it’s the fact that they speak better English than we do. We’re such a lazy nation.

    More to follow later...

  9. #9

    Default Day 2

    Day 2

    And so to work. Thankfully the two containers had arrived the day before, so it was just our tools and clothes that we had to wait for. A pretty major problem but there was other work that we could do whilst we waited for the airline to deliver them. They promised us that they would be with us before 11am. Then before dinner time. Then, finally, they admitted that they’d got 200 odd bags to deliver and the van would be with us whenever it got to us.

    With two Brits, two Poles and two Swedes, the United Nations would have been proud if they could have seen us. The language barrier wasn’t too much of a problem, the two Swedes speaking very good English, despite one of them claiming that he was ‘very poor’ at English. Once again I was embarrassed by the lack of language skills that we (the English) can demonstrate.

    The first job was to individually check off each individual part of the previously delivered materials against a 12-page manifest. Not fun, but it was necessary, as proved by our discovery that several large parts were left behind when the containers were loaded at the factory. Getting them to the jobsite was going to be a logistical nightmare as it was 5,000 miles away in South Dakota and air freighting a 15’ x 4’ x 3’ pallet was going to cost the earth. Boy am I glad I wasn’t paying for that!

    The day was a bit of a farce work wise and, without our tools, we achieved very little before we gave up and headed back to our hotel rooms around 7pm. I was desperate for a shower and a change of clothes by that time but the bags were still missing and I wasn’t able to get my wish until they finally arrived at 930pm.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to get freshened up and it gave me a second wind so I decided to take off for a drive in the car. First port of call was a dam that I’d spotted on the drive to the hotel the previous day. I could see from the main road that there was a road along the other side of the water that allowed you to drive down onto the dam itself and I decided to try and find my way down there. It took a while, ending up becoming a bit of a challenge, but I eventually found my way there, having been down every dead-end road in the area.

    I’ve been to two or three dams in the US but I have never seen one that was actually allowing the water to flow through. The sight of this one, it’s sluices open, was awesome. You could actually climb down and stand right next to one of the channels where the water was speeding through and the speed of the water, and the roar it was making, actually freaked me out a little. You couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to fall in to the water as it spewed through!

    It was now 1030pm and it was still daylight, something I’d not experienced previously, quite bizarre. As I continued to explore I set off into the mountains above where we were staying, almost killing the rental car. The poor engine couldn’t cope with the climb and the brakes were useless almost packed up as I descended again! Still, what is a rental car there for if it’s not to thrash?

    Having reached halfway up the mountain road I was stopped by a toll booth. I did not have any money so I decided that I’d have to return another day.

    Day 3

    Work progressed down on the jobsite, the only interesting part of the day being when we had to fire the two Polish guys we had with us. For being generally useless and getting in the way. I felt bad about that but our client had work for them on another site near Oslo and decided to drop them at the train station and arranged for someone to meet them the other end. They never got off the train and were not heard from again, so there are presumably now two bemused Polish guys wandering around Oslo in a daze, unable to speak English or Norwegian and without any money or their passports. I do hope they’ve not ended up banged up!!

    In the evening, after I had returned from another drive up into the mountains where I’d stood quite comfortably in my T shirt surrounded by snow, a very odd experience, I headed back and we popped over to the bar opposite our hotel for a quiet drink. We were joined by three Swedes, an Italian and an Irishman off of our site and it didn’t stay quiet for long. I haven’t been that drunk for a LONG time!! It turned out to be a fantastic evening which will be long remembered for the ridiculously expensive drink and the fantastic looking local women!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Oh, those poor Polish guys!

    So, did you get your bags yet? It sounds like you did but I'm not sure.

    Lillehammer is a pretty area, imho, from my memories of a long ago trip. But the real beauty of Norway is either farther north or along the fjords. If you can find time to drive back to Oslo to catch your flight via Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

    I'm enjoying your escapades.

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