Jun 122011

So let’s see, where were we. Oh yes, due to customer service issues and dangerous cargo I was stranded at Frankfurt and transferred from my SAS flight to a Lufthansa flight meaning a delay of four hours. There’s only so much time a person can spend in the Senator lounge, plus I’d headed outside immigration and security to actually get booked by someone who cared, so I did what any bleary-eyed redeye survivor would do: camped out at Starbucks. One quad venti lowfat iced latte later, I was feeling nearly human. After about an hour of playing around on the iPhone (thank you AT&T unlimited international data) and fending off a group of cougars from Nebraska who were after my Splenda stash (understandable since they’d been in Europe for two weeks) I headed back through security to the Senator lounge, where I found…

…no w├╝rst!!! I mean, come on, that and the beer (ok, and the potato salad) is the only thing that makes the Senator lounges better than Red Carpet Clubs. So faced with that, I decided to take advantage of the only other thing that makes the Lufthansa Lounges nice after a redeye: the showers. Despite being overheated and humid (I’ll never understand the German fear of being chilly) the showers are always welcome, plus they offer one of the few places in Germany where someone whose German is as poor as mine can actually practice since the shower attendants rarely speak more than 2 or 3 phrases of English.

Suitably refreshed, and having tucked into all the potato salad and beer I could stomach at 2pm, I wandered the terminal a bit to get a bit of exercise before heading to the gate. Flight left from gate B-3 which was kind of cool to me, only because in all my trips through FRA I’d never been at that little upstairs pod of gates. Of course, it still dumped us into a bus to the gate, but it’s the little things that matter to us aviation nerds.

Lufthansa 862
Frankfurt – Oslo
Seat 1A (in the end)
Registration D-AIQR
Boeing 737-600 Manufactured 1992

On board…I was met with an odd gaggle of seatmates. There were fives rows of what passes for “business” on intra-European Lufthansa flights, meaning 20 seats. 18 were occupied today, 17 of which were by chinese and koreans. Not something you see every day between Frankfurt and Oslo I imagined. However, strangely, the two empty seats were 1A and 1C….where I quickly bolted when the door closed and had an entire row to myself. SCORE!

Not terribly much to report on the flight really. The meal/snack was more like a mini tapas platter with a small dessert and a couple of small side dishes. I know other folks here wish Lufthansa would get over their recent asparagus fetish, but I rather like the stuff so I say keep bringing it on. At Fraulein Schwarzendruber’s insistence I wasn’t able to stop at one bottle of Bier, and had to move onto #2 and #3. Hey, if they’re going to burn all that petrol to transport those big heavy bottles across Europe the LEAST I can do is make it worth their while!

So we landed in Oslo…at the last possible gate, meaning we had to trek halfway from Sweden just to get to the terminal. No biggie, at the end was the promised land: the world’s largest Duty Free store. Had I been thinking, and had I known what I was in store for on the other side, I would have stocked up. But I was too preoccupied with getting to the hotel, the other Mr Ironmanjt, and dinner.

Out to the SAS Flybussen to the city were I was fleeced for the return sum of around US$45 and it was off to the Hotel Continental.

So, just a brief review here since some people enjoy hotel reviews. Room was “nice enough” and the major worry on TripAdvisor of “loud drunk Norwegians” outside on weekends was mitigated by triple-glazed glass, so all-in-all it was a good deal. Oh, and all the Koreans and Chinese on the flight? It seems there was some sort of Asia-Norway business alliance deal going on in Oslo, and the Continental was ground-zero. Wait, somehow I forgot to mention the breakfast buffet. You’ll hear more on this in the rest of this thread, but it seems to be deemed a human right in Norway that your hotel MUST include breakfast in your rate.

I gorged on more bread, salmon, tomatoes, cucumbers, brown goat’s cheese, and pickles at breakfast during this trip than one man should be allowed to. Killer cucumbers/sprouts/peppers from Germany/Spain/etc? Pshaw, bring it on! I’m not afraid of killer veg!

Had two days in Oslo which we spent heading from museum to museum. If you’re the efficient type who doesn’t dwell for hours and hours over each museum, the Oslo Pass is a killer bargain in this city where everything costs two or three internal organs. For around US$50 or so (I forget the exact amount) you get 24 hrs of unlimited public transport and most museums. Considering the average museum is nearly US$20 and one-way on public transport is like $5 the pass is a bargain!

Sorry for the lack of pictures up until this point, there was seriously nothing noteworthy of taking pictures. Stay-tuned….there are definitely pictures to come!

Next Up: Part III. Oslo (OSL) to Trondheim (TRD) in SAS Economy and the Rica Nidelven Hotel

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