Norway, Oct 2011

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naim
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Norway, Oct 2011

#1 Post by naim » Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:19 am

We're now in Tromsø, 350km north of the Arctic Circle -- Day 4 in Norway, a rest day for us, so I'm taking time to do this story. :)

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Oct 12

Early morning departure from KLIA, hardly a soul in sight!
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Sunrise over the Arabian desert.
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Our eventual flight path, KUL-DOH.
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Brand new day, but already hot and dusty.
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Doha, as crowded as ever. When is the new terminal ready?
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Haj pilgrims milling around, most of them first-time flyers.
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Departing DOH for OSL.
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Second in-flight brekky for the day, pretty good chow.
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Right over Iraq, but at 40,000ft up we are safe.
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Love the ambience.
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Nearing the destination.
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Oslo city passes to our left as we head for Gardermoen.
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Catching the NSB train to Oslo Central Station. Cheapest and easiest way to get to downtown.
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===
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Re: Norway, Oct 2011

#2 Post by naim » Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:24 am

Oct 12 - Part 2

At the airport train station, 'needles' are attached atop structures -- not elegant but an effective way to deter birds from loitering and making a mess.
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Soon on our way to downtown Oslo, and a mild 13.7C outside.
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People-watching from the train, and it seems Oslo has a sizable Muslim community.
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Very nice late afternoon in Oslo as we step out of Main Station onto Jernbanetorget.
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Jernbanetorget, at the front of the Main Station, is a key city transport hub as well.
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Anyway, Oslo evening rush hour is mostly harmless.
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Efficient city transport encourages people to leave their own vehicles at home. When will KL come to this stage?
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Karl Johans gate, a pleasant pedestrian shopping mall which starts at Jernbanetorget.
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A statue-man in action, the usual suspect in European cities. Always ready to surprise unsuspecting folks.
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Just around the corner from Jernbanetorget, we spot our hotel -- a shower and a good night's sleep before we begin our Norwegian adventure tomorrow.
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===
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Re: Norway, Oct 2011

#3 Post by stkong » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:43 pm

wow, a great record of the journey. thanks for sharing. :tq:

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Re: Norway, Oct 2011

#4 Post by naim » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:15 pm

Thanks, stkong.

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OSLO GARDERMOEN (OSL)

Being an avid traveler (not a tourist), I know right away if I like a new airport that I arrive at. It's like a sixth sense, I can feel the place uplifting my spirit, giving me good vibes, as soon as I sight it from inside the landing plane. And Oslo Gardermoen is one of them.

Located 35km NE of Oslo city, when approaching runway 01L or 01R, you won't miss the city to the left.
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Beautiful farmlands surround the airport.
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This is runway 01R/19L, the longer of the two at 3600m.
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Taxiway and ramp.
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A bit of spotting ... LN-TUD.
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Icelandair TF-FIN, a Boeing 757-200 with winglets ... interesting.
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Norwegian with its 'famous Scandinavians' series. I spotted Roald Amundsen twice, but too far to snap decent pics. Norwegian generally offers cheaper fares than SAS, otherwise not much difference.
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SAS Star Alliance special edition. LN-RRL.
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SAS winglet.
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Like AirAsia, Norwegian sports a read head too. LN-DYJ.
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Disembarking passengers enter the terminal at this level. Note the wooden flooring.
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Airside main concourse, for departing and transiting passengers.
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Landside, this is the main check-in hall.
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Again note the beautiful wooden claddings. The ceiling is so high, they can fit a 3-storey structure inside it.
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They seem to be using wood everywhere.
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Ourside the terminal, this is the main driveway.
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Stylish logo, and more wood.
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A giant launching a paper-plane greets everyone.
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The parallel driveway and the 92-m tall tower.
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Another angle of the sculpture. Nice.
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The cheapest way to get to downtown Oslo is to go down to the train station.
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This is the express train, Flytoget, most expensive. Forget it.
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Catch this one, the regional NSB trains. Slightly slower than Flytoget, it's only NOK88 one-way, even cheaper than the airport bus Flybussen. And buy the tickets at the vending machines -- buy at the counter, and you get charged extra for (human) service.
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Just a 30-40min ride to downtown, and you have free wi-fi while enjoying the view.
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> THE END
Pls visit my travel pictorials at http://naim.my

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Re: Norway, Oct 2011

#5 Post by naim » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:00 am

BERGEN AIRPORT (BGO)

Just a plain airport near a fjord, some 12km southwest of Bergen city, opened in 1955 and second busiest in Norway. We had to catch an early evening flight to Oslo (more than 30 flights/day), en route to Tromsø, on a Friday when the airport was at full capacity. The departure concourse was small, with low ceiling, and jam-packed with people, that we had to retire to a corner next to the international gate to while the time.

Nothing spectacular about its exterior, and I find the car more interesting.
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The check-in area is one big hall, nothing really notable. Norway's second busiest in this box, no wonder it's perpetually congested.
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TROMSØ AIRPORT (TOS)

TOS is actually a nice modern airport on Tromsøya island's western side, just 4.5km via the tunnels from downtown Tromsø, located on the other side of the island. At latitude N69.68°, it's one of the most northerly airports in the world.
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Yes, Tromsø Lufthavn -- very similar to the German word 'Lufthafen'.
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Check-in concourse with the self-service kiosks. So easy and fast to use, for your own check-in and baggage-tagging. Similar arrangement in Bergen airport too.
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Destinations served. Hammerfest at N70.68° is possibly the northernmost airport on the Scandinavian mainland. Our Oslo flight is #4 for today.
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Past security, we are in the main departure concourse.
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We are so early, even the cafe next to us is not yet open.
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Our Oslo flight is now at the top ... man, I should go further north to Longyearbyen!
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It's sunrise behind those barren, rocky, snow-capped mountains on the mainland.
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Push-back and start.
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An SAS plane taxies to the runway threshold, take-off is from Runway 19.
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The modest control tower, with Kvaløya island at the back.
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Our Norwegian Boeing 737-300 taxies to the threshold for take-off, and we get a nice view of Sandnessund Bridge (1220m long), connecting Tromsøya to Kvaløya, another island to the north. The waterways in this area are all fjords.
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Ready for take-off, Runway 19.
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Airborne, and a splendid morning view of Tromsø to the left.
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Soon we are among the awesome fjords of northern Norway, en route to Oslo Gardermoen, some 1:50hrs away. Barren rocky mountains and deep steep fjords, thanks to the colossal glaciers of the last Ice Age.
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> THE END
Pls visit my travel pictorials at http://naim.my

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Re: Norway, Oct 2011

#6 Post by naim » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:45 pm

Oct 13 - Part 1

Cold morning in downtown Oslo, and we are set for an adventure today -- a day-long 550km journey by train, boat and bus to Bergen, obviously not the quickest way.
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We stay in a budget hotel, which is godsend in a pricey place like Oslo, so we don't mind doing a bit of D-I-Y.
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Jernbanetorget, the square in front of Oslo Central Station, is quiet at such an early cold hour.
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Yes, we are embarking on a day-long excursion called 'Norway in a Nutshell' -- a set of pre-booked tickets taking us through the classic mountains and fjords of Norway in one smooth sequence, all the way to Bergen on the Atlantic Coast.
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On the train platform, we need to check where our seats are first. We're starting our journey with the famed Bergen Railway, said to be one of the most scenic train rides in the world -- Lonely Planet says: "The Bergen Line is a journey that will live long in my memory. If you haven't done it you can't say for sure that it's not the world's most beautiful train ride".
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Our NSB train soon arrives.
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Making sure it's the right one -- the 8.11am to Bergen.
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And this is our coach.
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Very comfy and warm interior.
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Soon we are on our way, past stately buildings and fjords of Oslo.
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A few mandatory stops along the way ...
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... and soon things start to get interesting.
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Fertile undulating farmlands.
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Ochre-coloured farm buildings, which seem to be the standard here.
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The train snakes through valleys, often accompanied by rivers.
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A typical glacial lake.
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White and ochre are the most popular colours for their houses.
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We are entering the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, the largest such plain in Europe.
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Bread and orange juice accompany us.
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A typical station in the highlands. This is Nesbyen, a major ski resort.
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Not long after, we have 0°C.
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Snow on the ground. It has been snowing last few days, but we are lucky to be blessed with excellent weather today.
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Another classic old wooden station in the town of Ål, halfway between Oslo and Bergen.
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Ål is quite a nice town -- a good spot to get off to explore the plateau and the fjords of western Norway.
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Fellow passengers, some engrossed with the scenery, some with work.
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===
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Re: Norway, Oct 2011

#7 Post by lost4ever » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:08 pm

Nice pics, Naim! Great holiday!
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Re: Norway, Oct 2011

#8 Post by ace » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:05 am

Naim, love the countryside pictures... :D

Time looks like standing still there....very relaxing. No mental stress from rush here rush there syndrome.. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Pictures taken with the Cannon 450D???
I don't have free fish......

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Re: Norway, Oct 2011

#9 Post by naim » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:59 am

Thanks, guys. Been using Sony NEX-5 with 18-200mm lens, more than a year already ... SLR too heavy for me. :mrgreen:
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Re: Norway, Oct 2011

#10 Post by naim » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:39 pm

This is what we saw last week in Tromso -- a fleeting 10-min aurora borealis show, but totally awesome!

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This is what lucky ppl saw a few hours ago in southern Norway! We were too early by a week.

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Source: http://spaceweather.com/submissions/lar ... 501064.jpg

===
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