Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Having a blast....

...in Norway!
Yes, I'm currently in a freezing cold Southern Norway.
-10C / 14F - a little bit snow. -10C isn't that bad - when there's no wind - but add wind and it feels like -30C / -22F!!! Then it feels cold! And yes - coming from +28C / 83F - I am freezing! Not inside the house of course, but I do not like to venture out these days! Living in the tropics for 7 years, I have become such a coward when it comes to real winter. :) I even feel cold during the Mauritian "winter" too! :))

You may wonder what on earth I'm doing in Norway this time of the year.... Well, it's a kind of business trip I had to do; renewal of my passport, which is not an easy procedure living in a country where there's no Norwegian Embassy. Living in Mauritius, means that I either had to renew my passport at a Norwegian embassy - in my case; Maputo - Mozambique, or the nearest one in Antananarivo - Madagascar - or any other Norwegian embassies in the world - or at a police station in Norway.
Before April this year - I think it was - fingerprints were not required in Norwegian passports, which makes the process (living abroad) a bit more complicated. The Norwegian Consulate in Mauritius does not have the "green light" to issue passports and I doubt it ever will, because there are only a few Norwegians living on the island.

I love the 12-months summer so much that I had decided not to visit Norway during winter - but here I am!
When I still lived in Norway, I loved to travel and went abroad at least once a year. After I moved to Mauritius, I have settled - sort of - I don't have that urge to travel - lol! :)

I LOVE traveling by plane! Especially the Boeing 747! I love the take off's; the feeling of power from the engines, love to have a window seat to see how the wing works during take off and landing, the speed; approx 980km/609 miles/h, touch down at 200km/125miles/h. etc.  Amazing! It has always facinated me how such a "monster" takes off. :))

(Not my photo, it is from this link).

I was lucky to get a flight to Paris - Oslo.
Since I haven't travelled to/from Mauritius since I settled there, I'm impressed (a little bit - don't have too good experiences from immigration) by the improvements through check-in and custom at Plaisance (Airport Mauritius).
The weather condition over the African continent was perfect that day, so we landed at Charles De Gaulle in Paris before scedule. I had a day-flight, which I don't like that much - quite boring. By that I mean traveling during the night makes it easier to sleep. Yes, I don't have any problems sleeping while traveling! :)
Flights from Mauritius to CDG/Paris take approx 12 hours. I had transit in Paris - to Oslo - and had to go through two security checks; passport and hand luggage check points. I'm not very happy about some of the rules; liquid not allowed! I bought two 50cl bottles of water at Plaisance, but was forced to throw the one I had left at that hand luggage check point! I didn't feel for having the small bottle of red wine I got on the plane, so I decided to bring it - but NO! Had to throw it too! Not even allowed to buy alcohol at Plaisance because I had a connectiong flight!! :(( OK - lesson learnt!!! Not that I HAD to buy alcohol, but it had been nice to bring a bottle of delicious rum (local made) to my friend. (Idiotic rules, if you ask me!)
CDG/Paris is one of the biggest airports in the world - if I'm not mistaken. I had to go from terminal E to F by shuttle bus and it took ages. Flight to Oslo was on scedule, and we landed at Gardermoen/Oslo on time - after approx 2 hours.
BRRRRRR!!!! -8C / 17.6F - SNOW!!! It was a shock! Leaving sunny Mauritius in +28C / 83F - it felt so darn cold!!!!!
I've stayed here for a couple of weeks now - soon going back to my tropical paradise.
Norwegian winter IS beautiful, no doubt about that, but I do prefer 12-months summer!

It's WINTER - and I haven't forgotten where I'm coming from! :)


karenfae said...

how nice for you to visit Norway after being gone for 7 years. Did your husband go with you to see your country? Do you have friends you are staying with? Have fun. Air Travel is very restrictive now days isn't it!

Michelle said...

Eke! From 83F to 14F would be a shock! (Thanks for putting the temps in both C and F.) Next time you have to renew your passport you may want to go when it's summer in Norway.

When flying take off is my favorite part of the plane flight too. :-)

Was your husband able to accompany you? Or maybe he thought it was too cold in Norway. ;-)

Bianca said...

Oh my Word...., getting goosebumps reading this and I live in the Netherlands, -6 C at the time. I follow your blog for a little while now, because I would love to do what you did; move to a warm 12-month summer kind of place. Sometimes I show my hubbie your pictures to help my case... ;-))
With arthroses and fibromyalga it is a terrible time for my with these temp. here in winter. Hopefully, when my hubbie can think about retiring, we will considre the move. Have to wait about 15 years... (DH is now 48, I'm 38)
Good luck the last days and a save trip home, back to better live!!!
Love, Bianca

Sharon said...

Astrid, you must be having the time of your life in Norway!:) Ohhh, the thermal shock must have been terrible on landing. Do bring us back some great pictures;)

Huisvlyt said...

Glad you are safe and having a good time.
I feel your frustration with customs and all their funny rules. DH has the same problem everytime he goed abroad.
I only experienced one flight (two but one was a transfer) from SA to Mauritius. And the flights were terrible. So I can't say that taking off was my favorite. Only the landing part :-D

Notjustnat said...

Enjoy Norway while you are there. Will see you home soon - Hugs Nat

Vroomans' Quilts said...

What a difference in you last 2 posts. Tropical to winter wonderland. So nice to get to visit your home with you and a safe journey back to the island.