Sunday, June 19, 2016

A day in Oslo .. airport

Norwegian Air is a fairly new airline, with decently priced routes from the Bay Area (Oakland Airport) to Europe. It boasts an all Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. On my trip to the South of Spain, I connected via Oslo, where I was to spend a few hours, awaiting my connecting flight. A few hours became more than 7 hours. That was plenty of time to people watch. (I wish I would have taken a trip to the city instead).

A few things struck me while sitting here:

I never experienced this much daylight. It is 10:30pm, and only now the sun is setting. Officially, sunset is not until 10:45pm. I can only imagine how the dark winter months must be.

Listening to Norwegian, it sounds like I language I should be able to understand (but clearly don't). A few words here and there sound so similar to Dutch. When the lovely lady announces in Norwegian that "all passengers should be boarding now", I understand it all.  Though I don't understand a thing of the casual conversations near me. Also counting in Norwegian is something completely foreign to me (except for the nul).

Norway strikes me as a very well organized and civilized country. People are friendly, and courteous. The keep the airport clean and recycle their trash. Bathrooms in the airport included digital cleanliness meters. There is power to recharge your phone or computer everywhere, and the airport has free wifi. I admit these aren't the best point of reference for a country, but it's all I had to go on.

Norway has a reputation of not being cheap. That seems to be especially the case in the airport. A few slices of Pizza Hut pizza is about $20. A Carlsberg beer is $10.

And it is true that almost all women are blond.

Spending a long afternoon and evening in Oslo airport wasn't that bad. It made me more curious about the country. Hopefully we can make a vacation here (in a future summer).

Sunday, June 05, 2016

2016 hike 9: Mount Tamalpais

Over the past years, I have hiked several trails in the Mount Tamalpais State Park, but I never made the trek to the top. Earlier this year, I hiked the Matt Davis trail from Stinson Beach to Pantoll ranger station and back to the beach. This time, I started at Pantoll and hiked the 10 mile round trip slow grade to the West Point Inn hiker lodge, and then to the top of Mount Tamalpais.

With this hike, only one peak of the Rim Rovers peak is missing. I've covered already the Pinnacles, Mount Wittenberg, Mission Peak, Mount Diablo, and now Mount Tamalpais. Missing is Mount St. Helena.

California State Flower: Poppy

California State Rock: Serpentine

See also: Gurmeet's blogpost on this hike.