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Published: July 16th 2019
Yep, we're in Oslo
Having a Tiger Beer for String!!
Our flight to Oslo in the evening (but full daylight!) was a short hop back to city life - a fast quiet train from the airport, then a short taxi ride to our Smarthotel, which was centrally located (another thank you to Martin from Destinations Travel for his great bookings).
We crashed into bed (it actually got dark for a few hours!) and had a cruisey morning before catching the Hop on Hop off bus to suss out the local sights and ended up at one of the many Maritime Museums - always lots of learn, and a couple of hours were spent amongst world class models of shipping from Viking longships to modern oil drilling rigs.
Just caught the last bus back to the city, where we walked the immediate vicinity, had a meal and headed for bed.
The next day we made slow progress on the hop on hop off bus as a cruise ship was docked, so more buses were pressed into service and we finally made it to Vigeland Sculpture Park, which was amazing. We also visited the Holocaust museum, a sobering testimony to the atrocities of WW2. More evening
walking in town and a lovely meal at Egon, a popular restaurant we stumbled across.
The following day we finally managed a catchup with June and Pieter from NZ who had been ‘following’ us around Europe - their cruise ship had just berthed and we had coffee together before visiting the Nobel Peace Centre - a fitting end to our Norwegian sojourn.
Late afternoon we were back at the airport for two flights to Amsterdam and onto Luxembourg for a 3 day rendezvous with Tom and Nadine - a gap of five years since our last visit when we rode with to the Isle of Man and back.
A frustrating arrival while we waited for our checked bag, which had decided to stay in Amsterdam until the following day - finally we were reunited with Nadine, who was frantically waving to us from the arrivals hall while we scanned the carousel, with no luck. (We retrieved the bag the following day - grrr!)
Another major talkathon over the next three days interspersed with a gondola ride up a sizeable hill overlooking the village of Vianden and a brisk walk down again (just
to work up an appetite of course) much eating and drinking, driving around in an EV Hyundai (very impressive), a VW Caddy (especially to transport their two Vespas) and Nadine’s black pony (Mustang) - just us girls while the boys had fun on the Vespas!
We also spent one day at Circuit de Spa Francorchamps - practice day for classic motorcycles and as we were walking past the pits on arrival, we spotted some silver ferns adorning black tee shirts and who should be preparing to race but Grant Dalton and Grant Woolford of Cyclespot in Auckland. Well, that was the icing on the cake for us, and we became instant groupies!
A very pleasant way to spend the last day of our holiday before returning home, unfortunately, for Tom work got in the way of the final day, but we enjoyed another catchup - lunch with Nadine and her brother and family at a country pub, and a walk to an old iron ore plant and steam railway.
Another farewell with lots of hugs and ‘until the next time’ - we boarded our flight to Munich, then the
long haul home via HongKong, both flights with Lufthansa, and Air New Zealand for the final leg to Auckland. We booked the long flights with Premium Economy and we have to say that Air New Zealand won hands down! A great way to come home and get our feet back on home soil.
We had the most amazing trip, meeting up with special people in our lives, and celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary.
Life is bloody marvellous!
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