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Published: August 19th 2018
Happy birthday Kellie!
I awoke before my alarm this morning due to the banging that was going on next door. It seemed to me that the room was being cleaned - annoying! I pulled the curtains back and saw that it was raining outside so I knew I didn't need to rush to get up this morning. It was nice being able to hop back into bed for a while and stay under the covers. Eventually I got up to shower and head down to breakfast. As we didn't need to check out of our rooms until 11 this morning, I decided to give Kellie a call for her birthday after breakfast. It was so lovely to be able to see her and speak to her, as well as Jed, Grace and Fay. I was just lucky that the timing was right - she was at home and Jed was cooking a lovely meal and I didn't have to rush off anywhere and had WiFi.
I met up with the rest of the group and we ventured out into the rain, as we wanted to line up to ensure we got good seats on the Flåm railway. No one
else was as crazy as us, so we got to be the first in the queue. As soon as we did this though, heaps of people quickly started lining up behind us. We only had to wait about 20 minutes and then the train pulled up from returning from Myrdal. Once all those passengers were off the train and had left the platform, we were able to board. Erla had informed us that the right side of the train was best for the views so we were all able to pick our seats that suited us best. I sat next to a window I knew would open, so I could take photos without having to do it through the glass window.
There are a lot of 20's when you started talking about the The Flåm Line - it is 20kms long, has 20 tunnels and took 20 years to complete as it was bulit by hand! The line's elevation difference is 863 metres and the maximum gradient is 5.5 percent. And..... the view in every direction is stunning (except when you are in one of those 20 tunnels of course!). The journey takes an hour to Myrdal and it
stops briefly a couple of times along the way, so you can get shots. There is one stop at Kjosfossen Station - nobody lives here and he station has been built purely to let the tourists off at the foot of the Kjosfossen waterfall, which was raging and just majestic! And then this ethereal music started playing and I noticed a women dressed in red, quite high up, dancing in the mist of the waterfall. Apparently I missed the announcement on the train about certain folklore regarding a enchanting women who can tempt you in (or something something...). Anyway, I felt for her having to do her dance thing in the cold and rain. Anyhoooo - Flåm railway trip from Flåm to Myrdal gets a 10 outta 10 from me!
When we arrived at Myrdal it was very chaotic - it was raining (still) and people were trying to get off the train whilst others were trying to get on and then the queue to get inside the one and only building did not seem to be moving. Arrgghhh. Eventually the line moved and we were able to get inside out of the rain. We had about 50 minutes
before our train to Oslo would arrive so we decided to hang out in the cafe. We were lucky to get a table - Gary noticed some people getting up to move so he quickly grabbed it. Apparently these people were all doing a bike tour down to Flåm - yikes, good luck with that!
The train ride from Myrdal to Oslo took 5 hours. I listened to my podcasts while staring out the window at the continually amazing scenery along the way. Apart from the occasional stroll to either the toilet or the dining car, the trip was uneventful- except that one time I drop my Citibank card without realising but lucky for me a lady found it and managed to find me to give it back. So lucky - but soon my luck runs out.
We arrived in Oslo at 7pm and walked to the hotel from the train station. It was same hotel we stayed in at the beginning of the trip, so it was easy as it is inside the train station complex. By the time we checked in it was after 7:30 so a few of us agreed to just drop our bags
in our rooms and come back down to the lobby to head out to eat. As I was getting myself sorted I realised that I know longer had my AMEX card - and then I remembered using it at the hotel in Flåm in the power slot to keep the power on as I was charging my iPad when I wanted to go to breakfast. I must have left it in there! So I headed down to the lobby to see if Erla could help me out by calling the hotel to check. I knew the cleaner had come in just as I walked out of my room this morning, as we had spoken briefly, so I was hopeful he had found it and handed it in. Erla was also trying to sort out an issue for Marvin & Ellen about their room, so it was all a bit hectic. She made the call to the hotel and they were going to check and call her back. I could see that the others were hungry so we headed off to find something to eat. I also asked Erla if she wanted to join us - when she had sorted out
the room. We ended up going to the Scotsman Pub. I had a nice glass of rosé to start and then ordered this steak dish that had veggies. Eventually Erla joined us and she told me the hotel called back and said they were not able to located the card.
After dinner and when I got back to the hotel, I did an online chat with AMEX and they were able to stop my card. No transactions had been performed on it so apart from the inconvenience, all's good. The only problem was that they couldn't issue me with a new card and send it to a different address, without actually speaking to me. I tried calling on my mobile but it seems the AldiTalk won't let me call this kind of number. Oh well, that's a problem fir another day.
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