That's a wrap!

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July 20th 2010
Published: July 20th 2010
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Well, that’s a wrap folks! This time tomorrow I’ll be back in Canada - or flying somewhere above it, anyway.

Not much going on again today - it was another travel day. I flew from Riga back to Oslo… and uh, that was nearly an unfortunate story. I’ve grown tired of getting to airports the recommended 2-3hrs in advance, only to zip through security in 5min and have hours to kill before I even get on the plane. So, especially since I already check-in online, I decided I’d catch the airport shuttle at 10am for my 12:15pm flight. Supposed to take 20min to the airport, so 10:30am at the latest - plenty of time!

Or not.

First off, shuttle was 15min late… peachy.
Secondly, we went to 4 other hotels along the way, which in theory isn’t bad… except the hotels aren’t done in proper order. We went all over the bloody city - is it too much to ask that you go from one hotel, to the next closest one and so forth? Common sense, no?

All that to say we got to the airport at 11:10am. The cut-off for my luggage was 11:30am. By the time I got through the line at bag-drop it was 11:20am. A little close for comfort.

Another note about the transfer, I have never felt so afraid in a car in my life. Ok, no - not fair - airport in Sofia to my hotel I thought for sure we were going to die in a horrible crash. But this was a close second. People zig zagging all over the place, cutting people off, all going well above the speed limit of course. Doesn’t help ease my nerves when I keep reading that Latvia was one of the highest (if not the highest) number of drunk driver incidents.

But, we made it in one piece.

At the last hotel we even picked up the flight crew for what ended up being my flight haha. When I got on the plane I looked at the guy and I’m like hey… it’s you! Haha.

Anyway! Flight was short and sweet - about an hour and 20 min. We were slightly delayed in leaving Riga, but nothing big. It was nice to be back in Oslo, in normal weather. It was a “cool” 19 degrees… felt like Siberia compared to the weather I’ve been having the past week and a bit.

Ok, I lie. It felt perfect. People were in their jeans and had windbreakers on and here I was walking around Oslo in shorts, flip flops and a tshirt. Perfect.

Considering I’m only in town for less than 24hrs and I wanted to go straight downtown, I left my bag at the airport - I’m tired of lugging around 18.9 kg. (I’m getting dangerously close to that 20kg haha. It keeps going up each time I fly.)

It started to rain when I got into town, go figure. Thankfully I was a thinker and brought my umbrella with me this time haha. No more dancing in the rain. I don’t know if it was the rain, or what it was, but the harbour reeked of fish… last time I was here you couldn’t smell a thing.

It was funny to see the street performers in the rain - you know those “statues” you get all over the place? The people spray-painted gold or what not that don’t move until they scare some little kid or old lady? Yeah, they took their masks off (I always thought they were painted too - way to ruin the allusion boys) and were standing under a ledge smoking… it kind of ruined my appreciation for them haha.

I did some window-shopping and that’s about it. I have no room and no money haha. I got some cool things in Latvia (so much cheaper), so that was my real shopping experience for the trip. I popped by ICA on he way to the hostel to pick up some food - mmm, mystery meat patties, cranberry sauce, beans and potatoes. It might’ve been reindeer again for all I know, although it didn’t taste exactly the same. Good though.

My hostel is kind of out in the boonies… still redic overpriced since it’s Norway. But anyway. I’m glad I didn’t have my backpack haha… it wasn’t exactly easy to find the place and it involved an uphill walk which is always a killer with the bag.

Supper was amusing. There was a Chinese Mom and daughter cooking stuff up, and a group of 4 German boys making sausages and spaghetti. We all got to talking, so that was fun. The guys were fun to watch - they kept trying to test the spaghetti by grabbing a handful - seems they kept forgetting the boiling water = hot as they'd then do a juggling act with the strands of pasta. Brilliant boys, brilliant! Haha.

And now, now I’m trying to find price guides on line to see which duty-free is cheaper haha Oslo or Reyjkavik. That’s where the really good shopping will happen =)

Well… not so much… I already have 1L of Vana Tallinn in my bag. Mmm, so good.

Anywayyyy! I can’t believe my trip is over. It’s odd when I travel, time seems to fly but at the same time it can drag. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been gone 5 weeks, but on the other hand it feels like it’s been 5 months since I was in Iceland. Or even Sweden for that matter… it’s like every time you move on to a new country, the other one(s) seem like they were visited ages ago. It’s weird.

It’s good to be coming home though - 5 weeks is the max I think I’d ever want to travel alone again. I had a blast, saw great things, met nice people, tried some excellent and/or bizarre things…. but, it’s true, there’s no place like home =)

Thanks for reading and being a part of the journey - I hope you liked it.

See you all soon!


20th July 2010

Safe travels home!
Great blog, Julie. I really enjoyed everything. I might now consider visiting some places that I had never even thought about.

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