Imberry From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 18 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5107 times:
I have been reading and enjoying other people's trip reports for quite some time - figured it was about time to add one of my own. A conference in London allowed me a week to explore a new European destination thanks to FR's low fares. Flew HSV-IAD-LHR on United Economy Plus and then caught the National Express coach service to STN - which was a madhouse on a busy Saturday morning.
First experience on FR - other than waiting in a moderately long queue to have my documents checked, it was a much more pleasant experience than anticipated based on what I have heard about FR's customer service. Paying an extra six pounds for priority boarding is worth its weight in gold since you can claim the bulkhead - plus the flight attendants forced regular boarders to sit past row five which meant I had the entire bulkhead row to myself!
TRF is a small, pleasant airport about ninety minutes drive from central Oslo. The Torp Ekspressen bus coincides with FR flights and was a good value.
Other than the dubious distinction of being the most expensive city on the planet, Oslo is a pleasant place with a number of interesting museums and a vibrant night life. Took the train from Oslo to Flam and then an Express Boat the rest of the way to Bergen. Fjord country is incredibly beautiful.
Bergen is a lovely small city with a rich history, a great fish market, and dramatic hillside views. It apparently rains almost every day but the sun did its best to come out between showers and the fact that it was light past midnight made up for the bouts of clouds and rain.
Decided to fly back to Oslo to save time. DY offers very reasonably priced flights from BGO to OSL so I opted for the low fare carrier over SK, which charges about twice as much for the same route. BGO is a clean, medium-sized airport with domestic connections all over Norway and a few international services. DY, SK, and WF dominate the scene.
To bad my six year old was not with me - she loves airplanes too and would have been very amused by this WF jungle gym in the domestic gate area at BGO:
DY flight was about the same as FR - tightly packed leather seats and smartly dressed flight attendants hawking overpriced food and beverages . Safety demonstration was only given in Norwegian which was a first for me - everywhere else I have been it has been given in local language and then in English. My DY bird at OSL:
In my opinion OSL is one of the most attractive terminals in the world. Well designed, good apron views, and stylish high-quality Scandinavian materials throughout.
OSL is connected to the city center by the high-speed Flytoget trains - speeding passengers to Oslo Sentrastasjon in less than 30 minutes.
Killed a day in Oslo and then caught the Torp Ekspressen back to TRF in time to catch a ride on FR back to STN. FR flight was half empty and again I had the bulkhead to myself. Bought a sandwich and beer on FR and, though a bit overpriced, the food was actually pretty good.
Spent the next three days in London for my conference and then an early Sunday morning tube trip to LHR where I was met with a miserably long queue and security guard who made me throw away my umbrella for reasons unknown.
UA 777-200 flight to IAD was pleasant enough - though booked on Economy Plus, at my request I was given the exit row in regular Economy instead and had unlimited legroom for the trip back across the pond. My seat mate was offered an upgrade to J class but decided to remain in the exit row because of the great legroom. Had a bumpy ride from IAD to HSV due to omnipresent summer thunderstorms but the pilot did a good job of maneuvering around them best he could. Arrived home tired from a great trip.
Imberry From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 18 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4490 times:
The high speed train was very cool - seemed faster than other high speed TGV and Thalys trains I have taken in Europe before - but unfortunately I did not get any photos of the inside. Glad you enjoyed the report.
KaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12022 posts, RR: 43 Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4081 times:
Nice report. "Oslo South" is actually my hometown
Quoting Imberry (Reply 2): The high speed train was very cool - seemed faster than other high speed TGV and Thalys trains I have taken in Europe before - but unfortunately I did not get any photos of the inside. Glad you enjoyed the report.
The top speed is 210 km/h if I remember right. It's a very comfortable ride though.
Thanks for the pics man! Oh and the NSB Class 73 is actually quite similar to the Swedish X2000, only though the NSB train doesn't tilt. Frankly the service provided onboard the X2000 is by far better than NSB, take a look!