Last week I had the chance to visit for the first time the great country of Norway and of course the best and fast way to get there was by plane. So here it goes the report, a very simple one.
Airline: SAS Braathens
Airplane: Boeing 737-700 ( still with full Braathens livery )
Duration of flight: 3:43 minutes
Photo © João Resendes - Azores Spotters
Although now Braathens is part of SAS group I was quite curious to see how it would be, maybe because I knew very well Braathens from many years ago and because they were now flying regulary from LIS to OSL. The price I got for this trip was wonderfull so why not fly to Norway??? Anyway Braathens in LIS airport normally stays outside the normal parking places, we board them in old fashion way, we get a bus to the airplane and then we walk and step up the stairs. The plane looked good and the F/A's were nice and friendly, all female but they did a nice job. When we got in one of them said that if we wanted to change latter our seat because we had a baby we could, really nice. Our plane left 7 minutes late but our pilot to catch up time started to taxi really fast over LIS airport, I think I never got to our runway so fast.... when we got to our runway ( RN03 ) we had to wait for a RG 767-300 that was landing. When we received our clearance our pilot did what I really appreciate on take-offs, the roller take-off.... he started still on the taxiway to build-up speed, got in already fast and kept on speeding up and then just in the interception with RN35 we took of, really a nice, fast and powerfull take-off. Our plane was probably 70/80% full but even like that I could see how powerfull the plane was! After sometime we were on our flight level ( that I don't know unfortunetely... ), that took us close by the coast and leave the Iberian Peninsula by north of Spain ( Galiza ) and get in the Biscay Golf right away. After sometime we got the first taste of France when we got the first tip of it, meanwhile our flight was quite clean with no clouds, then we got the Channel Islands and soon we were crossing the Channel, then some coulds come ( usually over UK we get that... )but not that bad we could clearly see land and I noticed that we passed close by Stanstead, that was more or less after 2:20 minutes of our flight. Then it came the time to cross the North Sea, it was a fairly long crossing, I could see some natural gas platforms on the sea and after some more time we finnally touched Norway, again always with clean weather, but after maybe 10 minutes in Norway we started to get more and more clouds and finnally we could not see any land.... then it was time to start the landing procedures, we started to descend more and more and I expected that the layer of the clouds would not be very thick..... but it was and I noticed our plane to start to get flaps, the gear down and I still couldn't see any land again..... until I started to see some really close pine trees..... then I knew that we were getting close to land, so I would say that our pilot had maybe close to 0/0 visibility because soon we touched our runway. It was a nice and steady touch and the first thing I remember seeing was a B-26 and a Norway Air Force C-130 parked on our left side. Then it was time to leave the runway and get to our gate, I could see some SAS 737's and Norwegian 737's too, but then we had to wait maybe 5 minutes until we got our gate. During our flight SAS Braathens offers some basic food for reasonable prices ( similar to those that SWISS used to have.. ), a norwegian open sandwish with coffee or tea is €5,00, a coffee or tea € 3,00 ( now that's expensive!!!! ) but mostly ok!
Then is was the time to visit Oslo for 4 days. I really enjoyed with my wife seeing that capital, we visit Bygdoy, all Oslo area, we also did a 2 hour cruise around Oslo Fjords, I could see Oslo Fornebu airport ( that airport must have been a great place to land or take off I guess.... ), we also bought Oslo Pass for 2 days and used ( and abused ) of all the possibilities we had..... and in the end we celebrated our 18th. wedding aniversary having dinner at a very simple but with excelent norwegian food restaurante called Kaffistova! Now it's time to return.
Airline: SAS Braathens
Airplane: Boeing 737-700
Duration of the flight: 3:34 minutes
Photo © José Jorge
Once again it was time to get back to Portugal. The day started in Oslo down town when we got the train to Gardemoen. Those trains are very nice and very confortable.... and fast too. After we got to the airport it was time to check-in, that was quite fast and soon we were in our gate to fly back. I could notice again some SAS 737's, some 800's and 600's, also I saw a Icelandair 757, some Norwegian 737's too, a Finnair A319, an Excel 737-800 an LH 319 too and a Aeroflot TU154M, just that!
And then it was time for take-off, we used the runway just on the otherside of the parking area so we had now the Norway Air Force Base on our right side now. Again the take-off was powerfull and again I couldn't see any land after take-off, but soon we started to climb and finnally we got our flight level ( again I couldn't check out that.. sorry! ) and I know that we had clouds all over England, then we started to have some clean sky but when we started to cross the Biscay Golf we got some moderate turbulance all way to Spain, I think it was the first time I had that for so long, then we started to see the portuguese coast on our right, the flight kept beeing smooth and then it was time to land at LIS, we passed high over LIS then we started to turn left, pass over LIS bridge were we got some small turbulance just on the final stages of landing. The landing was good, no jumps and soon we were in our parking place. On our flight back we had the plane full, and I think that's excelent. In resume SAS Braathens is a nice airline for anyone to fly, they have great prices, a good fleet and the crew is excelent!