Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Arriving in the Land of Snow

We realised last night it's been nearly a month since we arrived here in Oslo! Wow, how fast the time has gone.

We left Melbourne in the afternoon of Saturday 12 Feb, flying Thai Airways via Bangkok. This is the only carrier that has just the one stopover on the way to Oslo - very important when travelling such a long way with kids. We also chose Thai airways because the plane is laid out with the seats in a 3-3-3 formation (rather than 4 in the centre), which makes the aisles and seats just that much wider and more comfy. The planes look pretty new, the seats are covered in mock silk fabric, in an assortment of gold, hot pink and purple - visually stunning. The food was good, with many choices of yummy vegetarian food.

The best bit was the individual screens on the backs of the seats. There was a kids' channel, so the girls were well entertained for the entire time. They also managed to sleep reasonably well during the flight (phew). I'm not sure about the wiseness of having touch screens on the backs of the seats though - I felt the pokes through my seat a number of times, but it wasn't too bad. The controller in the arm rest worked perfectly well too.

We had LOTS of stuff to take with us:
  • 4 suitcases
  • 4 big warm jackets
  • 4 backpacks
  • a booster seat
  • an onboard bag for our thermals and warm stuff
  • 2 toys (Pandillo and Monica) for the girls

Made getting out of the airport a bit fun, with tired girls

It was pretty chilly getting off the plane, and the girls were so excited to see all the soft fluffy snow outside. We were sure we'd misheard the announcement by the pilot about the temperatures outside when we landed, but no, it was confirmed by the friendly lady at passport control: it was indeed -25deg outside. BRRRRRRRR! Once through customs we went and layered all our thermals jumpers and jackets on, before heading to the train station.

We took the train from Oslo Gardemoen airport into Oslo Sentrum, and then got a taxi to take us to the apartment.

First time outside in the snow

The views from the train over snowy fields a little after dawn were truly magical - they didn't photograph too well because the train was going so fast, but here are a couple:

Dawn over the trees

It looks like Christmas, Mummy!

The apartment we're staying in at the moment belongs to one of Bron's colleagues, who is working in Melbourne until June. It's in a pretty new area to the north of the city, and our building complex overlooks the river.

The view from our balcony towards the river
(which is covered in ice and snow - it's in front of the brown building to the left)

Looking the other way

The apartment seemed very small to us initially: it's a 54m2 two bedroom place. However now that we've settled into the place it's not that bad. Certainly not too hard to keep clean and tidy!

More later...