Our 7hr15mn layover in London was fabulous thanks to the Scandinavian Airlines Lounge. Between the amazing (and fresh food) ,the beer on tap, and the showers the time flew by. Showered, clean and ready for the next leg of our journey, we fought the urge to sleep on the plane from London to Oslo, Norway. With and 11hr layover coming up at the Oslo airport between 11pm and 10am the following morning we knew the sleepier we arrive in Oslo the better the night would be. Free wifi in London tempted us into looking for a cheap hotel in Oslo just to have a bed for the night, but at a minimum of $200 for an airport hotel we decided the money would certainly be better spent on a spa treatment at one of the many famous geothermal spas in Iceland. So with the plan of sleeping on the airport floor we “borrowed” two airline blankets and landed in Oslo in good spirits.
The Oslo airport is gorgeous! Modern architecture with glass and wood everywhere and a Duty Free store more elaborate than I have ever seen in my travels. As we arrived however the lights were being turned off as we waited in line at customs we had a brief panic/excitement that perhaps the airport would close for the night and we would be forced to spent the night in Oslo proper (with no coats…at least we had the airline blankets). But our fears were put to rest by the friendly customs agent who upon hearing our response to “How long will you be visiting Norway?” assured us that the airport would remain open through the night and she has seen people camped out and sleeping in every nook and cranny of the terminal at some point or other.
With passports stamped (upon request) we wandered out into the ticketing hall of the airport circling like puppies looking for the perfect spot on the floor to bed down for the night. By midnight all the benches and chairs had been taken including every cushioned surface of the all-night café in the main terminal. We found our little nest behind a kiosk in what appeared to be an empty section of the terminal. Settling down for a midnight snack (or late lunch depending on which time zone we respected) I spotted a flattened cardboard box hidden behind a railing. What I saw in that flattened piece of cardboard was a make-shift insulated sleeping pad. The floor was tile and although the airport was heated, I could already feel the chill of the hard cold floor starting to refrigerate my backside. After 4 ½ hours of semi-sleep we woke rested and thanking god for creating cardboard and thanking United airlines for the use of their flimsy “blankets.” When we woke we noticed our empty little pocket of terminal was now filled with airport over-nighters equipped with everything from a single sweater to a full on thermarest and sleeping bag.
Waking up from a night like that you can only rely on humour to get you through the morning so we laughed and giggled our way through the Duty Free “Mega-mall” as we waited for the Scandinavian airlines lounge to open at 5:25am which would signal our morning cappuccino and breakfast. Norwegian breakfast of fresh bread, cheese, ham and cucumbers was the perfect antidote to the “my stomach has no idea what time it is” feeling. Four hours and several cappuccinos later we are ready to embark on the final leg of the journey. One more 2hr45min flight and we will arrive in Iceland, a new country for both of us. Somewhere along the way in the last three hours we discovered that next weekend is the Reykjavik Marathon. Although we said we would have NO PLANS, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity and so now our one organized plan for our trip to Iceland is running the 10km event of the Reykjavik marathon next Saturday August 18th.
Wish us luck in our travels and in the race J