Saturday, July 28, 2018

Filling the Bucket, Day 1 - Travel & Norway

Bergen, Norway. 

Travel
Modern airplanes are designed first and foremost for profit.  Actually fitting individuals comfortably into the airplane is a distant second.  Especially if you're over, say 6 feet tall.  So yes, I spent something like 8 hours with my knees either up at my ears or twisted into convolutions that would make a Fakir proud.  I know, first world problems.

The actual trip from Philadephia to Iceland (a.k.a. leg 1) was uneventful, save for the above reference contortions.  Luckily, I was seated next to Ms. Rivers, who doesn't seem to mind if I take up more than my allotted veal crate space.  Upon arrival in Iceland, we had about two hours until the next flight, which we used to sample the local airport food.  Note that all airport food is more or less the same, at least in terms of quality and taste.  That, along with the speed of light, are apparently both something of a universal constant.

The fight to Norway from Iceland was even worse than leg one.  Why?  Well maybe because I wasn't seated next to my wife.  Or maybe because I was in a middle seat, sandwiched between two very quiet teenagers (something of an oddity, to say the least).  In spite of myself, I did manage to get about an hour of the worst sleep imaginable.  Touching down in Norway I was able to unfold my legs, in a scene that probably looked similar to a butterfly unfolding its wings for the first time.

Two other related observations:

  • Most of the people in Iceland we heard speaking English speak it better than many native speakers in the United States.  I know, that sounds a bit extreme but spent 10 minutes listening to folks in a local WalMart and I think I'll be proven right.
  • I'm sure I managed to screw up the timing of the medication I take.  By way of back-story, I take medication for two chronic (but not all that severe) medical conditions, both of which require taking something in the morning and then in the evening.  What happens when you travel 6 hours into the future?
  • When you are in a Norwegian hotel and using their WiFi, Google all of a sudden comes up in Norwegian.  Their signal, their rules.

Bergen
In spite of (likely) exhaustion, we did quite a bit of walking yesterday (or today...it's confusing).  Bergen is a beautiful town. 

(the waterfront)

(an alleyway)

(St. Mary's Church, the oldest building in Bergen)

Speaking of universal constants, apparently, Philadelphia brand cream cheese is also something of a universal constant, as evidenced by what we found in a local supermarket:


It would be funnier if I actually ate cream cheese, but I don't.  Speaking of that general theme, most folks have to worry about gaining weight when they travel; me?  I don't think that's going to be much of a concern.




2 comments:

Sean Gowden said...

Ok....Norway is a dream vacation of ours. I can't wait to see the rest of your posts.

Stephen Albert said...

Sean,
All I can say is this: GO! Of the places we've visited so far (and we have four more stops), Norway has been our favorite. It's incredibly beautiful there, so much so that we're thinking about coming back (although that would be a few years away).

- Steve