The one thing I have not liked about living in Oman is that it is a 9 1/2 hour flight to any of the major airport hubs in Europe. This, on top of another long flight to Calgary, made the trip home one that I didn’t want to do too often. Muscat to Frankfurt – Lufthansa makes a stop-over in Riyadh – does that mean I can say I was in Saudi Arabia without covering?
We arrived in Frankfurt after a very bumpy flight. 5 am and the next flight was 5 hours away. I find Frankfurt a very confusing airport. Because we were carrying on to Norway, an EU country, we went through passport control right there…. no big deal, just a long line. When we were finally done, we went to find coffee – airplane coffee isn’t usually very good, so we were looking for a real cup. Snoopy and Jenny were in the good hands of the Frankfurt airport animal care facilities, so we didn’t have to worry about them.
Onward we went – this time to Oslo. It was only a 2 hour flight – I had a window seat again, but most of the time I saw only clouds. As we were descending, however, I could see the snow on the hills and streams. We were arriving, finally, in Norway. Now we would see if we had all the animals’ papers in order.
It didn’t take long for the animals to arrive in the baggage claim section, and the Vet on duty was right there to collect us and take us to her station. Snoopy was heartily sick of being in the kennel by this time – and he kept moving around, causing the crate to tip on the baggage trolley. We finally got our two cages and 6 pieces of luggage to the customs area.
It turned out that the form we had filled out was NOT the correct one after all – we had the old one. As we had all the vaccination records, and copies of everything, the bet filled in the proper form and in no timer at all, we were free.
However (drum roll please), we now had 7 hours before our flight to Stavanger. What do you do in an airport with luggage and two animals for 7 hours? We trundled everything outside and across the road, and David walked Snoopy where he could still watch Jenny and the rest of the luggage, while I went to see if we could transfer to an earlier flight – there were about 5 between then and 8:15. Nope. Snoopy, to my surprise, didn’t mind the snow at all, although his paws were getting cold, so we walked around a bit longer. But we couldn’t do it for 5 hours.
Maybe a taxi ride into Oslo. We found a taxi that would take the animals, booked the luggage and dog crate into storage, and away we went. Lovely scenery, with heavy snow on the trees….. then the taxi driver lets us in on the fact that Oslo is 50 km from the airport, and prices in Norway being what they are, it would cost us 1100 NOK each way – that’s a total of $380…. and we would be wandering around in the snow with a dog and a cat cage! Whoops! We turned around and headed back to the airport. And then we walked….. it was cold, but the trees were lovely. The sidewalks were also very, very slippery as it had snowed quite heavily the night before, and there were 8 ft snow piles along the runway in places. We found the station for the high speed trains (only 170 NOK to Oslo on the train), and sat inside so we could let Jenny out of her crate. She really enjoyed just being held and cuddled after so long in the cage.This is a weird phenomenon – first, you see the sun shining past this steel post …
and headed back to the airport. We got the dog kennel out of storage and went for pizza and beer, with the two animals on the trolley. Then we took Snoopy for one last walk, and checked everything in for the flight.
By the time we were finally on board for Stavanger, we had been up for about 40 hours, except for patchy naps on the first flight. We were hardly off the ground when I was asleep, and I awoke to the lights of Stavanger beneath us. After collecting our luggage, we found a taxi that would take the dog out of the kennel, so we took it apart and with Snoopy sitting practically on my knee, we managed to fit everything in. We found the apartment, the door code worked, and by 10:30 we were in bed…… ready for a good night’s sleep.
Oh – and Snoopy had me up at 2:15 am – rotten dog!