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A Duck flies north - to Sweden and Norway

get me outta here

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Lovely TR, thanks. I loved Norway and you can see where a lot of their income goes - on bridges and tunnels.
I was sadly disappointed with Bergen being over run with ships mobs all clogging the place up on their group tour groups. But, after that things improved immensely.
 

OZDUCK

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Lovely TR, thanks. I loved Norway and you can see where a lot of their income goes - on bridges and tunnels.
I was sadly disappointed with Bergen being over run with ships mobs all clogging the place up on their group tour groups. But, after that things improved immensely.
Yes - every time I moaned about the narrow roads I would remember how many deep and long tunnels and high bridges I had used. It must be a nightmare working out which fjord to tunnel or bridge and which mountain to go through instead of around next.

The waterfronts of Bergen & Stavanger were overrun with boat pax. But as you are are aware as soon as you got a little off the beaten track you had the scenery mostly to yourself.
 

OZDUCK

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We took virtually no photos in Singapore as it was really just a stopover to catch our next flight and get rid of a bit of jet lag. So just a few around Changi Airport

The now compulsory 'Jewell' waterfall photos

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We went to Changi early because of the Scoot flight cancellation and its replacement by an SQ charter. We thought there may have been problems but in fact check-in was absolutely straightforward and pleasant.

Because we were there so early we had lunch there. For those interested both Terminal 1 & Terminal 2 have a "Staff Canteen", before security, that sells "Hawker Style" food at hawker prices and not airport prices. In Terminal 1 it is in the basement and in Terminal 2, which is we were, it is on the top floor of an attached carpark. These are open to the public but not advertised.

To get to the Terminal 2 canteen you have to walk out the end of the Terminal at the Arrivals level. It is the left hand side end as you face the road. You pass the McDonalds, with averted eyes, cross a small service road and enter the carpark. You do not use the lift lobby on your right as you enter but turn to the left and walk to a single one at the end.

It is more a bit of a fun thing to do and gives you the feeling that you "are in the "know". We obviously didn't have any access to a lounge. In fact when we got our "Business Class" boarding pass at check-in the lounge Invitation on the pass was laboriously crossed out with a biro.

The lift door will look something like this

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It is much like a normal food court with about 14 stalls. I didn't take any photos as it is normally not allowed. The customers are lots of Police, Security Staff, Ground Staff etc. But there are also many 'locals' who know about it. I was the only "European' there.

My wife got a bowl of basic, if oily, fried noodles for S$1.70 and I bought a Chicken Murtabak for S$6

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Cans of drinks range from $1.20 - $2. Curry puffs are $1.20 and pieces of Kueh are 60c
 

OZDUCK

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A few final images

Firstly the letter we got at check-in. Despite what it said we, in the Business Class seats, did get to use the Entertainment System. It was available from before take-off to after landing. However we were given bud earphones rather than the normal J ones. We also got refreshments - fruit juices, water and tea/coffee throughout the flight.

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Everyone was on board well before the scheduled departure time. I think that, like us, they had been cautious about the process and arrived early. This paid dividends later on.

This is the first time I have seen a GX plane

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Who we should have been flying

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We had an A330 equipped with the old 'Regional" angled lie flat seats. I would have been unhappy if I had paid full J rates for these but for a Scoot price they were great.

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As soon as the cabin crew were 'released' after takeoff we were served these nibbles and offered a choice of Apple Juice, Orange Juice or water.
It was very bumpy for the first thee or so hours. We had been warned by the Captain before takeoff that it would be. Something to do with changing wind patterns - the monsoon process I guess. The cabin crew were directed back to their seats about 3 times before we finally got smooth skies.

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You certainly don't get nibbles, Juice or tea/coffee on a Scoot flight without payment.

When it had settled down we were served an ordinary SQ economy meal. It was fine and certainly better than any Scoot offering. There was no dessert but we shared a piece of kueh from the Changi canteen.

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My wife got a few nice sunset shots over Shark Bay/Useless Loop

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We then made our way to Perth.

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Some reviews on other sites had said that SQ crew seemed a bit grumpy about doing the Scoot charter flights. However our crew was excellent. They were continuously bringing drinks, non-alcoholic, around and were very friendly and happy.

We arrived 40 minutes ahead of schedule and had a fairly quick trip through Perth Airport. It was far better than any Scoot flight would be.

(I will do a final summation of our trip tomorrow.)
 

craven morehead

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My wife has almost completed a spreadsheet of the costs for our trip, there will be a few more additions but it is a reasonable estimation and should give you a fair idea of the cost of such a trip. You have seen some of the hotels we stayed in etc. Airfares are NOT included. For meals we ate a reasonable evening meal with lunch being often a roll, drink and cake from a supermarket. Most larger supermarkets have a nice selection of made up rolls.Alcohol was a very small part with just a few beers.

(Airfares were around $7,300 being a mixture of ScootBiz and QR J)

So for the Norway part alone :-

For food, drink, parking, museums, some ferries etc

Around $1,500

Car Hire - 17 days around $1,700

Fuel - around $430

Tolls and other ferries - around $245 (with a few more to come)

Accommodation - around $3,700 (Our hotel in Oslo was the most expensive and cost $1,036 but included evening meals) From a self catering point of view, our 'basement' in Bergen (Bergen accommodation is very expensive) cost $376 and our 'flash' apartment in Stavanger cost $500.

Total around $7575 for 20 days = so $378 per day as a reasonable estimate
Many thanks for that @OZDUCK
 

lovetravellingoz

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Thanks for the TR.

The waterfronts of Bergen & Stavanger were overrun with boat pax. But as you are are aware as soon as you got a little off the beaten track you had the scenery mostly to yourself.
Yes when the ships were in, the hordes descend. Fortunately our first day in Stavanger there were no Cruise ships, and for the second we were out in the countryside and so it did not matter. The seafood restaurants in Bergen were all priced for the cruise ship visitors. Several streets back prices were a lot more reasonable.



All 3 locations were very easy for independent travel. We enjoy hiking and took advantage of the trails in Norway and Sweden.
6 day car hire in Sweden was only $70 per day (Note that cost zoomed depending exactly where you picked up and dropped of from - hunting around lashed 30% off).

Public Transport was efficient and economical. Stockholm Pass was brilliant with great attractions to visit (Often I find these City Passes to not be with getting).

Took the Coastal Ferry to get from Stavanger to Bergen. This was quite scenic and interesting and very good value.

COSTS.

Just in addition to yours our costs were quite and similar for our 2.5 weeks in Norway/Sweden/Denmark last year.

By hunting around we often got quite reasonable accommodation for around $100 per night. AirBNb was quite good this way and was used when we had multiple nights. Stockholm was more expensive , but there was a good rate via Amex and this also allowed us to use up a $400 and $200 TC (Just made two bookings and then emailed the hotel to merge so we did not have to choose rooms.

Dining out is expensive, especially if you want alcohol. We had already gained kilos for our 6.5 weeks in the UK and Ireland prior and so were happy to not each us much ;) So often we would by lunch ingredients from supermarkets, or just a quick bite from food vans/cafes etc.

Rather than alcohol with our meal we would often buy something from a supermarket after a day out exploring and just enjoy it while relaxing and chatting for a bit before then heading out for dinner. Often still light at midnight and so no rush to eat ;)

In Copenhagen at our AirBnB, where we were for 3 nights, our host greeted us and then headed off for Italy on holidays herself, she told us to help ourselves to all the beer in her fridge as she did not drink beer and various guests kept buying more than they drank. So in Copenhagen as we were near to everything we often popped out in the morning to explore, came back for lunch and a beer, went out exploring again. Came back fora beer and chat on the balcony and then went out to dinner.

So all in all depending on what you do while Scandinavia can be expensive, it does not have to be.
 

OZDUCK

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When you thought that you were safe from more photos.

I had a look at our old photo albums from 1976 and realised that in those days we took about 6 photos per country. And many of them have now faded and are not worth posting. These were taken on a Kodak 110 Instamatic camera so they never were of great quality.

However there was one from Frognerpark - with the fountain working. No angry boy unfortunately

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How the Fram looked then. From a postcard but at least it hasn't faded.

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And to embarrass her, a rather nice one of my wife with Oslo Harbour in the background

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To even out the score - suave me in Holland. Ahhh memories of having hair!

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Matt_01

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My wife has almost completed a spreadsheet of the costs for our trip, there will be a few more additions but it is a reasonable estimation and should give you a fair idea of the cost of such a trip.......
Great report, as for budget is there special course one can send a +1 on. I think she has no idea when it comes to travel spend, she does try but fails.
 

OZDUCK

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Great report, as for budget is there special course one can send a +1 on. I think she has no idea when it comes to travel spend, she does try but fails.
I enjoyed putting it together back here but have definitely decided that I will not try doing it "live" again. A few photos and small commentary but not a full TR that is for sure.

In regards to the budget, get her to be the office manager in a few small businesses for a number of years:)

I am the one who books most of the accommodation, flights etc but in consultation with my wife. I am happy to browse and compare various options for months before we go - being retired helps.
 

drron

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Thanks a wonderful TR.Brings back memories of our 2 Norway trips but we were boat people.Late in the season both times the first on a 100 pax ship.Were in Tromso with the QE2 though.Second time on a 400 pax boat.Did have a Carnival ship in one of the fjords but none when in port.So we didn't overload Bergen
 

Matt_01

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I enjoyed putting it together back here but have definitely decided that I will not try doing it "live" again. A few photos and small commentary but not a full TR that is for sure.

In regards to the budget, get her to be the office manager in a few small businesses for a number of years:)

I am the one who books most of the accommodation, flights etc but in consultation with my wife. I am happy to browse and compare various options for months before we go - being retired helps.
I totally agree with the first para above, I am currently playing catch up on a few reports.

As for your second response my +1 has her own career, however was also an office manager in my business for a number of years.

As for your final comment we are similar I book flights and accomodation based on what +1 thinks is practical. I am not yet retired but not far away.
 

VPS

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Thanks for a wonderful TR. Lots of detail and photos. Very nostalgic and making me feel even more guilty because I have a number of TR that I should write up
 

OZDUCK

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Anyway time for the sun to sink slowly in the west on this TR with some final thoughts

ScootBiz (as was now ScootPlus) - did the job perfectly on the way up. On time, priority check-in and strictly policed priority boarding, baggage off first, pleasant crew and big seats. Food is basic. On the way back they did us a favour by cancelling their flight and putting us on an SQ A330 in J. The savings by picking up QR or AY in Singapore rather than paying for a J flight direct from Australia to Europe will still attract me- - close to $6,000.

QR - all flights on time. Crews were excellent again. I don't think the food was as nice this trip but that could just be a matter of personal preferences. The Q Suites were great and travelling facing the rear was fine for me. The lounge at Changi was better than previously and the new one will be interesting. We only had a couple of hours to transfer in Doha. The first time was fine but for the second time the lounge was really crowded. Lastly, thankfully no LATAM planes.

SAS - perfectly adequate for a 1 hour trip between Stockholm and Oslo and for a very reasonable price.

I am still to see much of Western Europe from the air. We have done about 5 flights during the day and 95% cloud cover seems to be the normal state of affairs.
.
Stockholm - accommodation was expensive- as expected. Food was a reasonable price outside the tourist traps. Public transport system was excellent. If I go there again I would definitely make more effort to get out on the water through the Archipelago. I would only spend 1 full day in the city and head out to other places.

Oslo - it is a pleasant little city but not a touristic highlight for me - except for a couple of the museums.

The countryside is gorgeous but the weather can be a problem. As the locals said on a number of occasions - the west coast is susceptible to sudden storms and clouds. It was well worth the effort to go there and driving is a very good way to do it. However, you must always add about 40% extra travel time to get anywhere. The roads are well built but often narrow, winding and mountainous. The ferries do slow you down. if you miss one it is normally about 30 minutes to the next ferry.

The larger cities on the west coast were nice but we did enjoy stopping in a small town on a fjord for a few days. And you need to remember that most shops are shut on a Sunday.

I am sorry we didn't get further north but it would have been silly with the time we had. Some of these cities can get booked out very early. About a month out Trondheim had no available reasonable accommodation - with car parking - within about 60 Km.

Anyway thanks for reading and all your comments - now we are planning for a very distant German family (my wife's side) reunion August/September 2020 in Berlin and then more travel around Germany.
 

tgh

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Thanks for an excellent tr.
We drove from Tromsoe down to the Lofoten peninsula a few months ago and found the coastal route to be remote and very beautiful with hardly a car on the road.
 

OZDUCK

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Thanks a wonderful TR.Brings back memories of our 2 Norway trips but we were boat people.Late in the season both times the first on a 100 pax ship.Were in Tromso with the QE2 though.Second time on a 400 pax boat.Did have a Carnival ship in one of the fjords but none when in port.So we didn't overload Bergen

A 100 passenger ship seems about what I would enjoy. However, my wife gets seasick watching a storm at sea on TV so that is unlikely. She was starting to feel queasy on the last ferry crossing to Stavanger. The "Hebridean Sky" was in port in Stavanger and that looked far more civilised than the big cruise liner opposite. (After writing that for some reason I am convinced that you may have travelled on it or a sister ship?)

You can usually work your way around the crowds if you plan the day correctly and of course I am just as much a tourist as them and making my own contribution to the crowding.
 

drron

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Yes we travelled on a sister ship to the Hebridean Sky.The crew weren't that good unfortunately.But it was chery blossom time in Japan so the ship served as a good base.However one rough day-no problems for us but it didn't handle the weather as well as the Silver Explorer which was the Ship we were on in Tromso.Been through a couple of Force 10 gales on her without problems.
 

amaroo

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Lovely TR. Like many we really enjoyed Norway - beautiful country.
 

CaptJCool

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As we arrived pretty late we stayed at an airport hotel. It was about 1/2 the price of the city centre ones and offered a free shuttle transfer. The rooms were fine if small. But check-in & out was rapid. You checked in & out on-line and your card was waiting on the front desk to be picked-up thus avoiding the queue. At checkout you just threw the room card in a box. While basic, the hotel offered an excellent breakfast
Seeing I’m up there around 10 October, and like the look of that breakfast, I wondered what is the name of the hotel ?

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I probably can’t go past the Jumbo Stay !!

Thanks
 

OZDUCK

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Seeing I’m up there around 10 October, and like the look of that breakfast, I wondered what is the name of the hotel ?

View attachment 189842
I probably can’t go past the Jumbo Stay !!

Thanks

It was the First Hotel Arlanda Airport Hotel Stockholm - First Hotel Arlanda Airport in Arlandastad As, I am sure I said in my TR, you can check in and check-out on-line to avoid the queues at the desk when the Shuttle Bus arrives /departs. The rooms are basic but comfortable and that breakfast was really good. You can see the Jumbo Hotel from the Shuttle Bus or Airport Train - I can't remember which.
 

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