Tromsø Diary: Part 15

Another early start. This time far earlier as three of the group had an early plane to catch.
Thankfully, I bumped into the nice student midwives in the kitchen so that I could say my good-byes to them and wish them well with their studies, oh and inform them about the small amount of food that they could use that I couldn’t take home with me.
I was out of the house by 8:15am and over to Tromsdalen. Thankfully, the road were back to normal and I managed to get to the camp site early.
The night before had seen the first frost of the year and Scott’s tent was covered with a sugar frosting of ice. It had been a good call for the majority to have sort shelter in the huts.
After a short delay due to Jane trying to retrieve a glove from the Linda and Nigel chalet with the occupants being fast asleep, we were off. Jane and Heather were well pleased that I had brought with me my last supply of peanut cookies as they had them for breakfast. I deposited Jane, Heather and Scott at the airport just in time for check-in. I then took the opportunity to find out where to park my car so as to hand it back to Europcar in the afternoon and where to fill it with diesel.
It was now time to take my final journey back to base, do the final packing, and checking before putting my luggage into the car, cleaning my room and locking the door for the last time. After returning my key (and the one Isabelle had managed to find for their room) it was back to the camp site for the last time.
By the time I got back Linda, Nigel and Isabelle were all up and having breakfast in the cafe. Ed and Kate, however, were still in bed.
At this point the day, thankfully, slowed down and a few hours were spent hanging around the camp site. Linda and Nigel went for a little walk to see if they could find any war graves before the majority of the remaining group started their journey to the airport by bus. Isabelle and myself had an extra hour to kill so went for a little walk up the valley, where secondary school kids were having a cross country run.
Then, it was time to say good-bye to Tromsdalen. The journey to the airport was uneventful (other than having an annoying person in front at the petrol station) and when we arrived there we found Linda and Nigel had already arrived. This very much helped matters as they could help Isabelle transport the masses of luggage up to the main concourse and keep it safe while I took the car back.
After checking in, the long wait began before our flight. I managed to find a space at the southern end of the waiting area with plush seating for the group. Once there Isabelle had a well needed sleep while I gave the rest a slideshow of the photos I’d taken while they were on their trek.
So, at 5:18pm the plane took off to the south. The sky was almost crystal clear for most of the way down to Oslo which gave spectacular views of Norway and Sweden as we hurtled south. The captain was obviously enjoying the view as well as he gave an almost tour-bus like narration of what to look out for. Though, at the end of the journey, once we had landed, it seemed that he was eager to get home for his dinner as he seemed to taxi the aircraft at almost take-off speeds to the gate.
We had arrived in Oslo slightly early to find that our connecting flight was going to be about half an hour late, so we got something to eat before having to go through customs and sit in the rather small international departure lounge.
As it turned out, our plane was only 25 minutes late leaving, due to finding a landing slot at Heathrow and the actual journey was quite swift so we were hardly late arriving at all. During the flight I sat next to a fellow who was the main IT person for a geophysical survey company and so the journey went by quite quickly in conversation (and griping about rubbish commercial geophysical software applications).
And so, we were back. We queued for ages to get through passport control, collected our luggage and wandered into the main concourse. There we said our good-byes to Kate and Ed (who had to sleep in the terminal as his flight up to Edinburgh wasn’t until the morning) before being ferried back home by Linda and Nigel’s son.
It was a very long day. Having woken up at 5am CET and not been able to get back to sleep again I managed to survive without any sleep for 20 hours. Once I got home I unpacked the minimum I needed so as to get to bed and fell asleep.

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