But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself...
The flight to Oslo was a royal PITA. Getting up to O'hare was fine (though no upgrades available on AA... grumble). Once I was there I had an hour to get over to the international terminal. What sucked ass about that was I had to leave security to do it. Joy.
Finally got on the BA 777 and left the gate on time. Took about 8-10 minutes for our turn at takeoff to come. Hit the runway, start rolling, hit probably 80-90 kts... and then it's time to do an abort. Supposedly ATC screwed something up, but I'm a bit doubtful as we took our sweet time clearing the runway (if ATC had told us to abort, I'd figure it'd be accompanied by EXPEDITE EXPEDITE EXPEDITE!) Taxi around for a minute or two after that when the captain explains that not only do we now need more fuel, but there's also a 'technical difficulty', so we'll have to get a mechanic to look things over. Turns out it was just a faulty indicator for reverse thrusters. So we finally get in the air an hour late.
Normally I'd think an hour late on a 6.5 hour segment wouldn't be a big deal, but it was. They assured us that the 'connection centre' folks in Heathrow were on top of the situation... but that turned out to be bullshit. I still had to wait in line for 10 minutes to try and fight my way onto a flight to Oslo. There was a BA flight around noon (this was about 7:30 AM local), but it wasn't clear I'd make it onto that. So I opted for an SAS flight leaving in a bit over an hour.
Well, apparently BA's super-elite baggage handlers can't manage to transfer a bag to another terminal in an hour, so I left without my bags. And even though there were at least 3 flights from LHR to OSL after mine that day, my luggage wasn't on any of them. Nothing like doing training in clothes you've been wearing for about 3 days. Luckily my shit did show up on Monday.
Oslo, like much of Europe is expensive. To make matters more confusing, the exchange rate is 6 krones to the dollar. Quick, tell me what a 195 meal is in USD! Most beers were nearly $10 a pint.
Other than that, Oslo is a pretty nice, typical European city. They've got a pretty extensive tram (read as: trolley) network (which I sadly didn't get to ride), and my hotel was about 7 blocks from where I was doing the training so I got to see a decent part of the city.
Things were going well until Tuesday night when I get off the lift at the hotel and there's at least a half-dozen cops hanging about. Turns out the G8 were in town, and I guess some of them were in my damn hotel. Great. Having to play "the security game" at an airport is bad enough, but it really, really sucks when you have to put up with that crap just to get to your hotel room.
The upside to Tuesday was that I got to have diner with Tony Nichols, Susan, and their daughter Harper. They moved to Oslo last year when Tony got a job with Opera.
One of the things that's interesting about Oslo is breakfast. Of course it's normal to see different foods when you go to foreign lands (tried the reindeer, it was pretty tough), but breakfast is something that seems to be fairly standardized. For example, the B&B here is Oxford gives you the choice of a continental breakfast (piece of fruit, toast and some cheese) or a traditional english breakfast, which consists of english bacon (kind of a cross between canadian and american bacon), eggs, sausage, a potato cake and beans. So it's a bit different, but still pretty standard. Not so in Oslo.
Finally, Wednesday arrived and it was time to leave. Other than my stupidity in leaving both my Sodoku book and QC2 headphones in my big back when I checked it, the flight was pretty un-eventful. It was funny seeing the sun above the clouds until nearly 10PM.
Got into Heathrow and headed to Hertz for my rental car. Since I wanted a nav system I needed to upgrade (I guess they're not common in normal mid-sized cars like in the US); they offered me some big-ass SUV (boy would that have been fun in some areas around here), an A6, or a Prius. Since I'd already driven ivo's A6, I opted for the Prius. It's a pretty damn nice car, and really does a good job with fuel economy. Even though I've been driving it moderately aggressively, it's still been averaging about 46MPG.
I'll save everyone boring work details. The non-boring work details are drinking with the office Thursday night, and drinking with Greg Friday night. Saturday I intended to go jumping, but thanks no not getting home until after 3AM and the B&B brining my breakfast at the earliest time instead of the latest, I decided to take a nap after breakfast. Finally woke up again at like 3:30. Crap. And of course today has been pretty solid overcast... though the sun is finally out now... but I had beer with lunch. Oh well.
Tomorrow I drop the car off and take the tube into our London office. Tuesday it's on to Stockholm...