Travel...MSP to CDG to OSL to KKN

This post is really part of my Norway photo blog which you can find elsewhere on this site. Note that the photos here are in reverse-chronological order with the exception of one “lead” post that lays out our itinerary. So, read on…

I drove the 5 of us, plus luggage, in our mini-van to Minneapolis for our departure, and we left home early just in case there were surprises. Good thing we did! I drove US 20 to I35 with a stop in Storm Lake for a late lunch. Not long after that stop we hit the first snag and found I35 closed, in both directions, just south of the Iowa-Minnesota border. The stop and detour there set us back about a half hour or so…no problem.

We booked and found off-site parking near the airport in Minneapolis, and got dropped off at the correct terminal for Iceland Air, which will forever be known in this household as Iceland Error. That’s when things really go interesting. Iceland Error had changed our flight, and itinerary, without notice (they have no mobile app). We would be leaving the US about an hour later, good thing, and arriving in Kirkenes about 16 hours ahead of our original schedule! We weren’t even booked on Iceland Error for our departure, instead we were flying Air France to Paris, then to Oslo, and connecting directly to Kirkenes.

The change meant we had to change terminals, back to the terminal we’d just come from with luggage in tow. Not fun.

Ok, so Air France was GREAT! They fed us, we had comfortable seats, they dimmed the lights, had nice entertainment, and provided whatever we needed at no extra charge. For the record, Iceland Error did NONE of that on our return to the U.S.

But I digress… We got to Paris without a hitch and in good spirits, found our connecting flight to Oslo and made that leg in good shape. Then on to Kirkenes rather than staying a night in Oslo, and that was OK, except that Kirkenes isn’t a big city, and when we arrived ahead of schedule there was no shuttle waiting for us (the one that did arrive was full), but the good folks there dispatched one especially for us.

We arrived at our hotel around 11 PM local time, I think. Of course, it was difficult to tell the time because the sun was still up, and would remain “up” for pretty much the next 4 days!

The hotel had only one spare room for the night, so Chris and I took that one, and they arranged for Mark, Deb and Doug to taxi about 30 minutes outside of town to a “cabin” near the Russian border. Lucky for them…they got to set foot, or at least a big toe, in Russia, at about 2 AM, I think. Silly Americans. 😁

To be honest, I loved the “midnight sun”, it was great for geocaching, but really put a dent in my already damaged sleep schedule. 😉