ROAD KILL – DAY FIVE – JULY 31ST
Really didn’t feel too bad for not having gone to bed. We had a nice, large bus to take us
to the airport. But, no one from the festival went with us and it was a little confusing when we arrived. We made it into the SAS terminal and I started looking for the check-in counter. I passed this long line of people that stretched the entire length of the very long terminal. At the end of that line, there were the roped off “lanes” and finally the check-in counters. I’ve never seen such a long line in my entire life. There were HUNDREDS of people. Much worse than the nightmare delays we experienced at security right after 9/11.
Even though we had arrived 2 hours prior to our flight time, I knew there was no way we would get checked in before our plane departed. I had the group stand in the line while I tried to find someone to assist us. I talked to at least 4 different people with SAS who all said we’d just have to take our chances! SAS no longer has a “group” check-in. I finally got someone at the Business Class Counter who understood our situation. Not only did we have to check-in at the counter, but we had to physically take all our “oversized” pieces of equipment to another counter. And, the Swedes are a bit like the Island folk – they don’t get in a “hurry” for anything!
Flight to Oslo was only 50 minutes. When we landed Penny was departing with the Marty Stuart group to go to the festival that we had just left. Elizabeth saw her and was able to talk to her “through the glass” of the departure lounge. When we landed in Oslo, one of our cases was missing – the lead guitar players pedal board. We filled out a claim and they assured us that if it cam in on the 2 pm flight, they would deliver it to our hotel immediately so that he would have it for the show.
Drive from Oslo to the venue was supposed to be about 4 hours but we made it in about 3 ½. Had a great driver named “Tiny”. Guess he’s called that because he’s about 7 feet tall and not exactly skinny. He told us lots of things about the area we were driving through but everyone kept falling asleep mid-sentence. We stopped at a McDonalds for some of the strangest food I’ve ever eaten. Definitely not prepared like the U.S. Got a call from SAS saying they had found our missing case but they couldn’t deliver it until 11 pm that night”! I told them just to keep it and we’d pick it up at the airport on our way out of the country!
The country festival in Norway is a “Hoot”. I tried to prepare everyone for the crowd they would be entertaining. Most of the audience “camps” at the festival site and drinks 24 hours a day. As we were driving in, we saw one guy using the side of the road as his “toilet” and a girl walking around in a pair of shorts and a bra – a very large, not attractive girl at that. The artists quickly decided that the “show” was out in front of them instead of on the stage. I looked for the girl in the audience who was walking around last year wearing one ski, but evidently she didn’t attend this year or she forgot her ski! There was also a girl there last hear that had on a halter top and a pair of chaps – with no pants under the chaps….THAT was interesting.
The merch sales booth was a long way from the stage and I had to walk back and forth through the crowd to get to it. I’d watch some drunk guy notice me and then he would stagger directly in front of me and bump into me. I’m not sure they were really that drunk or if he was just trying to get in a “free feel”! By the end of the evening, I was like a football player running the field – I learned to dodge and weave and move REALLY FAST.
Audience loved Elizabeth’s and Jolie’s shows. There was a large metal barricade between the stage and the audience because they are all so drunk. Can’t have them climbing up on the stage and pulling monitors and/or the artists off with them. We finished up at about 2 am and on the drive out, one of Jolie’s guys yelled, “Full Moon on the Right!”. And there definitely was a guy bent over giving a not very attractive “show”. Perfect ending to a great evening. Got in bed by 3 am and going to get to sleep until 9 am when I go jogging – 6 Hours of Sleep – a record for this trip.
ROAD KILL – DAY 6 – AUGUST 1ST:
Up early to jog in PERFECT weather again! Today we have an “easy” day. We depart the hotel at 1 pm and drive to Oslo where we spend the night at a hotel near the airport.
Left at 1 pm for the 3-4 hour drive to Oslo. We stopped for a great lunch at a little local restaurant. I had told the driver to let us pull over and take photos any time there was something scenic since we weren’t in a hurry to get to Oslo. The first stop was a beautiful old church – dated back to the 1200’s. It was one of a very few that are still left in the country because Satanic organizations have burned down the others. We took a group photo of everyone in front of the church. We had been driving for about 15 minutes when I heard the dreaded “Oh My God” coming from Jolie in the back seat. She had left her purse (again) at the church. She put it on the ground when we took the photo and left it there. I was pretty sure it would be gone when we got there. Again, her passport and money were in there. I knew that the Embassy was closed on Sunday and I wouldn’t be able to get her another passport in time for our flight to Switzerland tomorrow. When we got there, the purse wasn’t on the ground. We went into the little restaurant and “Tiny” asked something in Norwegian. The lady went to the back and came back out holding Jolie’s purse….and everything was in it! THAT would never happen in America.
Tiny was a great tour guide and we arrived at the Oslo Airport at around 5:30 pm to pick up Jolie’s musicians equipment that had been lost on the flight yesterday. First we went upstairs, then were directed downstairs, then back upstairs and finally into the “bowels” of the airport. We ended up at baggage claim and there was a very long line waiting to file claims for lost luggage. I was NOT going to stand in a line for an hour to retrieve it so we found someone who sent us directly into the room where all the “lost bags” are held. You would not believe how many bags were in there. Evidently SAS must misroute an awful lot of luggage!
Got to the hotel by 6:30 and checked in. They have wireless internet connection here, so I’m happy! Have a pitiful little gym though! Answering emails now and watching “Something’s Gotta Give” because my daughter insists the movie reminds her of me.
Elizabeth and her husband take the 8:30 am shuttle to the airport to fly home tomorrow and we take the 10 am to Switzerland!