We left our central Oslo hotel and went to Oslo airport to catch our charter flight to Longyearbyen. This is when our Arctic adventure truly started.
Day 4 Wednesday 22nd June 2022 Oslo then Longyearbyen
The change in flight times allowed us to leave for the airport earlier and not to have to spend time in the hotel while we waited. Breakfast time for us was an hour earlier at 8am and the restaurant was even busier than before.
We did enjoy yet another great breakfast. Outside the hotel the roadworks were now deeper along the where the tram tracks had been the day before.
The square outside the hotel was very busy. Once inside the station we rode the travellator down to the platform for the Flytoget Express.
On the boards there were other trains leaving earlier but they were leaving from other platforms and were stopping trains.
As we watched a business man with a bicycle (on the way to work in a suit!) was litter bin diving looking for cans and bottles to return – fascinating to watch.
After the train left Oslo Central, once again we went through the very long tunnel until out of central Oslo.
Flyr’s check-in was in section F of the airport. We had no booking details but our passports in the self service check-in machines were enough to get boarding passes and luggage tags. The only problem was when the machine came to print Linda‘s tags it jammed. We moved to another machine and eventually another machine until we were able to get enough luggage labels.
Flyr offered self-help baggage check-in. This was a good thing as we were told that no staff would appear from Flyr until at least two hours before our flight.
Security checks went OK, except here cameras were regarded as dangerous electronics. I had to take my camera out and pass it through the scanner separately. The second camera in Linda‘s carry on, however, sailed through with no issues at all!
We went down through the domestic terminal to find somewhere to sit and have a snack. To our surprise the only offered beer sizes were 0.4 L and 0.75 L. Our go-to size of 0.6 L was not available. The sandwiches were good and we waited at the café until we our gate was called.
It seems that flying to Svalbard is not regarded as a Norwegian domestic flight. This meant that we had to go through to the gate into International departures. After the duty-free shops we had to officially leave Norway and pass through immigration and get an exit stamp.
While we waited at the gate we met other passengers for our charter and heard their stories of last-minute flight changes that day to coincide with the earlier flight to Longyearbyen.
Flight to Longyearbyen
The flight to Svalbard on Flyr was a charter flight rather than a regular scheduled flight. Our boarding was very easy and as we were at the rear of the plane we were directed to a stairwell and found ourselves on the tarmac.
We used steps at the rear of the plane rather than using the jetway.
The cabin crew are very friendly and chatty and we learnt that we would be getting a meal served along with non-alcoholic drinks. The Captain explained that the flight would take 2 1/2 hours.
The plane was held at the gate for passengers on a late arriving connecting flight. Many issues at airports and the changed time of the charter combining to make the connection hectic for some of the passengers.
The flight was above clouds for most of the way up to North Cape.
Later we could see breaks in the cloud in the see below.
Our meal was an excellent chicken salad and dessert. For my drink I had my first full sugar original Coca-Cola in years.
Due to the cloud cover we didn’t get to see Bear Island. This island is between the mainland of Norway and Svalbard.
As the plane begin to make its descent I caught glimpses of the coast of Svalbard between the clouds.
The landing was pretty abrupt and as the plane began to taxi in the Captain told us not to worry about the rough ride on the tarmac as this was because of the perma-frost.
As we were leaving the plane , one of the stewardesses explained to me that the outside temperature of 5C was okay for her as she was from the Lofoten Islands. This would, however, be her first time in Svalbard ever.