Cycling In Norway, 2007
Updated 07 January 2008
To keep the logistics of getting to Bergen as simple as possible, Day One saw us making a late afternoon start from home and overnighting at Stansted Airport.
Previously this would have meant earplugs and pitching the tent inconspicously in the woods nearby, but we were feeling pretty flush (and stressed out) this time, so we booked a room at the SAS Radisson, five minutes baggage trolley trundle from the departure terminal.
The hotel is modern and spacious - the atrium in the middle is three or four stories tall, and has a bar and restaurant in the middle with an arresting feature in it - a vertical wall of bottles fifty feet high which bar staff periodically abseil down when expense account businessmen order one of the more exotic vintages. Actually abseil is the wrong word - the barristas wear a harness they can float from (and turn upside down in) so it looks more balletic than abseiling ever did.
The bikes were booked into a locked store room downstairs behind the concierge's desk with three receipts issued to us.
The staff took our car away after we'd emptied it, and they parked it offsite. We didn't list the many faults and warnings associated with the car to the concierge before handing over the keys, though I'd imagine they looked at it with disbelief when they finally found it among the Mercedes and BMWs.
This was a major reason for choosing to stay at the hotel, because the parking for fifteen days away was considerably cheaper through the hotel - the room nearly paid for itself when compared with on-site parking costs. The idea of using public transport to get to the airport with 60 kilos of bikes and bags didn't hold up long under scrutiny.
We spent the evening packaging the bikes up in bubble wrap and coming up with inventive ways of dealing with probable derailment at the check-in desk the next morning. Janet had thoughtfully made sandwiches for supper to keep me from lighting our petrol stove in the room and triggering the fire suppression system.
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