First up, a relatively early flight to Manchester. RyanAir have just started direct Tours-Manchester flights this year, which is great news for me, because formerly I had to take a train to Paris and get a flight to either Manchester or Liverpool. Much easier just rocking up to Tours' tiny airport (which they're in the process of renovating - they now tell you whether to go to "Gate 1" or "Gate 2", fancy!).
I arrived in Manchester a little bit early, but I was soon reunited with Mum and Dad, whom I haven't seen since Christmas. Happy times. We got a wee bit lost in the process of finding the airport north, and ended up in the suburbs of Manchester. Since we were in the neighbourhood, this turned into a diversion to the Trafford Centre, the massive mall in Manchester. Shopping? How triste! I wasn't expecting any big ticket purchases, but ended up with an advance birthday present - an iPad! I had no idea really what one does with an iPad, since I am stuck in the 20th century and have never even used the internet on a phone, let alone an iPhone, but having played with it for the last couple of days, I think I'm on my way to being hooked! So far, it's woken me up in the morning, navigated us around Oslo, and provided me with some banging tunes on the move. Well played, Apple.
The afternoon and evening was spent at my Granddad's place in the small and unremarkable town of Carnforth, before an early night at the hotel in Lancaster. This was much needed, because I had to get up again at 4 am for our flight to Oslo from Liverpool! This was perhaps a little less painful for me, still on France time, but still. Ouch!
The flight went smoothly, but we flew into a ridiculous RyanAir airport miles away from the city, so by the time we took a 1 3/4 hour bus trip in, had an astoundingly expensive lunch at the bus station (the rumours are true!), checked into our hotel and got our fix of the internet, it was getting on for about 3 pm.
We finished off a tranquille day with a stroll into the city centre, a trip to the beautiful harbourside opera house (tip courtesy of the Jo Nesbo thriller mum's reading at the moment) and relaxing at our lovely sunny apartment. The weather reports seem to be a bit mixed, but let's hope it stays like this for our trip, because right now it's mild-warm, sunny and perfect!
|Grandparents' houses = a treasure-trove of kitsch from years gone by. I was tickled pink to enjoy my precious cider from a vintage glass celebrating Charles and Di's wedding. Worked out so well and everything.|
|Mum and me and a deer in Oslo|
|Oslo's stunning opera house|
|You can climb all over the sloping roof as well - be careful, the marble bits are slippery!|
|Mehm and Daddoo|
|The opera house roof is a great place to pose|
|This beautiful glass ship sculpture in the harbour complemented the opera house's architecture|