Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Scandinavian experiences - Oslo on crutches

One thing I forgot to mention, Finland is very switched on and efficient as you might expect from the land of Nokia. Every hotel bedroom had internet access, plus a deeply complicated TV etc, and slightly baffling shower taps (well, baffling for some of us.) I had made the bookings for each event separately on line or by email: flights, hotels, boat and bus tours, and everything worked just fine, much to my relief. I did actually phone Savonlinna directly several months ahead for the opera tickets because I didn't want to make a mistake. Yes, have had great Scandinavian holidays recently. Went to Copenhagen last year for a wedding (very jolly) and to Olso in 2005. Both Oslo and Copenhagen have wonderful harbours and sea views, of course. Oslo's many hills and inlets are especially beautiful, imo.

That trip was quite an experience from another point of view. I had broken my leg badly seven weeks earlier and the plaster had only been removed a few days before the flight so I could only walk with crutches. (Couldn't change the trip as was giving a book talk, among other things) I'd failed to read the small print on the Ryanair booking and didn't realise that Torp airport, a large shed in a pine forest, was over two hours from Oslo. Though Stansted had been fully mechanised for the disabled, there was no equipment to haul me out of the plane at Torp and I had to be carried off by two huge and handsome Norwegian chaps, rather exciting. Embarrassingly our poor host had driven all that way to meet us but I was relieved to see him as I couldn't have managed the bus. One certainly learns a lot being temporarily disabled. For instance, I had to be pushed around the art galleries in a wheel chair and, yes, people did tend to treat me as a half-wit and ask my companions what I wanted. Does she take sugar? suddenly became a reality.


sablonneuse said...

I wonder why people regard physical disability as a sign that the invalid has lost his marbles as well. It's only since we've had a disabled person in the family that we've come to realise the full impact this.

Karen said...

How interesting that you were treated as you were...
I love all your Finnish pictures - I'd never really thought of going there but they make me want to!