If you are a keen follower of our adventures, you will recall that in our Eastern Eastern Europe Rewangering this year, we really wanted to go to Belarus but you needed complicated, expensive visas to get in. However in May Belarus held the Ice Hockey World Championships, and anyone with a ticket for one of the matches could get into the country without the need of a visa, hence we became overnight fans of the sport and got 2 tickets!
In a complex bit of logisticing, Jill’s flight to Dublin was first thing on the Thursday morning then we had a flight to Oslo at 5pm so we decided to go out and meet Aaron and Ger for some lunch during their break. We had a nice catch up, wine and some mussels at a nice restaurant with a terrace before it was time to taxi to the airport. As an added bonus, Susan had a voucher for Uber so we utilised that to get a luxury car and chauffeur like real ladies. We were met at the bus station in Oslo by Christopher (from Norway – another one of the Amsterdam/Copenhagen gang) and his Australian girlfriend Kirsty and had a few beers in the bar at the station before Christopher proposed that since Jill had never been to Oslo and didn’t have time to see it all, we should go up to the panoramic bar at the top of the Radisson hotel (which was conveniently just across the road) and sit in the window with the good view and they would give an aerial tour of the city. So we did that which was lovely (although we daren’t even think how much the beers we had in there cost, as it’s around £8 for a pint in a normal bar in Oslo! Christopher and Kirsty got them though, since it was their idea to go there and they are used to those prices and less likely to die of a heart attack than us!) and then met Erland, another good friend of Susan’s, and an ‘orrid unt of a man, for some dinner. It was about 1am by the time we got back to Howie’s (Susan’s torrid gay affair, whose house we were staying at and Erland’s twin brother – he was actually not there at the time as he was up visiting his parents in Trondheim but he and his husband Matthew had said we could stay there and Erland let us in) so we settled down to a nice relaxing two hours of sleep before we had to get the bus to the airport at 3. This was not very much fun as you can imagine – our flight to Vilnius wasn’t until 6.30am but the latest bus that would get us to the airport on time was the 3 o’clock one! So yes, it was very grim but we managed to make it and had a bit more sleep on seats at the airport before the flight boarded.