"Powellite" Bagnall 3ft gauge locomotive at Black Sands, Victoria - 1938. Photograph: P.G. Dow

24 July, 2010

Addenda to trip report, Emerald to Oslo

Entering Norway for a foreigner is very easy, at least if you are a resident of a country for which Norway does not require a visa, and Australian citizens don't require a visa for a holiday of less than 90 days. There are no landing cards to be filled out, just a brief inspection of your passport and a rubber stamp. Then there is no queueing to go through customs, no sniffer dogs, no x-raying of everything you bring in, just walk through. If you have anything to declare you are expected to declare it. Nor is there any apparent visual surveillance. For a system like this to work, there must surely be random inspections.

If you Google "How to survive a long haul flight" you will get numerous web sites offering good advice. One piece of recurring advice is to keep hydrated, therefore buy a bottle of water after going through the security process. I did this but with Qantas it was not necessary as they offered water (and fruit juice) frequently during the flight.

Dimly discernible banana

In the depths of the night (the equivalent of about 3:00am) on the 12 hour flight from Singapore to London I vaguely discerned a figure approaching through the gloom of the darkened cabin. The figure turned out to be a flight attendant, carrying a very small light rather like a candle, and she was waving around a barely discernible object, which turned out to be a banana, and offering these to any who wanted them. Seemed bizarre to me.

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