November was the first month for our Skyscanner Solo and Spontaneous ”Cheapest Flight to Everywhere” Contest.
We’ll be looking for our December winner next week. Make sure you’re on the Solo Traveler newsletter (sign up on right) to receive details. If you want to know how the contest works in advance read Win Airfare to ???: The Solo and Spontaneous Contest
Our November winner was Rachel of Jaen, Spain. Off she went to Oslo, Norway – ‘on the fly’ so to speak. A huge thank you to Skyscanner and their innovative travel booking engine for making this possible.
Here’s what Rachel wrote me…
On spontaneous travel:
Receiving an email saying ´I am so pleased to advise you that you are the very first winner of The Skyscanner Solo and Spontaneous “Cheapest Flight to Everywhere” Contest!´ was a complete surprise, it was my first win except a box of Black Magic chocolates in a school raffle (over 35 years ago). With the prize needing to be taken within two weeks, weekends were my only opportunity and the second weekend was my eldest´s birthday. The email came on Saturday. I sent back my details and dates when I could travel then checked my emails more often than usual to find out where I was to go. On Monday I knew my destination – Oslo – and on the Friday, just four days later, I was heading to the airport.
Part of any trip that I really enjoy is the planning, the delving into the destination and finding out some of its history and what to visit there. This trip didn’t have much time for that! But believe me every spare second I had I was reading about Oslo and hunting out hats, scarves and gloves – items that, living in Andalucia, don´t see light of day very often.
Going alone and the furthest I’ve been from home, a four-hour flight, was invigorating. I loved the sheer indulgence of doing what I wanted, when I wanted with no-one nagging about how many photos I was taking or how much walking or how many museums was involved.
I had great fun and what an opportunity.
On Oslo, Norway
Oslo is a modern bustling city with a history as long as its 100km stretch of water along the Baltic Sea. Sitting at the top of the Oslo fjord, its long maritime history is evident from the canons overlooking the water to the Viking Ship Museum.
One of its new works of art giving views across to Akershus castle and to the islands in the fjord is the Opera House, designed to look like an iceberg and opened in 2008, this was one of my first stops.
A squabble of seagulls circled as I walked the sloping roof. The November sun shone across the water highlighting the sailing boats ferrying people between the islands and a young seagull posed in front of the city view and the dissipating, menacing clouds.
I then took a trip on a traditional sailing boat across the fjord to the Kon Tiki, Fram and Viking Ship Museum. The only time I felt cold was out on the water, the views more than compensated and the coffee and blankets helped.
With so much to see I´d made a list of my definite want-to-dos but didn’t make all of them. Over 30 museums are spread around and near the city. The transportation on ferries, buses and trams is really good.
The city felt safe, everyone was really helpful and friendly. What struck me most was how clean it was. The bus from Oslo Rygge airport, an hour´s ride from the city, provided rubbish bags for every seat – and they were used!
Oslo was my first solo trip, except going back to my native England, and it was the furthest journey I’ve taken from my Spanish home. I enjoyed every moment, would definitely recommend a visit and would happily return.
The Akershus Castle and the sailing boat on the fjord. The Kon Tiki museum whet my appetite and I´ll be reading the book and the Viking Ship Museum has spiked my interest in the history of the Vikings.
Oslo is one of the top twenty most expensive cities in the world, so it’s a must to buy an Oslo Pass which gives unlimited free travel within the city, free entry to many museums and discounts on others. It’s well worth doing your homework to be sure that you buy the pass that’s best for you.
My thanks to Rachel for writing such a comprehensive report on her trip to Oslo. It so happens that she has a blog as well called Andalucia Explorer.