Sunday at noon, my husband and I started our European trip with a 9 hour flight from Houston. There were no troubles at check-in until the TSA officer looked at my passport and my drivers license and said very seriously, "I think there's something wrong here."
I asked with kindness, hopefulness and trepidation, "Are YOU joking?!"
Then he said something that he's probably said about 999 times in his career, "THIS can't be YOUR birth year!" : )
And me? I laughed hysterically because there's just a little bit of tension when you're checking in at the airport nowadays.
I think I slept 2 hours on the plane. It was hard to fall asleep sitting up. I spent most of the flight adjusting my pillow and blanket. Finally, we made it to Heathrow airport where we had a five hour layover and after looking through the shops I learned that if I'm tired enough, it's easy to fall asleep sitting up after all!
After one more flight, we arrived in Stavanger at 3PM Monday (9AM Houston time) and checked into the Radisson Blu Hotel. Excited, I had enough energy to go on a three hour stroll around the city.
After stopping at Breiavatnet Lake, we saw the oldest Stavanger church, built in 1125.
From there, we walked over to Old Stavanger where there are homes that are 100-300 years old and cobblestone streets.
The neighborhood faces the harbor where cruise ships bring vacationers in warmer months. It was cold and in the 30's with a little rain. I'm glad I wore my heaviest coat.
Although some museums were closed for the winter, vacationing without crowds meant we didn't need reservations at Sorenson's restaurant, where I ate my first bangers & mash - that's sausage and mashed potatoes. The sausage was less spicy than I'm used to, similar to a hot dog and the potatoes were good and buttery.
There is a lot less English language here than I thought there would be, but it makes every little thing an adventure: ordering food at a restaurant, reading street signs, reading the ingredients on a package of food. I've even learned a little Norwegian: woman, good, bread and thank you. It's a very little bit. ; )