Travel to Oslo, but first a quick stop over in Rome

September 14: We were excited about our upcoming trip to Europe but prepared for difficult travel, given all the recent news stories about air travel craziness.

However, our journey to Oslo went perfectly, first to Montreal and Rome on Air Canada, and then on to Oslo via Norwegian Air. We experienced no problems or delays. Yeah! We were still very tired when we arrived in Rome at 9AM local time on 9/15/22 (midnight Seattle time). But we checked into the airport Hilton, took a shower and then headed out to try to get some sun and reset our body clocks to the local time zone.

September 15: Rome was extremely hot and humid. We only lasted until just after lunch before we had to go back to the hotel and close our eyes. We slept for a few hours and then headed into the “Jewish Ghetto” district in Rome for a stroll and delicious dinner. It’s named after the confinement of Rome’s Jews by Italy’s Fascist Government in the 1930’s, followed by deportations to German concentration camps in WWII.

But the beautiful synagogue there survived the war and it is once again a small but thriving part of downtown Rome, including 2,000 year old Roman ruins, lots of kosher restaurants and beautiful piazzas and fountains nearby. We are traveling during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. There are no synagogues on Senja Island. We wish all of you a healthy year and ask your forgiveness for any wrongs we have done. We look forward to the year 5783!

We never saw this area on our first and only previous visit to Rome in 2001. If you are looking for Kosher food, this is the place to go. We ate at a rather old famous restaurant, Giggetto. It was recommended by our travel agent and had a nice view of the ruins. Other than its location and the fact that it is almost 100 years old, the restaurant is known for it’s delicious fried artichokes. Yum!

After dinner we walked about a mile to see the nearby “turtle fountain” and then the very large “Piazza Novana” with Bernini’s famous “fountains of the four rivers” from the mid-1600’s, which includes an Egyptian obelisk from the first century. Both were recommended by our cab driver. On the way to the Piazzo we stopped to enjoy our first gelato of the trip.

The artistic fountains were stunning, especially at night. It was easy to get a cab from there back to our airport hotel where we collapsed. The next morning we set our alarm to get up in time to eat breakfast and walk back to airport terminal for our 3 hour flight to Oslo on Norwegian Air. Again it was easy at the airport and our flight was on time.

September 16: Norwegian Air is interesting. The plane was a 737-800, but there is no first class, the seats barely lean back and the bottom seat cushions are minimal. The flight attendants are nice, but if you want more than a smile, you have to pay extra, including tea, coffee or soda. It was no big deal, just different, and it offers the only nonstop service from Rome to Oslo. After landing in Oslo, it was easy getting our luggage and a cab from the airport to our hotel, “the Thief” (because it “steals you away from your ordinary life”), which is an ultra-modern hotel on the west end of Oslo’s beautiful downtown waterfront pedestrian district.

Julie and Doug were here this summer to visit Julie’s cousin and the hotel was recommended by him. Great recommendation! It’s beautifully located on one of the piers along the waterfront. After checking in, we left our bags in the room and took a quick walk down the stunning waterfront to get some sun and continue to work on resetting our body clocks to the local time zone. Then we slept a bit before going to dinner. The concierge got us the last two seats at a truly amazing Michelin restaurant: “Kontrast.” We rarely dine at fancy restaurants, but this was special. Delicious, artistic food, beautiful presented. I watched the chef use tweezers to decorate each miniature dishes to perfection. We didn’t do the wine pairing, to their disappointment, but we really wanted to stay awake all the way through the several hour culinary experience. We ate enough food for two days, (& paid the price later) but truly enjoyed ourselves despite still being jet lagged. One of the assistant chefs was from Seattle and knew about Dick’s Drive-In. It’s such a small world!

Tonight we hope to work on our jet lag with sleep and tomorrow we will begin our serious exploration of Oslo.

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