Senji (senji) wrote,

  • Mood:

Just a Stavangering around

So, midafternoon on Tuesday, I left work in a Taxi and for once in my life travel plans failed to be beset by disaster, as we got from StJIC to the station in under 15 minutes, enabling me to get the prior train to the one I intended which allowed me the luxury of a leisurely waft across the tube network (change at Oxford Circus, as the Bakerloo line is closest to the Heathrow Express platform) only to arrive at Paddington just as a HEX was arriving at the platform.

I've never been on the HEX before, so was glad of the notices on the platform suggesting that I wanted to board the train at the Heathrow end (which coincides with my default inclinations anyway), as the exits for Terminals 2 and 3 are at that end of the Heathrow Platform (as is T4 further down the line. T1 is at the Paddington end of the same station as T2&3).

HEX trains have TVs in them, however even sitting right next to one you can't hear the babble over the train noise. I relaxed with IRC and an eBook. Unlike most train services they have continuous mobile service through the tunnels at the Heathrow end, so I assume either the units have cells, or the tunnels are wired.

Arriving at Heathrow I discovered the hard way that it is in fact faster to take the lift than the escalators (although an enraged TubeChallenger (with a large wallet) could cut time off that by running up the escalators, which aren't busy at all).

Once I'd found the SAS area in the crowded mess of Departures check-in was a doddle, although they had no Exit-Rows left (they rarely do, you know), and I disappeared past security (where the beepy-machine didn't complain about me for the first time in years) and enjoyed a quiet dinner at Chez Gerard before boarding my plane. The photo above is of the (quite stylish) plastic cutlery which I was given. I hope they have something more effective for customers who order steak! I was left wondering what was to stop me from breaking the bottle of still water that I had and using the pointy-edges on that to threaten someone, though.

I still don't like flying. Something disengages when the wheels leave the ground and I feel slightly otherworldly until they set down again. In this case an hour and a half and a timezone later in the half reconstructed shell of Stavanger Airport (I assume that they're enlarging it). The airport has the interesting feature that International Arrivals have to pass through one of the International Departure lounges to get out, and get access to the Duty Free area in the process – more thoughts on this later.

In total I spent about an hour in Taxis during my time in Norway, which slightly overspent my cash Kroner budget. However, all Stavangerese taxis are fitted with credit-card machines (and print receipts), so this wasn't as much of a problem as I might have thought. They also have an ingenious system whereby places that order lots of taxis can have a thing installed such that they can press a button and order one, getting a numerical code to identify the request with the Taxi. I was impressed by that.

The hotel was hotellish. I had breakfast there as well as sleeping. I was caused to wonder if I could install an IP-over-DNS thingum on my Nokia 9500 though, as they had pay-per-use wireless that I didn't want to buy a whole hour of.

The office is in fact in Tananger, which is about 15 minutes away at about 90-120kph. The actual meetings were surprisingly useful, but left me going "my brain is full!" by about 15:00-localtime, fortunately we'd pretty much finished by then. Everyone was very friendly, but I was left with a sense of ineptitude; since all the Norwegians spoke fluent English, and I don't speak fluent Foreign in any guise….

Then back to Stavanger airport, purchasing of Duty-Free Aquavit, waiting for ages for my (delayed) flight and a return to Heathrow. Where I noticed that Heathrow T3 has the same bug I discovered in Stavanger, only 100-times the passenger volume (at least). I see an exploit, although I don't have a use for it, in that someone who has just Arrived can switch places with someone who is theoretically Departing and hence bypass Heathrow's security procedures (and security at places like Stavanger is much "weaker" than it is at Heathrow). If anyone can come up with a good use for this exploit, do tell me :-).
Tags: life, photos, security, stavanger, travel, work
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.