July 25: Los Angeles to London and Oslo

After riding first class from Los Angeles to London on British Airways, it’ll he hard to ride coach/economy class again. I was right up in the nose of the plane, and instead of having just an inch or two between my knees and the seat in front of me, I had a seat that reclined into a fully flat, 6.5 foot long bed which occupied the space of 3 coach-class rows. The service was amazing – there were three flight attendants for just 12 people in First Class, and upon boarding, they gave each of us a set of pajamas, slippers, and a fancy case full of soap, hand lotion, and face cream. After dinner, most people went to the lavatory to change into their pajamas, and while they were doing that, the flight attendants changed their seat into a bed, complete with pillows, sheets, and a blanket. I opted not to use the pajamas, as I noticed that they were one-size-fits-all, size extra-large and baggy. The whole thing was just too cheesy for me, so my pajamas, slippers, and soap/hand/face cream went unopened. I had the thought that I could put the stuff up on Ebay and make some cash, but I didn’t want the hassle of dragging that stuff around on my bike or mailing it home.

The food on board was pretty amazing, compared to the gruel that you get in coach/economy class. First, there was champagne, followed by appetizers and the main course and desert. Then, in the morning (it was a 10 hour overnight flight) there was a nice English breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, fresh fruit, baked beans, and bangers (what the British call sausage).

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Pre-appetizer: Some kind of meat (pretty good)

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Appetizer: Salmon, asparagus, and caviar

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Main course: Scallops, potatoes, and asparagus

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Dessert: Cherry cobbler and ice cream

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Flying over the English countryside on the way to London

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We landed at Heathrow Airport at 3:30 pm, which gave me just enough time to find the gate for my connecting flight to Oslo. It was just a short 1 hour and 45 minute flight to the airport 30 miles northeast of downtown Oslo. The weather was just like the typical Juneau weather – rain, low clouds, fog, and about 50 degrees F. I waited at the oversize baggage claim area for about an hour, hoping that my bike actually made it to Oslo. Fortunately, it did. By this time it was 9:00 pm and I wasn’t looking forward to putting my bike together and pedaling down the road in the rain to camp in a patch of trees that I saw on Google Earth, so instead I hopped on the first hotel shuttle that I saw (Best Western) and got a room for the night. I put my bike together in the room while watching a Vin Diesel movie that was in Norwegian instead of English – pretty funny.

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