Porcupyn's Blog

August 9, 2018

South Africa Trip – Day Sixteen

Filed under: Family,Travel — Porcupyn @ 3:13 pm

the most uncertain portion of our trip was the part from Sofia to Oslo. The first tickets I had purchased was the open jaw MCO-JNB-SOF. Thanks to Baab’s research work, we’d purchased of the required tickets to complete the full circle with bus and flight tickets from Sofia back to MCO. However, each of these legs were a bit hairy for us, because missing one would put the entire set of remaining tickets in jeopardy as each segment (SOF-BUD, BUD-OSL, OSL-MCO) was independent, i.e., they were not interlinked. The only buffer we had – the overnights at Sofia and Budapest – were now done with. We had to keep our fingers crossed that Air Baltic – quite reliable per Baab’s research efforts – would put us in Oslo with enough time to get out, grab our bags and check back in. Given that we had about four hours in Oslo, should everything go as planned, we were hopeful that we wouldn’t have any issues.

Our cab came to the airbnb at 5:30 as scheduled and so, sleepy, hungry yet all in one piece, we made it to the airport at about 6:16 or so. It was a nice ride and because the sun was just about coming up, we didn’t feel the heat as much. Needless to say, I paid him in HUFs 🙂 We then had some pastries and beverages at the landside portion of the airport as things were yet to really get underway. Thankfully our Air Baltic flight to Riga was on time and we were glad. Finally, we were able to check in and go through the security. It was a big change from the landside to the airside (maybe like Indian airports a decade or two ago – now those airports have become quite posh at the landside as well).

A “naked” plane at Budapest airport

Our flight took off more or less on time, but I was disappointed that I couldn’t see any of Budapest’s familiar landmarks below. Recently, I reviewed the maps and realized that our flight would have flown north/north-east and with the airport being southeast of Budapest, that now makes sense why I should not have been hoping for much.

On the runway

I forget if this flight was taking off or had just landed

And we were in the air

This was some airport maybe more than half the distance out. Can anyone figure out which airport this is?

A river snaking toward the horizon (again, I have no clue which river this was)

I love taking photos of traffic interchanges like this one

Over Riga now

Zoomed in on one of the bridges

Compared to the sparsely populated area all along the route, Riga appears quite dense indeed!

Love the blue Baltic Sea (Gulf of Riga, to be precise, as I recently learned)

Another cityscape

For a Floridian, these beaches are likely to be awfully cold year round!!

On the ground in Riga

We were absolutely on time, though we had just about an hour before the next flight – this one to Oslo now, also on Air Baltic

– three flights back to Orlando
– spending time in Budapest, Riga, and Oslo airports

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