Moving day is finally here! Jesse and I were in Salt Lake City most of the time before the move, since I was not longer working at CSU and his company with busy with a project at the SLC airport. But we had to get back to CO since that’s where all our worldly belongs had been stuffed into an enclosed trailer. Of course we packed the maximum number of luggage items that I could check on my flight. I had already left some things in Tromsø from when I visited in October… funny thing was I really couldn’t remember what I had even packed in that suitcase. We stayed at my friend Amber’s apartment, crashed her game night with other fellow grad students from CSU and completely took over her living room for packing purposes.
Everything was carefully placed and each bag weighed to make sure we were as close to but not over any weight limits as we could be. Space/vacuum bags are AMAZING and I was able to bring quite a few blankets and even a small pillow with me! I would highly recommend anyone traveling for a long time or moving use them… but if you are traveling make sure you’ll have a vacuum available to pack to come home!
2 giant blue tubs, 3 large suitcases, 1 roll-aboard and my computer bag (which was stuffed with all our electronics and any batteries or battery powered devices – this was of course thoroughly checked when I went through security) seems like a lot of stuff, but when you’re moving for 3 years there are some things you just can’t live without 😉
The morning of the move we had breakfast at the Silver Grill in Fort Collins with more friends from CSU. Sarah and Natalia were some of the first people I met in Fort Collins when we were all stumbling through the 1st year of grad school together. It’s amazing what we’ve all accomplished there and how our lives have changed… but many more adventures to come!
Then we hopped on the shuttle to the airport with all our bags in tow. Jesse had come up with a great plan. He had booked a flight that was leaving a little after mine to take him back to SLC, so he could help me in the airport with all my bags and wait with me for my departure.
Checking 6 pieces of luggage never seems to go over well with the attendants, but we were by some very strange means able to do it. Apparently IcelandAir has only 1 flight from Denver and so it doesn’t have much for infrastructure and support. So the woman that checked me in actually works for Lufthansa, and everything was going well except that she could not charge me for my extra bags. She had to call IcelandAir customer service and have them charge my credit card over the phone, and since it wasn’t done on the computer there they could not print a receipt for what I paid. I was given a lovely post-it not with the amount that I paid and a confirmation number that I could look up on their website (although later I could not find anywhere to look up this number!). But ultimately the bags went down the conveyor belt and we headed through security.
My flight to Reykjavik was on time and I was looking forward to just sitting on the plane and watching some movies to relax. On my flight to Reykjavik I watched the sun set over the CO mountains one more time and enjoyed the in-cabin Aurora show. It was a quick flight to Iceland and I landed there early in the morning. My passport was stamped for entry into Schengen and I connected on the next flight to Oslo.
In Oslo I had to claim all 6 of my checked bags and walk through customs. If you have nothing to declare you just walk through a corridor. I’ve been told that they sometimes pick someone out in the crowd to actually check their luggage, but after coming from the US and seeing customs in some places like New Zealand I really thought I was doing it wrong. I even stopped to ask the guy at the desk if I needed to check it with him. He asked if I can anything to declare and I said no, then he said your fine then, go ahead. I should say that navigating 2 carts by yourself was challenging, especially through these narrow hallways with lots of people. I may have caused a slight traffic jam. Then up the elevator where someone working for SAS saw me struggling and helped me to push one of the carts to the baggage check area. At the SAS baggage check I was supposed to present my receipt that I had paid for my luggage in DEN. The post-it note did not seem to cover it. Not only that but I learned later that my credit card wasn’t charged immediately, so there was no record in their system that I had ever paid for the bags. So I ended up paying a second time and getting a much more official receipt. (I’m working with IcelandAir and will be reimbursed for the extra charges). The good news was that I hadn’t missed my connection and the bags and I were all finally on our last flight to Tromsø!
My supervisor was kind enough to pick me up at the airport and with a little effort we managed to get all my bags into his car and to my new home for a month or so, the UiT university housing. Thankfully it was evening in Norway and I went to bed pretty early.. it had been a VERY long day.