Cobblestone Flight Review: CPH-ORY and back on low-cost carrier Norwegian

Gate, as announced by the airport, 15 minutes before scheduled departure…

To start with the conclusion: Norwegian shouldn’t be proud of this one…

Outgoing trip: an hour of delay and a scarcity of information from Norwegian. Thank Bob for my TripIt that kept me informed – CPH Airport came second in terms of availability and timeliness of information and Norwegian… Well, they didn’t tell us much at any time.

In fact, the most interaction I saw from norwegian staff was a gate agent that went around in the departure line (at gate A12 where we eventualy departed from) and rather brusquely checked carry-on wheelers and told people to measure them in the provided stand, slamming out 400 DKK checked baggage fees for anything he found not to fit.

Yes, Norwegian’s rules apply – but you can enforce them in so very different ways. You can choose to annouce by PA that the flight is very full so baggage space is under pressure and kindly ask people to verify that their baggage complies – even offer to check them for free to expedite the process as I have experienced Norwegian do on their CTA-CPH route. Or you can walk around and (excuse me) piss passengers off by barking at them to check their bags in order to find out whether they’ll have to pay 400 DKK or not.

As to the delay, the Norwegian app on my phone was extremely silent throughout the whole procedure – no messages, no gate redirections, nothing. The status screen for the flight in question did not give any information, either – the only option to check came from the flight status per airport screen. And 45 minutes before departure – well after I’d had info from TripIt about the delay (meaning that the delay is registered in the systems, otherwise TripIt wouldn’t know) – the Norwegian list from CPH as shown to the right still had the flight as on time.

Well, we got onboard and to Paris eventually.

The return trip had a departure delay as well – announced to be about 20-25 minutes. In ORY, at least, the info came up on the gate monitor (still well after I’d been alerted).

When it came to boarding, basically I have to say that the Norwegian staff in the airport and on the particular plane had cattle herding down to an art. Friendly customer service not as much.

In the terminal, they started boarding as soon as the (late) incomming plane had been hooked up to the bridge. But what about the incoming passengers? Well, boarding mainly meant that we were being collected into the next pen – between the gate counter and the door to the bridge. So we stood there for the 15 minutes or so it took to empty the plane.

Once we started getting on to the plane, the crew several times urged us by PA to hurry storing our stuff and ourselves so as not to delay them. Again, there’s a choice of approch here. It could have been “we’re sorry for the imcoming delay, but if you could please help us to achieve a speedy boarding, we’d appreciate it – if we make the current slot time for departure we may actually be able to catch up with the delay and get you to Copenhagen on time.” Y’know, I’ve seen that work once – so well, in fact, that we ended up in that particular case pushing back early.

But here? Just a flat, unapologetic, “hurry up or you’ll delay us!” Bleh!

We actually did catch up and got to Copenhagen on time. Something that a 100 km/h tail wind had more credit for than motivating passengers to help out with a speedy boarding, I’d say.

Two depature delays, a not very friendly customer tone, the usual low-cost carrier policy that everything on board is to pay for only, no options whatsoever to pick seats when checking in… (and two F/window seats in a 3:3 plane configuration as the result).

And, a pet peeve of mine with regards to Norwegian: Of all the airlines I fly, they’re the only one to have departure time on their boarding passes instead of boarding time. Dear Norwegian: The practical detail your passengers probably look most for is when to be at the gate. Why do you require people to look up information and do math in order to work that out? Why not simply, like everyone else, provide that information straight up?

Verdict? Not a single cobblestone – it’s just not a pleasant experience to be cattle rather than service- and friendliness-deserving passengers.

PS: Why did I fly them, then? Tickets booked for me, no influence on carrier chosen.

Photo by me
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Tuesday Motorway Musicâ„¢, July 11 – Missed Monday; Many More Misses…

As the saying goes in guides for good writing: Always avoid alliterations…! 😉

It’s an odd thing at the moment. Things, to some extent, has quietened down – the commute, for one, is a breeze and Thank Bob for that. But it is also very intense and lotsa (!) things to do and deadline that rushes to whoosh by and … phew!

I don’t know if it’ll be for the better or the worse – or some even-handed mix. But the next three weeks will have me away in on way or the other for most of the time. Two work trips – the second one will entail tough technical talks (there he goes again). In French. And, in between, a 10-day (well, 9½) stint at Jamboree Denmark 2017. More on that later.

(Man, I can see that I also have a tag on this blog for “Jamboree Denmark 2012”. How time flies…)

Sure thing, scouting is a significant part of what gives me energy. But please don’t remind me about that the day after the camp when I’m boarding a flight to Paris. With just one night at home under my belt, I am sure to be sleeping all the way until the cabin crew shakes me awake and tells me that I have to get off the plane unless I want to fly somewhere else 😉

Those who have ever done scout leading at big camps will know what I’m talking about…

In other news, it’s Copenhagen Jazz Festival. And so, the first couple of concerts are under our belts and we have a couple more to go. Saturday, we were in the venerable Tivoli Gardens and heard a very jazzed-up (pun intended) Caroline Henderson. Good concert!

Get Up And Go – The Go-Go’s
I Wanne Be Yours – Arctic Monkeys
Might Quinn – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
No No Never – Matt Bianco
Girl of 100 Lists – The Go-Go’s
Lose Yourself To Dance – Daft Punk

Photos by me
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Monday Motorway Musicâ„¢, July 3 – Where Did Half of ’17 Go?

Taken two hours earlier in the evening than last week’s – but it still pretty well illustrates the concept of long, light summer evenings 🙂

But – waking up this Monday and rummaging a bit around; driving to work – and, hey? What?? It’s July?

I have a nasty feeling that this could be an annually recurring thing. But – where did the first half of my year go? Whoooshed away like Doglas Adams’ famous deadlines? Man, I must have fun for the time to fly as it does, that’s for sure. And of course, that’s a comforting thought…

In a very allegorical (and maybe ever so slightly over-constructed) sort of way, this time thing reminded me of yesterday, when we took as 12 km walk up in Sweden. One moment, we were walking across this long, straight, reasonably wide path on top of a dam – the next, we went “where’s our path?? Oh, that’s it now?” and had to continue along a very narrow, winding and not too obvious trail* through the forest.

* Not too obvious – expect for the ubiquitous, nicely visible yellow marks, of course…

But a beautiful part of the walk it was – and let’s just hope that the coming half year also will offer lots of beautiful experiences, shan’t we?

Don’t Wait Too Long – Madeleine Peyroux
Feel It – Kate Bush
My Melancholy Blues – Queen
Avalon – Bryan Ferry
Smoke gets In Your Eyes – Maria Augusta

Photos by me
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Monday Motorway Musicâ„¢, June 26 – Midsummer and Humanity

The nights are quite light here. That photo was taken at 23:27… And it seemed lighter (probably the camera reacting to the street lights).

And that’s of course because it was just Midsummer (and, ok, because Denmark is pretty far up North). So, on Friday, we had the “Skt. Hans aften” aka Midsummer Night, a few days after the summer solstice and on the eve of the day named after Saint John (Hans in Danish, go figure).

And, as we do, the scouts had done the local bonfires – two of them, an early one for the small kids and the major one somewhat later. But of course not when it got dark 😉

Getting this out today, still on the Monday (14 minutes to go – and counting…) has been a bit of a feat. Left home at a little after eight, back to change into jeans around six, off for a dinner and walking back from the station, as mentioned above, at 23:27…

And yet!

But – in the train back from town, I found this Twitter thread. And for those intent on painting the UK and Europe as being in fear, of having religions and people pitted against each other: Just have a read. And weep. For the raw, lovely humanity on display. So awesome.

Have a good one, all of you.

Ain’t No Cure For Love – Leonard Cohen
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Zindy Kiki Boogaloo
Missing – Everything But The Girl

Photos by me
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An Affair To Remember

Walking home through city streets
on a summer morning
Early. And late.

An early morning
could also be called a late night
But the sun is up, warming me
So I call it a morning

A late summer morning
could also be called early autumn
But the sun is there, warming me
so I call it a late summer

The morning is brilliant
turning water to gold, bathing hard stone in softness
speaks of the good day to come
Yet in the light
lingers the remnants of a wonderful night

The rays of sun, golden and warm
whispers about a summer so good
but also of autumn to come with leaves turning red

After the joyful bliss of summer
I don’t know if you are leaving of if I am
But we are
And we know
And it’s fine

I am ready for the changing season
for the change in life, our lives
I am happy with the summer that was
All the sun that will forever shine within me

We will always remember this summer
With fondness
Knowing that it was and will forever be
An affair to remember

– – – – –

(An old piece by now, from 2006 – I thought I had reposted it on this blog when I had to take my old blog down but I can’t find it here, so I don’t think so.)

This all came out of listening to one piece of music – “An Affair to Remember”, The Lynne Arriale Trio from their “Live at Montreux” album.

Of all places, in the car – in relatively solid morning queues on the Motorring 3 North, on my way to work.

I’d recognised Lynne Arriale’s piano playing and looked at the car screen to get the title. Half a minute into the tune the thought struck me “Bob! That is exactly what she plays!”

All the sights, sensations and emotions of the piece I put together above came out of that piano melody. I was furiously turning sentences over in my mind, lamenting the fact that I couldn’t get them down on paper – or screen – in the car.

Having parked and getting into the office, I just had to get it down in words – and there it is, as near as I could do it. And you can say that my experience with Lynne Arriale playing that song certainly is an affair I will remember 🙂

Photo courtesy of Felipe Gabaldón on Flickr
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Tuesday Motorway Musicâ„¢, June 20 – Those Pesky Intentions

Sicilian “Sun’s over the yardarm” moment

Driving home from work yesterday, I had the list of songs all made out. I had thought about a photo. I sort of just needed a tiny glimpse of inspiration as to a topic to head off from.

And then – I don’t know. Monday happened. A nice sofa to sit in. Photos from our Sicily trip that my wife is keen to get into our shared photo album. As am I – and it requires some time spent in front of Adobe Lightroom. And there were some strawberries and some cream in the fridge that begged to be eaten.

What? You don’t think so? Well, of course there is this…

“May I urge you to consider my liver?” asked the animal, “it must be very rich and tender by now, I’ve been force-feeding myself for months.”

“A green salad,” said Arthur emphatically.

“A green salad?” said the animal, rolling his eyes disapprovingly at Arthur.

“Are you going to tell me,” said Arthur, “that I shouldn’t have green salad?”

“Well,” said the animal, “I know many vegetables that are very clear on that point. Which is why it was eventually decided to cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly. And here I am.”
Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of The Universe.

…which sort of suggests that vegetables and fruit do not particularly want to be eaten. Nevertheless, we did.

And all of that took time. And efforts (of sorts). And brain waves. And so – no writing occurred.


Contact High – Scissor Sisters
Jealous Guy – Bryen Ferry & Roxy Music
Good Times – Matt Bianco
You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth – Meat Loaf
Boogie Down – Al Jarreau
5 Minutes Past Loneliness – The Sandmen

Photos by me.
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Monday Motorway Musicâ„¢, June 12 – Why Potatoes Should Be Like BBQ Briquettes

That is an odd question, I know… But before I get to that point, the above is one of our more strange experiences from last week in Sicily.

We were driving from A to B (both small, beautiful and pittoresque towns) when we got behind an absolutley non-moving queue before a couple of bends on a country road. The bends meant that we couldn’t see what was happening – or not happening, as it were.

An ambulance coming the other way, though, hinted at an accident. So we had to find another way.

And that road up there? Is part of the alternative GPS solution. Apparently, when the roads are limited by mountain ridges and valleys, the selection gets rather slim. And this picture was when it wasn’t really small and rough yet! Shall we just say that I was a little bit sweaty from concentrating when I got out on hard surface again without having sacrificed tyres or the sump or anything. Not even scratches!

The potato thing, then? Well, when you barbeque, it’s always recommendable to use the same type and brand of briquettes so that you know how they burn and how many to use for what. Consistency is the key word. (Oh, and store them dry – not in the garden shed in the paper bag!)

It would be good if the same type of consistency could be had with potatoes. I’ve made pommes sarladaises a few times recently (or something similar – potatoes cubes, mixed with duck fat, garlic and parsley and done in the oven). The first time they weren’t done after an hour. Today? They were very done after 40 minutes.

See what I’m getting at? Potatoes that roast evenly in the oven every time. Wouldn’t that be great?? 🙂 Invent away!


Do I Wanna Know? – Arctic Monkeys
Somethin’ Stupid – Robbie Williams w/Nicole Kidman
Dig og Mig – Dieters Lieder
Where Blue Begins – Sanne Salomonsen
Captain of Her Heart – Double Side

(some calm music for an easy start after a vacation!)

Photos by me.
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Monday Motorway Musicâ„¢, May 29 – One (!) Normal Week Ahead


Spent the long weekend last week with friends in Vienna – Ascencion Day is a national holiday here and it’s also always conveniently on a Thursday so that you can bridge it into a four-day weekend by having just one work day off.

Man, the Austro-Hungarian Empire had some serious money. The whole centre of Vienna with Hofburg etc almost reeks of fortunes spent and truly is quite magnificent. Just taking a walk along the Straßen and Gaßen of the most central parts of the city and looking up at the houses reveal a care taken in buidling that is splendid. And then, in the middle of all this stately, orderly magnificence – there is the Hundertwasser house 🙂

On top of all this, we also did taste our way through Vienna – can you say Wienerschitzel and Grüner Veltliner? 🙂

So, now we’re back for a week of normality (there’s a quote there from The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that I probably have used once too often, so we’ll skip it here) – next week I’m away again, so expect some radio silence.

Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meat Loaf
Cotton Eye Joe – Rednex
Good As It Gets – Beth Hart
Do You Wanna Touch Me? – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
A.C.D.C. – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Photos by me.
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Tuesday Motorway Musicâ„¢, May 23 – Just Silence For Today

Today is not a day for music – not after the atrocity, as it apparently was, in Manchester.

Listen – I don’t do religion. Still, I try to have respect for people who do. And I will continue to do so. This simply cannot be seen – I cannot see it – as something any person of religion would be able to do. Deliberately target children and teenagers with death? How can anyone but the sickest of minds think that this can forward any case?

As someone wiser than me has said – if you have to hurt other people to prove your morals or faith, then you don’t have morals or faith to prove.

What does make me believe in people is the response of the people of Manchester. Opening their doors for strangers, offering to give people a lift to safety, even the simplest – but necessary – offerings of something to drink, a phone charge…

That is how humanity reacts. That IS humanity.

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Tuesday* Motorway Musicâ„¢, May 16 – Fast Idaho Edition

Monday I didn’t really do any driving – I did ride shotgun with a couple of good colleaues but that was it.

On the other hand, or to compensate if you will, I did a few hours and well above 100 miles of it today. For Americans 120 or 150 miles is probably not that long – but as it’d get you across most of Denmark, for us Danes it is.

Idaho? Yep, Twin Falls to BOI via the Shoshone Falls. Very nice experience the falls was too!

And the fast? Yeehaaa – Idaho has a 80 mph speed limit on Interstates. And that’s nice!

Celebration – Kool & The Gang
Hero Takes A Fall – The Bangles
Bring Me Some Water (Live Solo) – Melissa Etheridge
Happy House – Siouxsie & The Banshees
I Cried For You – Katie Melua
Freedom РBeyonc̩
Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins
I’ll Be Waiting – Adele
My Last Breath – Evanescence

Photos by me.
*This post was written on Tuesday – and almost finished when I ran out of WiFi access where I was. And it was very close to midnight before I got me some again. Hence posting on a Wednesday and claiming Tuesday. The fate of a road warrior 😉
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