Intro: Circling Southern Norway With A Side Trip To Turkey
Part 1: Getting To Oslo Via ORD Seminars
Part 2: Exploring Oslo
Part 3: Circling Southern Norway: Kristiansand, Stavanger And Bergen
Part 4: Norway In A Nutshell With A Stopover In Flam
Part 5: Turkey – Exploring Istanbul
Part 6: Turkey – Magical Cappadocia
Part 7: Flying Home In Style
Having been to Norway once before for a short 2 days, I had always looked forward to returning to explore the country more thoroughly. When a family member expressed interest in a visit, I immediately signed on. Our maternal grandparents are both Norwegian, and it seemed like an excellent and fun way to see the country while potentially learning more about where we came from. A trip to Europe for me is not complete without including a visit to a country I haven’t yet been to, so we added a trip to Turkey at the tail end.
I had already planned on attending the Chicago Seminars and when I located Lufthansa business class award space to Oslo onward from Chicago, targeted that as the start of our journey. We also found similar space from Seattle to Oslo, where my family member would be originating. The dates were set.
Our itinerary included 3 nights in Oslo, picking up a rental car for the journey south with overnight stays in Kristianand, Stavenger and Bergen. From Bergen, we would hop on the Norway in a Nutshell tour, with an overnight in Flam along the way and ultimately arrive back in Oslo for one more night before catching our early morning flight to Istanbul.
After 3 nights in Istanbul we’d fly to Cappadocia for two nights, ultimately beginning our journey back home from there. We left without return flights, as I was reasonably certain I could find us both Lufthansa first class award space through the Frankfurt first class terminal, but we’d have to wait for that opportunity. Lufthansa only releases first award space to partners 15 days out. We’d be using United miles.
I had a huge stash of Club Carlson points, and was very eager to use them in Norway, where the hotels are outrageously expensive. The free nights were sweetened by the fact that I had just obtained the Club Carlson Visa, which would give me a bonus night on all 2 day or more award redemptions. The rest of the hotels were a combination of paid and award stays.