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Norway - sea and air - Off in the distance
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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2012-02-01 17:33
Subject: Norway - sea and air
Security: Public
Back from our inspection of the award winning work of one Slartibartfast, I will note one thing: the number of airports visible from the sea. It seems that almost every community of any size has one.

Looking at the SAS in-flight magazine on the way home, I glanced at the map of the places that that airline serves in the region: over 40 places in Norway (a total somewhat higher than all the other countries it serves in the Baltic region put together). It appears that by the time your town has reached 5,000 population (yes, five thousand), it can expect to have SAS planes landing there. There is very roughly an SAS served airport per 100,000 population, which doesn't look so extreme until you realise that Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim together comprise 1.4 million people but only need 4 of their quota of 14.

When you discover that Kirkenes (population ~7000 if you include the surrounding areas) has over a quarter of a million passengers a year - or nearly 40 flights per resident per year - you realise how much flying is required. There are really only three options for getting from Kirkenes in the north to the southern part of the country. Firstly, road. To Bergen for example, that's 2600+ km if you don't route through Finland and Sweden. Or you can take the Hurtigruten ships. Which will get you down to Bergen in 6 days. Or you fly.

So if you need to get anywhere and back in less than a week, the aircraft is it.

(On the other hand, you send your cans for recycling by ship.)
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2012-02-01 17:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Norway is much bigger than I thought.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2012-02-01 17:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yup. One way from Bergen up to Kirkenes is 2500 km by sea. The ships could cover it in less time if they didn't stop at 34 ports, but it's the equivalent of the daily FedEx/bus service for a lot of those places, and the Hurtigruten shipping line exists to keep them in communication with each other.

(Our total distance travelled on board was a touch over 4000 km, but we didn't come all the way back to Bergen, getting off at Trondheim instead.)
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2012-02-01 17:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh yeah - impressive factoid: if you go due south from Kirkenes, you will eventually pass to the East of Istanbul.
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2012-02-01 17:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Stupid Mercator projection.
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Jos Dingjan
User: happydisciple
Date: 2012-02-01 22:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I loves my Mercator projection. For charts when I'm sailing.
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