I do love Norway.
Norway is known for a few things, and two of them include the jaw-droppingly spectacular fjords, and how expensive it is. We experienced both, and lived to tell the tale.
The tale begins with a bank holiday weekend stretched into four days. A third wheel of a friend named (called) Ian. A decision to go to Scandanavia while it’s still warm. A train, a plane, a bus, a train. And then in the reverse. Plus a boat. Something like that.
We flew into Bergen, a city on the west coast of Norway, known as the “Gateway to the Fjords.” These are fjords. Bergen is beautiful with a harbor, surrounded by water and islands, and a long and rich history including Vikings and less-notorious seafarers. Ian had met a girl from Bergen, Elisabeth, a few weeks prior at a rugby tournament in Stockholm, and so she was our unofficial, and perfect, tour guide. That’s what I love about Europeans. They all speak 72 languages, travel all over the world, will show you around their town if they’ve only met you once, and sometimes let people sleep in their apartments for free.
Scenes of Bergen
Hike to the overlook over Bergen
Akvariet i Bergen
Apparently the new university students get hazed when the school year begins
Big night out in Bergen. Starting with Pub Quiz where all the questions were related to American entertainment, and yet Team Phelps, consisting of the only Americans in the bar (um, us), did not win. The quizmaster was Australian and kept, saying, “good on ya.” So I have to learn what that means. There was also snus. Not that I tried any. I am a goody two-shoes about some things, like snus, and not other things, like stealing postcards. By “accident”, I did that twice.
Norwegian prices since the country found oil forty years ago: Diet Coke = $7; McDonald’s Chicken sandwich meal = $20; one Beer = $18
Ian was always chasing the ladies
Norway in a Nutshell: train, train, boat, then bus through the fjords. The fjords are incredible, hard for this lesser-writer to describe. They are DRAMATIC. You see the highest waterfalls, hundreds of them, and even what seems like the most difficult-to-reach outpost, has a house nestled in.
At this one really famous waterfall, they let you off the train to take pictures. And then some Norwegian tourist board had the great idea that there would also be ladies dancing over the falls to incredibly loud Norwegian tribal fairy music pumped through a sound system. It was so bad it was good.
We then stayed two nights in Voss. It’s a ski town in winter, and in the summer a great town for outdoor sports and fjord-touring. We kayaked, hiked, and happened upon a blues weekend festival. We also moved hotels. But that’s another story involving the Norwegian Norman Bates.
Bryan is the sheep whisperer/yodeler. They baaa and come to him when he calls.
(Holy crap, that’s a lot of pics. I need to learn flickr.)