Well, here we are. After years of conversations, months of planning, and weeks of seeing it all first hand, I am wrapping up my last post from Norway.
My last post was from the cruise.... thank God that was only one day as I was feeling sick for a nice chunk of time and the lack of vegetarian food on that cruise (and here in general, actually) has been driving me bonkers. Ive never looked forward to tofu and couscous so much in my LIFE!
It was definitely an experience being on the ship (besides the smell of bryllcream and diapers (we had a COUPLE seniors on the ship)) but I was definitely not too sad to get off at Bergen. We pulled up to people suntanning all along the coast and everyone was waving from the shores to the ship... so sweet.
We hopped off and it was love at first sight! Kristen, Kevin, Shea and I decided to walk from the port to our hotel which was a coupke kilometers, taking us through downtown and the fish market. This city was flourishing!! Music being played on every corner, everybody is gorgeous and unique and the cutest dogs being walked around everywhere. The shops were super interesting and there was tons of variety. We walked by a million outdoor patios and restaurants and everyone was full of smily people. I just LOVED it! And not to mention 'Bryggen', the world famous strip of some of the oldest buildings in Bergen that have all been transformed into the sweetest shops. Local artists and jewelers were abundunt, as well as the obvious Norwegian shops. PS- Im a SUCKER for that shit... all over it! I bought way too much, inclusing a Norwegian wool blanket that I love.. and yes the sheep is still alive and was happy to shed his fur coat because it was too hot for the summer ;)
We spent two nights in Bergen and Kristen and I were happy to find a super awesome little pub that had cool staff, great local beer on tap called 'Hansa' and awesome old tunes. The Norwegian boys took a liking to us too which was funny and made us laugh a few times. Shea and Kevin came along the second night and we had a couple pints, shared some stories and even a few dances. Great times! We also took a tram up to the top of Bergen and took some pretty funny pics with a huge ass troll. Pics on FB to come! Kristen and I laid pretty low in Bergen because we had been so busy... we shopped lots and may have sat down for a beer here and there.
Leaving Bergen, we decided to delay our train ride to Oslo and make a pitstop hopping off at Myrdal and taking the world renowned 'Flam Railway' . It was extremely touristy but very cool (reminded me of Jasper or Banff, etc on a smaller scale) It was gorgeous scenery and the track itself has crazy history. Feel free to google it. Dayle, Shea and Shanea even challenged the 2 hour bike ride down hill (I may or may not of had one too many Hansa's the night before to participate lol) I stayed on the train and found it quite gorgeous and educational. At the bottom we just hung out for a few hours before heading back up and catching the connection to Oslo.
We got to Oslo that night pretty late and came back to our hotel and settled in pretty quick. We woke up early yesterday and Shea and Gord headed out to find us some rental cars. They picked us up and we headed out to Skien to try to find some sort of lead to my grandpas side of the family. When my great grandparents came over to North America, no siblings were left behind like on my grandmas side, therefore making finding connections not as easy. We searched a few grim graveyards and spent the afternoon in the neighbourhood. Glad to say we tried. Janice had us playing 'Bingo' on the way ack to Oslo trying to find things such as a moose crossing sign, a red van, boat, etc. We tied!
Today just included some last minute shopping and then we came back to the hotel in the afternoon to meet some more family. My cousin Asta and her EIGHT kids came for a visit, as long as my cousin Ilsa and her son Haakon. It was awesome to visit and get united with these guys, especially when they have children my age who I can now stay connected with. Tonight we just went for dinner and had a little wine and cheese get together in Dayle and Judys room to discuss our next family vacay! (Looking like a Carribean cruise in 2013 guys!)
Not gonna lie, Im excited to get home. Missing my friends and Darren and his little mutt, Nixi! Cant wait to tell Tut and Jordy about my adventures and share my photos with everyone. Ill have one more post on my blog about Norway when I get home about some notes that I kept regarding some differences in everyday life between life here in Norway and life in Canada
Canada, I MISS YOU, see you soon! xoxo!