I urge you; go find buildings and mountains and oceans to swallow you whole. They will save you, in a way nothing else can.
Long time no see! I apologize for being MIA, it feels like things have been crazy lately. I’ve been alternating between traveling, doing pet projects and drowning in schoolwork (all while dealing with the desire to sleep all day because of lack of sunlight, but that’s another story). In my silence I’ve travelled through the fjords of Norway, to Stockholm, Turku and Helsinki, and been falling a bit more in love with Copenhagen every day (though I’ll just talk about the Norwegian expedition for now). You’ll hear about all that other stuff in time!
But yeah, I finally got to visit Norway! The fjords have been on my bucket list since high school, and I’m glad I finally got to check them off. Though I was only there for five days, it was an absolutely amazing experience to be out in the wilderness.
Here’s the reasons why I loved it, what I did, and why it doesn’t suck anywhere near as much as the Danes make it out to be:
Adorable Little Towns
Oslo is the only city in Norway, and everything else is just a super cute little village. I will fight anyone who is willing to call them anything else. I spent a majority of my trip in Flåm (population 350), which had almost nothing to do that wasn’t outdoors.
Along the fjords, there were even tinier, even more secluded villages. My favorite was the village of Undredal (population of 88 humans and 500 goats). If you Google it you’ll find it vaguely familiar because the Disney corporation 3D scanned it and turned it into a quaint little town called Arendelle for Frozen.
The other town I visited in my expedition was Bergen, known as the gateway to the fjords. It was filled with winding alleys and situated on the side of a mountain. Though I only spent one day there, it was insanely fun to just get lost exploring.
You Can Ignore TLC Songs
I am pretty sure I will never chase as many waterfalls as I did in Norway. I know it’s horrible, but I was even kind of unimpressed by them by the end of my trip. In the picture above, I am the little white speck to the left of the water. They’re huge, they’re majestic, they’re awe-inspiring, and, boy, are they plentiful.
Norway Has Some Amazing Hiking
If you know me, you know I don’t exercise for anything. At least, I don’t enjoy exercising for anything, so if I’ve gotten off my butt to do anything that even vaguely resembles cardio, you bet it’s impressive.
I hiked 22 km (approximately 13.6 miles) in one day. The group I was traveling with took the Flåm train into the mountains and hiked back down, and though the second half was spent complaining about how I felt like I was recreating The Long Walk by Stephen King (10/10 would recommend that book by the way), it was invigorating. There were tons of other beautiful trails in the area we were in, but they were closed for the season. I would recommend going back in the summertime to explore, but don’t pull a dumb move like me and go in brand new hiking boots. Just don’t.
On That Note, Norway is Great for Outdoorsy Types (and Instagram Aesthetics)
The only word you need to know: fjords. Not only are they extraordinarily picturesque, they make for some amazing exploration. Beyond hiking, the fjords have amazing water sports, fishing, and you can even take this thing called a “fjord safari” where you take a motorboat to places you couldn’t access without a guide. There’s fly fishing in the streams surrounding them, some amazing mountain biking trails, and swimming is great in summer. In the fall and winter the water isn’t even vaguely fun. However I went numb after two minutes, so it didn’t bother me too much.
Everyone I Met is in the Running for Nicest Person I’ve Ever Spoken To
Norwegians are extraordinarily sweet, and much more outgoing than the Danes. Though my evidence may be anecdotal, every individual I saw went out of their way to make me feel welcome in their country. The tour group I was with had the amazing opportunity to visit the farm Sivle Gard, which is the ancestral home of one of Norway’s most beloved poets. The woman who ran the farm made us a full traditional meal from scratch, featuring ingredients that she raised and created herself. She was a kind woman who made us feel cozy in her own home, which is a feat in and of itself.
Though I only spent 6 whole hours in Bergen, everyone I met was kind. While walking through the city alone I met multiple groups of locals who made it a point to share their favorite “hidden gems” with me. I made friends with a five-year-old in a cafe who spoke English, a group of local art students and a chef. They all told me about how much they love their town, and were excited I would come all the way there to experience it. Every single one of them helped make my trip to Norway one of the best in my life (and now to check their citizenship requirements…)
But yeah, that’s just a snippet of my adventures. I pinky promise to update y’all with the rest of them soon!
Phrase of the month?
Jeg savner dig
(yah sow-nuh die)
It means “I miss you,” which I apparently struggle to say very often. Sorry I haven’t called in like a month, mom and dad. Love y’all x