Entries in Norway (3)

Saturday
Jul272013

Happy Fjordieth from Norway {part 2}

You ready for part deux? :)
So after the hiking/kayaking/culinary fun, we had a few other adventures on tap for exploring fjord country.

First up: biking the Rallarvegen Road thru the Flamsdalan Valley. We took the train back up to Myrdal where we rented bikes and returned them back down in Flam. The key word here is DOWN, since it's mostly downhill all the way. Sweet!  The birthday boy is quite the biker and I gave him the option of doing a more strenuous mountain biking trip, but he opted to stick it out with me. Lucky me :) haha.. It was actuallly a bit tricky at the beginning with 20+ switchbacks (in fact, we heard there was a death in this very spot last year), but eventually made it out safely and enjoyed the scenery at every turn!

The beginning..

the top left picture in the collage below you can see the switchbacks we came down that follows the waterfall!
in the valley, we came across a farm with lots of goats and sheep in the road. Lucky us, they were selling goat cheeses that were yummy!!
we said goodbye to our furry friends and headed on thru a tunnel that at one point we could NOT see at ALL besides a little light at the end. I was freaking out a bit, but then of course had to do it again so I could get a cool picture :)
One of the prettiest spots on the ride..

After logging some good exercise, we were ready for the fjord cruise. No work; all sitting in wide-eyed wonder! The skies even lost a little of it's grey for us, although it was quite chilly with the wind and were thankful for our many layers!
I could post another 35 "Amazing Fjord" photos, but will figure you've seen enough :)
We then boarded a bus that did some crazy switchbacks as well.. here's a view we were rewarded with..
One more train ride and we were back in Bergen before sunset. Ahh... it truly was a wonderful trip and we are so thankful to have had the chance to see some of God's best creation in person!
Oh, here's another cheeky typical Norweigen souvenier that I'm pretty sure God had nothing to do with, but we laughed just the same :)
Thanks for looking and check back soon. I've been in town for an entire week now and have got lots on the docket to share!

Friday
Jul262013

Happy Fjordieth from Norway {part 1}

I'm breaking "protocol" and jumping out of order to post our most recent adventure because it's extra special.. We celebrated Mr. Chubbyfoot's 40th last week with an amazing long weekend in fjord country.. hence.. happy Fjordieth!
* ps.. I have to give to props to a fellow expat, HHI alum and way-more-creativity-in-her-pinkie-than-all-of-me on-my-best-day, blogger extraordinare, Design mom.  She arranged a Fjordieth celebration for her hubby earlier this year and when I saw it on her blog, giggled with glee! We already had our Norway plans booked for my hubby's 40th and I would have too much fun using her "fjordieth" play on words.. no cute custom made logo for my honey though, although I'm 100% sure he didn't mind. haha

What we did score, was our first weekend in Europe without kids! MANY Thanks to my in-laws that kept said offspring so we could up the adventure and romance for his special celebration. While they would have LOVED fjord country and probably would have out kayaked, hiked and biked me, it was indeed a special time and and a great way to usher in a new decade for my adventure loving other half..

I started the planning with Norway in a Nutshell. It's a very easy program that helps you book the boats, trains, planes, etc.. that you'll need to see the best of the fjords. Trips range from 24 hours to a week. We chose to see the Sognefjord, which involved 2 trains from Bergen to Flam where we stayed the night. In Flam, we took a hike to a waterfall then geared up for a kayaking trip. The sun was shining and it was an amazing day!!

First up: drizzly Bergen. So colorful and picturesque, even when overcast and bleh.
we also stopped in Bergen on the way back as well and got rained out of our hike, but had a little culinary adventure instead. (ALL for the birthday boy, I tell ya).. we (really he) sampled reindeer, whale, moose and more seafood that I can list all at the outdoor market. He was in heaven!

We left the drizzle in Bergen and headed to Flam on a series of trains. The views just kept getting better and better and our mouths were agape most of the time!
waterfalls and rivers and lush green, galore..

cute Flam down by our pension ..


We grabbed a quick lunch and headed out for a hike up to a nearby waterfall.. meeting lots of furry friends on the way :)
we called this the teenager cow with his hair in his face :)  (a sure sign WE'RE getting old, right?)

rewarded at the top with amazing views! Next up: Kayaking!
Dont let him fool ya.. the water was as smooth as a baby's bottom :)
we parked the kayaks and took a little hike to another waterfall, refreshing our waterbottles with fresh mountain water. We also passed some ancient viking buriel grounds (bottom right, pile of stones)
back on the kayak.. here's one to prove I did it too :)
what a view!
We loved it and had a great guide who made it even more fun.
We had dinner at a local brewery in Flam (this trip kept getting better for the Mr!) and we took a little walk curtesy of the long summer night.. (even longer than Brussels!).. Got this photo of the birthday boy that I love..

That concludes part 1 of our little Fjord adevnture! Check back for the biking and cruising section :)

Sunday
Sep092012

oohs and aahs in Oslo

I'm sorry about my slow blogging. My goal is always to finish blogging a trip before we go on a new one and I'm now 6 days away from our next adventure so I need to get on the ball! I've got about 5 or 6 more full days of the cruise to post, so that means a blog post every day! We'll see how that goes!

Today I get to recall our experience in Oslo. I think I appreciate it more as I look back at the photos. I knew going into it that the famous "Norweigen fjords" are not really in this part of Norway.. so I think my expectations were low. I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the Oslo fjord (techincally a fjord, but not quite as majestic as the ones in the west) but also what we were able to visit there: the Nobel Peace Center, the amazing Vigeland scuplture park,  their colorful art neuveau town hall, and the kid's first visit to see a real Viking ship! It was quite the introduction to Norway and only made us want to spend more time there. So we did get to check it "off the list", but added it back to the list!? I'm going the wrong direction on my bucket list!! haha

First up: cruising the Oslo fjord.
Vigeland Sculture Park is really something to behold. It just so happened that the skies were amazingly blue, so it made the viewing all the more fantastic! The artist meant for these scultures to represent the human life cycle from birth to death. It really was fascinating.
So, that's our little taste of Norway! Not sure if we'll get back before we leave Europe, but maybe when we're retired and touring the world together. So make sure and check back in 20 or so years and see if we made it! :)
Thanks for checking and happy adventures to you and yours!