If Iceland was beautiful in a subtle, peaceful, and expansive way, then Norway was very much beautiful in an “in your face” kind of way. Beautiful cities, beautiful highway drives, beautiful fjords and of course, beautiful blonde people.
It was a bit much at times. Oh, and more cool waterfalls.
We arrived into Bergen, the former capital and second largest city of Norway on September 6. Bergen was a great stop on the trip, it was one of the nicest cities I’ve ever been to, with plenty of hiking (we hiked Fløyen, one of seven very nearby peaks) and scenery. All kinds of architectural and cultural beauty can be found as well.
"Is the trampoline supposed to lead into the water?"
After realizing that we’re probably crazy for thinking such a nice spot with crytal clear waters would be polluted, we awkwardly jumped in. The water was frigid, but seemed quite clean.
Lindy did not jump in. However, as she was driving us up the cliff side she proclaimed,
“This is my fjord trampoline”, as she turned unexpectedly down a dirt road. It turned out to be a good turn as we were amazed by some pretty phenomenal views which accompanied our sandwich lunch.
Trolltunga translates directly into “Troll tongue”, because the Scandinavian countries are obsessed with elves and trolls, but also because the rocky outcrop at the end of the hike slightly resembles a big tongue sticking out.
The scenery, and the hike itself at times, was breathtaking. After about 4 hours we made it to the destination, which was a strange sight. A group of 60-100 people from all over the world all congregated around one section of cliff, waiting in line for a turn to walk the plank, then doing a few precarious poses while someone photographs them, then moving aside for a snack or lunch break.
Although the entire thing was challenging, it was certainly doable by the three spry fellas of Lindy, Ben, and Myself….But around Km 20 of 22, we started to break. The final steep descent downhill was absolutely brutal, everytime I stood still I could feel my legs tremble. But we had some more beer and chili that night, so we were good to go.
I don’t know why (I’m an ignorant foreigner maybe) I assumed Oslo would be similar to Bergen, I guess that’s like someone seeing Vancouver and assuming Toronto would be the same. Oslo was noticeably busier than Bergen, with a very different and larger city layout.
We took in a free city walking tour (these exist everywhere, do them next time you travel), went to a food festival and ate a bunch of smoked salmon, went to a beautiful and peculiar city park with hundreds of naked statues, and more walking around.
There’s something for everyone in Oslo, it was a really cool city. Great food, cools bars, lots of shops, and history. If have no worry of budget, or can find a way to see it cheaply, definitely put it on your list.
Norway was REALLY nice. It certainly makes me curious as to what lies north in the country, as we were only in the southern 10% or so.
For now, that’s all we could afjord for Scandinavia. Off from Oslo to Brussels, Antwerp, and Putten where somehow we keep running into people we know.