5 Things I Loved About Norway

BV and I returned from our Norwegian adventure last week Friday, and I’m still riding high (apart from that whole “work” thing) from it. This was an absolutely incredible trip, and luckily I’ve got about 4,000 photos to flip through whenever I want to relive a piece of it. In the interest of preserving my memory, and friends/family just being able to scroll through a post rather than listen to either of us wax poetic about it for several hours, I do want to get a few posts organized on here, but no promises on when that might happen.*

In order to get my thought process flowing, and *perhaps* to whet the appetite of the lovely readers of this blog, I thought I’d start off with listing just a few of the things that made me go all heart-eyes-emoji for two straight weeks. To the list!

1. Friendly locals

“Chin scratches!”

Say hi to (not sure how this was spelled, but I’ll go with) Miku! This sweet pup lived at one of the places we stayed, and in between checking in on the cows and sheep, would wander past our terrace for a pet or two. Anyone who knows me knows that I lose my mind at the sight of most dogs, so nothing makes me happier than a furry friend coming around to join me for my morning coffee. But this wasn’t the only friendly local we met. Click away for the one with the best view in town…

Sleepy kitty is not impressed by the view.

Our first morning we knew that we were going to wake up to a pretty fantastic view. We did not know that our Hytte (cabin), would come with some very enthusiastic purr-machines. There were two, they were adorable, and they could not care less that we were the only guests not throwing them fish guts every few minutes.

Besides the four-legged residents, nearly everyone we met in Norway was incredibly friendly and helpful. I’m not sure if that’s the norm or if we were just comparing with the *ahem* sometimes less-than-enthusiastic service here in Franconia, but it was striking. And a nice chance of pace, to be honest

2. Epic drives

This is important because we did A LOT of driving on this trip. And by ‘we,’ I mean BV. I was in charge of navigation and coordinating the multiple devices that we used to get anywhere. Our Garmin Navi is old and wasn’t up-to-date enough, my phone** didn’t always have service, and I could not for the life of me figure out the “offline map” thing that BV had downloaded. Slightly complicated.

Concentrating on all those devices was a bit of challenge though, because we drove through some absolutely unreal landscapes. Most of our trips took an hour or two more than planned because we took a scenic detour, or kept having to stop for photos. As a demonstration, here’s our little rental at one of the first places we stopped…

Well that doesn’t look that great, you might think. Okay. Here’s the other side, just as we were getting towards the “fjordy bits,” (TM ECS).

Not bad, for day one.

3. Cozy wooden houses

We booked all our accommodation before we left, and as soon as I saw the first few pictures of what was possible, I knew I wanted to stay in some of the typical Hytte. Bonus points for the ones that came with a wood stove for those chilly Nordic nights. We definitely used them!

Particularly useful for drying hiking boots!

Due to a series of miscommunications, we almost didn’t have a place to stay on our first night (and for the wedding we were supposed to attend, panic!), but we snagged a spot at the last minute and I’m not saying we ended up with the best view of any guest but…

I mean, come on.

Pardon our laundry. And have no fear, the view in the other direction was pretty great, too.

4. Mountains, Gandalf

If you want to see some peaks, and perhaps hike through an enchanted valley or two, look no further. The landscape dominates everything in Norway, in a way that I have never seen before.

A misty day in the enchanted valley.

In Jotunheimen National Park.

5. Outdoor time

Okay, I know that we were there on vacation. I know that the average Norwegian citizen probably isn’t outside all the time. But I’ll be damned if that wasn’t the highest concentration of outdoorsy and healthily tanned-looking people I have ever seen. My God. I’m guessing that people just take as much advantage as possible of the long summer days, and we definitely did the same.

We were planning on spending a lot of time outside, doing lots of hiking and exploring, but we were out and about every single day. Even on the days when we had a long drive, we made sure to get lots of walking time in around the trip. Every place we stayed also lent itself to being outdoors. Even on our city stays in Bergen and Oslo, both apartments had great balconies/terraces for getting in that sun. I’ve been trying to get out a lot at home, too, but it’s just different on vacation. And for me, I need that.

Shout out to BV for these last two shots…

On the way up Galdhøpiggen.

I think I’m smiling in the above shot. If I am, it’s probably because I think that is the summit ahead. It was most definitely not.

That was my “I don’t know which way to point the camera first” stance. I did a lot of that on this trip.

So that’s my little Norwegian taster. This is a drop in the bucket of awesome that was this trip, but I hope you all enjoyed it!

*I should really trademark that disclaimer. I seem to break it out a lot.

**Seriously, thank goodness I got a new one with data for all of Europe before this trip though. We might not have come home on the same plane otherwise.


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