Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Last weekend I went to Norway with a friend. Specifically Bergen, Norway's second largest city with about 300,000 inhabitants. I've learned that Norwegians don't look much like Swedes but their language is almost mutually intelligible and they are equally as unlikely to smile back at you when you pass them on the street, mountain, bus, etc. Norway is also freezing. It snowed a bit while I was there and I wore a heavy coat every day.

However, Bergen has more going for it than just being a really small big city in Norway. Bergen looks like it was pulled straight out of a fairytale. The city is surrounded by seven mountains all dotted with colorful little Norwegian houses. It is full of thin, winding, brick roads, fish markets, red churches on top of hill and has a port that connects it to the Atlantic Ocean.

The sun set here takes over an hour and finally went down around 10pm which allowed for this kind of beautiful lighting much longer than anywhere in the US (excluding Alaska, I know nothing about that place)

As I mentioned before, Bergen is surrounded by seven small mountains. This has had some interesting effects on the town including the fact that everyone we saw was more fit that I will ever be at that respective age. When you have free time in Bergen you don't go to the movies or out to eat. You Hike/run/cycle up the nearest mountain. This also meant that everyone had really intimidating and fashionable sports clothes on at all times. The first people my friend and I couchsurfed with while there was a young Norwegian couple just out of college. The girl half of the couple was always going out for runs and bike rides and after seeing some swwiming gear in the bathroom we asked her if she did triathlons. She admitted that she had but wasn't very into them. Oh, but this summer she's going to do the Norse-Man AKA the hardest iron-man in the world. Fuck you Karoline of Bergen. Seriously, I hate you. Because of this girl and because the guy I was traveling with is super fit and outdoorsy, I then had to pretend that I was definitely up for climbing mountains and I certainly wouldn't complain the whole time FOUR DAYS IN A ROW. I mean, the first day was fine. I wanted to sense of accomplishment and the views were unparalleled but it took every fiber in my being by day 4 to not admit that hiking another mountain didn't sound fun even a little bit and I just wanted to watch TV all day. I'm so fit! I'm the perfect girl!

Being connected to the Atlantic Ocean, Bergen is also connected to the reason why everyone in the world should visit Norway: the fjords.

A fjord is a thin inlet of water surrounded by steep cliffs. In The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy the character Slartibartfast is given an award for hand carving all of the fjords on Norway. These things are some the most beautiful landscapes in the entire world. Real talk. I paid more money than a day trip should ever cost to go on a boat trip through some of these and all I could think while surrounded by the steep cliffs and clear water was "well this exists". Along some of the prettiest  parts were some little 300-person villages tucked in the valleys and you have to wonder whether the inhabitants of those villages even appreciate the fact that they live in a Thomas Kinkade painting.

I'll calm down now. But you should really google image search these fjords. Anyway, Norway is a fairytale land. It's also cold and often cloudy, has complete darkness for a couple weeks in the winter and the sun never sets for a couple weeks in the summer. That shit cray.


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