A Bergen Shrimp Picnic

After leaving Norway two years ago, I was left missing two things: the shrimp, and my friends… not necessarily in that order. Nothing beats a buttered piece of bread topped with a pile of Norwegian shrimp, drizzled with lemon, and garnished with dill. This particular meal has been haunting me in my dreams– a constant craving lasting two years.

Needless to say, there was a lot of pressure on this shrimp picnic I had been waiting for. We decided to have our picnic on Tuesday. Kayla took a trip to the grocery store only to find out they were out of fresh shrimp. They had frozen shrimp that had been caught over the weekend, but we didn’t want to settle– we wanted the freshest and the best! The next batch was getting in the next morning, so we postponed our picnic until Wednesday.

I spent the morning with Margit, who had just arrived from Sogndal. We walked around town, ate ice cream, and caught up on each other’s year. A lot has happened for both of us since Canada so there was a lot to chat (and laugh) about.

Margit and I in Bergen

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We met up with Kayla and Brandi in the early afternoon and made our way to the store to buy our shrimp. As we approached the cooler, we were taken aback by the tragic sight of six lonely shrimp laying where we expected to see hundreds.

With this devastating turn of events, we had to change plans and settle for frozen shrimpies. We gathered 3 kilos and headed back to the airbnb. We laid the shrimp out flat to help with defrosting, and spent the rest of the afternoon prepping our picnic.

Despite missing the boat on fresh shrimp, the picnic was a success. We set up in Nordnes Park– a popular picnic and swimming spot in Bergen. The park was full of people grilling, dancing, drinking and having fun. Peeling and cleaning the shrimp was hard work which only made them even tastier. We worked our way through almost all 3 kilos– leaving just 7 shrimp uneaten.

Brandi had expressed interest in swimming in the fjord. It was particularly warm out, so Nordnes was full of people jumping into the water. As the clouds rolled in and temperatures dropped, Brandi’s window for swimming started to close. Maria agreed to join Brandi which was enough to convince her to make the plunge. They jumped in 3 times and didn’t seem to be so miserable– which is how I knew the water must have been warmer than typical fjord temps.

The weather was warm, the shrimp were tasty, and the friends were great. Overall, it was a perfect picnic. I didn’t get nearly enough time with my girls this trip, but the time we did have, was full of laughs like always.

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