Norway

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.

Norway 2018… Coming Soon!

Four years ago, my Norwegian friends and I made a pact to see each other every summer. Our first summer after NF, Øyvind and Margit visited me in The States. We explored NYC, VA Beach, Richmond, and Washington DC.

The next summer, I travelled back to Norway and we adventured up to the northern archipelago, Lofoten.

Last summer Margit and Maria met me in British Columbia, Canada for an epic road trip out west to Whistler.

As this summer approached– the fourth summer since our year together– I became doubtful that another trip would happen. But alas– I made it back to Norway for a 15 day trip exploring the cities and catching up with as many friends as possible.

I have a couple more days here in Norway, but it’s way too sunny to stay inside and write blog posts… so pictures and posts will be coming soon!

Our trip to Å

“Å” is one of the three extra letters in the Norwegian alphabet, but it is also the name of a village that sits on the southern end of the Lofoten archipelago. Maria, Margit and I spent our third day in Lofoten on a road trip down to Å.

Unfortunately (or luckily) I don’t know how to drive a manual car, so I was simply along for the ride. Thanks for being my chauffeur, ladies!

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I spent the whole car ride with my camera around my neck, constantly asking them to slow down in order to capture a through-the-window shot of the stunning surroundings.

We made numerous pit-stops on our way down to Å, the first being at Ramberg Beach.

The next stop was in Sund, an area known for their welded bird sculptures. The museum required a ticket to enter, (which we didn’t pay for,) so I don’t know much more about it.

Shortly after Sund, we stopped to pick up a french hitch-hiker headed towards Å. He was more skeptical of us than we were of him, and he definitely didn’t catch our humor or sarcasm.

Although she was missed, we decided it was a good thing Vigdis didn’t join us on our road trip. She would have been annoyed with our constant car-stopping, photo-taking, and selfie-spinning selves. Margit had to run away from a seagull that decided to attack her in Reine, and almost fell off the rocks in Å, (pictured below.) We were tourists, and we weren’t trying to hide it.

Hiking up Skottinden

Our second day in Leknes began like most days, with bread, coffee, and laughs. While Vigdis was hard at work, Margit, Maria, and I walked to Leknessjøen (Leknes Lake) in complete awe of our surroundings. With every turn we were faced with a new landscape just as jaw-dropping as the last. We were reminded of just how small Leknes really is when we ran into the lady Maria and I hitch-hiked with the day before. After tanning (like Norwegians) by the lake, we headed back to prepare dinner.

Vigdis returned from work just in time for dinner. After loading up on food and coffee, we set out on our first hike up Skottinden. As you can see below, Skottinden is a steep mountain with unique shape that stands out from the landscape.

 

As we began our trip to the summit, I realized my legs weren’t quite as strong as they used to be.

I had trouble keeping up with the Norwegian mountain-goddesses… but I am going to blame it on the constant amazing views.

We carefully maneuvered past a hole of unknown depth, (that took the life of a woman back in 1994,) in order to reach the summit. As if the views during the hike weren’t jaw-dropping enough, the view from the top was spectacular.

We somehow managed to find enough room up there to dance, skip, and practice our headstands before heading back down the mountain.