adventure

India Phase 0: Getting There

We were relatively packed and prepared the night before departure day– considering it was closely following our crazy family’s Christmas festivities. Leading up to departure day, my dad and I carefully scheduled our morning routine in order to arrive at the airport at the optimal time. We calculated the time we needed to get ready, pack the car, pick up Lars, and get to Dulles Airport in time for our 8am flight. In order to decrease the amount of my morning “get ready minutes,” I drew on my eyebrows the night before– with the hopes that they would remain in tact. Kayla laid out her plane outfit which included both utility gauchos and a well stocked fanny pack.

Kayla's Plane Outfit

With a few final permitherin sprays, last minute packing and medication preparations, we turned off the lights for a quick few hours of shut eye before our early departure.

Our 3am alpine start began on a good note. My eyebrows were intact, we all had our passports, and we backed out of the driveway just 7 minutes later than intended (a difference that fell well within our timeline cushion.)

As we turned the corner into Lars’s neighborhood, the Battery Charge indicator light turned on.

*Side note: The last time this light came on in my mother’s van, the van broke down on the side of the highway and my dad and I had to perform a rainy night roadside rescue.

Lars loads his bags into the car and we make it to the end of the street before turning back to switch vans. We didn’t want to take the chance of breaking down on our way up to Washington DC. So we decided to take the “trusty red van” instead.

*Side note #2: The red van has 252,000 miles on it. Despite the occasional need to pop the hood and unplug some wires, and the constant illuminated check engine light, it’s deservingly been named the “trusty red van.” It’s zig-zagged the country, coated the coasts and it’s continued survival has defied all odds.

So imagine the 4 of us, scrambling to unload our suitcases from the blue van and repacking them into the red van, while Kayla is hacking into the bushes of Lars’s front yard. Why was she sick? We don’t know. And we didn’t really ask because our van-switch was more important at the time. We had been wondering which of us was going to get sick first on this India trip– Kayla won (or lost) and got sick before we even got to india.

The whole van-switch hubabaloo set us back another 16 minutes. Although Papa and I didn’t account for a van-switch in our timeline, we still arrived at the airport in plenty of time.

phase0

The rest of the 24 hour journey was a blur of surprisingly yummy airplane meals, comical first-time flight attendants navigating their first big trip, and sister-synchronized Supergirl episodes.

Plane Napping

The five of us arrived in Delhi with 4/6 of our bags, and 15 days of adventure ahead of us.

Stay tuned for Phases 1-4.

 

 

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!

roadtrip1

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.

 

Lofoten Norway: Day One

leknes2

Lofoten is a stunning archipelago off of the northern coast of Norway. Maria, Margit and I made the trip to Leknes (an island near the southern tip of Lofoten) to visit our crazy cool Northern-Norwegian friend, Vigdis.

Boarding the plane!

Maria and I landed at the Leknes airport in the late morning. I use the word “airport” loosely because the runway is about the size of an american suburban driveway and the luggage belt is the size of a grocery store checkout counter.

Margit and Vigdis were due to arrive later that night so Maria and I had some time to kill. After hitching a ride into the center of town, we decided to explore. 6 minutes later, we deemed the town: explored. leknes3

While pondering what to do, we spotted a store that had a “Tourist Info” sign in the window. There was a guy (about our age) who was immediately eager to help us. We asked him for suggestions on what to do with the 5 hours we had left on our own. His response was basically: “Oh, you want to do something? You should probably go to the next town, Gravdal.”

Fast forward a few hours and we discover that the hospital is Gravdal’s greatest attraction. We decided to head back to Leknes and wait for our funny friends to arrive. Cups and cones of softis, (soft-serve ice cream, but 100% yummier), made the time fly by!