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


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.

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.


Preseason: Mountain Style

Those of you who have had the joy of enduring Coach Snead’s preseason know that by the end of the week you are feeling all sorts of things. You are most likely struggling to walk. You’re a little bit bitter, both at yourself for slacking off all summer and at the humid Virginia air. Yesterday I returned to school from what can be considered a “preseason” trip. The three-day hike acted as a season opener; a warm up for many adventures to come. And now, much like the end of the first week of hockey, I am feeling incredibly tired. Although my butt doesn’t hurt quite as much as it would from hockey, pretty much everything else does. Sleeping in the cold with rocks under my back can be compared to the morning after the first lift with Adam: extremely uncomfortable. There are differences between preseason and this hike though: the view while scaling the side of a waterfall is a lot cooler than the view of the parking lot during a set of 15’s. And instead of trying to cool off while Coach Snead made us run in circles, we often opted to run in circles with hopes of warming up. Taking off those repulsive shin guards on Friday is a sign that you conquered your first week of hockey. It’s accompanied with a feeling of great accomplishment. That feeling is 100% intensified while on the top of a mountain. It’s hard to justifiably describe the amazing feeling of looking down at the ground you’ve just covered and the heights you’ve just climbed.

On the first day of the trip my teacher, Janie Therese, led my Aktivitet 1 class to a place called Styggvantna. The trek was almost as complex as the name itself. After a few hours of hiking we stopped to eat the first (of four) lunches we had packed for ourselves. The first day proved to be the ultimate trust-building experience. What better way to learn to trust someone than allowing them your hand as you leap across rushing white water?

Day two began by packing up camp. We then made the hike to Haugen, the meeting place for all classes. This hike wasn’t as steep or narrow but still not a stroll. We hiked over a mountain in Vidstøylsegga which is where we ran into snow. Once over that mountain we hiked through marshy land in order to reach Haugen. The rest of the school gradually arrived and began setting up their tents. This time Øyvind, Harold, Anne Katrine, Frida and I set up our tent in a spot without any rocks. Learning from our mistakes. After eating we sang songs around the fire. Ylva (my roomate) and I loved that…(pure sarcasm.) We then played Tissetrengt in the dark which Anne Katrine and I won. Try typing that one into google translate. Oh translating snafus… have to love them.

Day three started off on a good note. I woke up from a very nice night sleep. My sleeping bag is proving to be up for the challenge of keeping me warm. After packing up our tent we split into groups depending on which course we preferred to take home. Ylva and I chose the tour that took us to an area called Langedals and then our final destination, Tungelia. From Tungelia we collapsed into a van that drove us around the fjord, through Sundane, and back to school.

When we returned to the school we ate dinner. Ylva and I then proceeded to sit in our beds for 4 hours trying to recover from our first trip. It helped that we had buckets of candy.