Western Fjords Wonderland

Trip Start Oct 13, 2008
Trip End Dec 15, 2008

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Where I stayed
Nancy`s House

Flag of Norway  , Western Fjords,
Sunday, November 2, 2008

Last night I slept for 12 hours straight. Horizontally, on a real bed, with a real pillow and it was fantastic. Not to mention when I woke up I looked out the window and remembered I am on an island in the Norwegian Fjords looking out at the North Sea. Norway has had the most beautiful landscaping and scenery thus far on my trip. It is breathtaking, and after living in Alabama for 4 years I forgot how beautiful fresh snow covered mountains can really be. Last night at Amanda's Mom's second cousin's house, they treated us to a real Norwegian meal. We had meatcakes, potatoes, and vegetables. Then, like I mentioned, I slept all night.

This morning when we woke up we had bacon, eggs, toast, and coffee for breakfast and then we all went to into town (Bergen). It takes about 35 to 40 minutes inland to get there after we cross the bridge out of the island.

The first place we went was the famous fish market! Since it is nearing winter it isn't nearly as large as it can be, but I am pretty sure the fish we saw stay that large year round! I also saw some disturbing fish that I am not sure what they were. I saw the largest cod I have ever seen. I suppose that isn't saying much because I don't really look at too many cods :) I also had a sample of a yummy shrimp and I tried caviar for the first time! An orange trout one, the black one (how I normally picture it), an trout pasty one, and then 2 others. I really liked one of them but 2 of them were way too salty.

From the fish market we walked into the meat market, that was preparing for the Christmas season (Julens). Here the traditon is lamb and sheeps head. There were a lot of sheeps heads (eyes and all) hanging from the ceiling. A little bit disturbing. There was every single part of a pig imaginable on there too. Even their poor little legs and hooves.

From the meat market we went to the Floibanen funicular. It is a lift that takes you to the top of Mount Floyen. Wonderful views. On the lift on the way up there was a guy from Harrisonburg! He lived there as a child and went to Spotswood Elementary. Once again reminding us how small the world can really be.

After we took a lot of great pictures we headed back through the town. We walked through the Bryggen wharf, where there are 900 year old wooden buildings that are so old you can see how they are slanting in various directions and kind of sinking into the ground. German merchants set up trade in Bryggen originally in the 14th century and a lot of the history in Bergen has to do with the Germans being there.

We also went to Mariakirken, also known as St. Mary's (Miss you Jen!!) Church. It is the oldest building in Bergen still in use and one of the most outstanding Romanesque churches in the country, it was also used by the Germans while they were there.

Then we went to see Hakons Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower which is where the Royal Family has banquets in Bergen. The hall was built in the 13th century and the tower was built later on for defense, there are places for cannons all along the inside!

We had lunch at a restaurant connected to the Bergen Kuntsmuseum called Bolgen & Moi. I had fantastic Trond Mois Fiskesuppe! (Fish chowder). There was shrimp, salmon, and mussels in it, with a creamy orangeish soup sauce that was yummy. The exhibit at the museum was actually a Picasso one, that is on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in NY. One of the exhibitons in the Louvre was also a Picasso and Delacroix exhibit. Ansel Adams' 'Rose and Driftwood' is also there.

Now we are back at Nancy's house and they are serving us a fish dinner and I am very excited because I love seafood!! Also, there is a glacier that you can see from Nancy's house, but I don't think we will go there because they say every year they read in the newspaper about how a tourist died while on the glacier trying to take a picture and the glacier moves and they get buried alive or a quick frozen ice death.

It isn't too cold here. Ireland felt colder, but that is because we didn't buy a heavy jacket until our last day in Ireland. We are glad we did though because we would not have survived here without it. The one I bought is this adorable off white wool baby doll jacket with big black buttons. I wear it with a black scarf and it is so cute, I love it!

Now I am sitting in Nancy's house, we just finished dinner, a wonderful salmon dish with some kind of Swedish sauce, potatoes, and a vegeable medley. We had a few glasses of wine and discussed Norwegian social policies.. it is raining, and very dark, Amanda and I were so surprised when it becomes dark at 4 in the afternoon and is still dark when you wake up in the morning, and they told us about northern Norway where it is completely dark for four months out of the year.. I could not imagine. I am not sure what we are doing tomorrow, but Nancy and her husband are wonderful hosts.

Hope everyone is doing well :)
Love you all
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