Stunning Norway!

Trip Start Jan 22, 2013
Trip End Jun 03, 2013

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Flag of Norway  , Western Fjords,
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hello again! As I write to you we are on the train from Bergen to Oslo in Norway, where we are planning to catch a plane from Oslo to Berlin, Germany. We've had an amazing week in Norway looking at the most beautiful scenery.

To start off with, Norway wasn't the country I was most excited about visiting. I hate feeling cold (good one, Christina, going to Europe in Winter), and there wasn't anything that I really thought would be great about Norway. I really only went because it was Steve's 30th birthday yesterday and as his birthday present I had said we could go anywhere, and he chose Norway. A random choice, I thought, but it's his birthday and so I went along. Well, turns out I was completely wrong! Norway is absolutely beautiful and I am so glad we went here.

We did a cruise down the coast of Norway, from Tromso to Bergen, for four nights. A bit luxurious because it was a birthday present (let's just say it blew the daily budget a little! Cheap backpackers from now on to make up for it!) There were heaps of retirees on the boat so there was plenty of room in the bar and you never had to wait for service. Sadly though, everything was SUPER expensive - Norway is really expensive wherever you go - but the spectacular views made up for it.

I'm not sure if the photos I took really reflect how stunning the scenery was, but hopefully they give you a little idea of how spectacular it was. (I took enough photos, so you should get the idea ;-) Sorry about that.) Most of the four days was spent sitting down looking at the scenery (as well as using the wi-fi - we are human, after all). The boat did stop a fair bit and we got off to have a look around, although not all the places were touristy as the boat also doubles as a shipping boat. One place we got off was the Magic Ice museum, which was cool - lots of ice sculptures and an ice bar. Another time we got off to go to a little bar in one town at night, thinking maybe we could mix with the locals. Well, boy were we wrong. We paid an exorbitant amount for cocktails, where the girl behind the bar had to ring her boss to ask how to make the ones on the menu, and Steve had the worst mojito in the world (I think it was worse than the Bloody Christina I invented a few years back). I can't believe he drank it (and didn't ask for his money back), but he is a lot nicer than me. Oh and the bar was empty - when we walked in a local band was practising, but they left soon after we arrived. That's not to say that all of Norway is boring - when we arrived in Tromso, where the sun goes down at 3pm, and it is freezing - all these older people came out to the bar at 10pm on a weeknight for a drink! They were still there when we left at midnight. Tromso, I like the way you party! I don't know how they live with such limited sunlight in winter - about 6 hours a day of daylight - but then again, maybe they drink to make up for it!

The other thing we were hoping to see in Norway was the Northern Lights. Being very elusive, we weren't sure whether we would see them or not, particularly as people who had been on the boat longer than us hadn't seen them. However, we saw them! I don't know if they were the best Northern Lights out, it was just kind of a very pale greeny/white band across the sky, but we saw them! Unfortunately our limited camera skills meant that every shot we took of them turned out black, despite us googling how to capture them at the very last minute. (What is that saying about planning to fail again?) Apparently you need a tripod (and probably a better camera) to get a good shot of them. Oh well. The people around us got some great shots, so maybe they'll mail us a copy?

Yesterday we got off the boat and spent the night in Bergen, the second biggest city in Norway. Bergen is such a good looking city - cute houses everywhere, with spectacular scenery all around. And good looking people everywhere! I really think Norway has a higher proportion of good looking people to anywhere I have been so far - beautiful leggy blondes with great skin, bone structure and beautiful features. Definitely a very good looking country.

Yesterday was also Steve's birthday so we went out for a huge lunch/early dinner at a Thai restaurant (as you do in Norway), had a drink in a bar and then had some supermarket drinks and snacks in our hotel room to save money because Norway can really break the budget!

That's about all for now - looking forward to some cheap beers in Berlin!

Love to you all!

Ps. again, apologies for the millions of photos of scenery in Norway - just couldn't help myself ;-)
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