Thursday, August 15, 2013

Norwegian Fjord Trip!

**Originally posted August 6, 2013**

So I'm a super pasty Norwegian.  Both my Grampas are 100% Norwegian.  I have tapes that my Gram recorded when I was little of my Papa and I singing songs in Norwegian.  We have this fabulous weekend in my hometown called Nordicfest and my Papa and I would frolic around eating lefse and Vikings on a stick (a delicious ball of meat dipped in soft yet crispy batter and fried on a stick. Amazeballs.)  Basically, the Norwegian fjords have been calling my name since birth. Literally.

So when we found out that we were moving to England, this was the first trip on my list. Our cruise left out of Copenhagen, and made stops in Germany, Geiranger, Flam, Bergen and Oslo.  

In Copenhagen, the public transportation is very confusing.  We've never had problems in any other European City navigating the transport, but here, the terms metro/train/s-train are all interchangeable yet all go to different places.  We quickly ended up on a train in the middle of nowhere and I promptly descended into panic attack mode.  It's one of the few things that can still cause my heart rate to spike :/

Anywhoo, cruises are pretty awesome.  Amazing food is available at multiple locations at all hours of the day.  You get to dress up just for dinner.  Pools, saunas, balconies, spas, cigar rooms, pianists, cellists, violinists, you name it.  It's like Vegas on a boat.

The first stop was the furthest north, and the one I was looking most forward to, Geirangerfjord.  This is what I woke up to that first morning.  

I cried like a little bitch.  The epicness was overwhelming.  And the epicness continued, every inch of the way.  It's indescribable, really.  The size scale was incredible.  Endless waterfalls, endless greenery, majestic views and surroundings on all sides.

In Geiranger, we went kayaking.  And paddled right into a pod of porpoises.  JUMPING ALL AROUND US.  I nearly peed.  We were hoping they would come close enough to touch, but that fantasy never came to fruition.

Next was Flam, where the steepest train in the world resides, as well as the most badass Norse brewery EVER.  The beer was incredibly expensive (as is everything in Norway), and incredibly strong. And delicious.  The entire brewery was essentially carved out of a tree. It was rad.  We had a lovely hike through the hills and village as well.

Bergen is famous for its colorful fishing wharf.  This is where we got officially punched in the face by the strength of the Norwegian Krone.  1 banana = $10.  1 container of strawberries = $20.  1 salmon sandwich = $30.  1 pair of tights = $75.  1 pair of soft fuzzy earmuffs = $80.  MADNESS.  Thank god for the ship's endless buffet or we may have starved to death.

And then on to Oslo.  After Bergen, we were scared to even leave the ship for fear of going broke.  But we did of course, and Oslo has a beautiful harbor.  We even met two lovely art students who had just graduated from Italy and scored two kick ass oil paintings for our collection!

Back in Copenhagen, we were hot and sweaty and exhausted.  The Generator hostel in Copenhagen is immaculate.  Seriously the nicest, most well-designed hostel we've ever stayed in.  The food was delicious, the Carlsberg was cold, and the terrace was covered in squishy pillows.  It is also in a great location, right next to the Castle grounds and the Botanical Gardens (I love botanical gardens if you haven't noticed.)  So we took a lovely stroll through the gardens and grounds, went back to the hostel and had a tasty dinner and passed out.  

It was amazing in every sense of the word, but after 8 days, we were definitely ready to get home and cuddle with our furry babies!

Next trip on the docket is Garmisch, Germany and Edinburgh, Scotland!

So very grateful.

Note: To see ALL 366 pictures (madness) from this epic beautyfest, click HERE.