In 1994 when my family went to Epcot my brother and I each got to pick one country to visit and with zero hesitation I chose Norway. It was cool, and amazingly I still remember it pretty clearly… it's probably the only thing I remember about 1994 besides the next part of the story. The next fall the whole fourth grade class had to choose a country to do a project about for "country fair". No country could be picked twice and you got to choose when your name got pulled from a hat. The entire fourth grade classes' names in a hat! That was like… 100 kids. As I nervously sat there willing my name to be called all the other kids picked off the usual suspects; England, Canada, Ireland, Brazil… I was afraid someone would pick Norway because in my mine why wouldn't they?! But lucky me got my Norway even considering I wasn't called until near the end. That day I went home and up to the (scary) third floor where my mom's set of Encylopædia Britannica was, sat on the floor right there and cracked it open. I so, so clearly remember everything about it, right down to the rug I sat on and what that book smells like. Literally the second I saw a picture of the fjords, and struggled to figure out how you would say it out loud, I wanted to go there. I think I even remember where on the page the black and white pic of the fjords was; top left of the left page. Clearly it left a huge impression. My project ruled, I even went to the library. Oh 1994.
Wanting to go to Norway was the longest standing desire of my life. No joke. All the usual "I want to do this someday" things hadn't occurred to me yet, like getting a puppy or owning a house or falling in love. Nope, wanted to go to Norway. And it was also the one desire I still thought was the most inaccessible and unlikely. Like if you don't want to go to Oslo, where do you aim it? It's a huge country! And the airfare. Yikes. So fast forward to a few weeks ago. I land in England and Db goes to work the next day and we have this conversation via text out of absolutely nowhere;
he - "You want to go to Norway wed-thurs?"
me - "Like, the day after tomorrow?"
he - "Yep. We could take the weekend. Look up Stavanger."
Hahaha, BEST WORK TRIP EVER. So I tagged along on his business trip and my dream life became real life for a few days. Enough story time! It was absolutely amazing and there are far too many pictures! I literally cried tears of joy on the ferry through the fjords, I still can't believe it was real. We would both go back in a second.
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For more pics, read more >>>
^^^ Got into Stavanger at 11:30pm. Db had to go to work on track, so I decided to walk around to find shampoo and the ocean. I stumbled upon this, a whole big neighborhood of this. Real people live in these houses, it was amazing. And yes, this is what 11:30pm looks like in Norway in the summer.
^^^ Neither of us had ever heard anyone say anything good about Norwegian food, but that's probably just because we've never known anyone that's actually been. This was the lunch special of the day. The waitress almost apologized for it when she was describing it because it wasn't standard tourist fare I guess. Db ordered it and it was so good! The potato balls were amazing. All the food we had in Norway was great.
^^^ So cool. They played some really fun music.
^^^ Where Santa lives, a little island in the fjords.
^^^ On the ferry to Tau, the FJORDS! I can't believe it, it was so beautiful. Then in Tau we took a bus to the start of the hike up to Preikestolen.
^^^ Hiking up to Preikestolen with unicorn socks over here.
^^^ This is clearly my dream world. It is also my new phone wallpaper. No wonder they thought trolls and magic were real, this place has a notable cool energy.
^^^ PREIKESTOLEN! It was so, so tall and straight down. Really truly impressive. We sat dangling our feet over the edge while eating cookies with little reindeer on them and taking shots of Norwegian schnapps. We sat there just staring in awe for a good 15 minutes. I would have stayed there all day, it was awesome, the correct use of awesome.
^^^ Us and FJORDS.
^^^ No tripping allowed.
^^^ On the way down we went for a swim in little a lake we'd walked past on the way up. It was full of orange peat and cold and clear until we messed up the bottom. How often do you get to hike to something so beautiful AND get to go impromptu swimming in a mountain lake? I appreciated the living shit out of this entire day.
^^^ Midnight over Stavanger Port. I hope I'm lucky enough to go back to Norway someday.