Category Archives: Norway

THE road-trip: Bergen – Oslo – Bergen, in many ways more challenging than expected!

IMG_8460We started the trip Thursday, around 11. We used Google-map to get the fastest route: To Voss, the new bridge in Hardanger, over Hardangervidda and Geilo and then to Oslo. It said 6,5 hours non-stop driving and we used around 7,5 hours with some small stops and 30 min. traffic-jam to get from the outskrit of Oslo to the hotel.

Hardangervidda, on the way to Oslo

Hardangervidda, on the way to Oslo

It was easy to use Google-map, both during the road-trip, but also when driving in Oslo. Although there were some road-works, actually quite many, the Google-map recalculated fast and efficient. I have a cheap internet-plan on my phone, but another excellent thing with Google-map is that if you load the map and direction when you have internet, you can turn off the mobile-network, and it will still remember and use tha map!

I drove the most, unless 1,5 hours in the middle. It was surprisingly how much faster the time went on when driving myself than when I am a passenger! Because we were eager to come to Oslo we didn’t stop to get any pictures, just a few. I planned to use more time on the return to take pictures and have a relaxing trip as I knew I would be on my own and needed more stops.

I was relieved when we arrived to Oslo and I had managed to drive that far without getting a migraine and my body seemed to have managed well. For a strange reason I had forgotten that my illness works like this: “Do whatever you want to do, I’ll punish you after”. And this was what happened. The weekend ended in an endless migraine-attack. Luckily the medicine worked Saturday evening and I went to a great party celebrating my brothers birthday, dancing and socializing the whole evening! However, I didn’t do any sight-seeing and the only pictures I got was from the hotel…. Well.. That’s life as a sick traveler, I should get used to it!

On the way from Bergen to Oslo, in the end of the trip, we heard strange noises from the brakes of the car. The strange noises continued while we were in Oslo, and they even seemed to get worse. I spoke to several people who knows more about cars than I do (I know nothing…) and they all said the car should be safe to drive home, I should just be careful to use a low gear instead of using the brakes when going down from Hardangervidda, down Måbødalen to Eidfjord. Note that Hardangervidda is the highest mountain plateau in Norway….

I thought about postponing my return and get the car fixed in Oslo, but because I really wanted to go home, I decided to drive.

The main-reason why I wanted to go home was because my son moved to Tromsø the day I returned back to Bergen. I have been quite cool about his move so wasn’t at all prepared to be Mrs. Sad-Sam, but I was…. We are used to travel both with and without him and we are also used to him traveling alone, and I have never been sad about this.

It’s embarrassing to say, but I cried all night and saying goodby was so much harder than I had thought. Needless to say, I wanted to get home and being alone in the car!

I started the return at 10 and the first two hours went well (sobbing and cried my eyes out…). At 12.30 I was tired, had an aching neck and wondered how I would survive the rest of the trip… However I then decided to press myself and take a longer rest at Geilo, around 13.30, but at 13.15 I felt the urge to let the coffee out so stopped at a bus-shred and went back. After all, although there were a bus-stop, I was in the middle of nowhere and I’m from Norway: We are used to use the nature when the nature calls! (Wearing a skirt is a must on a road-trip!)

Unfortunately I am not good in recognizing the Norwegian fauna and I didn’t know I had been in the middle of a meadow of nettles before I returned to the car! Luckily I hadn’t put my behind in the nettles, but my left leg stinged and hurted a lot! I think my body was pumped with adrenaline because I woke up quite quick and didn’t feel the need to stop at Geilo! I rushed past it and over Hardangervidda.

Because I was eager to get past Måbødalen I didn’t stop at Hardangervidda either and started to climb down Måbødalen on the second gear. The brakes made very loud noises and I think I got a new “dose” with adrenaline at this point. I think I drove in 40 km/h, but was so scared I didn’t dare to drive faster! When I got the the end I was so relieved, happy and full of adrenaline that I didn’t feel for a break. I drove to Voss, had a small break and came back home at 17.30.

The trip from Oslo to Bergen is spectaculare and I wished I had taken pictures. Next time! (BUT I will not drive all the way myself! I have proven to myself that I can do it…. )

A Norwegian summerhouse full of memories

IMG_7873This weekend has been great with nice weather, my brother and his family coming over from Oslo and a visit to our summerhouse at the island, Askøy, only 30 min. with car from where we live.

IMG_7945When I was a little girl I used to stay at the summerhouse with my parents and my grandparents and I remember that the weather was always warm and sunny. (For a strange reason my childhood weather was like this: Sun in the summer, snow in the winter. However I think it’s more selective memory than a reflection of reality!) My grandmother used to make thin slices of white bread with lots of butter, tomatoes and eggs for breakfast (my grandfarthers usual breakfast) and, because the weather was always nice, we had breakfast outside in the sun.

IMG_7907In the mornings it could be chilly after the night, but a t-shirt and a skirt was all I needed as I knew it would be warmer during the day. However it was cold on the ground and I can still imagine the feeling when my small feet tip-toed in the wet, cold grass, waiting for the sun to be warmer.

We sun-bathed all day and sometimes had a bath in the sea (I do recall it was cold, however it feels much more cold today) and the days were long and lazy. My brother and I used to play in the surroundings. (Correct: He played and bossed me around, nevertheless it is yet a fond memory, so it couldn’t have been that bad!)

IMG_7820On the “roof” of the “potatoe-cellar” (not sure what it is called in English, but it was a cellar where they used to keep the potatoes in the old days. Under the WW2 it was used as a shelter for my mothers family when Bergen was bombed…) we had our own little castle. We made weapons out of wood and a flag. I am not sure if the flag on the picture is ours or if it is my sons from when he was a toddler, but there is a flag on the castle today! Now the cellar is marked as a cultural heritage.

IMG_7938For a strange reason we didn’t use to fish a lot, at least from what I recall, but my son has fond memories from fishing from the dock when he used to stay at the summerhouse with my parents. He still likes to go fishing and so he did in the weekend. His two younger cousins followed after him!

I assosiate the summerhouse with flowers. Mostly because I was extrememely allergic, but also because of the strong colors and the sweet smell of summer. Luckily I have “grown away” (hehe) from the grass/flower allergy and can now enjoy the summer with all my senses.

IMG_7941 The sun rises early in the summermonths, around 4’ish I think, and it goes down… late. Yesterday it was still up at 11 pm.! It’s difficult to go to bed when the sun is still up, so my brother and I never managed to sleep before quite late in the summernighst. I think most parents in Norway still have this problem when it comes to getting the children to bed in June and July. It feels so wrong to go to bed when it’s still close to daylight outside!

When I was young I never saw the beauty in the Norwegian nature, at least I never appreciate it as I do now. Bringing foreign guests to the summerhous now makes me extremely proud of  my country. Everything  is so very typical Norwegian and most foreigners will say it’s spectacular and pictureseque at the same time. Maybe because of the Norwegian nature and the story behind the house?

 

 

 

Bergen, *my* city!

This is Bryggen, one of the most famous tourist-attractions in Bergen.

This is Bryggen, one of the most famous tourist-attractions in Bergen.

First of all I want to say a warm welcome to all my new, international followers! Because of you I thought I wanted to introduce my own city, Bergen. I usually never do “touristic- things” in Bergen, but I will try to do it during the summer-time.

Unfortunately I have never stayed at any hotel in Bergen and not sure if I ever will do, but if any hotel (or restaurant) want me to review them, please contact me!

The best time to visit Bergen is during the spring- or summertime. Bergen is famous for being the most rainy city on the planet (close to, at least), but in May, June, July or August you can be lucky to see the big, yellow ball in the sky! It’s said that Bergen is the most beautiful city in the world, when the sun is shining, and I think I have to agree.

Bergen has mountains, a lot, in fact 7 mountains very close. This is the reason why it’s raining. However, if you like to hike/walk in the mountains (no matter if it’s raining or not) you should come and visit Bergen. 2 of the mountains can also be reached for this who don’t like to walk!

We have Floeybanen – a funicular that will take you to… yes, you are right.. Floeyen. From there you can take walks in the mountains or you can just have a view over the city. There is a cafe, a souvenir-shop and a restaurant on the top. I have had a conference-dinner at the restaurant, and it was great. This was before I got all my allergies, so I don’t know how they handle people with allergies. What I know is that both the funicular and the area on the top is made for wheel-chair users. (It has been tested!)

If you want to get higher up, you can take the cable-car Ulriksbanen. You have to take a bus from the city-center, but if you like cable-cars you should do it! I have done it once, many, many years ago, but don’t like height, so you will not get a further review from me about the cable-car.  🙂

For more about Bergen, stay tuned!