About two years ago I was blessed with the opportunity to spend my summer in Norway with my best friend who is originally from there. Norway turned out to be the most beautiful place I had ever seen. It still is. With the rolling hills and open fields, the friendly and beautiful people, and the natural and fresh food, I knew it would be a trip that I was to remember for my entire life. Please note, the pictures in this post are only a few out of the hundreds I took. Let me take the time now to tell you that if you ever get the opportunity to go somewhere in Europe, please consider Norway. It won’t be a disappointment.
ALSO SORRY ABOUT THE SPACES BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS AND PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!
To get there you have to spend a total of about 10-11 hours on a plane. Leaving from Atlanta, you fly into Amsterdam. From there you get on a layover and fly into Oslo. Or well, that’s what we did. The airplane food was the worst thing I ate when I was there. The fish they gave us looked like mashed potatoes and the second choice was supposed to be steak but it looked like a brown loaf of substance. It’s also very hard to sleep on a plane when you’ve been sitting there for such a long time. You wind up gaining an extra day and don’t worry, the jet lag when you finally arrive at your destination will throw off your entire schedule. It’s so worth it though. When we finally landed in Oslo we took a Bullet Train to Lommedalen, a small “valley town” where my friend’s summer house was. After setting our stuff down we took a walk around the neighborhood. I couldn’t read the street signs which was a weird experience, but looking around me I saw I was surrounded with breathtaking beauty, and it finally hit me that I would be spending my summer in the amazing country of Norway.
In Norway everyone bikes. During the first couple days there, my friend and I decided to take a short bike ride down to the local grocery store so I could try some authentic Norwegian snacks. I was happily delighted with the tasty pastries and yummy tea I got to enjoy. After we ate, we biked around Lommedalen and I got to see where all her friends lived and I got to know the area. We passed by her friend’s house which would host a perfect party later in June, I didn’t know that yet though.
The food in Norway is much different than that of America. First off, all of their food is fresh and locally grown. You don’t find processed foods or fast food restaurants. The land isn’t littered with McDonalds or Wendys. Everywhere is natural and you can taste the difference in the food when you try your first bite of something. Iste became my favorite brand of tea, and treats such as Bolas and Wheetos became my favorite foods. Every night my friend and I would sit and eat a piece of bread with natural honey on it. The bread there isn’t like the bread we find at a local grocery store. For them, the normal bread is much like bread we would bake at home. It’s thick and fresh and delicious. I didn’t have anything I didn’t like for the entire time I was there. Each dish or treat I tried was a burst of flavor in my mouth, and almost everything I tried became something I craved when I got back to America. It’s still like that today.
One excursion we took was to the Fjords. My friend’s grandparents owned a moderately large boat, so we went out in the afternoon and ate dinner on the water. It was so beautiful. The water was clear and the mountains and forests were gorgeous. Expensive and elaborate houses lined the water in certain areas and we all had fun picking out where we would have liked to live. The boat we were on had a kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms. It was incredibly nice, and added to the pricelessness of the trip. My friend and I found ourselves lounging on the deck talking and taking in the sights almost the entire time. We wound up falling asleep on the deck after dinner and we woke up with the most hideous tan lines. We could only laugh and continue enjoying our time.
Another trip we took was to Sweden. It was a three hour cruise by boat away. At first we drove some way to her aunt and uncles house. My friend and I slept outside in a separate little cabin from the house. It was fun. After that we drove the rest of the way to the boarding area for the cruise boat. A few hours later we got off in Sweden. We checked into our hotel and went to a pizza place. Here I encountered one of the most frustrating experiences I had. The language barrier had been difficult to deal with, but when I couldn’t order my own food, I felt degraded and I wanted to cry. I held it together though, and cheered up when I got to enjoy a tasty pizza.
My friend’s relatives owned a cabin, much like everyone in Norway owns. We spent a few nights there during the summer too. The spacious cabin was nestled in the woods by a lake. The natural beauty was an unexpected delight.
As it was my first time there, we also did touristy stuff. We took a trip to the Kon Tiki museum along with the Fram museum. A couple times we went to downtown Oslo and shopped around. We went to the Royal Palace and the Folk museum as well. The Folk museum was my favorite because it wasn’t like a generic museum. It was all outdoors and it was set up to represent walking through the different time periods in Norway history. It was fun and very interactive. They even had live animals to feed and pet. I felt like a little kid again. On the Fourth of July we headed down Vigelandsparken/Frognerparken or Frogner Park. It’s famous for all the statues it has. Here some of the famous sights we came across were statues such as The 14-meter high Monolith. It can be interpreted into many things, but I took it as mans struggle. Another sight was the central bridge with abundant sculptures of naked men. Some of the young locals nicknamed it the Bridge of Dicks. One of the statues is a crying baby. It’s famous for it’s trying story of theft and the loss of an arm. The odd statue stands proud in its selected spot for tourists to view. They were throwing a festival for the Fourth but we didn’t stay long for that. We had our own celebration we were having back at my friend’s house to get home to.
One of my favorite days was when we took a scenic car ride. We drove through the open fields of Norway and we all sat silently in the car as we enjoyed the views. It was absolutely stunning. There weren’t buildings everywhere and the air was crisp and clean. The grass and trees were a vivid green and there were little to no people. It was like being in a completely different world. I found it as a blissful solitude. It was something I’d never forget.
Overall the entire trip was memorable. I met so many friends and saw so many things people my age have never seen. I got to experience true culture shock, language barriers, and a six hour time difference to get used to. It was worth every struggle I encountered.
On the way back we missed our layover flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta because our flight to Amsterdam ran late. I missed home so much and when I heard that we wouldn’t be going home for another day, I sat for five minutes and bawled. We had no luggage or place to stay so the airport had to provide for us. We stayed in a hotel where we ate a nice dinner with a very friendly waitress. It turned out to not be horrible, and looking back on it now, I’m glad it happened. We finally made it back home and I was greeted with a classic Georgia sunset.
If any of you want more pictures ( I have a ton more, including more pictures of the different foods and sights!) or would like to know anything else please comment below! There’s a lot I didn’t cover in this post and I’d be more than happy to share information about this trip.