We are now here in Spain and Norway feels like a very long time ago, well not so long ago but definitely very far away. It has taken us 4 whole days on the road to get here (3753km). The drive was the one thing I was dreading about this trip, but there was no avoiding it, at some point in time we needed to do some serious driving if we were going to visit Scandinavia. But as I sit here soaking up the sun, sipping sangria, waiting for siesta time and eating, yes just eating -Norway was so insanely expensive eating was a luxury. I feel very much removed from our Norwegian experience, which was rainy, cool and there was definitely no money in the budget to allow for drinks. Although to be sure, I will never forget my time in Norway, a country of such beauty and grace that I'm stuck for words to adequately describe it.

We stayed in a small village north of Bergen, the area of Norway were you access the fjords. Our house sat high on the hill overlooking a small harbour at the mouth of a fjord. We watched the boats come and go up the fjord and enjoyed the most colourful of sunsets as the clouds rolled across the hills on the opposite side of the fjord. We would have been happy to just spend the week sitting on our deck.

The fjords are majestic, beautiful in that landscape way that you can almost not absorb. But it was the elements within this landscape that struck me, the wooden houses that cascade down the slopes into the fjords, the wedding we spied with guests dressed in traditional costumes, the churches so different from the elaborate catholic ones you see all over - these are timber, simple, with delicately carved alters and pews that sit quietly in the landscape- places for thought and reflection. We happen to be in town while the vintage boat festival was on so on returning from our cruise up the fjord we entered the harbour packed with old sailing boats, Viking ships being rowed by people traditionally dressed, old steam boats, even whaling vessels. It was an amazing spectacle to experience.

Unfortunately for Craig and his new camera the weather was a bit off while we were there, the rain doesn't appear to stop in Bergen and even the girl at the tourist office comment on how very strange it was that they had just had 2 weeks of nice weather.

Even as we made our reluctant retreat from Norway, it continued to delight us with its amazing beauty. We had planned to leave via the road we had come in on, through a network of staggering long tunnels (including the worlds longest at 25km long) which have been carved through the mountains that surround the fjords. Our journey was cut short by an explosion in one of the tunnels (only 11 km long) just before we arrived at it - we were running late because we had needed to go to Ikea on the way out of town to purchase not 1, but 2 lamps to replace ones the kids had broken the day before. What a blessing in disguise that was, otherwise we would have found ourselves in the middle of a terrifying experience. But I'm missing the point here, this resulted in us taking an alternate route south which saw us head up and over the Hardangervidda, an incredibly beautiful alpine plateau where we unexpectedly saw a glacier, Craig and I have seen them in South America and I'm absolutely thrilled the kids got the opportunity to see one, although I'm not sure they are quiet as excited about it as we were. Anyway Norway has delighted us, thrilled us and excited us ...... Wow.

  1. Cate pines for the Fjords
  2. Bryggen waterfront, Bergen
  3. Houses coming down to the water, Bergen
  4. Our apartment in Salhus from the water
  5. Houses on Salhusfjord
  6. Boats in the harbour, Land and Sea Festival, Bergen
  7. Boats in the harbour, Land and Sea Festival, Bergen
  8. Sunset from our balcony over Oster Fjord
  9. Kids on the balcony
  10. Inside Haakon's Hall, Bergen
  11. Prawns and fish curry at the Bergen Fish Markets
  12. The girls in Bryggen
  13. Will finally finds a Moose
  14. A river near Sognefjord
  15. Viking boat in Salhus Fjord