Lily Comes to Visit!
** Warning ** This post is really long so if you want to just skim for the pictures that may be advisable. I apologize but thank you for reading anyway.
So after having been here in Norway alone for awhile my beautiful girlfriend Lily came and gave me a visit. She is an elementary school teacher and had a week off for their spring break. Even though it was only for about a week (3/22 -3/28) I was so excited to have my best friend come and be with me, and we tried to cram as much activity into the trip as possible. A lot happened and we took a lot of pictures so I will try my best to include everything and talk about what happened along the way.
First lily had to get here. All in all her flight took over 24 hours because we found a cheap flight :D. Thankfully Lily was a good sport about it. Gainesville FL > JFK > London Heathrow > Bergen.
|Once she got to JFK the international plane arrived!|
|Goodbye NYC USA.|
|Somewhere over the UK.|
Meanwhile I was running around Bergen getting ready for Lily to arrive and running errands. It was a beautiful day and I had to take some pictures of the town just to capture it. I was really hoping the weather would hold up for Lily when she got here but the forecast wasn't looking good.
|At the lake in the center of the city facing northeast towards Mount Ulriken.|
|Same lake with some insta filters automatically applied by google. Thanks google.|
The morning lily was arriving in the Bergen airport I took a taxi and got there early. While I was waiting I got some coffee at the cafe in the arrival section of the airport right outside of the international arrival section.
|Had to take a picture and send it to her parents to let them know she landed safely!|
|Our cab driver on the way back was from South Sudan. He was a political refuge and the Norwegian government let him obtain residency.|
After we got back from the airport we were able to relax and crack into some wine and rest up. We needed to rest up because I surprised Lily with a trip to Oslo starting the next day! The trip is an organized trip called Norway in a Nutshell by Fjord Tours. The link for it can be found here. The trip would take us from Bergen to Oslo, stay a day in Oslo, and back to Bergen. We would take trains, buses, and ferries on our journey and see some pretty cool places along the way. The trip all in all is a little touristy but there really is no better way to cram a lot of stuff in, in a short amount of time. It was recommended by many Norwegians and since Lily was only going to be here for a week we wanted to get as much in as possible.
Norway in a Nutshell day 1!
The day started off with a train ride from Bergen to Voss. It was a raining morning so the good weather had already gone away.
|Got on the train! We had to avoid several high school aged girls with skiing gear to get to our seats haha.|
|As you can see it started off to be a rainy day. We didn't let it dampen our spirits and it paid off because it turned out to be a very nice day.|
|Once we arrived in Voss it already started to turn to better weather.|
Bus Trip and GudvangenOnce the train arrived in Voss we only had 15 minutes to make it to the bus that was going to take us on our next segment of the trip. So there wasn't time to look around much. Interesting side note about Voss is that it is the extreme sports capital of Norway. Lots of parajumping etc....
|The bus however was parked right next to the big lake in Voss which is quite a nice site.|
|Church in voss.|
|An example of a waterfall along the way. These sights are pretty common in Norway due to melting snow and high cliff faces.|
|Some houses tucked away into the Norwegian hill sides.|
|Bus ride had some fellow American toursits on it and you can see a frozen lake in this picture.|
|You can see how tall and steep some of these mountains are formed by glaciers and rivers.|
|Close up view.|
|Made it to Gudvangen! Was raining when we got there.|
|OMG I'm in Norway!|
|Cool pedestrian bridge near the tavern.|
|View from the pedestrian bridge. Such beautiful mountains, if only the sun was out a little more.|
|Look at how clear this water is! Sure didn't want to take a swim though haha.|
|Lily contemplating it.|
|Got our American tourist friends from Minnesota to oblige in taking a photo of us.|
|Ferry for scale.|
Oh yeah there was this while we were waiting for the ferry. First Avalanche I have ever witnessed I believe. Lily will probably hate me for sharing this video because she sounds a little freaked out haha. Its also a little hard to see, but you can still hear it. I caught the tail end of it too.
On the Ferry!
The ferry was to bring us from Gudvangen to Flåm along a fjord while seeing some really great views. We got to see small fishing villages and beautiful landscapes along the way. The ferry had a cafe that you could order food and beverage at. It had a covered area to stay out of the rain and you could also go out onto the main deck to take some great photos. I will just mainly let you scroll through the beautiful photos that we took at your leisure. This part of the trip hands down is what makes it worth it. I mean why else do you go to Norway but to see the fjords.
|Start our trip to Flåm|
|Brought the Soco along with us along with some snacks. We ordered a coke and made a mixed drink in my water bottle. We were booze cruising Norwegian style.|
|Lily taking a photo of me while discretely trying to make our mixed drink.|
|You can see a hint of a rainbow. What a beautiful day!|
|Wind in our faces|
|No cruise shit? we were confused by this one haha.|
Once we made it to Flåm we had plenty of time to wander around and explore. Maybe 2.5 hrs? While here we got some food and drink, and did a little bit of touristy shopping.
|Courtesy of lily. In a Flåm gift shop.|
|Ægir beer is very good and you should try to get your hands on it if you can.|
|Waiting for our train to Myrdal!|
Flåm to Myrdal railway.
Next portion of our journey was from Flåm to Myrdal. It is a special rail line that runs between those two towns.
We then got to a point on the rail line where they stop the train and you can get out and take some photos.
|It was a waterfall but it is kinda hard to tell from this photo.|
Myrdal to Oslo
Once in Myrdal we transfered back onto the main country rail lines and had the remainder of the day one trip on that train. We got to take some more great photos as the sun was setting and appreciate the long day we just had.
|Waiting for the train in Myrdal|
|Ski Lift near Geilo at night.|
|Ski Lift two|
The rest of the train ride was pretty dark and when we got into Oslo we just made it to our hotel as passed out. It was a long day of travelling and we got in kinda late.
Norway in a Nutshell day 2
We got to spend day 2 all to ourselves in Oslo. Free reign. We had the plan to go get our Oslo pass which gave us access to public transit and museums and go wherever we desired. Well that was what Lily thought the plan was. I also had another surprise in store for this trip and as Lily later found out I had planned to propose :D. I will document the proposal in my next blog post so for this one I will stick to our touristy activities.
|Grabbing breakfast at the hotel before starting our day.|
|Cool old church on our way to pick up our Oslo pass|
|While we were lost looking for the Oslo visitor center took a picture in front of city hall.|
|The national theater.|
|One of the main square next to the national theater.|
|The royal palace.|
|A statue of King Christian out front|
|Close up of the palace.|
|Lily taking surprise shots of me while pulling out the map haha|
|A view looking back at the city|
|They have guards marching back and forth. Not as famous as Buckingham Palace but still cool.|
On our walk back to the Train station to pick up the Oslo Pass.
|University of Oslo|
|Great view of a typical street in Oslo|
|Public ice skating rink|
|National Parliament. There were actually protests going on out front. We had no idea what they were about, but there was TV there.|
|Main street in Oslo.|
|A view of Karl Johans Gate|
|Great visit must see.|
|These must be some high rent condos|
|More high rent living|
|Aker Brygge district. Used to be old shipping warehouses.|
|FDR statue outside of the fortress.|
|Site of my Proposal.|
|Another view from in-front of FDR.|
|View from the fortress|
|Close up of the fortress. Still used as a military office building today.|
|That tall curvy building way in the back... thats the ski jump from the 1994 Oslo winter Olympics|
|Is this where the jail was??|
|Inside the fortress|
|The WWII National Resistance museum was really good and worth the visit for anyone that is interested in WWII history. Wish I had take more photos. Cause I just ended up with a swastica on a map lol.|
|View from the fortress as the sun is starting to go down.|
Views from the top.
|The walk up|
|Got to go inside. Just not inside the actual performance hall.|
|I dont normally take pictures of urinals but these were pretty frickin cool.|
|Same with the bathroom stall doors.|
|From inside the building|
|Coat rack room|
|Inside the building|
After that we went back to the hotel room and took a little nap before going out to dinner.
|View from the Hotel room.|
|Beer specials of the day|
|Had to try the Ægir beer again|
|Beautiful bride to be.|
Norway in a Nutshell day 3The 3rd day was simply a 7 hour train ride back from Oslo to Bergen. But it was simply beautiful and worth it if you want to see A LOT of country side in a short time. Plus its cheap.
|Was snowing in the morning before we left.|
|High up in the mountains|
|That's somebody's cabin|
|You can see how some of these houses are built in really peculiar places.|
|Frozen dock in a fjord or lake|
|Ski slopes that were lit up on our ride into Oslo.|
|What a ride!|
|Outside the train station in Bergen. We made it!|
|Dusk in Bergen|
Lily took the remainder of these from her travels in Bergen. I had to work a bit so she got to go exploring without me. I did get to join her a few times for food. I will say this... Lily has quite the eye for good photographs. Enjoy and sorry for the long post :) Thanks for reading.
|Never too far north for good Louisana Creole.|
|Bryggen historic old warf district.|
We had such an amazing visit and I was so glad I was able to share this experience with the woman I love the most. Stay tuned for the engagement post!