Posts tagged Norway
The World's Most Beautiful Jacuzzi - The End

A cruise? Does the photo of our ship coming into port look like a kind of fair weather cruise? Of course it doesn’t, it’s the Norwegian coast in October, and my dear old friend of 11 years, the Hurtigruten coastal steamer. It was surreal to be back aboard, and everything felt as magical as when I was some solo 20 year old traveller taking a coastal journey by ship in the darkest weeks of the year.
This time, Morgan and I were prepared. Maybe a little too prepared. After we had grocery shopped to basically feed a small army, a simple search online the night before we boarded revealed they had a full vegan menu on board the ship. WHAT. So what better way to mark our four year anniversary together, plus, the outdoor jacuzzi literally ten metres from our cabin was maybe the greatest thing in the world.

That’s all for Norway, for this year. Now it’s back to lady aurora if the clouds ever break. Thanks for following along!

Sean NormanNorway
Love, Anticipation & Tradition, the Joy and Insanity of Veganism, and Serious Contemplation of Our Future

Love, anticipation, and tradition. Three feelings Morgan and I would describe to you about going on almost two years of getting Ethiopian takeaway once a week from Zehabesha here at home. It may one day be a real heart breaker should we leave Yellowknife before Dinku and his wife someday do, and it’s much more than them being the only restaurant to offer vegan options. So when we discovered that in Bergen, there were two Ethiopian restaurants, we obviously couldn’t help ourselves. And while it was fabulous, you know where our heart and tastebuds lie.
Meanwhile on the other side of the world at similar geographic latitudes, veganism has sky-rocketed, and you can’t go out to a restaurant in Trondheim without vegan options abounding. Veganism, or the first real absorption of vitamin D in weeks, we loved this little place. So much so, we’re having our first real conversations about an eventual move out of Yellowknife to there some years away still. And that isn’t just the box of hipster vegan doughnuts strapped into the middle seat on our flight down to Bergen talking.

If we can move a little bit past food, just for a quick sentence or two, that love, anticipation and tradition line could maybe more appropriately be applied to finally visiting Kristian Birkeland’s terrella at the Teknisk Museum in Oslo. It was something really special for me to catch up with him there, and spend a long while in his exhibition. But more on all that when you’re on tour with me and I put you to sleep with the history of the northern lights.

Ålesund

Trondheim

Bergen, and the Bergen - Oslo train

Kr. Birkeland’s 100+ year old terrella at the Technical Institute in Oslo

Sean NormanNorway
Sore Muscles & Completely Drenched - Lofoten

Ohh yes. The northern lights dancing above the cutest fishing villages tucked into some of the most jagged mountain peaks in perhaps the most beautiful place in the world - the Lofoten islands. How idyllic.

I can probably count the minutes of sunshine over five days on two hands. Initial hours in Reine went by with admiration to all my shell clothing and backpacks - they were remarkably resilient keeping everything inside, including me, dry. And then there was day two, and three, and four, and everything, actually everything, including the two of us, was soaked. It should have been enough rain to sink the Lofoten islands themselves.
But we weren’t going to let puddles in our shoes and hiking trails turned raging rivers stop us from proving to ourselves just how out of shape we were (still are). Muscles ached, entire legs vibrated even just sitting still, but the Lofoten islands are just magical. It’s a fairytale land with all the nature in the world to become lost in.

Sean NormanNorway
Technically 4 for 4, but So Much More - Tromsø

Well, we’re home. We survived torrential rain, wind, wild berries and cancelled ferries, and our next move is learning Norwegian to move to Trondheim in a few years (joking not joking). Norway exceeded every expectation and every memory I held of it since 2010.

But for now, if you want the cold hearted statistic, then yes, we saw the northern lights all four nights in the Tromsø area, including from our late evening flight arrival. But our four nights in Tromsø weren’t about chasing the aurora or comparing where the northern lights are better. That doesn’t matter. It was about reconnecting with an old friend who started all this aurora chasing for me over ten years ago, so we spent a few beautiful nights in conversation with Kjetil & his amazing family both in the city and at his cabin in the countryside.

Tours resume tonight for me, but I’ll hold off blogging any Yellowknife aurora photos for the sake of keeping a few posts of our Norway trip together over the next couple days.

Sean NormanNorway