|8am and someone is already napping.|
|First night in Norway: a treehouse! (and trampoline)|
|Despite finding the outdoor shower at the treehouse only ran cold water, meeting all sorts of six-legged critters in the treehouse and finding random leaks in the roof, the kids unanimously declared it the best night of the entire trip.|
|Sleeping in a hammock is actually very comfy.|
|Bliss! Also, note the pull down black out blind!!|
|If you only have time for one museum in Oslo, make it the Fram Museum. It depicts the exploration to both North and South Poles with interactive exhibits and fantastic story-telling.|
|The crew of the Fram Ship had the sense to bring several tins of |
condensed milk on their expedition. Sign me up!
|Outside the Fram Museum looking towards Oslo city-centre.|
|On our way to Tresfjord. We had Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King playing at full volume which was very fitting.|
|Known as "the road in the ocean," the Atlantic Highway stretches over 7 bridges and is considered by some to be the world's most beautiful road. We travelled it in both directions, it truly is an engineering miracle. Besides cars and motorhomes, we saw cyclists travelling on the road and even one guy on an electric skateboard! |
We promised next time we will do it by motorbike.
|Ask an 11-year old boy to smile and this is a typical response.|
|At Tore's family farm in Tresfjord.|
|Even bus shelters have grass roofs!|
|Tore pulling the kids on the wagon.|
|They had to go rescue a sick sheep on the hill. Close encounters with the realities of sheep farming made T&A understand a little more how intricate the process of meat production is just for human consumption.|
|Teaching our new friends how to play Pit, one of our favourite card games.|
|Found the sheep! Now we gotta herd them UP.|
|Very steep climb past the tree line.|
|Tai patiently waiting for Matt to make it to the top. |
Considering this was about 2 weeks post-op, he did really well.
|Running down the hill after depositing the mineral lick (salt rock) at the top. The salt rock is for the sheep to lick essential mineral nutrients while they live on the mountain for the season.|
|Hello again horses.|
|Back at ground level, I'm pointing to the point on the mountain where we climbed to, just a few meters shy of that snow patch.|
|We found a chanterelle mushroom!!!! These rare exquisite beauties are delicious and will cost you a pretty penny at the supermarket. |
|Just a little bonfire on our last night.|
|Tai's favourite road on the trip was the Trollstigen, the classic most-visited Norwegian road. Opened in 1936, there are 11 hairpin bends with 9% gradient which are named after the person who managed the construction of that particular section. |
It is honestly an incredible engineering feat and well worth a visit.
Nothing can top that drive, except perhaps if you do it on a motorbike.
The Trollstigen is a motorcyclist's DREAM!!!!!
|Can you spot T &A?|
|If you're wondering, closing your eyes as you twist and turn through Norway's hairpin roads is cheaper than going to Disney/Six Flags/Liseberg/Canada's Wonderland. |
And every bit just as exciting.
|Sheep alert in the tunnel!!!!|
|At Dalsnibba lookout point.|
|Looking down at Geirangerfjord.|
|Want a view with your fika? No problem.|
Lom's iconic stave church.
|Scoffing some insanely delicious pizza and burgers at Lom Bakery.|
|We went on a tour to visit an ice cave, a man-carved tunnel through 70 metres into the 7000-year-old ice. There was even an ice slide inside!|
|Luckily, we came prepared with winter gloves, boots and hats.|
|Inside one of the ice cave rooms.|
|3 out of 4 of us braved the chilly glacial water in Aurland.|
|Flåmbana, the iconic trainline from Flåm to Myrdal built between 1923-1940.|
Only 20km long, the train goes through 20 tunnels (most of them excavated by hand) and has a height difference of 864m.
|Flåm Railway, all aboard!|
|After getting off the train, we walked down to the next village and |
stopped at a super cold mountain stream.
|Next up, zipline!!! The longest zipline in Scandinavia which spans 1.34km, it has a height difference of 305m and a max speed of 100 km/hr. This adrenaline-fueled ride takes you through a deep valley and past flowing waterfalls.|
|Aila was JUST heavy enough for the zipline and in the end, |
she had some extra weight added to her harness pocket.
After the zipline, you come to the Rallarrosa Cheese Farm where we tasted some local brown cheese and creamy yoghurt.
|Then we collected our rental bikes to cycle the last 15 kms back to Flåm.|
|After the train, zipline and cycle ride, we were parched. There were no Shirley Temples on the menu, but the bartender made a Special Mix for them. |
|Beer tasting in Flåm's brewery. Highlight for Matt.|
|Traditional apple cake from Sognefjord.|
|Cooking up some reindeer meat for dinner.|
|Tunnels are just a normal part of Norway's highway infrastructure, a true engineering miracle. We deliberately detoured to go through the world's longest road tunnel, the Lærdal Tunnel, which happens to be in Norway at 24.5 km long!!|
|One of the three 'caves' in Lærdal Tunnel with cool blue lights.|
|A quick pit stop to get Wifi and watch the penalty kicks in the Canada vs Sweden women's Olympic soccer final. CANADA won!!!|
|Back in Oslo for a couple more nights, we visited the fabulous Vigeland Sculpture Park.|
|Gustav Vigeland sculpted 200+ sculptures which attract more than one million visitors annually.|
On our last day in Oslo, Matt had arranged a mini reunion with some other former classmates who were living in the area. It was fun to connect and hear about everyone's lives. See you all at the reunion next year!
In the end, Norway completely exceeded our expectations. After living in beautiful (but flat) Skåne for more than one year, it just totally blew our minds.
If you want a bit of perspective, head to the mountains and fjords of Norway and I guarantee you'll come away a little bit more humbled.
Crossing over back into Sweden I'm surprised at how happy I was to be in familiar territory again. Swedish signs are comforting and it definitely feels like coming home.