Hello from Copenhagen! Given that we only have a few days left in Scandinavia, I figured I’d write about the Norwegian leg of our journey before it’s a wonderful but distant memory. Writing about our travels starts to feel like a burden when the days since our last post start to pile up, so I’m going to keep this entry word light and photo heavy.
We arrived in Tromsø, Norway on Wednesday 8/9 after a less-than-humane “redeye” flight from Reykjavik. We left at 1am and arrived at 5:30am after a 2.5 hour flight to Oslo, and our first and only order of business during our 7 hour layover was finding the best place to sleep in the airport (Terminal C, brown leather lounge chairs).
We journeyed to Tromsø to meet Hal and Mathilde, friends of our good friend Rick, see Norway’s infamous fjords, and experience everyday life in a mountain town above the Arctic Circle. We succeeded at all of these things, but most memorably in making two new friends. Hal and Mathilde hosted us in their lovely apartment and allowed us to experience true Norwegian hygge. We shared a lot of great food and breathtaking views with them during our six days there, times we will not forget!
We were mostly fortunate with the weather in Tromsø, dodging occasional rain and getting out for hikes in the mountains three of the days we were there. We learned very quickly that Norwegians don’t believe in switchbacks, as almost every ascent we encountered could only be described as straight up. I don’t think any of our hikes gained fewer than 1,000 feet per mile, and our most exciting summit gained a hefty 2,800 feet in just under 1.5 miles. It was all good fun, though, especially since we had our newfound Norwegian treat, lefse, powering us to the top!
When we weren’t hiking, we were probably eating. We learned that Norwegians tend to eat most of their meals at home, preferring to cook for themselves and often for friends rather than dine out. Quality meals at restaurants can be quite pricey, so it just makes more sense to have people over. We shared dinner duties with Hal and Mathilde during our stay, and we had a lot of fun in the kitchen. They made some fantastic meals: homemade pizza with local cured lamb, traditional reindeer stew, and pan-seared fjord trout; and we shared some of our favorites like halibut with peanut sauce noodles and garlic & chili- roasted Brussels sprouts. I even got to take their sous vide for a spin, cooking a big entrecôte steak on our last night as a thank you for their warm hospitality. H&M won the dessert game, though. I can’t pick a favorite between the fresh-picked strawberries and cream, cinnamon-cardamom buns, and waffles with jam and sour cream. Hal said staying at their place is both training camp and fat camp in one. There’s no doubt we were well-fed, and we had a laugh at the difference between how each of our societies define the latter camp.
We departed Tromsø early on Tuesday 8/15 and said goodbye to Norway with a brief walk around Oslo before taking the train down to Göteborg, Sweden. Our time in Norway was relatively brief (a necessity for our budget), but we’re sure we’ll be back for more of this breathtakingly beautiful country whenever the future allows it.
Have you been to Norway? Where should we go when we come back? Let us know in the comments!