Sunday, February 27, 2011

Norway in a Nutshell

So the Bergen trip was suppose to be the 1st weekend we got to Norway but because of a huge conference or concert or something all the hotels and hostels were booked to capacity. So we went on this trip a few weeks into our time there. This trip consists of a train ride from Hønesfoss to Bergen on the West coast of Norway. We stay there for a few days and take a bus, ferry, and train back to Hønesfoss. So when picking how we wanted to sleep at the Bergen YMCA you could sleep in a room of 4 people with a private bathroom or sleep in a room of 32 with a shared bathroom! HA, Amanda and I opted for the 4 per room, Jack and Anne Marit (from class) opted for the 32 person room. We bunked with Leo (fun Turkish guy from class) and Marine (a wonderful French girl from class). Well Jack and Anne Marit realized what they had done and asked if they could stay with us; of course!!! So we pretty much had a hug slumber party for a few days. Our American teacher from Texas Tech that went with us and was also teaching one of our classes, had asked which ones of us wanted to take a hike up the mountain range (Mount Floyen)? It will only take 4-5hrs he said. So being the adventurous bunch we are we decided that this was a good idea…well not so much. The tram that they usually take to get up the steep part of the mountain was out of order so we had to hike up that part and then continue along the mountain range to our final destination. Well…the trip took about 7hrs (all effing day!), we ran out of water and had to drink from a natural spring, and none of us had any food left. Since it took all day we didn't get to see much of the city since the next day was Sunday and not a lot was open. So this is the place I want to go when I head back there, from what I saw of it, it’s an artsy little city.
the famous houses in Bergen

on the train ride to Bergen...snow in June!

Finally we are ready to head home! Taking the ferry was one of the highlights! We floated down Norway’s biggest fjord. Such still water and beautiful landscapes! We get off in this little town called Flåm. Then we got on this little, old fashioned train that twists and turns within the mountains and then we got on a normal train back to Hønefoss. We had 2 quizzes the next day so I tried to study but that just didn't happen…as a result the quizzes didn't go too well either :P

Finally at the top of the mountain

time to reflect?

the fjord

huge waterfall we saw while on the old fashion train

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day Trip to Oslo

beautiful fountain that I just love
Oslo is known for being the most expensive city in the whole world…well maybe that’s because Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Well Jack, Amanda, and I had planned to take the bus for day trip into Oslo (about 45mins from Hønesfoss). Well the night before Amanda and I decided to go out to Lloyd’s, well Amanda went off to get some pulesveis so I needed a ride back to my place…I got a ride back to my place and Amanda decided to not come to Oslo with us since she was having so much fun ;). So Jack and I headed to Oslo! We had a great time exploring the city and seeing the sights.

Frogner Park

Ski Jump! We went to the top!

Me being silly :P

a view from the top of the ski jump

The Scream

the Opera House

We didn’t get to see everything (since we walked the whole time) but we did see a lot! The things we did see were: the ski jump, Frogner Park, the Opera House (made to look like a glacier) and the piece of art known as The Scream (which I didn’t know was painted on a pier in Oslo…so it makes since that it’s in the city). We stopped for lunch at McDonalds (we were so longing for American food!) were we found out that our medium is their large (I wanted more French FriesL). We had great weather and over all it was a good trip to the country’s capital.

Friday, February 11, 2011

An American in Norway

When I was a junior in college a Norwegian teacher came and gave a lecture in one of my classes. Studying abroad had never crossed my mind before, kind of a combination of getting “home sick” and not really having the funding to go. But this teacher, Sigva, had so many WONDERFUL things to say about this town and school in Hønesfoss, Norway…I was interested. This particular study abroad "session" was only going to be for 6 weeks! Not too bad, I could manage that. So I called my mom as soon as class was over and told her I thought this was something I really needed to do and should do (since I probably wouldn’t get a summer internship). So my parents talked about it and since my mom has traveled the world she understood that it would be a wonderful and worthwhile experience for me. So I started taking one of the three classes after spring break. There was only six engineering going, four boys and two girls, including me. So mid-May comes around and it is time to fly across the pond with people I barely know! This is where that other girl, Amanda, and I realize we are long lost best friends! How wonderful! The next six weeks we were pretty mush inseparable.

We get to our new homes for the next six weeks and start exploring the area. What a wonderful and beautiful place! We went to the grocery store and just generally become familiar with the area; figure out where the school was and where we need to go for class, where the train station is, and most importantly where the bar is! The local bakery had the most amazing treats and the town had many pizza parlors that we indulged in thanks to our new connections in waiter friends! And of course we took in the Norwegian fashion at the mall. We met one of our now good friends via the bartender at Lloyds (♫ I like the bar-r-tender♫) his cousin Charlotte! And she helped us meet other fun people.

Jack, Ece, Amanda, Charlotte

Me, Christina, Charlotte, Amanda
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