Arctic Winter

Tromso, Norway

Tromso, Norway

If there was one good thing about not being able to visit Israel and Jordan, it was that there were two good things.  The first was our extended time in Turkey, one of our favorite countries so far.  The second was a chance to head north.  Like, above the Arctic Circle north…Tromso, Norway north.

Mandy and I wanted to experience the Arctic winter.  Due to Tromso’s northern position near the top of the world, the sun doesn’t rise between November 26th and Jan 15th.  This period is known as the Polar Nights (we experienced the opposite phenomenon, the Midnight Sun, in Iceland back in July).  There is something powerful about visiting the world’s extreme locations–places that deviate starkly from what is familiar stoke the senses and invigorate the mind.
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Rock and Roll

the 50’s @ Rockheim

How expensive is Norway?  One morning Mandy and I split an avocado for breakfast, which we cut in half and scooped out with pieces of Wasa bread (a crisp Scandinavian bread that also works as an edible spoon).  Another day we shared a 4-scoop ice cream cone for lunch.  Prices are so ridiculous that local caviar in the fish market was affordable in comparison – so that was another meal: crackers with a small layer of butter and Norwegian caviar.  Why does all this matter?   Continue reading

Stowaways

The next (rainy) morning we left Oslo for Bergen by train.  Or it should have been by train.  Because of construction on the railway, the first hour of the journey was by bus.  At 8am, we lined up with hundreds of others for buses that would take us to a train station outside of town. For multiple reasons, getting around Norway would turn out to be much more difficult than expected (fjords, mountains, construction, fjords, and more fjords).  The tone for the journey was set when our bus driver cracked the front end of the bus against a road barricade on an over-confident left turn.  Continue reading