I am currently writing this on a rare break from taking photos on my longggggg trip (7 hours + the 3 hours for the diversion to cute lil Flam…!!!!!) from Bergen to Oslo. I am genuinely worried I may have got repetitive strain injury from taking so many photos and that people will be at home sighing ‘ANOTHER snowy photo on social media Gaby? REALLY? We get it you’re in Norway…’ But I cant help it. This is the most beautiful journey I have ever been on. Its too much to take in. I’m taking all these photos and sharing some online just so I can process it later and prove I’m not dreaming. Perfect untouched snow, little wooden houses and fjords. Plus I’m getting to travel by my favourite mode of transport. The train. I love trains. They are a source of happiness I have never had to question. Staring out the window, music in or book open, watching the world go by, on the move, never standing still. (ALSO, HOW DID THEY EVEN MANAGE TO PUT A TRAIN TRACKS HERE? They’ve had to make tunnels through the mountains and make them snow proof. God humans are amazing….)
However, that said, I was sad to take the train this morning and not just because it was crazy early. I’ve had a lovely few days in beautiful Bergen. I made more friends than I ever hoped and done things I never thought I’d do. For example day two consisted of a 5 hour hike with some volunteers and guests from the hostel up one of Bergen’s seven mountains. I found it difficult as I’m not a natural hiker but I willed myself to keep going and it was so worth it for the 360 degree views of the city and surrounding towns. I got to see the airport I had arrived into less than 24 hours before. Back then I would never have guessed I would be having lunch the next day on top of a mountain chatting, laughing and eating in bitter winds and freezing cold temperatures. This trip is constantly surprising me and I never know what to expect one day to the next.
The next morning however I was worried as many of the friends I had made were leaving, but the amazing hostel volunteers offered to walk me around Bergen. I have never experienced a hostel with such amazing staff or views or free breakfast! The city was so pretty and the girls I was with so fun, that I was shocked when one of them told me it was almost 5pm. In their rush to show me all their favourite spots we had forgotten all about lunch and were surviving on (to be fair amazing) hot chocolate and waffles. My last day in Bergen ended by the girls taking me to a bar and trying my first ever (gluten free!) beer. Sharing stories from our four cultures (Spanish, Croatian, Swiss and British) I couldn’t believe how easily we were getting along and how much we had in common. I never thought this blog would get political, but that seems like a pretty strong advert for the EU right there. Four strangers all crossing paths in Norway, coming together to swap stories, experiences and life lessons over local beers. We said goodbye, after some Facebook adds and long hugs, with one girl who ordinarily lives in Oslo, promising to try and take me out this weekend.
So how am I feeling now? Well honestly, a little anxious for the new city ahead. Bergen was in a way too good. It has set the bar high for the rest of the trip and being the person I am and thinking the stupid way I do, I can now only see everything going down and not up. However today’s amazing journey has showed me that there’s still so much more to come and lots more to learn. Norwegians are so active and in touch with nature. The children start to hike from a young age in their adorable little snowsuits and are encouraged to play and spend a lot of time outside. I’m not sure I could live here as the towns are very small and remote (and that’s me from the tiny hamlet in Devon saying that), but I would like to try and adopt a more Norwegian way of life. Taking time on simple (and free!) pleasures such as hiking and running or just sitting back and enjoying the view. Speaking of which my camera is getting lonely. Till next time….
NB Since this was written I am safely in Oslo and have had a lovely day walking around although its not as pretty as Bergen…..