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Wow, what a vacation! Not what I would call relaxing, but it was definitely a ton of fun! We ventured into the Arctic Circle, to Tromso, Norway in order to have a little arctic adventure! We went snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, dog-sledding, and Northern Lights chasing! It was full of activity and a lot of workouts, but what a great time!

Thursday we left the Netherlands in the AM to catch our flight out of Amsterdam to Oslo. I was surprised at how fast the flight was…only an hour and a half to Oslo! Then, we had a lay-over for a few hours in Oslo, before catching our flight to Tromso (another hour and a half flight). Once in Tromso, we went to our hotel and got settled in! We really didn’t do anything on Thursday, as we spent most of the day traveling, but we did manage to have an authentic Norwegian dinner of fish and veggies (omg…delicious fish, it was Boknafisk, which is a variant of Cod).

Midnight Sun

Friday morning, we woke up early to a fantastic hotel breakfast. I love European style breakfasts. There were lots of cold cuts, sliced cheeses, breads and spreads, and other things. Since we were in fish country, there were also plenty of salmon and other fish options for breakfast as well. After breakfast, we went snow-shoeing! I was initially worried that I would have a lot of trouble, since I’ve been really inactive after breaking my foot, but it was so much fun I never even thought about my foot! We trekked through the woods and the snow was about 3 feet or so deep. It was amazing to just walk around in the forest without anyone else around. The area was so peaceful and relaxing (even though we were hiking). Later that evening, we went on a Northern Lights tour. The weather conditions, unfortunately, weren’t fantastic for the Northern Lights, but we still saw them! It was so cool to watch the lights show up out of nowhere, dance around a bit, and then disappear as though they were never there, only to come back 5-10 minutes later! We took some pictures, but they’re on my other camera, so I’ll be sure to upload them later today once I’m home from work. We drove all the way to Finland, where I walked across the border, and then headed back to the hotel. It was definitely a late night and we were exhausted, so we just got back to our room and passed out.

Kisses from the puppies!

Saturday, we were lucky that all we had planned was dog-sledding later in the evening. We ended up sleeping in until 2pm! We’ve NEVER slept in that late! We basically just got up, got ready and went to get some lunch, before getting back for our dog-sledding tour. At first, I was really apprehensive about anything involving animal labor. I don’t like a lot of expeditions that involve animals because you can never be positive that the animals are being treated well and that they’re getting the proper care that they need…and if not, then I don’t want to be a part of it, and I sure as hell don’t want to fund something like that. We researched this place a lot before deciding to go, and when we got there, I was shocked. There were nearly 200 dogs there and they were all so excited to see people and go running! They were super friendly and all well taken care of (I pretty much petted nearly every single dog there…we were there for a while). After a big, we went to our sled and got settled. Jamie drove the sled and I just rode along. We had an awesome time (even though Jamie tipped the sled three times and I was face down in the snow, but that’s ok). The dogs were so happy to be out and running, it was amazing! After about an hour on the sled, we got back to camp and had dinner (delicious beef stew), and then got to play with the dogs more and meet the puppies (there were two puppies that were a result of an unexpected encounter between two of the dogs…oops). Later, we hopped back in the bus and were taken back to our hotel. Pretty much passed out again.

Sunday was our last full day in Norway. Both Jamie and I had been skiing before (downhill), but didn’t really like it, so we thought we’d give cross-country skiing a try. It was so much more fun! We spent a good couple of hours cross-country skiing through the country-side, before going back to the camp and having another dinner of beef stew. SO GOOD!!! I fell a few times, for sure, and have the bruises to show for it, but what a great experience!

Monday – well, we basically spent the whole day traveling home. I passed out in the Oslo airport during our layover, and when we got home, we pretty much just unpacked, checked emails, and went to sleep. The vacation was such a great time, but we were so busy that we really didn’t relax. I know we’re both tired and sore today, but the memories were well worth all the missed sleep and stretched muscles. Norway was an absolutely stunning country, one I could definitely get used to living in!

Next month, Prague!