Norway was, for lack of a better word, awesomely awesome.  I love that country.  It’s so…intense!  It’s so rugged and raw, stunning beautiful one moment and bleak the next.  Just looking at the mountains and fjords are enough to make you want to gasp at how damn beautiful it all is.

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The view from our hotel room at the lodge.  We went kayaking in this fjord Sunday morning/afternoon.

Saturday we arrived in Norway in the morning.  We flew into Bergen, then got our rental car and headed the 2.5 hours to Flam where we were staying.  Once there, we checked in, cleaned up really quick, and headed back out to see some of the local sites.  One site in particular we wanted to see was Borgun Stave Church, which was built around 1180 as the local church.  It was so tiny (compared to the Cathedrals we’re used to seeing in and around Europe).  Completely wood, and incredibly well preserved, it was really neat to see how different the church architecture was in Norway compared to many of the places in Europe.  After a stop at the church, we headed back to the hotel to grab some dinner and relax (mainly because we were exhausted from our 4:30am wake-up that morning to get our flight).

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Borgun Stave Church

Saturday was kayaking, and it was fantastic.  Jamie and I both love being outdoors, and I especially love being on the water.  It was really cold (we were in thermal underwear, wet suits, splash jackets, etc.), but it was totally worth it.  We didn’t get to see any local animals (it wasn’t uncommon to see eagles, porpoises, or seals), but it was still amazing.  We kayaked for a few hours, then parked the kayaks and took a hike up to a waterfall, then came back down and kayaked back to the lodge.  We were the only ones around, and it was so peaceful.  So quiet, you could practically hear your own heartbeat.  Overall…an incredible experience that I hope to repeat at some point.

Also during our trip, we drove around to catch some waterfalls (which seem to be everywhere in Norway, especially where we were staying).  All the roads were winding and the speed limit wasn’t much above 50 mph in most places, so it made it quite easy to catch the local scenery.  One of the best waterfalls we saw was on our way from Bergen to Flam, and we went back to see after we checked into our hotel on Saturday.

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Basically, this was off some road and just out in the middle of nowhere.  Perfectly pristine waters, which I’ve been told you can drink straight from the falls, as there are very few organisms that will get you sick in the land water in Norway.  I didn’t try it…gastrointestinal bugs are not my cup of tea, and I don’t care what I read in some guide-book.

Monday morning, we woke up late, grabbed breakfast, packed our stuff and headed back to Bergen to catch our plane.  It felt like it was such a short weekend, but we definitely had a great time.  I’m excited to go back to Norway at some point, though I’m not sure we’ll make it during this time abroad…maybe later in life though!

*This post is from April 2012…a little late, but better than never!

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