July 29, 2013 § 2 Comments
July 28, 2013 § 3 Comments
Turquoise waters. Sunshine. Endless days. Family. Calm.
It’s a quiet Sunday morning and I am laying in bed watching the pilot for the show The 4400 while Skjalg is up mowing his grandparents lawn. We arrived back from Halsa – where Skjalg’s family’s cabin is – on Friday night. Since Kaja had returned to Bodø two nights earlier, we took the bus – which lasted for about 3.5 hours.
The original plan was that Kaja would join everyone in Halsa for a day trip, either on Tuesday or Wednesday. That soon changed to include Skjalg and I and an overnight stay. We thought it would be too hectic with 12 people in one house, but it worked out perfectly. Everyone got their space when they needed it and there was plenty to do to keep ourselves busy. We had planned on leaving Wednesday night, to make it back for Kaja’s return flight to Oslo on Thursday, but decided to stay for an extra two days.
On Wednesday the entire family took a trip out to Grønnøya (Green Island). It is about 20 minutes away from the cabin in Halsa and is possibly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in my life. Skjalg, Lindsay and I put together shish kebabs for the adults to grill out at the beach. When we got back, Skjalg took the kayak out while I sat out on the shore and knitted – yes, knitted!
On Thursday, we did something amazing – climbed a mountain! The mountain is called Helgelandsbukken and is one of the tallest, if not the tallest, mountain in the area. There were five of us that went: Vebjørn, Oystein, Skjalg, Lindsay and I. We were warned that it was a tough climb, but none of us had any idea of what we were in for. It was such an amazing experience! The entire trip took about 11 hours. Lindsay and I went our own pace and ended up stopping at Tåkeheimen, where there is a cabin for hikers to stay at. It took us 6 hours to climb up to that point and it was high enough that we didn’t need to do the last leg. At one point, we had to walk sideways along a rock while leaning in with a straight drop down to the glacier behind us. Today is the first day since the hike that I have been able to move around normally. I’m still sore, but I no longer have to use my arms to move my legs around. Our camera ran out of battery before the hike, but I will get pictures of the hike from the others and upload them as soon as possible.
Here are pictures from the trip before the battery died. Believe it or not, I’ve already narrowed it down from almost 300 pictures – everything was just too beautiful! We’ll be heading back to the cabin in about two weeks and I’m crossing my fingers that the weather is as perfect as it was when we were there. There is nothing like Norway in the summer!
July 22, 2013 § 3 Comments
Just a little over 3 weeks since my last exam and I am just now starting to relax – and I mean really relax. I still have a slight nagging feeling that I should be doing something, but it’s easily whisked away when I remind myself that it is still only July.
Here are some pictures of our various escapades so far. Skjalg’s uncle Øystein and his cousins Lindsay and Tore are visiting from Tennessee. They are staying up with Skjalg’s grandparents and we have been visiting with them quite often.
Click on the pictures for a larger, scrollable versions.
July 10, 2013 § 11 Comments
It’s a beautiful day in Oslo and I am nestled in a little corner window table in the café in Stian’s building. It’s my last day here, the end of a very brief trip to visit my doctor and see some friends. Tomorrow morning I will be flying up to Bodø in northern Norway – the land of the midnight sun – where I will be spending the majority of the summer. I’d forgotten just how beautiful Oslo is in the summer. The trees and parks are vibrant green, flowers litter the streets and colorful buildings gleam in the sunlight.
My last days in Budapest were spent moving to our new apartment in Deák and hanging out with my brother. Skjalg left for Bodø last Sunday so that he could be there to start work Monday morning. He will be doing his nursing practice this summer. I wasn’t able to get a spot, unfortunately, but we have until 3rd year to fulfill that requirement. So my summer will be spent relaxing, reading and centering myself.
The move went smoothly and everything was settled within a matter of hours. A huge benefit of living in Budapest is that labor is very cheap. Because of this, we were able to do something that we never would have been able to do in Norway: hire movers AND cleaners. It worked perfectly, especially since we don’t have a car to move and there was no way I had the energy to do everything myself after this last exam period.
I snapped some shots of our old place, for those interested in what a student apartment in Budapest can look like. We paid 500 euro for rent plus 200 euro common cost each month. We lived about a 5 min walk from Blaha Lujza tér. The place fit us really well but after a while, we realized that we weren’t as happy with the location. To get to school we had to take the tram and then switch over to the metro, whereas now we can take the metro the whole way. In addition, Blaha is quite the hangout for junkies and drunks. It was never dangerous living there, but it wasn’t the nicest experience walking through there everyday to get to school.
Once we’d moved in and I’d turned in the old apartment, it was time to crash. The four days that followed were full of doing nothing of importance. Christian and I spent a couple mornings eating breakfast at Starbucks while looking out over the Basilica, but other than that, we slept and chatted about life, parallel universes and the future. A lot of time was spent standing on the balcony and observing the city.
By the time Saturday night had hit, I still hadn’t started packing or preparing the apartment for a summer without tenants. This resulted in my sleeping only from 2:30-3:00 am before getting up to head to the airport for my 6 o’clock flight. I arrived at Stian’s at around 2:00 in the afternoon. We spent an hour or so catching up and then headed out in search of sushi. Then it was back to his place, to enjoy our meal whilst looking out over Oslo from his rooftop terrace. There was a huge music festival going on (our poor ears) but it made for an enjoyable view.
Monday was spent catching up on sleep, a sushi date with Stian and Marie while looking out over the water down by Aker Brygge, and then coffee with a group of Stian’s friends in Bislett.
Yesterday I spent the day with Karolina, a fellow expat from New York. She is an amazing cook and spoiled me with homemade italian comfort food, champagne and conversation. After that, it was home to catch up on the latest True Blood episode with Stian.
It’s been a short, yet amazing little trip to Oslo. We’ll close out this last evening with a homemade dinner, which we’ll hopefully enjoy on the roof terrace. Then it’s early to bed and early to rise for my 8:00 am flight. I can’t wait to see my man! It’s been too long 🙂