Kate, or “KTP” as we call her, the 4th Dahl girl, is my nearest and dearest friend. As a teacher, Kate has the summer months off; thus, August was, and is, the perfect time for her to visit. Kate and I have done some extensive traveling together in our lives, but were thrilled to have 1:1 time together–it had been a while!
Kate landed in Amsterdam bright and early on Friday morning and immediately jumped into a schedule of activities. She explored our neighborhood on Friday, joined a big dinner for my friend Melissa’s birthday on Friday night, and then took part in all of the Pride festivities the following day.
On Sunday, Kate left Amsterdam to join a friend and her family in Sweden for a week of biking. I utilized the opportunity to pop over to Norway the following Saturday, after the biking trip ended, to meet her for some beauty and adventures.
Kate and I joke all the time, neither of us have a good sense of direction, so we are both wary about car navigation. When I say neither of us can navigate, I mean we are terrible navigators and have gotten lost together more times than I can count.
So, we knew renting a car and driving through the Norway fjords would be a challenge. But, one we were willing to take!
Before I go any further, let me just say, I am proud of us for accomplishing this task and living to tell the tale! 🙂
Anyway, I met Kate at the Bergen airport and we jumped into the rental car for our Norway adventure. I will say, neither of us were fully prepared for the weather. August in Norway is still pretty cold, and I’m not talkin’ about bare-legs and a light jacket chilly, I’m talkin’ about jeans and a light puff jacket cold. It doesn’t help that we both are California girls at heart ;). Although it was cold, the sun was out most of our trip!
We set off from the Bergen airport and drove right into the town of Bergen, located on the southwest coast of the country. If you want to see the fjords, Bergen is the best place to start. Side note: if you are wondering what a fjord is, here is the definition: “a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs, as in Norway, typically formed by submergence of a glaciated valley.” We chose to stay in Bergen for its central location within the fjords and gorgeous scenery.
Bergen did not disappoint. We spent the afternoon walking around the town and exploring the lovely shops and fish market.
We ate a scrumptious dinner at Bare Vestland on Saturday evening and then took the tram up to the top of the Bergen mountain to watch the sunset over the water.
On Sunday morning, we woke up early to drive to a hike near the Stalheim hotel.
We plotted an intermediate route and made our way towards a beautiful overlook.
We saw some cute sheep along the way too.
By the time we finished our hike, it was late afternoon, and we were starving! Luckily, the hike finished at the Stalheim hotel, so we stopped in for some pizza. They were playing scores from famous movies in the restaurant so Kate and I played a game of guessing all of the music. After lunch, we made our way back to Bergen.
We loved dinner at the Spiesekroken restaurant because we were surrounded by locals and we had the most delicious food.
On Monday, we drove further into the Fjords to stay at the Thon Hotel Sandven. The tiny town immediately stole our hearts because it was charming and peaceful! We dropped our bags and rented kayaks for the afternoon.
We could not stop taking pictures + the pictures do not do it justice!
The only difficult part of the adventure was kayaking back. We kayaked out so far; the return against the wind, proved treacherous.
This day, with its vast beauty, and still moments, will be etched on my heart forever. Kate and I spent the day chatting about our goals, sharing our dreams, praying and worshipping.
The final morning we went on a small hike around the town and enjoyed the town’s famous waterfall.
Kate came to Amsterdam with me for a night before she headed back to LA.
I can easily see why Norway was recommended by so many friends. The mountainous fishing towns and dramatic fjords were beyond picturesque, the seafood was delicious, and the people were incredibly friendly. I cannot wait to return to Norway.