Our Norwegian Adventure Part 1: Going North of the Wall

By the time we arrived in Norway, it was after 11:00pm, and we had not slept in 35 hours.  We went straight to our hotel in Oslo and immediately went to bed.  Of course, when we arrived at the hotel, there was a good crowd at the hotel bar, and I had to pry the Man Child away.  Thankfully, he was exhausted too, so it was an easy sell.

We woke up the next morning at 10am feeling refreshed and ready for the day’s adventure.  About two months prior, I booked train tickets from Oslo to Bergen based on several recommendations.  Even though the flight between the two cities was only 45 minutes and about $75, we chose to take the train as several travel write ups touted this as one of the World’s most beautiful train rides.  I charged my camera, and the Man Child picked up some food and wine to sustain us for the 7 hour train ride.  This train ride was one of the things I was looking forward to most.

When we arrived at the station, the monitor indicated showing train platforms listed our train as “cancelled.”  Crap.  We rushed over to the information desk only to find out the train had been cancelled for scheduled maintenance.  The 3rd party company which I used to purchase the tickets should have known that and not issued the tickets (still working on getting that refund).  All the trains the following day were booked.  We better hurry over to the bus terminal to see if we could catch a bus.  As we ran across the street to the bus terminal, my mind started racing.  A bus trip across the country would take over 10 hours.  What an awful way to spend the day!  We could just stay in Oslo and cancel the trip to Bergen.  But, after all my research, Bergen seemed like a more beautiful, fun city.  I really wanted to go to Bergen.  I checked flights on Norwegian Air.  Booked.   Ahh!  I checked flights on Scandinavian Airlines.  There were 5 seats left on one flight leaving in about an hour… $250 per person.  Ugh.  Worth it!  We jumped straight on the train to the airport, while I tried to book tickets on my phone.  As I went to hit confirm, I lost internet service.  We rushed up to the self-service kiosk in the airport, and I tried to log into their computer to book the tickets.  Flight full.  No!  We rushed over the help desk, and we were able to get the last two tickets.  Though because we booked in person and not online, they were $300 per person.  The good news: they were business class seats.  My first ever business class experience.  You bet the Man Child took advantage of the lounge with free food and drink (though he did not get $300 worth).  More good news: I’m a Eurobonus member, and they partner with United MileagePlus, which flies to Key West.  I’ll get points for this!  Of course, I’ll accept a free flight to Key West.  Even better news: We got to spend more time in Bergen.  What a beautiful city!

The Man Child taking advantage of the free food and beer in the business class lounge.

The Man Child taking advantage of the free food and beer in the business class lounge.

View of Bergen from the plane.

View of Bergen from the plane.

When we arrived in Bergen, our friend, Bård, picked us up at the airport and brought us to our hotel, where he knew everyone.  He then took us on a fantastic tour of the city, where he also knew everyone around town.  Sounds like Bård is the Norwegian Jim Jenkins.  We had an authentic Norwegian meal, tried the local beer, and even met some celebrities.  This was definitely my favorite night of our entire trip!

Our big celebrity sighting happened just as we were leaving dinner.  We were walking down the street when the Man Child quickly turned around, an excited expression on his face and blurted out, “did you see who that was?!?!”  I had not, in fact, seen who it was, but I quickly turned around hoping to catch a glimpse.  With his bright red hair and beard, I knew exactly who it was! I mouthed a silent squeal and jumped from excitement.  It was Kristofer Hivju (Tormund from Game of Thrones)!  Now, I’m not usually one to be so excited to see a celebrity; however, he plays my favorite character in Game of Thrones.  And, just the week before we left for this trip, the Man Child made a joke about the possibility of seeing him in Norway.  Something I completely brushed off as entirely unlikely.  Yet, there he was.

Turns out, Hivju was heading to a local hangout popular among actors.  Of course, our friend Bård had several friends who worked at that spot.  We had to go check it out.  With the film festival in town, there were quite a few famous actors in the bar.  I tried not to stare too much, but I could hardly contain my excitement.  At the end of the night, Bård asked Hivju if he would take a photo with his friend from Florida.  He was kind enough to oblige, and as I approached him, he proclaimed, “You must be Miss Florida.”  The Man Child now thinks that’s a funny nickname for me.

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As the night continued, we met a model/local reality tv star, a rapper from Memphis, and some local television hosts.  You can check out some of our photos from that night below:

The next day, we slept in until 1pm.  After the jet lag and a late night, we needed the sleep.  We spent the day touring Bergen.  We took the tram up to Mt. Fløyen for an incredible view of the city, and then hiked down and grabbed some lunch by the water.

At the end of the day, we met up with Bård one last time to grab a drink and thank him for being such an amazing host.  Bergen exceeded all my expectations, and I hope to make it back there some day.  But now, it is time to move on to Tromsø and our search for the Northern Lights!

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