Norway....known for its lush and beautiful nature, Scandinavian design, and home of the vikings. One of the most beautiful countries I have ever experienced. From the monumental views of the fjords, down to the mystical and fairytale forests....it's no wonder that Lord of the Rings was originally wanting to film here in Norway.
Since I am currently bound to Norway, not being able to leave the border due to waiting on my residency paperwork to be processed, leaving us unable to fulfil our usual summer travel plans, we set off to explore the west of Norway instead. It was such a blessing in disguise. I currently reside here in Norway, so I never really looked into exploring all of the greatness I so often hear about in the west of this country. So with this being the case, we figured...why not do some traveling through the country this summer....and that's exactly what we did.
We made it a point to begin our travels with a road trip from our city of Oslo to the once capital city of Bergen. We purposely made it a point to partake in this eight hour drive cross country to see the gorgeous storybook views of the fjords and the mountains. Something a native Floridian like myself doesn't get to view often, if ever. We were aware of what we signed up for, knowing that a flight to Bergen is about a little over an hour, but the drive was so breathtaking and out of this world beautiful, that for my first trip into bergen, flying there seemed almost insulting. My favourite part about the whole drive aside from the views, were the sightings of the sheep that roam freely everywhere along the roadsides. Of course, I had to make it a point to stop and pet the baby sheep, until, I quickly learned how scared I am of sheep. Ha, I'm such a chicken! ahh....
Bergen was great. Although it did rain on us almost the whole time we were there, we still got to explore the city. It's a known thing in Norway that Bergen is very prone to rain, so if ever visiting, be sure to bring your rain boots and trustee umbrella. Rain aside, the city was very traditional Norwegian. The city has kept much of it's old style Norwegian buildings and architecture, which makes the city interesting, and so different from Oslo. We had great friends showing us around and the ropes in bergen. We always prefer the local experience over any touristy one, so this made it a great experience.
Next stop was Stavanger. One of Norway's oldest cities. Established in the 1200's. I really have to say that I couldn't get enough of this quaint, storybook like, and extremely beautiful city. When you think of an old city, with gingerbread like shops and restaurants, cobble roads, and just a perfectly preserved piece of history existing in modern times...Stavanger is what you are visioning. It was most definitely my favorite city we visited. It was a smaller city than what I'm used to being that I live in Oslo, but that's partially what makes this city so charming. It's honestly the quaintest of the quaint. A city thats managed to preserve its charming, exclusive, and fable like streets and shops over hundreds of years. I couldn't resist stopping into the old style and gingerbread looking coffee houses for some local indulgences, and neither will you, I'm sure of it.
The last stop was the famous Pulpit Rock. We drove from Stavanger, taking the ferry over to our final and definitely most scenic and challenging destination. Taking in all the mountain and country side views that look almost too incredible and mind-blowing to be real. I have always wanted to see the sights of the fjords since I have made the transition to Norway. Being that I am a Florida native, we are known for our awesome white sand beaches, but most definitely not for any sort of fjord terrain. Ha! To take in these sights, was an absolute must for me. Like I say, from the beaches to the fjords....Haha! I really could never put into words the full out beauty of Pulpit Rock. Pictures and video could never even do it justice, although I tried. All I can say is that the two hour steep, massively rocky, and challenging hike up is worth every bit of any struggle or challenge. It really puts you and the size of the world into perspective. I've never felt so small, yet so accomplished, as I did when overlooking the fjord at pulpit Rock. It's actually mind boggling to witness this type of nature in person. Surreal...It was just so surreal...
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