Jul i Bergen

Bergen Julemarked


I’ve always been a fan of the little Christmas Markets. I love looking around the different stalls, buying gifts, sampling some delicious food and enjoying a mulled wine or two. So when I found out they were finally launching one here in Bergen, I was thrilled!

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect if I’m honest. When I read that there would be gløgg for sale (mulled wine), I just assumed it would be tomtegløgg – store bought, alcohol free and overly sweet. Instead, they had proper mulled wine AND a fully licensed bar – located inside a large, heated indoor tent that had comfortable seating! Yes, I’m easily pleased! Before doing a bit of shopping, we enjoyed a lovely cup of mulled wine on one of the sofas.

At the Julemarked, there were a few large tents that housed a variety of stalls and shops. I don’t handle the cold very well anymore (gone are the days of going on a night out without wearing a coat!) so it was nice being able to go from stall to stall in the warmth. We purchased a few Christmas gifts, sampled and bought some delicious cheese and then went back to the bar tent for some beer tasting. My favourite was the 7Fjell James – Dark Christmas Ale. ❤


Christmas in Bergen


I wasn’t quite ready to travel home for Christmas this year, so I made the decision to spend it here in Bergen.

Since Norwegians celebrate Christmas on the 24th, I was looking forward to two days of food and festivity!

24th Julemat

  • Forrett – Risgrøt
  • Hovedrett – Svineribbe, Surkål, Svinemør, Sossiser & Poteter
  • Dessert – Karamellpudding

25th Christmas Food

  • Starter – Duck Pâté on Toast
  • Main Course – Pork, Roasted Parsnips and Carrots, Pigs in Blankets & Potatoes
  • Dessert – Strawberry Trifle

We originally planned to have turkey on the 25th, but we decided to save it since there was so much pork (svineribbe) left over from the day before!

The highlight of Christmas had to be the much anticipated viewing of “Tre Nøtter til Askepott”. For those of you that don’t know what this is, it’s a Czechoslovak/East German fairy-tale film from 1973, that’s broadcast every year on Christmas Day in Norway. Instead of subtitles, the film is dubbed in Norwegian – with only one male voiceover for the various characters. At first when he spoke, it sounded like he was commentating over a sports game! However, once I got past that, it was a really enjoyable film. 😊

Old Norse in the North


formerly known as the County of York and “York” comes from the Viking name for the city, Jórvík


It’s no surprise that Old Norse has influenced the English language; particularly in the North where the Vikings dominated for many years!

When I started to learn Norwegian a few years ago, I found some similarities to Yorkshire words and places and thought it would be a good idea to make a blog post out of it!

Yorkshire Definition Old Norse Bokmål
Bairn Child / Baby Barn Barn
Beck A stream / A brook Bekkr Bekk
Berserk Mad / Angry Berserkr Berserk
By Place names ending in by

eg. Grimsby

By By
Dale Valley Dalur Dal
Fell A hill / Mountain slope Fjall Fjell
Flags Flat stones used for paving, flooring or roofing Flaga Flagger
Flit To move about / move house

eg. Flit about

Flytja Å flytte
Foss Waterfall Fors Foss
Gate Street / Way

eg. Kirkgate, Briggate

Gata Gate
Gawp To stare open mouthed

eg. Stop gawping

Gapa Å gape
Laik / Leck To play

eg. Are you laiking out?

Leika Å leke
Lig / Ligg To lie down Liggja Å ligge
Lug Pull or carry, or a knot in the hair Lugge Å lugge
Mucky / Muck Dirty / Manure Myki Møkkete
Nay No Nei Nei
Reckon To think, to consider Reikna Regne med
Sillin Raining heavily

eg. It’s sillin it down

Sila Å sile
Skrike Scream loudly (related to shriek) Skrækja Å skrike
Spell Splinter of wood in the skin Spjelke Spjelke
Tarn Lake / Pond

eg. Malham Tarn

Tjarn Tjern
Thwaites eg. Linthwaite þveit Tveit

Mum’s (2nd) visit to Norway

Earlier this month, my mum came to spend some time with us in Bergen again.

The first time she came to visit was the last weekend of August in 2015. In true Bergen style, it rained a lot! So this time, I told her to come around the start of May, and promised her a weekend of great weather. (Luckily, it didn’t disappoint… phew!)


On the Saturday, we took a 6 hour round-trip to the Hardangerfjord.

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 19.43.14

During our journey, we stopped off at Fossenbratte, Steinsdalfossen, Øystese, Hardangerbrua, Eidfjord and Voss.

Steinsdalfossen was a magical place! We walked on the path that led us directly under the waterfall. As I stood underneath, I was more than grateful for the nice refreshing mist after walking up the steep path on a warm day!

After enjoying a picnic in front of the waterfall in the sunshine, we made our way onwards towards Øystese.

Here, we stopped off at a lovely rocky beach. Whilst there, I managed to find a large, beautiful piece of quartz. ❤


Hardangerbrua – longest suspension bridge in Norway – 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) long

Our final destination, was Eidfjord. Words can’t even describe how beautiful this place was!

Close to the water, were a row of trees that had something different knitted around each one! Our favourite (especially B’s) was the lady – she even had glasses and a handbag!

After a long day of driving and sightseeing, we made our way back to Bergen through Voss


I’ve lived here almost 4 years and had never been to Fantoft stavkirke; a place I’ve always wanted to visit. So we figured we would check it out whilst my mum was here. Little did I know that it was closed until the end of the May! 🙈

Afterwards, we took the Ulriksbane (a cable car) to the top of Ulriken; the highest of the seven mountains in Bergen. Despite me being a wimp when it comes to heights and sitting down on the floor in a London Eye pod with my head in my hands many years ago, I managed the trip quite well!

In the evening, we went out for a lovely meal at Zupperia – Torget. The “Kokkens Krumspring” was to die for! King prawns, squid, scallops and chicken with ginger in oyster sauce, served with crispy noodles. Yum! Afterwards, we took mum to Apollon Platebar – probably one of my favourite places in Bergen. A small, cosy record shop/bar that has many craft beers on tap!


Before she flew back to the UK in the evening, we visited Gamlehaugen; the King’s residence in Bergen, and then Peppes for Pizza and wine in the sunshine. Unfortunately, King Harald was in Oslo so we didn’t get invited inside for a cup of tea…

It was such a lovely weekend, having my mum visit us in Bergen again and being able to spend some time with her. We both had such a great time with her and look forward to her next visit, so that we can plan another exciting road trip and make more new memories. ❤

Bergen Whisky and Beer Festival

Whisky and Beer; two of my favourite things! ❤


The event was open for 5 hours on the Friday and 6 the following day, so we decided to try Whisky on Friday and Beer on Saturday.


  • Jameson Caskmates *
  • Jameson Black Barrel Select Reserve *
  • Teeling Whiskey Single Grain *


  • Scallywag Speyside Blended Malt *
  • The Black Grouse *
  • Talisker Skye Single Malt
  • Caol Ila (12)
  • Smokehead Single Malt
  • Pigs Nose *


  • Eiktyrne – 7 mnd Baby
  • Eiktyrne – Sokin og Eikin
  • Oss Craft Distillery – Whisky *
  • Bareksten – Botanical Gin *


  • Nikka – From the Barrel *
  • Nikka – 12 YO Blend


  • Austmann – Coconut Porter *
  • Austmann – Dark Matter
  • Stones – Ginger Joe Pear
  • 7 Fjell – Gateway Drug *
  • 7 Fjell – Whisky Tørs
  • 7 Fjell – Kaffeslabberas *
  • 7 Fjell – Svartediket *
  • 7 Fjell – Si Ingenting
  • 7 Fjell / Austmann – Lactic Brown
  • 7 Fjell – Eiffeltårnet *
  • 7 Fjell – Andre Buskvekster
  • 7 Fjell – Meltzer Belgisk Dubbel *
  • 7 Fjell – Helge’s Surprise IPA
  • Beerbliotek – A Passion for Strawberry Blondes *
  • Beerbliotek – Black Ale Chilli
  • Brewdog – Neon Overlord
  • Brewdog – Cocoa Psycho *
  • Amundsen – Dessert in a Can *
  • Wild Beer Co – Shnoodlepip *
  • Voss – Eldhus Porter *
  • Voss – Kveika Baerøl *
  • Voss – Quadruple Bypass *
  • Erdinger – Dunkel *
  • Grünerløkka – Irish Rock Porter * 

* = indicates my favourites (yes, there were a lot!)


Oss Craft Distillery and Bareksten

The only distillery in Bergen! Their products were wonderful to try and Stig, the co-founder of Oss and owner of Bareksten was lovely. I had never come across a clear whisky before, so I was excited to try this! Both the flavour and aroma were fruity; something adventurous and different. What surprised me even more was the Bareksten botanical gin. I can’t usually drink gin without a mixer (usually I add tonic or flavoured soda water) but this went down a treat! It was smooth and very flavourful. If you love gin, I can’t recommend this enough. Just please don’t spoil it with a mixer! 😛

Jameson Caskmates and Irish Rock Porter

Bringing back the tradition of a “Whiskey Chaser”. The Irish Rock Porter is finished in whiskey casks, and Caskmates has been finished in stout-seasoned whiskey casks. Therefore, these two go together beautifully!

7 Fjell

A craft brewery in Bergen. I think we tried almost everything 7 Fjell had to offer at the event! My absolute favourites were Kaffeslabberas (Coffee Pale Ale 6%) and Gateway Drug (IPA 6%).  

Dessert in a Can – Amundsen

This deserves a special mention! A dark, sweet, delightful drink with notes of marshmallow and chocolate! Apparently, this is new and should be released sometime in March. I’ll have to keep checking Vinmonopolet, as I can’t wait to try this again!


A massive thanks to B for getting me tickets to this for Christmas ❤ I had a wonderful time with him and his brother Kurt, and can’t wait to do it all over again next year!

🍻  Skål! 🍻

Road Trip to Fjørtoft

Every summer, Bjørnar and I head to Fjørtoft; the beautiful island he grew up on in Sunnmøre. In the past, we have taken the bus from Bergen to Ålesund, and then another bus, before getting on the final ferry to the island. This usually takes around 12 hours and is very draining! So this year, Bjørnar decided to drive.

The journey itself is wonderful and I am always captivated by the beautiful views of the mountains and fjords. I pack a book for the trip every time and never end up reading it because I’m either gazing out of the window or sleeping! There are 5 ferries in total throughout the journey, allowing you to stretch your legs, breathe in some fresh air and grab a bite to eat. Since I’m a fan of brunost, I opted for a brunost svele and was not disappointed! It’s safe to say my love for brunost has gone up a level. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water!

Brunost = Brown Cheese  |  Brunost is a common, Norwegian name for mysost, a family of cheese-related foods made with whey, milk and/or cream.

Svele = Svele is a Norwegian batter based cake. By size and texture they may bear some resemblance to American pancakes, but are usually eaten for afternoon coffee or as a snack between meals, served with butter and either sugar or brunost, folded in half to the shape of a crescent.


On our way there, we stopped off at this beautiful spot at Vassenden. The water was completely still and the place was overwhelmingly peaceful and serene. It was one of those views that takes your breath away; the photographs don’t do it justice.


We stopped off at the same spot for another photo on our way back to Bergen. It’s amazing how different it looks when the sun in shining and the water is moving.


During our stay, we travelled to Borgund to visit Sunnmøre Museum. Here they have an open-air museum with 50 well-preserved old buildings, that display various architectural styles and lifestyles from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.

At the museum, they also have replicas of the two Viking boats that were found in a marsh on Fjørtoft in 1940.

The largest boat is about 10 meters long with the hull made of oak. The smallest boat, almost a rowboat, was much smaller and in very poor condition. They were set down in the marsh, with the larger one filled with stone. There was no other equipment or objects in the boats, leading them to believe they were sacrificial gifts.

Sealing material in the largest boat is C-14 dated to 860 AD. The boats were built some time between 500 and 900 AD.


Some of our days on the island were spent relaxing, sunbathing and swimming. Whenever the sun came out, we made sure to take full advantage of the weather. Especially since we’d forgotten what a blue sky looked like! 


13835767_10154388046321079_1367001774_oLuckily there was no sign of brennmanet this year, but there were plenty of glassmanet in the sea! I initially freaked out when I saw one as I’ve never come across them before and didn’t know they were harmless! The one we saw on our final day was huge, so I took a few snaps of it in the water. Afterwards, I tried to push it far back out into the deep so that it didn’t meet the same fate as the others that had washed up along the shoreline and dried out that day.

Brennmanet = Lion’s mane jellyfish

Glassmanet = Moon jellyfish


Our journey back to Bergen took a little longer than anticipated due to increasingly bad weather. The closer we got to Bergen, the greyer and darker the sky became and as we approached Hordaland kommune, we were greeted by heavy rainfall and a thunderstorm directly above us! We both laughed about it… After all, we wouldn’t expect it to be any different!

A Weekend in Oslo

On this day last week, Bjørnar and I were sitting in the airport, waiting anxiously to board our plane to Oslo after seeing a small propellor plane parked at our gate. (For those of you that don’t know us very well, we are both nervous flyers and have always insisted that we would never travel by propellor plane!) So I popped a couple of diazepam, washed it down with a glass of wine (don’t try this at home) and crossed my fingers in hope that this would not be our mode of transport that day!

After thirty minutes, the small aircraft moved and a large red-nosed Norwegian plane took its place! I was very relieved and realised that I had overreacted initially since Norwegian don’t have any small propellor planes within their fleet!

Anyhow, we arrived in Oslo after a slightly turbulent 55 minute flight and made our way to Helsfyr to check into the Scandic hotel.

Our view for the next few days would be this lovely building… Skatteetaten 😀 (These are the people that collect the taxes in Norway 😉 )


The skies were dark and grey on the Friday and the weather forecast had predicted thunderstorms and rain for the duration of our stay. Yet when we woke up on Saturday morning and opened the curtains, the sun was shining and there was not a cloud in sight!

The primary reason for visiting Oslo was to attend the wedding of Bjørnar’s sister. So after tucking into the free breakfast buffet in the hotel restaurant, which by the way was amazing, we made our way back to our room to get ready for Monika’s wedding. The ceremony was held at the stunning Kampen Kirke, which had beautiful stained glass windows and decor throughout. After attending a couple of Norwegian weddings since moving here, one thing that I have learned is that they like to have a lot of speeches! I think it’s great in comparison to British weddings, as only a couple of people are expected to stand up and speak, or sometimes not at all because people feel too nervous and shy. In Norway, anybody and everybody could do a speech if they wanted to!

Before travelling to Oslo, I wanted to find if there were any local museums that we could visit during our stay and discovered that the Munch Museum was fairly close to Helsfyr. On our final day, we went and viewed some of Munch’s work along with some of Jasper Johns’ pieces.


Unfortunately, the museum did not have the painted version of The Scream on display 😦 We found out afterwards that this was currently at the National Gallery in Oslo.

Across from the Museum were the Botanical Gardens and the Natural History Museum. Pressed for time, we only managed to visit the greenhouses. These wonderful, old buildings were filled with an array of exotic flowers and plants.

Overall, we had a great weekend in Oslo and would have loved to have spent a few more days there to see some of the other museums and the city itself. Our flight back to Bergen on Monday evening was delayed 45 minutes, resulting in me missing the first half of the England v Iceland football game 😦 In hindsight, the flight should have been delayed much longer so I would have missed the whole game since it was so disappointing to watch! 😀

Couples Shoot

A few weeks ago, Bjørnar and I were lucky enough to have some professional photographs taken by two wonderful British photographers. Jamie, who I met a year ago when he was the photographer at my cousin’s wedding in England, had made arrangements to travel to Bergen and do a styled shoot with some models, and asked if we would like to have a couples shoot.

Despite never doing anything like this before, the offer was too good to refuse! After having my hair and makeup done by two lovely Norwegian ladies, we headed to the botanical gardens in Milde.

Hair by Seline: Facebook   Makeup by Jessica: Facebook

After having a week of sunshine and high temperatures, the weather was quite the opposite that particular day!  Luckily the rain held off though, but my choice of footwear could have been better! I was constantly sinking into the mud with my stiletto heels! Throughout the shoot, Jamie made us feel comfortable and directed us so that we knew what to do.

0001 - Stacey + Bjonar  - IMG_0244 - Jamie Sia Photography_Stomped by Jamie Sia Photography

0008 - Stacey + Bjonar  - IMG_4356 - Jamie Sia Photography_Stomped by Jamie Sia Photography


Photographs above taken by Jamie Sia Photography    Facebook    Website

Afterwards, we also had the pleasure of having some more photographs taken by the lovely Elly; one of the models for the styled shoot.

Photographs below taken by E.L Hitched    Facebook    Website


Overall, the outcome was fantastic! We had a wonderful day and now have a lovely set of photographs that we can cherish for a long time.

Make sure to check out both Jamie’s and Elly’s websites to see their amazing portfolios. ❤

17. Mai – Gratulerer med dagen!

The 17th May, also known as Norwegian Constitution Day, is an official national holiday that is celebrated all over the country. The Constitution was signed in 1814 and declared Norway to be an independent kingdom.

Despite me being in Bergen for almost 3 years, this was my first time celebrating it here so I was very excited!

We arranged to celebrate the 17th with some of my expat friends, so I decided to bake a “marsipankake” for the day. I’ve never been quite fond of baking as I find it quite stressful and as I expected, It didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped! My sponge base didn’t rise very much at all, so I had to run out to the shop to buy more eggs to bake another one! The second didn’t rise either but I managed to salvage the cake by putting the two sponge layers together. Recipe: Marsipankake


On the morning of the 17th, after having our champagne breakfast, we made our way into the city centre to watch the parade. The streets were lined with thousands of people, many of whom were wearing their traditional “bunader”. Bergen has its own traditions for the parade, that includes comic troupes, various local organisations, a children’s parade, and the unique “buekorps”. It was a great experience from start to finish, and we were lucky that the weather held out.


After the parade had ended, my friends and I came back to our place and we continued the celebrations by drinking prosecco and vodka, eating “pølse” and “kake”, attempting to sing the Norwegian national anthem, and dancing to music until late!


Marsipankake = Marzipan Cake

Bunader = Traditional Norwegian Costume

Buekorps = Traditional marching neighbourhood youth organisations in Bergen

Pølse = Sausages (similar to hot-dogs)

Gratulerer med dagen = Congratulations with the day


After living in Bergen for almost 3 years, (wow, has it really been that long?!) I’ve started searching for new places to explore since I’ve seen the majority of the tourist hotspots here; museums, the mountains, art galleries etc.

The great thing about Bergen is that it’s fairly easy to get around thanks to the bybane and bus services, but there’s a lot more that Bergen has to offer that can only be accessed by car. On rare days that we have access to a vehicle, I like to take full advantage of this by exploring some place new.

I came across the beautiful Skogsøy after searching for things to do in Bergen on Visit Norway, and decided that this was a place I needed to see and explore. So, I asked 2 of my expat friends if they would like to join myself and Bjørnar on our little adventure and off we went.

The 55 minute drive from the city centre was wonderful! It wasn’t long before the urban scenery changed. The longer we drove, it became more beautiful and peaceful, with many rolling hills that sheep and lambs were grazing upon.

We began our hike by admiring some galloping lambs that were close to the path. They didn’t seem fazed by us or anybody else for that matter! I assume this is a very popular hiking route as they were different to the sheep on Fjørtoft – there they start to shuffle away before you’ve even seen them!


The hike was described as being “medium” for effort level on the website and I definitely agree with that. Some of the terrain was difficult and rocky. The path was marked well and we would often come across stacks of rocks, (some of which were painted blue) which reassured us that we were heading in the right direction.

After walking for some time, we came upon a signpost for “Skogstuo” on the side of a hill that we climbed. The panoramic views from the top were breathtaking! The four of us sat silently and watched the ocean waves crash against the cliff walls, whilst breathing in the cool, salty sea air.

I definitely recommend visiting this beautiful island if you have the opportunity to do so. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of city life, so it’s important to get away from it every once in a while to unwind and relax.



Last night was like most nights here. It got dark, and my phone notified me that it was kp6 outside. (For those of you that don’t know what this means, basically the kp number system is a scale of geomagnetic activity aka northern lights forecast)

Usually, there’s nothing much to see here in Bergen, and after many previous disappointing late night treks with my camera, I decided not to bother perusing it.

A few hours later, Bjørnar showed me an online news article from BT (Bergens Tidende) showing many photos of the beautiful northern lights taken all over Bergen that people had submitted throughout the late hours of the evening. So, off we went with my camera and tripod to the dark football field behind HiB in Kronstad. Unforunately for us, there was far too much light pollution and we didn’t catch a glimpse of anything. We decided to give it up as a bad job and return home shortly after midnight.

Upon returning, I saw more photographs emerging along with comments from people on social media stating they had also just seen the beautiful light show across the skies. Determined to see something, we set back out with my camera and headed to another location; Møllendalsveien. Upon arrival, we immediately saw a faint, green haze dance slowly above us! We stayed there for an hour, appreciating the beautiful light before returning home once more.

I was able to capture a few shots, but next time we need to find a location with less light pollution as this hindered the vibrance of the aurora. Perhaps I’ll be setting off on mission number 3 this evening!

For live kp updates, I use the following site: http://www.aurora-service.eu/

and I use this android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.beebeetle.auroranotifier&hl=en



Last week, Bjørnar and I traveled to Fjørtoft; the island he grew up on and an already favourite location of mine. We began our journey from Bergen to Ålesund via coach and was a little sceptical after being told it would take ten hours. I have endured many long, dreadful coach journeys in England; usually amounting to nine hours with no stop-offs.

However, this trip was more than bearable! The coach journey provided me with some incredible views of the beautiful fjords; something the M1 doesn’t have to offer… There were also around five ferries during the journey, which allowed us to get some fresh air, stretch our legs and satisfy our appetites with warm food.

Once we arrived in Ålesund, we had to make our way to the dock to board a ferry, enabling us to travel to Fjørtoft. This added another two hours onto our journey. Once aboard, I began peering through the window and noticed that the ocean was full of jellyfish! I had never seen so many in my life! Bjørnar then explained to me they were called brennmanet; brenn translates to burning. I immediately knew I had to give these a wide berth but couldn’t help thinking what they would taste like…!


After a long day of traveling, we finally arrived at Fjørtoft and were greeted by hugs, hot cocoa and a lovely supper. It wasn’t long before I was tucked up in bed and fast asleep…

The next few days involved a lot of exploring on the island. On one side of Fjørtoft, there is a lighthouse that is surrounded by a vast stretch of land. Nothing else has been built on this area and sheep are allowed to roam freely. It also features some viking burial mounds as seen below.


In comparison with the others on the island, this one in particular is very wide and extremely long. Unfortunately, nobody knows what exactly lies beneath. But I think the mystery is what fascinates me the most…


During my stay, I was lucky enough to get access to the Church as I was eager to see what it looked like on the inside. The decor and warm colours evoked a cosy feeling and positive energy…


The Church is over 130 years old and prior to this, there was a Chapel from 1309 to 1878.


On the final day, I was lucky enough to drive the boat in the ocean and also attempted some fishing! On two occasions, I was almost dragged overboard by something heavy on the end of my line, but it took me so long to reel it in that by the time I did, whatever I had caught had escaped! Therefore, B was gloating when he managed to catch a fish…

Although who can blame him?! After all, what he caught was rather delicious!

Nytt Liv i Norge

My time in Norway so far has been a rollercoaster ride filled with highs and lows, but it’s one that I’m thoroughly enjoying. After all, nobody said it was going to be easy moving to a new country but I’m really liking it here in Bergen.

One thing I am rather fond of, is the beautiful scenery. For a big city, Bergen has a lot to offer. The city centre is vibrant, busy and great for shopping and yet within walking distance, you can surround yourself with nature on top of the mountains, with only a few people in sight.

The weather in Bergen is usually rainy so I tried to take advantage of the beautiful, warm weather in July by doing some hiking.


Climbing up 800 steep steps was an absolute killer! I had to take regular breaks and sit on the rocks whilst people much older and fitter than me, made their way up with no problems whatsoever.

B kept trying to reassure me that we were getting closer to the top. Stolzen has many halfway points; all of which are way before the actual halfway point sign… Once I saw the actual sign and realised B had been fooling me, I was ready to give up and wait for an air ambulance to retrieve me!

Reaching the top was definitely worth the struggle! The view was incredible!


After a well deserved rest, we began to make our way to Fløyen and came across many beautiful lakes.

Below is Storevatnet.

DSC_0038Climbing the mountain was thirsty work and although we ran out of water, we were able to refill our bottle with the fresh water from the lake.

After hours of walking, we arrived at a very busy Fløyen.



Another mountain accomplished is Løvstakken; another of the seven mountains that surround Bergen. Before starting the hike, I warned Linda about my struggle with Stolzen and my regular need for breaks… However, this one was less steep and was therefore a much more enjoyable walk.


On the hike back down from Løvstakken, we took a different route and headed towards Storavatnet; the lake near Loddefjord, and went for a swim. Seems like we weren’t the only ones taking full advantage of the great weather as the place was heaving with people!


Last month, I was lucky enough to see Muse in Bergen! After seeing them three times previously in England, I knew I was in for a real treat. Luckily, the weather was beautiful! (Nothing worse than it banging it down when you have standing tickets…)


I went to the concert with some Norwegian people that I had recently met; Linda, Irene, Marius, Are and Trond. I can honestly say that I had a great time and the people I was with made it a fab experience that I will never forget!

After finding a Norwegian flag at the concert that I waved around frantically whilst Muse played, I was asked by a few people if I thought it was the 17th May. I explained that I was English and that I was just being patriotic to my new home!


Ikea is definitely worth a mention in my blog post. Afterall, it is one of my favourite places to be! Unfortunately, it is not close to the city centre and definitely not within walking distance… but they provide a free bus service on Saturdays! Wahey!

On our first visit, I was absolutely shocked by the vast size of the building!

Then I was shocked by the size of the standard meatball portions!

Definitely not as tight here as they are in Southampton…

New Home

Finally, that leads me on to our new home…

During my first month in Bergen, me and B were staying in a shared flat on Knøsesmauet. Smauet describes a walking place or street that is ‘small’ apparently…

Basically, everything about the flat was “smauet”! The shared kitchen was tiny along with the bedroom and shared bathroom. However, we were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves for the whole four weeks due to it being vacation season.

We were lucky enough to find a great one bedroom apartment that we moved into two weeks ago. It’s close to the mountain, Fløyen (which means the walk to is great for the legs) and when you look out of the window, you can see the sea!

Departure Day

This time last week, I was on my flight to Norway, preparing for landing at Bergen airport. One week later and my back still hasn’t quite forgiven me for the trauma I put it through earlier that morning…

The day prior to my journey involved me frantically walking into town twice to buy two new (huge) suitcases. I guess I had underestimated the amount of ‘stuff’ that I had to bring with me. I knew already they were well over the 20kg allowance but there wasn’t much I could do about it, other than pay the additional fees for them being overweight.

Saturday didn’t start off so well. After waking up feeling like I was going to be sick at any given moment, my taxi decided to be twenty minutes late. Luckily, I allowed more than enough time to get to the coach station and as I got there, the coach to Gatwick had just pulled into the bay.

The taxi driver reassured me that my cases didn’t feel as though they weighed more than 32kg (the maximum limit) and this put me at ease.

The coach was peaceful and quiet. This was definitely the calm before the storm… After getting plenty of sleep on the coach, we arrived at Gatwick Airport.

My first mini-drama was trying to find a trolley for my cases. Luckily I spotted some further back before the coach stop. Brilliant idea to put them there… I had to leave my cases unattended to retrieve one. It then took me a good five minutes to lift both my cases onto the trolley due to their weight whilst a group of people stood and watched.

The Norwegian check-in desk wasn’t too busy and I explained to the woman that my cases were heavy as I was moving to Norway. I was in shock to see that both cases were well over the maximum limit with one being 34 and the other 35kg. She explained that I had to repack them and get them both down to 32kg otherwise they would be unable to drop them. It was definitely the highlight of my morning, repacking my cases in front of a vast crowd of people checking in for their monarch flights. I removed a few of the heavy items from my cases and packed them into my hand luggage in hope that they would not weigh it.

After getting the weight of my cases down to 30 and 32kg, I re-approached the check in desk and explained my situation once again to a different lady. Although I was 22kg over the limit, she felt guilty for charging me £150. Instead, she charged me £70 and I got away with my weighty hand luggage.

Once I had gone through the security checks, I headed to a bar for a drink. Although it was 7am, my nerves for flying needed calming with a glass of wine, so I went to Cafe Rouge. After finding a table, I was greeted by a breakfast menu. I was still feeling nauseous and can never usually eat before a flight anyway so when the lady asked if she could take my order, I asked her for a drinks menu instead. She looked at me in disgust! After she returned with a menu, I picked up my belongings and walked out. I am not prepared to be looked down on by anybody! I walked into Bridge and ordered my drink at the bar. The bartender was jolly and happy, which lifted my spirits once again.

Once the gate number was announced, nerves and anxiety started to hit me as usual. I tried to remain calm and made my way to the departure gate.

Once I boarded the flight, I explained the the flight attendant that I was nervous as I broke down into tears. I had to explain that I was also an emotional wreck as I was also moving to Norway and that the reality of it all had only just hit me. Cringe… However, after take off, I felt completely fine and actually enjoyed the flight. It was over much sooner than I anticipated!

After collecting my heavy luggage and adding more injury to my back, I was greeted by the friendliest face; Bjørnar’s, and the day didn’t seem so bad after all… 🙂




B’s Back in Town!


Earlier this month, B came to visit me for a few days. I discovered this was a perfect opportunity for me to share my new love for cheese and biscuits with him. So much so that I am actually sick of the stuff now, I think we ate it everyday when he visited.

On the Thursday night, we went for a lovely meal at the gorgeous Coco Rio in Southampton. If you love Caribbean cuisine, you must try this place as the food is amazing. We had the Cape Malay Bobotie (curried lamb casserole) and the Cuban Style Gumbo, washed down with a lovely bottle of red wine. The best thing about dining out with B is that we always half and half our food! After we’ve eaten half, we swap!

To assist me with the big move, B brought extra suitcases with him so that I could pack clothes and any other belongings I no longer needed with me in Southampton. Friday evening was the perfect opportunity for me to do this, but after squashing two coats into the largest case, I was mortified to see how little room there was left for anything else! I hurried down to Argos and bought a pack of vacuum bags and started filling them with clothes. I must say, whoever invented those things is a life saver! I’m pretty sure I won’t need to ship anything over separately now. (Fingers crossed anyway…)

On Saturday and Sunday, we traveled to Bristol to see my lovely friend Nicole. The weather was amazing so we spent the day walking around the city and played mini golf, which was fun! In the evening we chilled inside drinking malibu whilst playing games.

(Monkeying around at Jungle Rumble Mini Golf!)

On Sunday, we went to The Lanes and shared a scrummy goats cheese pizza and each ordered a milkshake. I opted for a chocolate one with Jack Daniels and peanut butter. It was to die for!



Despite being at work whilst B visited for 5 days, it was great that we were still able to cram so much into the time that we could spend together. Unfortunately, the days went by so quickly but with only 11 days to go until the big move, it won’t be long until we are reunited once again and are able to spend as much time together as we wish to do so.

Leaving Shenanigans


One of the benefits of working in a school is that I am able to enjoy half term and termly breaks when the school is closed for students and teachers. This allowed me to return to the wonderful north on the 25th May  to visit my family and friends before I leave for Norway later this month.

Plans for my leaving party had been underway for weeks and luckily enough, the fantastic weather held out! On Sunday morning, my mother and myself began setting up the garden for our guests and preparing food. She also revealed something that had been hiding away in a box; my cake! As you can see from the photo, it was shaped as a suitcase and featured both the Norwegian and England flag. Yummy!

My guests arrived and I was spoilt rotten with cards and gifts. I must say I absolutely loved the Yorkshire gifts; a box of Yorkshire Tea, Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire Pudding mix, some Yorkshire Ales and a Yorkshire phrase book! (Not forgetting the vino though! Although I don’t think my suitcase was too happy with the extra weight…one of my wheels has now broken…)

My Uncle had prepared a quiz on Norway, which was a surprise to everyone. This was great fun! Everyone got into pairs and me and my Grandma aced it, obviously! The question that made me laugh the most was “Which three countries share a border with Norway?” Some responses were Germany, Denmark and Switzerland… Needless to say, none of those were my answers!

Overall, the party was great fun and everyone enjoyed themselves. Was rather glad that the weather didn’t disappoint also!

After saying my goodbyes and farewells to everyone up north, it felt rather strange returning back to Southampton. However, I think this softens the emotional blow a little. I know that if I had said those goodbyes before boarding a plane, I would be a blubbery mess. Although after speaking to my friend Vic, I’m pretty sure I’ll be a blubbery mess anyway as she will be the last person I say goodbye to before I leave for the airport on the 29th June! Hopefully that will distract from the nerves of flying…

17th May

So yesterday was Norway’s National Day in which I have already started feeling patriotic towards. I had the fantastic opportunity to celebrate this day last year on Fjørtoft with Bjørnar and his family, participating in a march on the island whilst waving a flag, listening to the amazing band outside of the church, taking part in the traditional game of throwing a horse shoe (which I was quite good at!), eating brennsnut and watching sketches performed by residents on the island.

Image(Me and B last year on the 17th May)

I felt it was important for me to celebrate this year in anticipation of me moving to Norway despite me being in England.

When I came home from work, I arrived to the wonderful surprise of a lovely bouquet of flowers that B had sent to me with the note, “Happy 17th May, love bear”. 🙂


In the evening, I invited two of my friends over for drinks and snacks, and listened to Norwegian rock band ‘Big Bang’. I even hung up my Norwegian flag with pride!

Image(Fizzy pear drink, elk, jarlsberg cheese and marzipan cake)

Despite being unable to celebrate in the same way I did last year, I had a great evening and I look forward to moving to Norway more and more each day!

One Way Ticket


It’s official! My one way ticket to Bergen is finally booked and paid for, and the best thing about it is that it cost me £35! I will need to pay for my cases but that will only be an additional £14… Cheap and cheerful, and the best airline that I have ever travelled with!

I am very excited now I have this booked, and also excited at the fact B is coming back to Southampton for a few days before I move. This will enable me to move some of my things in advance and also allow us to spend some time together here too. We already have a lot of things planned; dinner at our favourite Caribbean restaurant Coco Rio, a visit to Bristol to see my lovely friend Nicole and some other stuff too!

The Norway job hunt continues… I’m trying to stay optimistic as I am aware it will be difficult for me to find a job prior to me moving. However, there is no harm in me looking and trying! My CV is all completed and it’s looking very snazzy! I figured in order for me to stand out from the crowd, I had to create it in Photoshop and do something different. Fingers crossed it will get me noticed.


Out With a Bang!

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Last night, we went to see the Norwegian band Big Bang play at USF Verftet. This was definitely a great end to my visit in Bergen. It was a fantastic experience and I was in awe at how amazing the guitarist was!

Before heading into the concert, I took a few snaps outside of the venue by the water. The views were amazing! I must admit, I have most definitely regretted leaving behind my digital SLR in Southampton for this visit.

After the concert, we headed to an Irish Pub with some of B’s friends that we met up with at the concert. This was a great end to the night and I had a lot of fun with these guys! I have to say, I am quite sad to be leaving Norway later today.

Overall, this visit has been incredible! I feel that I have been able to see that Bergen has a lot to offer and I can’t wait to start my new life here in the Summer. Next on the agenda – start working more on my Norwegian…

Finally in Bergen!


Before my arrival, I was struck with an unfortunate case of flu. This meant the first two days of my visit were spent resting in bed with a fever, which cut my visit even shorter and interfered with some of our initial plans. However, by Thursday night I was feeling much better and even managed to sample some Peppe’s Pizza! B had been talking about how great this was for some time now, so it was great to finally try it. I was very impressed; the flavours were amazing!

After pizza, we figured it would be a good idea to take a short stroll into the city and go for a few beers since I hadn’t left the house since my arrival. I was quite surprised to see that some of the local watering holes were very busy considering the prices of alcohol! After having a few drinks at Garage, we then moved on to another place, Kvarteret. We were joined by a few of B’s friends and ended the night back at Garage. It was an enjoyable evening. By this point, I had very much warmed to the idea of Bergen being my new home.

Yesterday we decided to explore a little more around the city. The weather was a little cold still but the sun was shining. In the evening we took the Fløibanen to the top of Fløyen and had a picnic. Thew views were breathtaking! Next time, I aim to climb the stairs to the top! Obviously this would not have been a wise move whilst my energy levels are still a little depleted!

All Packed and Ready to Go


So tomorrow I am heading to Bergen for five days to see B! Unfortunately, it can only be a short visit as I have other commitments next week here in England but despite this, I am sure it will be an amazing visit as we have lots planned. This will be my first time visiting Bergen. We decided that it would be a wise choice for me to visit before moving here in the Summer as I have only visited Ålesund and Fjørtoft so far, which I both love!

Last week I decided it would be a good idea to pay extra for an additional suitcase. This will allow me to leave some of my belongings in Norway with B. After experiencing many years of gorgeous weather and heatwaves at Easter, my initial plan was to pack up my winter clothes and leave them behind in Bergen as I would no longer be needing them. However, after wintery winds and flakes of snow in March, it’s safe to say I will be hanging onto them a little bit longer!