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!)

Saturday

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

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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. ❤

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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

Sunday

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!

Monday

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. ❤

Skogsøy

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!

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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.

Fjørtoft

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.

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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…

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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.

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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!