A Travellerspoint blog

Dalsnuten

the post that took as long as hiking Dalsnuten to get posted

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After taking about an approx. 15 minute empty bus ride from Sandnes, my friend and I began the excruciatingly long trek up a construction-ridden hill to begin our ascent up Dalsnuten. For an American with asthma, this trip was arduous. We had to stop not even halfway up because I was having a hard time breathing. I say with all seriousness that if you have an inhaler - bring it. We ended up having to slow down the pace because of me, and I can't relate to the reader how embarrassing that was for me.

I faked being totally athletic on the way to the Tourist Station, I was never good at acting. We began our walk to the starting point of the hike and I was able to snap some lovely photos along the way.

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And for any readers out there from the Midland area - two of the photos below are of things called "trees" - they really exist!

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Now my one piece of advice to you is this: if you're like me and have asthma, but don't use an inhaler (for whatever reason), drink lots of water and stop every so often to sit down and rest. But if you do use an inhaler, bring it. Most importantly though, make sure you're physically fit enough to hike. I can now tell you from experience, that no matter how many mountains you've climbed, miles you've hiked, or years you've played tennis, Norway will dropkick you in the knees and hold you to the ground while it takes all of the spare kroner you needed for the bus ride home. Or maybe I'm just someone who is really out of shape and needs to hike more mountains more often?

On our way up, we talked about a variety of things until the conversation made its way to vikings. We joked about how my friend was a "mountain monkey", scaling the mountain like it was a joke and leaving me in her wake. Because of my impaired physical shape I was able to snap some panoramas on the way up.

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Right before we reached the top, we ran into a lovely lady who talked quite a bit for a Norwegian. She had with her an energetic little 'hund' named "Happy Harmony". That was the cutest, fluffiest, most energetic (and only) dog I have ever met in my life on a mountain. Looking back I wish I could have snapped a quick photo, but I felt like it would have been too weird to ask for a picture of her dog (if there's ever a next time I definitely will). After a long conversation, we finally were on our way again and got near to the top (I'll admit, 50 feet more and we'd have made it completely to the top, but we had to go). Here are some photos from 'the top' of Dalsnuten:

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As we made the descent down my friend taught my how to say; "You look like..." in Norwegian. I used my new-found knowledge to tell her she looked like a "trollkvinne" and we had a good time. Thankfully her dad was there to pick us up, and we had a Kvikk Lunsj to celebrate.

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We picked up one of her friends on the way home, and watched some episodes of Mummitrollet before passing out. All in all, it was an absolutely fantastic experience! I would do it again if I could, and I would really like to go to Prekestolen and/or the trek to Kjeragbolten once I condition myself.

Unfortunately, there were no trolls seen this day (it was sunny outside, what were you expecting?).

Posted by Kacey's Travels 14:10 Archived in Norway Tagged stavanger dalsnuten Comments (0)

Stavanger Day 3

Wayne's Coffee

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View Stavanger, Norway on Kacey's Travels's travel map.

We did many things today, it’s hard to know exactly where to begin.
We visited Sandes Sentrum, and I met another of my friend's friends - which was great! We scuttled about a mall before going to an Italian restaurant and Wayne’s Coffee. As a coffee addict I can safely say it was better than any coffee I’ve had to date.

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My fear of norsk younglings was cemented by a child burping in my general direction on the way back to my friend’s home. So bold.
When we stepped on the bus we realized there were a lot of people, causing us to stand at the very front. I took my place right up against the window against my better judgement and got a painful reminder as to why there’s a line you must stand behind when the door opened and my leg was jammed in an awkward position between the door and front of the bus.

As I'm slowly losing what little english speaking abilities I had, I fear I will not want to leave this place of wonder and beauty.

Posted by Kacey's Travels 19:23 Archived in Norway Tagged stavanger Comments (2)

Stavanger Day 2

History, Kroner, and Bonfires

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View Stavanger, Norway on Kacey's Travels's travel map.

This day was full of experiences, both good and bad.
Breakfast was great, it consisted of a croissant and brunost with butter on one half and a chocolate spread on another. Chocolate milk went with it, and we were good to go.

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We met my friend's friend (who is awesome) at a bus stop (my first time on a public bus), and took the bus to the city center. We visited the Stavanger Domkirke first, which was incredible beyond all words. To be in a place with such history really puts the world into another perspective.

From what I gleam from my research, Stavanger Domkirke happens to be Norway's oldest cathedral. Construction on the cathedral began in ca. 1100 and was completed ca. 50 years later in 1150 (from this I received mix answers, this site says 1125, so please excuse my information if it is incorrect). A fire damaged it in 1272 and it was rebuilt with a more Gothic style. The inside of the cathedral was altered during the 1860's, with an additional 30 year restoration to reverse some of those alterations in the 1930's-60's. The last restoration was done in 1999. Inside there are 5 epitaphs including a staircase/pulpit made by Andrew Lawrenceson Smith in the 1600's.

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here's a view from the outside of the Cathedral

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and what greets you upon entering

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In total, there are five epitaphs in the Cathedral; each were handmade with great detail and care by Andrew Lawrenceson Smith in the 1600's. He also made the staircase and pulpit seen below.

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here's a view from beside the alter of the Cathedral, as well as one of the windows spilling natural light to illuminate the inside of the Cathedral

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here you can see an old bible in danish, and a row of the Cathedral's beautiful windows


Afterwards, the three of us walked around the city center and I realised I had to take money out of one of the minibanks around the city center. This is where the "bad stuff" happened.
I put my debit card into one of the mini banks we came to, trying several times to withdraw 400NOK, but to no avail. This ended up in a couple of phone calls back home, which led to my friend having to spot me until we could get money wired to a local bank. We found out the problem was that my debit card wasn’t converting the currency, and my bank was embarrassed.

But after that fiasco, we went to Egno and ate lunch. I can tell you that Norwegian food is incredibly expensive…but also delicious.
We then said our goodbyes to her friend, and headed to Gamle Stavanger. Only two tourists were there with us, giving us peace and quiet to discover this place in our own ways. Walking through Gamle Stavanger's moss covered walls and cobblestone streets is like you’re traipsing about the pages of a history book. I tried to imagine living among these homes in the height of their past, but I know my imagination fell short.

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After Gamle Stavanger we walked to a little "nerd shop" that sells so many different things - from Doctor Who to My Little Pony and much, much more! Unfortunately for us, the shop was closed, so we began to head back to a bus stop.
Before we got there we found 400NOK on the ground (oh, the irony!), which is the equivalent of $66 or $67. We looked for the owner, and feeling awful, we just had to take it with us.

After all of our city adventuring and a bus ride later, we returned home for some amazing pølser to celebrate Sankt Hans (which you can read about here). Soon after we went to see a scheduled bonfire but it was cancelled at the last minute. So again we returned home to play Skyrim and watch Olsenbanden. A perfectly normal end to an eventful day.

Posted by Kacey's Travels 19:23 Archived in Norway Tagged stavanger Comments (0)

Stavanger Day 1

The Arrival

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View Stavanger, Norway on Kacey's Travels's travel map.

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my ticket conformation

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The Waffle House

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DFW 2 hours early

So I had a good (albeit long) flight from DFW to FRA (Frankfurt, Germany) which made the flight from FRA to SVG (Norway) seem like an eternity. I ended up trying to read some of "Paper Towns" by John Green, which made the flight fly by (pun intended). And for the record, I had no jet lag. I was wide awake and ready for action!

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I chanced a picture inside the plane...

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I'm not sure if I thought this was good food because it was good food, or if I was just hungry enough to believe it was good food

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more good food


Upon arriving in Norway, a couple I recognized as being American and I saw a poster of several pictures of landmarks in Stavanger; one of which was a naked man standing on Kjeragbolten. The woman made this observance; "You don't see that everyday".

Along with 50 or so other passengers (who did not fly with me), I waited for what seemed like an eternity for my luggage. I had a feeling I might never see my suitcase again - but lo and behold there it was! Grabbing it, I scurried my way to the place I hoped my friend would be, and there she was. We greeted one another like we’d known each other all our lives - a smile, a greeting - and just like that I exited the airport and began my first journey overseas.

We made our way to where her parents waited in the car. After the meet and greet I nervously went though, we took the long way to her house, which consisted of beautiful scenery, little farms, and a lot of water. When we got to her house, a humble blue home, I was ecstatic. As I speak my friend and I made the detached basement our temporary home, and my friend reminded me yesterday that Ylvis has been here!
After settling in, we took a walk and bought a skolebolle - a delicious norwegian pastry. That was the day I also realized my fear of Norwegian teenagers. I was also told the sun doesn't set until around 11pm here, and even then the sky is still rather bright. It's totally awesome.

Posted by Kacey's Travels 19:23 Archived in Norway Tagged arrival stavanger Comments (0)

Preparing: Norway

I know I said I wouldn't start using this blog until June 21st but...

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...I couldn't help myself. I have 2 weeks until I get on a plane headed to Stavanger, Norway. It's still not hit me yet, but as I think back to whenever I used to fly to other parts of the US, I never got excited then either. Of course I was excited to be in a new place, but maybe I'm subconsciously dreading the long flight and short layover in Frankfurt. Or I'll be on the plane, ready to take off, singing to myself how excited I am in Norwegian. Either way, in these two weeks I am beginning to prepare for my trip in several ways:

- Packing things like a travel adapter, copies of my passport, flight information, and any other important articles that will help me on my journey.

- Overhaul studying which includes finishing one textbook a week (1 down, 2 to go), cramming a bunch of Norwegian TV shows in, and reading Norwegian books and news until my mind explodes (Don’t follow in my footsteps, kids).

- Sending "thank you" gifts overseas to the family I'm blessed enough to stay with, which I still don't feel is enough, so I'm simultaneously feeling bad yet hopeful that they'll like the gifts...

There are lots of things to do beforehand that I never even thought of. It's not really that bad though, and I'm not nervous about the trip at all. Flying over the ocean will be an experience in itself, but I'm sure everything will work out in the end. I try not to imagine myself there because I worry it will create expectations in my head (like skyscrapers made out of cheese and moose running wild on the playgrounds), and I would rather experience everything without expectations. It's always been better for me that way - and I am 100% sure that I won't be disappointed about anything at all (even if there are no moose running wild on the playgrounds). I feel blessed to be able to go on this trip and lucky that I was able to work hard to do it.

Until next time,
Kacey

Posted by Kacey's Travels 08:58 Archived in USA Tagged preparing Comments (0)

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