Ha det bra, Norway!
What a great time I had in Norway! It was filled with new and old friends, delicious food, very very expensive beers, strange viking sickness, learning/working (but hardly working), Norwegian Salmon, city exploring, breath taking scenery, horrible bowling, and national women's hockey games... What a strange mix of things, but it was an amazing time! During Monday - Thursday, I had class for work, which was great. But the first day I came into class, I sat next to this girl... Just wanted to be friendly and meet a fellow girl worker. Well, what I didn't know was that she was sick from some foreign Scottish disease... which got transfered to me... I was deathly sick for about 3 days. That bitch! How dare she?! But I survived it! Here in Norway, there is no such thing as medicine.. when you have a flu/cold, you will be given Vick's Vapor Rub. Luckily, I had this generic Walmart brand "Cold/Flu Symptoms" medicine and was able to not die. If I can survive this strange viking disease, I can survive anything!!! Right?...
Even with my sickness, I had to go out! No way I was spending my 10 days in Norway inside of a hotel... So although I was tired and exhausted, I forced myself to go out. Every night, we (Nikhil, Andres, and I) would go explore the city by foot, watching the beautiful sunset along the quaint, farm/Danish styled houses. The city of Stavanger is so beautiful with cliff sides blanketed in these cute little colorful wooden homes. Since every restaurant was so expensive, it would always be an adventure to go try find something to eat after our walking adventures through the city, but we really found some great places! My favorite place is the new Norwegian restaurant called "Fish & Cow." Damn, the bread in Norway doe!!!! The bread and meats in Norway are SO good, and Fish & Cow was no exception when it came to bread... I devoured a whole basket to myself and even asked for seconds! My dish was the baked Norwegian fish, cheese on top with local veggies... absolutely delicious! If I ever go back to Stavanger, I will be here again!
The salmon in Norway is AMAZING. It's extremely soft, fatty, tasteful, and fresh. One of the days I adventured to a sushi place and the mall with Petter, and my modest plastic plate filled with salmon and tuna nigiri was one of the best I've ever had! Another amazing dish I had in Norway was the fish soup at Fisketorget, a modern, glass half restaurant half fish market right off the harbor. It seriously was the best soup I have ever had in my entire life... There was a bit of acid, saltiness, sweetness, warmth, a bit of crunchy, and just amazing (especially with the garlic aioli spread on Norwegian bread and a beer on the side ;)). Calvin, Keith's friend, also invited me over so I had a home cooked complete Japanese meal at Calvin's and Jade's place (they live in a nice high rise right off the coast) that included rice, miso soup, donkatsu, sushi, tea, salad, fried seafood balls, dessert, and wine!
Other than food, I consumed a lot of drinks as well. Every night we went out to somewhere to enjoy Stavanger nightlife. It is by no means as loud and crazy as the U.S. (or as cheap), but it was very pleasant. We went to different venues from pubs (Newsman & Cardinal), to night clubs (like Alf & Warner, Archivet), to chill bars (Timbuktu & Tango's), to after parties, to bowling?? I am a horrible bowler, so of course I never want to go!!! I do not know how many times I tell people I am just terrible at the sport, but no one believes me until they see it. And boy, does everyone believe me! My high score was a 45... How is that even possible?! Nonetheless, I had a great time! Good drinks, atmosphere, and a great group of people to be around made the whole experience of sucking at bowling a lot better!
I enjoyed every night out in Stavanger, but I have to say the best thing, hands down, I did was going to the Fjords. Before I came to Norway, I wanted to hike Preikestolen and Kjerag (two amazing cliffs in Lysefjorden), but due to still being early in spring, there was too much ice for me to go... so instead, Nikhil, Andres, and I took the Lysefjorden boat tour floating straight into the fjord. Although I did not get to see the breathtaking view from a bird's eye view, the scenery was still stunning from below. I cannot get over how beautiful Norway is! The wind on the boat was freezing cold and making my already extremely dry and ashy skin more dry and ashy, but it was well worth it to soak in the scenery! We even drank fresh water from a waterfall off the cliff! WHO DOES THAT?! I didn't get sick, so I think getting immune to that Viking disease earlier the weak has strengthened my body.
After the freezing, yet refreshing boating trip into the fjord, we decided to take a road trip out to Monafossen, a water fall that is supposedly easy to hike... The countryside was picturesque... The scenery was just so beautiful, that I was overwhelmed. Every where I looked, it was like a cover of a National Geographic Magazine... The whole 1.5 hour ride there, all three of us were like "WOWW!! WOW LOOK AT THAT! WOWW"... seriously no words to describe the beauty of Norway! When we finally got the Monafossen Waterfall, we started to climb the rock stairs.. no big deal! There are stairs! WRONG... The stone path turned into no path and ice.. ice everywhere. Andres and Nikhil gave up the first 10 minutes since it started to get too dangerous with the icy steep slopes especially with the wrong shoes.. I tried to make it, but it just got way too icy and steep that I had to give up.. I ended up literally sliding down on my butt on the ice holding onto the chain ropes for dear life... Good attempt, but hiking fail... There was a family of Norwegians with a man holding onto a baby with one hand and attempting to hike... Norwegians are crazy...
I also attended a Norwegian Woman's National hockey game at the DNB center with Max and his group of friends... it was... interesting. Surprisingly, the women did not play as rough as I thought they would... I mean if a family can climb an icy waterfall with a baby in one hand, I would think that they can play hockey. The game itself wasn't so interesting, but it was the people that made it worth it. It was a very fun day hanging out and drinking beers!
Hanging out and drinking beers basically sums up my whole trip here to Stavanger... This definitely will not be the last time I will be here... I have now added Hiking Preikestolen and having a naked butt photo on Kjerag on my bucketlist.. so Stavanger, I will be back to hike you, hang out more, and drink more beers! Until next time, HA DET BRA NORWAY! :)