Thursday, July 23, 2015

Our way North

We've spent the last two weeks in and about Norway on a fancy yacht, sailing the (North &) Nowegan sea. We've eaten lots of food, drank lots of liquor and seen many fjords.  It's been great. Life was tough out there on the Seabourn Quest. 

I can't say I'm a fan of the Norwegan weather, or the Norwegan sea. It's too windy and cold. To gray and bleak. I asked around a bit and everyone said the weather we had was typical Norwegan weather. The people in Honningsvåg  could count on one hand the number of good days they have had so far this year. 
That's not my kind of weather. 

I didn't find Norway as magical as Switzerland, though that's really not a fair comparison. I got engaged in Switzerland  to the love of my life, Norway was never going to compare to that. 

Also, only docking in ports, I feel like we didn't really get into the heart of Norway. Maybe we did, it's entirely possible we got a very good Norwegan experience, but to me it feels like we missed really getting into the country. I guess it comes down to that we never got to stay at any place longer than 12 hours. We never stayed overnight in any city- sure that's mostly what cruising is but in this case staying overnight somewhere in Norway would have helped bring us into its heart. 

Another big factor is that we didn't know any locals (like we now do in Switzerland). The more I travel the more it seems like this is a bigger deal. It really helps to have a friendly local face when you travel. But it's also clear to me that Switzerland occupies a now seemingly unassailable spot atop the most loved and most fun places I've been (mostly because of Marissa - without her I would probably be much more neutral about Swizerland, or at least much less enthralled).  Also, I kind of wanted a bit more Viking stuff. 

Norway is not without its charm though. Flåm is my (and Marissa's) favorite place we visited. It is gorgeous. It's sleepy and quiet. And charming. And lovely. And it looks like a post card. 

Honningsvåg, though less picturesque, was also great fun. We went ATVing at the top of Europe. It's was fun to be up at 71° N in the land of the midnight sun. 

We had great fun adventuring in Tromsø. The weather was perfect, we rode a cable car, took a RIB adventure...all great. 

Olden too has its charm, especially that area inland a long a beautiful lake, waterfalls cascading down all around the mountains. Not bad Norway, not too bad. 

It may seem like I'm down on Norway a bit. I'm not. The weather was challenging which put a dim tint on our time there. I did have fun. I went on lots of hikes. I saw lots of fjords. And even a few trolls. I think Norway could maybe even look prettier in the winter with a foot or so of snow on the ground. It's just not my Switzerland but it never should have been. It's Nordway, the way north. In that sense it was great. 

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