22 August 2012

Stairway To Norway

With a few weeks before school started
I decided to take the kids somewhere
while my husband stayed behind to work

Where could I travel safely and easily with two kids in tow?
- Norway -

We started our trip in Bergen,
Norway's second largest city

I couldn't get enough of these letterboxes

As the crowns indicate,
Norway has a monarch (King Harald V) and a prime minister
like the United Kingdom

They gained independence from Sweden in 1905

As one of the few European countries that did not join the European Union,
you can see and feel this country's independence

Grocery stores had lots of unique Norwegian brands
which felt very refreshing and authentic
as other European grocery stores often have the same products
probably due to the EU trade

I adored the Norwegian coins with holes in the middle

And interestingly
parents must choose their child's name from a list of official Norwegian names
This strict name law dates back to the 1800s

We happily got 'lost' in these cobbled alleys

And as if the country didn't have me at their longest word
(try saying that five times, or even one)

the fjords did...

We traveled by boat through the Sognefjord,
the world's second deepest fjord and the 3rd longest

Fjord is a Norwegian word, indicating a long narrow water inlet surrounded by 
steep mountains carved by glacial activity

I don't know the word for cute nestled fjord villages
but I bet it has some cool vowels in it 
like å or Ø

Here's a treehouse
with a million dollar view...

Vikings lived in these waters
which are still home to porpoises, seals, and otters today

There is a wonderful saying in Norway
'There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing'

You can see we had fantastic weather,
so I must have had fantastic clothing?

Oh my...

This is the land of the midnight sun,
northern lights, polar bears, and folkloric trolls

If you seek adventure
go on a rat safari in an Oslo sewer(!),
swim with killer whales near Lofoten,
or dive into Saltstraumen, the world's strongest whirlpool

Or just stick to kayaking

Camera out of window,
we are on the Flamsbana train to return to Bergen
and about to enter a tunnel

There are a lot of tunnels in Norway
Some are even undersea, connecting to islands

Norway is the second wealthiest country per capita in Europe
(Luxembourg, first)

And there are more Norwegian descendants living in the US
than there are Norwegians in Norway
Many emigrated between 1860 - 1910

what a wonderful way
to end a lovely summer

Dedicating this post to an American boy who dreams of traveling to Norway one day
Colin, this one's for you  ;)

- all photos by me -

Sources: Wikipedia 1, 2BabyNamesNorway

Linking to Post Of The Month Club here


Sarah said...

How lovely are these pictures! We have family in Norway and this make me want to visit even more now!

- Sarah

iSophie said...

Thanks for a beautifully captured trip through Norway.

I'm still thinking about that baby naming law, wow!

greenthumb said...

Oh my you all must have had the best time, I just love all of your photos. I remember what a beautiful country it is.

Marta said...

What a beautiful country! I'd love to visit it when I visit Sweden. The name law sounds weird! Best regards from Barcelona,

Cathy said...

What a gorgeous way to end summer. Your photos are just beautiful. I'm pleased we could travel virtually with you :-)

Lilybets said...

A beautiful trip to Norway,I would be in love for this Country, like I was when I have been visited Sweden, so different from Italy,so fascinating and green, rich of nature.I should go there,thanks for your beautiful photos.

Emm in London said...

What a fabulous post!!! I took an introductory Norwegian language course at Uni. of Westminster in June. It was fascinating and great to finally learn how to pronounce those vowels!

Bergen looks stunning and I am so keen on travelling there. I love those letter boxes and those colourful houses. It is so interesting to learn all of the little historical facts that I didn't know about Norway. And the fjords... Sigh. One day I will see such beauty!

That treehouse shot really was a million dollar photo, wasn't it? You should enter it into a competition!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Thanks, Emm! Maybe the prize would be to live in that treehouse? ;)

Ola said...

I have been there in the capital only once but I also admired the beauty of the country very much! Great report from this really independent country (thanks to oil probably...)

Blog about life and travelling
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Robyn said...

looks beautiful Laura-a great way to end the summer!

paisleysummer said...

How wonderful! The photos are stunning. I booked some travel for a client to Iceland and Norway recently and have been lusting after these destinations ever since! x

Gesci said...

Oh, I am DYING to go to Norway. I want to see every inch of it! A friend of mine lived in Bergen for a year as a Fulbright, and I am so jealous of her for it! The pictures are lovely. SIdenote: I'm one of those Norwegian descendants in America (although in the U.K. at the moment!). My great-grandfather came over on the boat at the beginning of the 20th century!

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

My former boss' wife has 2 sisters that live in Norway. They visited often and brought me back some little trinkets. It is a beautiful country and your pictures are stunning; especially the fjords and the colorful buildings. What a treat to do that with your kids!

Razmataz said...

I've really never seen many photos of Norway, but what a spectacular country it looks. I love all the colorful houses. What an archaic way to name your child. I would have thought that thinking would have been tossed aside by now. But then again, in North America, celebrities have made it popular to call your kids the most strange names like Apple.

Joyce said...

Stunning photos!

Rosemary said...

I love this post, and your photos are exquisite. My eldest son and his little family live in Norway, and we just love to visit there. Many people do not seem to realise what a beautiful, clean and special place it is. Thank you for showing it off to perfection.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

So cool! I hope you make it back to your ancestral grounds one day ;)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I know, wow!

Victoria said...

Ohhhh lucky, lucky, lucky! Norway is on my bucket list:)

Caliowin said...

I had no idea how gorgeous Norway is. I shall be adding to my places I want to visit list!

MB said...

What an amazing adventure! The pictures make me want to go visit right now! And how brave are you travelling by yourself. I'm very impressed!

TexWisGirl said...

just beautiful! the name law is interesting! love all the colors and scenes you shared!

louise said...

Super post and super place. Just added Norway to my must see places!

Down by the sea said...

What a way to finish off the school holidays poor husband missing out such delights! The colours are amazing how I would love to visit there too.
Sarah x

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

It is many years since I was in Norway but I remember how clean it was and that I loved the long hours of daylight.

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...

Oh,these photos are breathtaking! I love Norway, we visit lovely norwegian friends in Kristiansand but I have never been to the Fjords - one day. You were super lucky with the weather! x

Mandi @ Southern Gnome said...

These photos are gorgeous! What a beautiful trip.

Ida said...

Fabulous post filled with so many wonderful scenes of great beauty. I am so charmed by the colorful homes and buildings in this country.

My Garden Diaries said...

AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am not kidding when I say that I will be going here one day thanks to your post! OMG! I really do not know where to start. Between the alleys and the breath taking landscapes...just wow!

Older Mum said...

Absolutely lovely - fabulous pictures! What a wonderful trip you had! :o)

miss b said...

That really is a marvellous way to end the summer. We have done this in the past - a quick weekend away before school starts - anything to prolong the holiday feeling. Lovely photos and I especially love the alleys and the coloured houses in Bergen. Some interesting facts that are new to me and such a cute saying about the weather. An excellent, informative post and Norway needs to be added to my growing 'must-visit sometime' list.


Noelle the dreamer said...

Beautiful and your photos breathtaking! I'd forgotten how lovely it is to stroll in Bergen!
Interesting about the naming going back to 1800's! Thanks for sharing this information! From someone whose Dad presented himself in full uniform regalia at City Hall to 'fight' to grace his daughter with an English name, it is informative to say the least! Wait until I tell Mum! (By the way, he won but the uniform might have been the reason!)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Wow, what a great story!! Thanks for sharing :)

Burlap Luxe said...

With the sharing of your beautiful journey, I am sure Colin will make it there someday.

Thank you my new friend for your beautiful visit, and sharing the beauty of a women's holiday with her children what a soulful experience for you to share with them, I wish I were of of your kids tagging along or a sister you decided to take with you :)

Thank you for enjoying my place that creates, and you comment on my union Jack.
Beautiful day to you

Dave D said...

Lovely photo's, I had the pleasure of spending Thanksgiving day in Minnesota (when I was working over there in 94) with a family of Norwegian descent, Lovely food and lovely people. I must get around to going there one day.

Dave D said...

Lovely photo's, I had the pleasure of spending Thanksgiving day in Minnesota (when I was working over there in 94) with a family of Norwegian descent, Lovely food and lovely people. I must get around to going there one day.

Justine McKinzie Photography said...

Wow, so gorgeous, I want to visit!! Looks somewhat like a green Colorado. Wish we had been with you.

Niina - It seems pretty obvious. said...

I have to admit that Norway is one of the most beautiful countries in the world (and that's hard when you're Swede, you're supposed to think that Sweden is better than Norway in every aspect, but no, Norway is more beautiful, there, I said it haha).
But I have to say we have A LOT of Swedish brands in our supermarkets even if we're in the EU :)

Have a great weekend!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Iceland is on my list to visit too - maybe one day :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I've been to Stockholm, but I must return to Sweden to do a fair comparison ;) We are dying to stay in one of those cool treehouses in Sweden.

Pom Pom said...

Oh Laura! What a FANTASTIC post! My great grandparents immigrated from Norway and many of our family members have been back. The colors make me so happy and after seeing your photos, I want to go to Norway, too!

lisaroyhandbags said...

wow! I had no idea Norway was so beautiful! Your pics are STUNNING! :)

Attic Clutter said...

oh I love Norway what a beautiful colorful place..LUCKY you.. (:)
and the mail boxes are just darling ~!!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

You MUST visit one day. I had ancestors from Scrooby, England - it is quite far from where I live, but I hope to make it there before we move :)

Pat said...

Absolutely gorgeous. I was born in America to a Norwegian mother, I married a Frenchman and live in Switzerland. Thank you for these beautiful photographs of my ancestors homeland. Reminds me of my trip to Narvik area to see family years ago.

Robynne's Nest said...

Gorgeous photos, Laura, I especially love that first one, the letterboxes and the cobbled streets...our poor hubby's (Paul had 4 days with us then had to return to UK...second time this has happened!!! Robxx

Me said...

WOW - thanks for those amazing photos. Children learn so much when they travel - so good that you can share that with them.
Have the best day ever.

the cuby poet said...

A great choice for a short break. Walked down the Flam valley stayed at youth hostel caught the fantastic train up the next morning with hub and 2 children age 10 and 8!! Great little walkers. Bergen just has to be one of my favourite European cities. Great photos of a wonderful trip.

Jane said...

Oh Laura. This post is such a visual delight. I love those super-saturated effects, you clever minx! I must get there someday - it's now on the bucket list ☺. Thanks so much for linking up with the POTMC. J x

Iota said...

I've always wanted to visit Norway. It seems from this post that it really is as lovely as I imagine.

city said...

thanks for sharing.