Archive for the ‘Trystan in Norway’ Category

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Trystan: Løvstakken and Flunkyball

February 6, 2010

Gah it’s been quite awhile. Sorry folks. I need to get back in the habit of doing this!

Anyway, continuing! That Thursday (which was like, 3 weeks ago now, hah!) Maddie and I hiked Løvstakken. It’s one of the tallest mountains around here, which has two benefits. 1) It’s rather difficult and 2) stunning views. You can literally see 360º up there – mountains into the horizon on the east, ocean into the horizon on the west. Unbelievable. It was also super windy and cold up there.

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Please, click that to view in larger in Flickr. Absolutely stunning. It’s about half of what you can see from up there. We actually had to climb up with a rope at one point. How awesome is that!?

So there’s this game that a group of people play here on Thursday nights. It’s called Flunkyball and it’s quite possibly the best drinking game ever. 2 teams of at least 10 people, 40ish feet apart. There’s a liter bottle in the middle, with just a bit of water to weigh it down. One team throws a ball (made of something light, like tape) at the bottle to knock it over. If they do, their whole team drinks till the other team has recovered the ball and uprighted the bottle. Drink as in: chug as fast as you can. Drinking is a reward! Oh Germany.

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Trystan: A busy week

January 25, 2010

It’s been a busy week! Last Friday was the opening of Klubb Fantoft – a bar/dance club right on campus. Then Sunday we hiked up Mt. Fløyen – in the snow. It was really, really beautiful. Kids were sledding down the trails the whole way, some old people were bookin’ it up the hill, and everyone else was just peacefully enjoying the outdoors. Norwegians do this a lot, I gather.

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Maddie got here early Tuesday morning, and we left right after that. Us and 8 friends rented 2 cars and did a road trip to Hardangerfjord. It was just… wow. There really aren’t words to describe it. We spent the entire day in cars and had an absolute blast. Road trips are fun – but road trips with new friends, through the fjords of Norway? Amazing.

We took a ferry across and ate lunch that everyone helped make. It reminded me of Philosophy Camp, where everyone made something for everyone else to share. But the sights! Man oh man you can’t make this stuff up. I’m really excited to see it during the summer as well – mountains covered in green, and gigantic flowing waterfalls. This is such a beautiful country. There really is nothing better…

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Trystan: A random week

January 14, 2010

IMG_3784The last couple days have been filled with random activities, mostly. I generally haven’t had anything planned, but I end up being busy most of the day anyway. Last night there was an International Dinner on the 15th floor – everyone brought something from their own country. Now. America, whether you want to believe it or not, pretty much stole food from all over the world. When I asked people what American food was to them, a pretty consistent answer was “Uh… hotdogs?” Sad day.

But I did make deviled eggs (it was either that or apple pie, and apples are kinda expensive). I don’t have any pictures, but NOBODY had heard of them! And they turned out really well. It was so cool to try all these different foods, too, and to know that each person had probably had this “exotic” dish dozens of times.

IMG_3789Today I went downtown with Sam and got our resident permits, and wandered around a bit (we also went to Fretex, which is like Goodwill). After that we visited a church right next to Fantoft. It’s a beautiful wooden church. The original was built in the 12th century, but I guess a lot of “Black Metal” groups have burnt quite a few down. Really sad. I mean, I honestly don’t care what religion you are(n’t). But amazing historical sites? C’mon. At any rate, this was an exact replica that was rebuilt something like 20 years ago, I think…

Tomorrow, I think I’ll hike up Mt. Fløyen

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Trystan: At Large in Bergen

January 8, 2010

IMG_3738So today was my first real day in Bergen. Yesterday was a lot of detail work, moving in, etc. A bunch of us went out and explored – we tried not to do purely touristy things, but looking back at our photos we were rather touristy! Get it out of the system now, I suppose.

At any rate, we went down by Galleriet (a mall in a shopping area), wandered a bit (mostly to warm up I guess) and headed to the harbor. There weren’t too many boats, but I did see some really beautiful sailboats. Bryggen (the harbor) is just lined with gorgeous buildings, though. We didn’t go into many of them, as they were small and all of us together were large. We also stopped in at the fishmarket, which at this time of year consists of only 3 or 4 tents.

IMG_3736We wandered around the city as well as the residential area just to get a feel for it. Beautiful homes, with very narrow, half-used streets. Walking to city buses is definitely common, as streets often double as sidewalks.

Below is a view from kind of on top of where the castle is/was. It’s looking out over a large chunk of houses, but you can see how close they are, as well as how awesome the architecture is. There’s a really interesting mix of very historical and very modern architecture all throughout Bergen.

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Finally, we went in and around an old castle and church by the seaside. This should give you an idea of just how big it is.

Oh, and this street was super slippery. In the span of a few seconds we saw one boy sledding down it with his dad holding him, and this other girl just slipped, figured she was already down, and proceeded to scoot down the road. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

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Trystan: A hammer and a chopstick

January 8, 2010
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This is a beautiful church right on campus (and near where I stayed last night)

So I finally got into Fantoft, the student hostel where I’ll be staying. The way they set up the rooms is interesting – private room/bathroom, with communal (7ish people) kitchen. I’ve met two of my hallmates, both from Australia, and a bunch of other people from various floors as well at a pancake dinner, haha. Half of them are leaving in a month anyway (doing a month-long program), but hopefully I’ll meet other people as well.

Also of note: On my first day in my new room, I managed to lock myself out. I felt like a complete freshman. I was about ready to call the janitors who could let me in (and charge me 300 blasted kroner) when Donna came up with a solution. Apparently all I needed to break in to my room was a hammer and a chopstick. We managed to pop out the pins and little bolt things from the hinges and just yank the door open. Yay for ingenuity and craftiness (apparently the guy across the hall had explained it – also, I noticed afterwards that almost every door had the same marks on it. Clearly this is not uncommon).

I’m officially registered, but have yet to look at or think about my schedule.

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This is the view of the street in front of it. Amazing. Every street in Bergen ends like this.

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Trystan: of Bergen and sleeping

January 7, 2010

I landed in Bergen, Norway today! Quite a long flight from Minneapolis to Amsterdam. The old guys on either side of me apparently felt entitled to the armrests. Also, it was the only flight I’ve gotten somewhat nauseous on – at one point it was gently bouncing like it was in the ocean… for an hour.

I arrived outside of the Housing Reception hours (DAMN YOU CANCELLED FLIGHT!) and so ended up wandering around with 120 lbs of luggage for several hours. Tons of fun. I ended up in a hotel tonight.

But Bergen is beautiful, from what I’ve seen of it. The snow oddly makes me feel at home, but when I glance up – think 30° angle – I see lights from houses going halfway up the mountains. I can’t wait to see this place in daylight and really do some exploring.

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Trystan: Getting Ready

January 6, 2010
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Welcome! I’ll be updating this with my experiences and travels this semester. Hopefully I don’t bail out on it a few weeks in…

I leave in a week minus 8 hours – both excited and terrified. Planning, packing, and spending time with friends with consume my next couple days. I got a hiking backpack for Christmas, so I’ve also got to learn how to properly wear, pack, and store it. Yay!

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