This picture was taken on the roof of the Reichstag building in Berlin in mid-February 2015. One of the great things about the visit was the view, although I noticed how little I knew of the skyline of Berlin. Some cities have the well-known buildings you’ll recognize on the horizon, but it was weird getting up there and realizing that I didn’t have that in Berlin. Still, it was a great view, and it was fun walking in the glass dome, so if you’re going to Berlin, a visit is recommended.
I long for the summer, for times when I don’t have to guess if it’ll be above or below zero degrees Celsius, or if it’ll be enough wind that it’ll feel like minus-degrees, even if it isn’t.
The Norwegian summer doesn’t really offer that much of a difference, at least not on the western coast. But we usually don’t get minus-degrees at summertime, it’ll mostly stay between 10 and 20 degrees, but could go higher or lower as well. So if you’re traveling to Norway, be aware that the weather on the west coast is not always reliable.
The picture might not have been taken on a day with a clear sky, but the water was remarkably clear. This was taken in mid-July 2017 on the sandy beaches of Jæren.
The last week in Norway has been filled with cold and snowy weather. With bad road conditions and power issues, there’s been a lot going on. It’s made me think of the saying we have in Norway “Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær” aka There is no bad weather, only bad (wrong) clothing, and usually, it’s a pretty correct saying. Sure, dress for the job you want, but dress for the weather you have. Or if you’re spending a summer on the south-western coast of Norway – dress for all kinds of weather, because the weather can change quickly between sun, rain, wind or a mixture.
This picture was taken in early February 2017, on the bus station in Kristiansand. It was a snowy day, with more snow to come.
This picture was taken mid-February 2018 from the ferry between Halheim and Sandvikvåg on the way from Bergen to Stavanger. When I exited the lounge on the ferry to head down to the bus before we got close to land, this was the view. It felt very Norwegian with the snowy mountains and fjord, with windmills on top of the mountains.
About two weeks ago, I visited Bergen for the first time in my life. And there was a lot I didn’t have time to see, but I made time to walk around the city center and take the Fløibanen cable car to Fløien and get a nice view of Bergen. The classic picture of Bergen is of these older buildings on the waterfront, so I clearly had to see them in person.
Since I visited in early February, I got the nice mixture of wind, rain, and snow. Which meant that there was snow on Fløien (which some other people took advantage off with a snowball fight), but also that I felt like it was the Bergen I had always heard about. Chilly and rainy, yet cozy in a way. Plenty of coffee shops to find coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in, and plenty of shopping centers to step into if the weather proves too much. All in all, I recommend a visit to Bergen, as long as you prepare for all weather possibilities.
This is the Royal Palace in Oslo, where the reigning Norwegian monarch live. In January 1991 King Olav of Norway passed away, and his son, the current king of Norway, King Harald ascended the throne. Which means it’s time for a small hurrah for the 25 years that King Harald has been on the throne. It’s a man with humor that jokes about his wife or his death being exaggerated, and it’s a King who turns 81 on February 21st.
This picture was taken in February 2014, when I was walking around in the city center of Oslo, feeling like a proper tourist as I tried to see a lot of the sights to see there. But there’s always something more to see, which is why we continue to travel and see the world. I hate leaving a place and feeling like I’ve seen it all, then it feels like there’s no reason to return. I like to return to cities I’ve been to before, to walk around and see the changes, to feel slightly local, and to discover even more of a place.
Kristiansand is the home of Hennig Olsen Is (ice cream). And apparently, it is also a city that celebrates all year round the gift that is ice cream. This picture was taken in February 2017, when there were flags for the ice cream company on the flagpoles of one of the bridges between Lund and Kvadraturen.
Hennig Olsen Is is according to their own website the oldest producer of ice cream in the Nordic region, and has since its establishment in 1924 been owned by the same family as one of the few privately owned food companies in Norway.
This picture was taken in February 2014, on the railroad somewhere between Oslo and Kristiansand. I’m honestly not quite sure where it is along the Sørland Railway (going from Oslo to Stavanger via Kristiansand).
If you check out NSBs (the Norwegian passenger railway company) website, they have a page about their destinations. Here you can see that parts of Norway are well covered by rails, and if you’re going to other parts you might need to fly or go by bus, car or boat.
If you travel from Stavanger to Oslo by train it’ll take about 8 hours, and it’ll take about 50 min by airplane. The train is nice for a view, and if you’re going between shorter distances, but it’s not always the best alternative for a short trip.
On the other hand, if you have the time and want to see more of Norway while seated somewhat comfortably, the train is a very nice way to travel. Parts of the trip might be a lot of trees and tunnels, but suddenly you’ll get a nice view of a fjord, lake or mountains.
As I’m writing this, I look out my window on the snow that’s been falling the last couple of days and wait for the snow to start melting and leave behind ice to slip on. Because that’s what it’s like living on the western coast of Norway.
But this picture does not capture that image, instead, you get southern Norway in sun and summer weather. Kristiansand on the first of May 2017, when I needed air as I was writing my thesis and the weather just begged me to go outside.
When I visited Berlin in February 2015, we stayed near Alexanderplatz. Not far from Alexanderplatz is the Berlin Cathedral Church and the museum of life in the GDR (German Democratic Republic). A bit further up the road is a collection of multiple different museums, so there is a lot of older and newer history hiding in buildings in the area.
The DDR-museum was quite interesting to visit as it’s about eastern Germany post world war two, and it’s a collection of entertainment, general life and the more serious parts of the regime. For a Norwegian born after Germany became one, it’s a different mindset to understand and see similarities and differences from what I have to compare it to.