So after two weeks in Oslo it was time to head home. We drove back over Hardangervidda again, taking turns to drive. The drive was quite pretty on the east side, but as soon as we reached Vøringsfossen an actual wall of thick dark cloud and rain greeted us. I liked it though, you’re not a true “Bergenser” if you don’t love the west coast rain. Being that I was map reader on stretches, I was engorsed in the beautiful map of Hordaland and the surrounding regions. It’s pretty picture perfect, the type of map you could hang on a wall!
Back at home the summer days continued with time spent with friends and family, taking advantage of the gorgeous sunny days between days of rain showers and grey skies. To be honest, for me the record breaking rainfall didn’t really seem to affect me as it seemed like I avoided the worst part of it by being in Oslo. On one sunny afternoon I met up with Mari, who I hadn’t seen since Tasmania, and picked gooseberries and cranberries in her beautiful garden. We decided quite spontaneously that we should make jam with those berries, and proceeded for the rest of the day to make jam in the kitchen. I think since we’d both been abroad for a year and we were both so delighted to be back in Norway, we had this urge to do things like pick berries and make jam because it felt so nostalgic and gave us such a sense of being home again. We shared our thoughts on living abroad, and we both agreed that we both had become quite in love with Norway, after being apart from it and haven seen it in a new light, with a new perspective from going abroad. We both realised we had become obsessed about doing all the simple things we used to take for granted; like walking in the beautiful boreal forests, listening to the lovely song birds, walking up mountains and spending time in our beautiful wooden city. We made in total 11 jars of delicious jam, and we were so proud of our jars that we decided we should make a little advert about them on Facebook to sell them to friends and family (we didn’t actually sell them though, we just gave them away). We ended up acting out a hilarous idea inspired by the often romanticising adverts for Norwegian products on TV, by having Mari dance around in her bunad behind the tray of jam jars to the sound of the Hardanger fiddle. It was so much fun to make, we laughed and laughed, and the response on Facebook was surprisingly good!
Later that day,,as it was sunny and dry weather, I walked up Lyderhorn with Eidi. I had never been up this mountain before, although I had known about this trail for going on two years now, and decided it was about time! We walked up from Banuren road, in Laksevåg, in the East side of the mountain top. It was a very peaceful trail, following the stream all the way up to the top, which gave us a fantastic view of Bergen, Askøy, Sotra, Loddefjord, Ytrebygda, and even Fana in the distance. Later that day we also went up Stendafjellet with Malin, as we were so pumped up on the dry weather!
Spurred by my recent mountain climbing acheivements (two mountains in one day) I went for another mountain top a couple of days later, with my two friends Ole and Ivar. We stupidly agreed to walk up Stoltzekleiven, something I regretted seconds into the ascent. You may remember the last time I went up in 2014, and me “breathing so heavily that I thought I was going to have a heart attack”? Not much difference this time, although I would dare to say I was having less of a heart attack this time than last time, so that’s got to be some sort of improvement right? When we reached the top of the 800 stairs at the viewing point on Stoltzen we continued onwards towards Fløyen before dropping into town from there and heading over to Royal by the National Stage.
Later that week I went for some berry picking with Mari and her friend Kaja. We went up Stendafjellet in the morning on the new path before veering off on one of the old earthy paths among the pine forests, between carpets of blueberry plants. We picked a good bowl full. Inspired by our gooseberry and red current jam sucsess the week before, we decided to try and make another yummy product from our harvest. We opted for a blueberry and red current (picked from Mari’s garden) cordial (saft). During the afternoon Kaja and I made the cordial, while Mari was at work, before being joined by her again and embarking on a new advert! This time, Mari and Kaja, danced infront of the bottle of cordial with the backdrop of a red cabin in Gunvor’s (my old choir teacher, and Mari’s neighbour) garden. Again, it was tons of fun and we laughed so much during the production!
One of my favourite days though, was when I went up Stoltzen again, this time with Malin and Eidi. It was the best weather of the summer, scorching sun and clear blue skies as far as the eye can see. It was actual hell to climb up, as usual, but the views from the top were unmistakably worth it. We sat up there for a long time enjoying the sun rays, talking and laughing before we headed over to Fløyen and down into city centre. We finished the hike with a drink on Zachariasbryggen, looking out on the harbour. Behind us the colourful, wooden Bryggen, infront the younger, stony Strandkaien. We then went for a burger at Inside and enjoyed a delicious burger (the best in Bergen/the world). Dissapointingly we went to Inside by Fløybanen, as the one I used to go to before got shut down. Still, the burgers are fabulous and I guess I will just have to settle for the new Inside location
For one of my final days in Bergen Malin, Eidi and I went to see Aurora at Bergenhus Festning. I had been looking forward to this concert for months, we had literally booked it whilst I was still in Australia. Aurora is currently one of my favourite bands at the moment (and Susanne Sundfør), and it was a joy to finally see her live. I knew more or less all her songs by heart, and could sing along merrily. It was my second time seeing her live actually, the first being when she went to Nordahl Grieg with me and played “Puppet” on the piano for the school. I remember the whole school audience fell silent whilst she sang, she was so mesmerising. I loved the song and have followed her ever since on social media and was more than pleasantly surprised how much I adored her first album. Anyway, us girls went to to Nordnesparken to have a cheaky drink or two in the park before going to the concert. The weather was perfect for relaxing, drinking and listening to music. I danced and sang and smiled so much at the concert, and it was so wonderful to spend it with two of my favourite people, I love them so much. It was just one of those evenings I will never forget.
Suddenly my last evening was upon me and I was packing my bags for my journey back to Norwich. After packing up I went for a little drive around Fana with Ivar and ended up sitting by the Fanafjord by a little beach in Krokeide and watched the sun set over the water. Perfect ending to the perfect summer.