Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Here a Fjord, There a Fjord...

I'll apologize in advance...there are a LOT of pictures in this post!

We got a bunch of sleep that night and woke up ready to go for our only full day in Norway. We had a really tasty breakfast in the hotel, then grabbed my camera gear, walked back to the rental car, and started driving.

One of our friends from work has a brother who used to live in Tromso, and she had passed along a bunch of recommendations of things to check out. We figured we'd try to get to as many as we could!

Our first stop was Skulsfjord. There was a small parking lot at the end of a little road, so we left the car there and started walking. (One of the coolest things about Norway: there are hiking trails EVERYWHERE.)

The path followed the water for a while. Mark stopped to enjoy the view.   :)

Somewhere waaaay out there is a guy we bumped into in the parking lot. He saw my camera and asked if we were looking for whales; apparently it's a good whale watching spot. He followed the path for a long time and was still out there when we left.

We walked back to the car and drove a bit more. There was scenery like this all over the place.

We went up a hill and through a tunnel on our way back. There was a parking lot right after the tunnel, so we stopped there for a few minutes. There were hiking trails up here, too, but it was really windy so we didn't stay long. We passed near Tromso on our way to our next stop, so we made a quick detour to a gas station for snacks and a bathroom break before continuing on.

Next up was Ersfjordbotn. I absolutely love how you can just park the car and start walking in so many places.

This was the view from the little hill Mark was standing on in the previous picture. I can't imagine how cool it would be to live somewhere with a view like that. We saw people jogging and kids riding bikes along the roads near the houses. We hiked for a little while, then ate our snacks and continued on.

It started to get a little rainy, but the view was still nice. For a while we drove through an area like this; there were small waterfalls everywhere you looked.

We pulled over after a little while to check out a small beach on the side of the road, somewhere between Sjotun and Bogen. It was full of good rocks for skipping, so Mark especially liked it. I even got a rock to skip!

Oh Norway, so pretty.   :)

We drove a bit further, made a quick stop to check out another view, then rounded a bend and had to stop short for...

...this. I was dying laughing, and he took his sweet old time finishing before trotting off the road. By far, the best animal I've seen in the road.   :)

After the reindeer got out of our way, we continued across a small bridge and stopped at an overlook. We were just at the edge of Sommaroy, which for me, tops New Zealand as the prettiest place I've ever seen. I eventually just stopped talking because Mark was picking on me for saying, "wow, that's so pretty" so many times.

Picture tropical-colored water with Nordic-style houses and mountains. Crazy.

I could probably live here and never get tired of the view.

We drove around for a while, then stopped at a campground for one last look at the view on the way out.

Goodbye, Sommaroy...I'll be back someday!

We eventually made our way back to the hotel (with me drooling over the scenery the whole way), then had some tea while we tried to decide what to do with the rest of the day. The weather was a bit too bad to spend money going on a Northern Lights excursion, so we went out to dinner instead, then decided to walk up to Prestvannet, a park, to try our luck seeing the Northern Lights on our own.

Umm, nope. It started to rain while we were up there, so we didn't stay very long.

At least the view was nice on the walk back down the hill! That big triangular thing in the middle is the Arctic Cathedral.

We went through a tunnel to cross a street. I liked the art on the walls.  :)

We stopped back at the room, dropped off my camera gear, then went to what might be the most depressing bar I've ever seen. We chugged our whiskey to get out of there, then went over to a different bar for better drinks and atmosphere before heading back to the room. We split a small bottle of wine that we got from the front desk (which was actually the nicest drink of the night) while we packed a bit and watched crappy movies. We may have only had one full day in Norway, but at least it was a nice one!

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