Hi everybody! As promised, I report back with the other half of my blog entry. I had to interrupt after our trip to Bergen on July 14, so now I will just tie up there… :)
All in all, both trips to Ålesund and the second largest town Bergen were worth the insane amount of money and time we spent on the busses (the accommodation was by far cheaper – ridiculous). Nevertheless I strongly advise against using busses in Norway (too expensive, too long waiting times, too less direct connections and some places are not even reachable) while I would recommend Airbnb at any time. Both times everything went well and we could benefit from interesting encounters. Only one thing is for sure: I definitely have enough of bus journeys for the next couple of weeks. I already have a queasy feeling about the night bus I have to take to Oslo Airport in august – probably it also comes from my mixed feelings concerning my departure. But that’s another story.
Back home Lena and I caught up on sleep on Saturday, visited a little street food festival in Eid, and went on a walk with Artur and Oleksandr on Sunday. The way ended up in a point called “Utsikta” (English: the view), where we had a delicious barbecue with grilled potatoes, vegetables, twist bread and sausages. Even the rainy weather let a bit sunshine through (Lena froze anyway – she always wore two layers more than I did; seems like I adapted to the Norwegian climate over the year) before it turned back to intense rain on Monday. Unfortunately I had to work at the Malakoff Rock Festival that day – Lena joined me – and we were already soaked with water when we got there.
Blessing in disguise: Together with Barbara we were responsible for the provision of food for all the volunteers, who helped to build the whole area up. That way we could stay under a pavilion, protected from the rain. Still it was cold and drafty, but definitely better than outside. Nevertheless Lena wanted to go swimming on Tuesday, because she believes that swimming in a fjord is one of the things you just have to do when you are in Norway. In addition it was her last day, so we didn’t have more time left to wait for better weather. In the end everything happened pretty sudden, because we all were invited to the birthday party of Astrid’s little daughter Otilie (4) and were busy baking a cake as well as decorating cookies.
So we just grabbed our swimming togs, ran to the fjord, jumped in (and almost froze to death; we had an outdoor temperature of 12 degrees) and ran back shortly after while our cake was baking in the oven. It was really funny, especially the looks people gave us. Afterwards we finished our kitchen chaos and were picked up by Astrid’s sister, who drove us to Stårheim. There we celebrated Otilie’s birthday and had a few nice last hours before we brought Lena to the bus station (she also didn’t want to take the night bus, but you don’t really have another choice around here).
The time just flew by, and one of the few things I look forward to in Germany are my friends. I just really miss them. It felt so good having someone around, and Lena and I had such a good time together. Fortunately I got distracted by other concerns, such as the preparations for the festival. I worked on Wednesday, as well as Thursday and Friday night during the festival. Access to almost all areas included ;)
The Malakoff Rock Festival is the event of the year and Nordfjordeid changed a lot during this week. Suddenly people filled the streets, different languages were spoken and you could feel a certain kind of energy pulsing through my little home town. It was absolutely amazing, the festival sold out and the weather great. You can say, it was a huge success and I really enjoyed it. The highlight of the festival was Alan Walker, but I also liked Biffy Clyro and Norwegian artists like Ane Brun, Wardruna (special, but awesome!), Sondre Justad, Dagny, Kjartan Lauritzen and of course our local band Indigo Child <3
On Sunday it was time for the cleaning. Sometimes people left their whole camp behind, from the tent over camping chairs up to drinks. Barbara and I tried to save as many things as possible, but the largest part was just thrown away. It was such a pity… and such a waste of money. But discussing wastage with Norwegians is in most instances pointless – they just want to get rid of everything, in which way ever. In case of need it can still be bought new…
After the dismantling Oleksandr, Artur and I went to the beach to cool off in the water. It was unusually hot after five days of sunshine and it felt really good to take a sunbath and just relax after the exhausting work. In the evening Lena (the Austrian au pair) came over and we played volleyball while enjoying the beautiful sunset. Unfortunately the nice weather had its price; in the night I experienced my first summer thunderstorm in Norway – and the worst of my life. It was incredibly loud, reinforced through the valley location, and the intense rain and wind didn’t make it any better. In some parts around the Nordfjord it caused floods and huge damages. Luckily Nordfjordeid has been spared…
On Monday I wasn’t up for much more than sleeping after the long festival days and sorting out things, among other starting my blog, which I had to interrupt when Barbara came over. We sat together all evening to prepare something for our farewell party in august. But I won’t tell more about it to not give away the surprise ;)
And speaking of surprises: On Tuesday, Anne Karin (head of the canteen), Artur, Barbara and Oleksandr surprised me with a trip to the famous Geirangerfjord (UNESCO World Heritage), which I really wanted to see before my departure. It is actually not that far from us, two hours by car or one if you take the ferry. But without a car it wasn’t possible to go, so Barbara asked Anne Karin to take us there. I didn’t know where we were heading to till we reached the ferry and everybody was shouting “Surprise!”. You can’t imagine how big my joy was! Shipping in the Geirangerfjord was amazing and we took so many pictures at the different viewpoints that it almost crashed my phone :D
We left Geiranger over the mountains, passing the mountain lakes Djupvatnet, Langvatnet and Oppstrynsvatnet, and drove down to Stryn. There we had lunch and I paid, converted from NOK, 16€ for a salad. In Germany I could have had a roast with spaetzle for the same amount of money – but I didn’t care, not on that perfect day. Moreover we stopped at a ski-jump (Bjørkelibakken) in the neighboring Stryn Municipality on our way back, Anne Karin showed us her place of birth and we took a walk to a huge waterfall (Tvinnefossen), where you can walk underneath. The day couldn’t have been better and my mind is still filled with the images and impressions I took with me :)
At this point I am finished with my report over the last four weeks. I took a while, but today I finally made it to the end. Actually, I already wanted to put it online yesterday evening, but our internet broke down and I sat together with the boys instead. But now I better hurry up before it’s gone again… In the next few days I don’t really know what is going on, we don’t have any particular plans, but I let you know then.
Ha det bra,