Even if I could, I wouldn’t change one thing about these last days in my favorite country Norway so far. It all started on Monday with the celebration into Barbara’s birthday on Tuesday, which we continued at noon after getting some sleep. Later that day, the Austrian au pair Lena and her friend Tobias (from Austria) paid us a visit and while playing board games we came up with the idea of a camping trip to Bremanger.
We all were hooked about it and continued planning on Wednesday, where we learned about the existence of a (typical Norwegian) cabin near Bremanger, which belongs to some relatives of Lena’s host family. That way we didn’t have to find tents and could spend the nights in proper beds, which my back appreciated a lot ;)
But before we left on Friday I took another spontaneous trip on Thursday. Thanks to Åse, I joined two Polish guys on their way up to Mount Skåla in Loen. It is reckoned to be Norway's highest mountain with its "foot in the sea" and towers 1,848 meters above sea level. It was one of the most exhausting hikes of my life with a temperature difference of 20 degrees (25° in the valley, 5° on the top), but it was definitely worth it and the way down – sledding on the snow – just amazing.
Climbing to the summit was the last point on my bucket list for the county of Sogn og Fjordane, where I lived for one year now. Of course there are many more places in Norway I wanted to visit, but at least I know my region pretty well. For the rest I will come back another time :)
And now about the camping trip, or rather hytteturen (English: the cabin trip): Originally all four of us wanted to go, but after Barbara fell sick and Artur had something more important to do it were just Oleksandr and me who joined Lena, Tobias and Kyra, the second au pair I got to know through Lena. First we went shopping and picked Kyra up before we drove to Bremanger, where we had difficulties to find the cabin and had to call the host family several times.
Finally, hidden behind several bushes, we encountered “Lykkebu” (English: lucky home) and moved in our cozy home next to the sea. After a delicious barbecue we drove to Grotlesanden, the beautiful beach in the municipality of Bremanger, played volleyball and watched the pink sunset before turning back. In the cabin we fought for victory in the well-known game UNO all night – all kinds of special and funny rules included :D
According to this we woke up late and weren’t in the mood to climb up Europe’s highest sea cliff (Hornelen) in the rain. It wasn’t far from our position and normally we follow the Norwegian saying “Det finst ikkje dårleg vêr, berre dårlege klede” (English: There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.), but it can be pretty dangerous to hike on slippery stones and the top was covered in clouds anyway, which is why we mobilized the old rowing boat and went fishing.
Lena and I lost interest after some time and decided to climb up the hill behind our house, from where we had an incredible view over the sea and all the little islands. Even the weather cleared up and back down our three fishermen had caught four fishes, which we decided to grill at the beach after preparing dough for twist bread. We even went swimming that evening, pushing our immune systems to their limits. Even Oleksandr couldn’t stay in the water for a long time and he normally doesn’t mind cold water…
Back in the cabin, refreshed and full of energy, we sat together for another games night and were considerably tired in the morning. Unfortunately we had to leave Lykkebu early and make space for the owners, but together we cleaned our chaos up within an hour and could spend another day at the beach. The weather was okay and we decided to play volleyball in the water, whereupon we went swimming again. This time it was easier, but still a bit painful. Compared to the ocean our fjord has a pleasant temperature ;)
At noon we decided to drive back home and stopped at Lena’s place for a late lunch/early dinner before she brought Oleksandr and me home, where I started to write this blog entry. On the whole it was a successful weekend and I will probably go on another trip tomorrow, but that is not precisely planned yet. And at some point I should also start to pack, even if I don’t want to. It makes my departure and the things I will miss so real :(
Starting with the blind confidence of Norwegians (unlooked doors, garages, cars, bikes and shopping trolleys – nothing ever happens), the relaxed way of life (also noticeable on the road), the peace and quiet, the sunset over the fjord, the landscape in general, midsummer nights and of course all my friends. It’s going to be so weird not being able to listen to Oleksandr’s guitar play, hear Artur singing under the shower, chat with Barbara about all the world and his wife, plan crazy trips with Lena, sit together in the evenings, talk a mixture out of English, Norwegian, German, Hungarian and Russian, and so on and so forth…
I can only guess what it is going to be like without my familiar bunch of people around me and I definitely don’t like the thought of it. Of course, I will have my family and friends back, but right now my departure scares me. I changed during this year and I don’t know how well I will cope with the cultural shock back to being German.
Lately I met many Germans (involuntarily), all tourists with their caravans, invading Norway – and pissing me off. On one hand I couldn’t identify myself with them at all, but on the other hand I am perfectly aware of my German culture, especially among my international friends. I guess I am just stuck between the cultures, but I will figure out who I am now sooner or later. For the moment I just enjoy my last days and make the most of the time left :)
Ha det bra, vi snakkast i Tyskland