Edit Blog Post
Published: March 23rd 2007
This photo lies!
Clearly, cartoon-man just liked using unusual alphabet characters more than he liked accurately representing his Norwegian vacation
LONG time, no update!!! I've been having the time of my life at the University of Edinburgh and my other travels abroad -- but I've promised myself that before the week is out, I will post updates and photos about:
- my road trip around the Scottish highlands
- my weekend trip to Paris!!!
- the general fun times that have been happening back in Edinburgh . . . my sister visiting me for a week, weird Scottish food, more wacky nights with Continentals, and -- the biggest and most exciting development, the Scottish guy I've been dating for the last seven weeks or so 😉 His name is Peter, he's a fellow philosopher and an excellent cook, he has beautiful eyes and a delightful accent, and we get along splendidly 😊
But! For the time being -- I've started my three and a half week spring break/(mostly mooching) trek around Europe!! Believe it or not, the teaching is over and done with at Edinburgh Univeristy -- we had eleven weeks of classes, and they're finished! So I just had to write essays about such thrilling topics as the theological justifications of infant baptism, the distinction between option luck
On Dasher, On Dancer
On a plate with gravy and lingonberries!
and brute luck in luck egalitarian political theory, and complicated metaethical moral realism blah blah blah . . . but I got to reward myself with this trip! I come back and have six weeks left in Scotland, during which I have to take three exams. Pretty sweet deal, if you ask me.
So my friend Matt (from TCNJ but stuyding in Newcastle, England this semester) and I are in Norway for the weekend!! I've long wanted to go to Norway -- after all, half of my genes were at one point Norwegian! We're staying in Bergen, a small city on the Western coast, and it's absolutely gorgeous. I arrived at about 5:00 yesterday evening, and got
to see fjords and islands and snow-capped mountains from the plane on
my way in. Bergen is a tiny city but really cute -- genuine atmosphere, kinda like Epcot Center but not fake and run by a corporate giant.
The exchage rate may be good, but everything is super expensive!! No more will I feel justified in complaining about $4 coffee in the UK. BUT . . . Santa look out, cause I had reindeer for dinner last night and it
VIKING VIKING VIKING VIKING
He could have been my ancestor.
He could have raped and pillaged your ancestors!
I made my best effort to memorize Norwegian phrases on the train/plane here, but I haven't used them yet cause everyone speaks English. I always feel like I'm being a bad (stereotypically American!) traveller if I don't at least try to speak in the native language. I've also always considered myself lucky that I grew up speaking the language of
international business and travel.
The hostel, in spite of being the cheapest on hostelworld.com, is quite nice! Very centrally located -- which isn't hard in a city that is so small that everything is centrally located. It's clean to the point that the shower here is cleaner than the one in my flat, and
there's a cute cafe/bar downstairs.
I had a lovely, relaxing first full day here. I'm ashamed to say I had breakfast at 7-11 and lunch at McDonalds . . . by far the cheapest options in the city . . . well, I had McDonald's fries (not chips!) and a delightful roll covered in yummy fresh prawns (see how British I am?) that I bought at the fishmarket. You know Norway must be great, cause even the 7-11 is sparlking clean . . . as opposed to the 7-11 near my college in NJ, which is so dirty that you don't want to eat anything that doesn't come factory sealed.
I visited an old church and then the Bergen Cultural Museum (room after room of religious art/icons and tons of painted furniture and the like) and the Maritime boats-and-shipping museum -- pretty much all the free things I could find to do in the city! It's definitely not tourist season, and I imagine Bergen is never really overrun with tourists, cause my friend and I were the only ones in most of the places we visited! The museum curators seemed to surprised to see actual visitors. But the attractions were great, especially the church - it was so beautiful inside and in such a different style, all painted wood and oil paintings (including one of My Man Martin Luther.)
The best part of the day was taking the funicular (no idea what that means, except that it goes on an angle!) railroad up to the top of this big mountain -- we got a great view, then walked and walked all around the mountains/forests and back down again.
We've booked a fjord tour for tomorrow! There's only one that runs in the winter months, but it looks great, and takes you to the tip of Sangefjord, at the narrowest fjord bit in Norway. We made dinner in the hostel tonight, and bought enough food to last through tomorrow at the grocery store.
I've only spoken Norwegian once, everyone I've encountered speaks English -- I filled out a postcard for Norwegian grandparents, then walked into the post office and said "I would like a stamp for this postcard, please" (I had learned it in my phrasebook) -- the woman responded in Norwegian, so I just stared at her blankly and said "sorry?," after which she answered me in word-perfect English!
I somehow wound up in the only dorm room in the hostel that is not full of other young, fun, friendly European backpackers, but is full of Old People Who Turn Off The Lights And Go To Sleep At 8:30 And Snore A Lot. Ah, well - I'm planning on turning in early, anyway! I've got a long day of sitting on my bum looking at scenery tomorrow, so I need to be well rested.
Pictures coming soon -- I hope! I don't have a way to download the while I'm away, but I should be able to post some retro-active pictures from the Highlands and Paris at the very least.
Speaking of photos -- check out http://news.photos.yahoo.com/itinerant_interlocutor/albums for more pictures!
And now -- time to shower in that lovely clean facility, and get to bed!
God natt -- Norwegian for good night, of course!
Skol! ~ Alida 😊
Tot: 2.851s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 16; qc: 30; dbt: 0.0293s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb