I’m usually a sucker for warm climates [meaning the closer to the Equator the better], palm trees, tropical alcoholic drinks, sunglasses and a bottle of SPF. But, I must say Norway threw me for a loop! We expected to see glaciers, pretty cool considering we’d never seen glaciers before, and of course fjords. But, we weren’t prepared for what we found when we landed in Kaupanger.
Kaupanger is a relentlessly tiny town in Middle-of-No-Where, Norway. It’s population is mostly of families who have lived there for generations and it’s main “claim to fame” is the ferry that stops by on its way to the larger nearby town of Sogndal. Very different than what we’re used to, we had practically only seen this in movies.
Intrigued, we stayed at a charming little home (read: boathouse) located right ON the water in the tiny town of Kaupanger (pictured below)….
The home offered the most perfect view of the fjord and came complete with a balcony ON the water where we could sit and gaze off in the distance while eating our post-dinner ice cream 🙂 We are such romantics ❤
By the end of the few days we were there, I was already pining to go back, it’s actually still an inner battle I’m still fighting…WHO AM I for wanting to go back to this cold, mountainous, fjord region…and WHY?!?! Then I look at the pictures, and oh yeah….that’s why 😉
When we were booking our trips around Europe, Norway originally wasn’t one of them. However, we watched an episode of Rick Steves’ Europe featuring Norway and we instantly fell in love. We began our research on attractions and stumbled across Icetroll, a company that offers many different glacier hiking, kayaking, rafting, etc. tours. We knew we HAD to do this. So, we booked the Icetroll tour that featured kayaking and glacier hiking. Hands down, best adventure we’ve ever had.
View of Norwegian countryside on way to Icetroll
With glaciers diminishing more and more each day, we knew this would be such an exceptional experience, something that people of the future may not get to experience.
Carlos leading the way
We arrived at our meeting point at 10:00 and met our tour guide, Carlos, and our group of 2 other couples (one from Poland and one from Arizona). We began our hike to the lake, then we kayaked over to the glacier. Once at the glacier we hiked to the ice and learned how to lace our crampons (the spike glacier shoes) and off we went. Overall we hiked for about 6 hours, then we kayaked back to our starting point. We got back around 16:00.
The tour offered many amazing views and a fun experience that I am not sure we will ever be able to recreate. The entire tour cost about $230, and was arguably the best couple hundred dollars we have ever spent!
If you are on the western side of Norway, this is definitely something you should get around to doing. You will be exhausted after the trip, but very rewarding!!! Find more info at http://www.icetroll.com 🙂
It has been exactly 2 weeks since we landed in our new home of Copenhagen, Denmark (wow! time flies..) While we have spent this time adjusting to our new way of life, we have had some amazing adventures already.
Our first few days we spent exploring the city center and getting acclimated. The weather wasn’t too bad for a Copenhagen standard (a little misty and rainy at times) so we made the most of it and set out exploring! Among the many attractions, places, and things we have done so far here in Copenhagen I have listed 3 below, but the list could go on!
1) Christianborg Slot – a must-see, Slot is the Danish term for Castle. This is the home of the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative Branches of the Danish government. This is the only place in the world where you can find all three branches of government housed under the same roof!
You may ask, why should i see it? Well, that’s because you can take a free climb to the top, and see a beautiful 360 city-scape of Copenhagen. If you look in the first photo below, you can see the gold spheres at the top of the peak, right under that is where you can view the city. The tour is unguided and you do not need tickets.
2) City Canal Tours – Copenhagen is a major port city, so by taking a canal tour you can view all of the main attractions, for around 20USD! The tour is about 45 minutes long and each attraction is explained to you along with a mini history lesson.
3) The Little Mermaid Statue – another top attraction, she is known to be “The most photographed woman in all of Denmark” 🙂