Week 1 (continued) – Norway
After Spain, I spent Monday evening through Friday morning in Tromsø, Norway with my friend Dina and her family. It was such a beautiful trip and made all the better by living with a host culture and experiencing every day life with them.
Tromsø is in the north of Norway, very close to the arctic circle. This means that the amount of sunlight is much more varied – while I was there, the sun set around 4pm. In the summer, the sun never sets, hence Tromsø’s famous Midnight Sun marathon. The city has a history of arctic
Just one of the many many landscape pictures I took.
exploration and feels like a gateway to islands, glaciers, and arctic tundra that have yet to be touched by man. While I was there, I visited a handful of Norwegian museums with Dina’s sweet mother, visited an arctic aquarium with Dina, drove around the island, and tasted lots of Norwegian cultural dishes. Most memorable were the Moose, dried fish, Pops(!), and toast (kind of like a panini in the states).
This was at the summit of our night hike. So many layers!
Because of the size of the island and the variation of sunlight, Norwegians don’t seem to let the weather or light stop them from being outdoors. I walked a lot in sub-freezing temperatures, which was actually quite fun.
And in the evenings, we went hiking to an overlook of Tromsø one night and cross-country skiing another. I really really loved cross country skiing and can’t wait to do it again. Another night, I went with Dina’s mom to a church where we listened to a Finnish opera singer – what a once in a lifetime experience!
And finally…. YES! I did get to see the northern lights! And I didn’t even try to take a picture. They were beautiful and faintly “danced” across the sky. I immediately thought of Psalm 19:1,
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1
All in all, I am so thankful for the beauty I got to experience in Norway and the generosity of my host family. Norway is different from America in a lot of ways that are a little bit hard to pinpoint, but I loved the Norwegian style, the views, the simplicity, outdoor adventures, and their unique cultural perspective.