Sunday, May 4, 2014

Trondhiem, Norway: Loving the snow

For my last free weekend in France, I decided to have the most wonderful trip up north to Norway to visit a fabulous friend I had made earlier in the summer traveling through Montenegro. (she is my twin soulmate!) And it.was.perfect.

After completely falling in love with the Scandinavian Culture in Copenhagen and Stockholm I was very excited  to get a true real taste of that culture and in a much less touristy area.

The lovely Mare who I was visiting, lives in Trondhiem Norway. This is what I would absolutely consider northern Norway, but was corrected by a Norwegian girl. So instead I would say that it is not northern Norway, but the most north before you get up into the intense icefields and skiing area. It is on a fiord (like a lot of Norway). Mare was born and raised there. And now goes to Uni there since it has a large school, and so it the equivalent to a little college town. Plus they have a large amount of exchange students. It is basically an incredible place!

I arrived Thursday night and Mare drove to get me at the airport, which is a little bit across town (about a 30 minute drive) from the main area where she lives downtown. She lives in an adorable little red house with 6 housemates and it was way too perfect! All of her housemates are Norwegian and fabulous. Thursday night was spent talking ourselves to sleep.

On Friday we woke up after sleeping in late and got our day going. Marion made me a traditional Norwegian breakfast with Norwegian brown cheese which is hard to explain but can be summed up by the fact that all of their dairy is thick and sweet up there. They eat a LOT of dairy in Norway. It was good I supposed but I was not completely sold. I think it is something you have to be raised to like.

Then we started off on our walk to explore. Luckily the area had just gotten some snow so it looked absolutely stunning! We walked all through the old town, popping our heads in shops and ogling at the perfect colorful buildings that fill the area.

Then we made our way to the Uni that she goes to. It looks exactly like Hogwarts.

We met one of her exchange friends from Oz who was adorable. Drew hung out with us and we chatted for awhile. Then we decided to "take a coffee" as Mare calls it. After chatting with Drew we headed back towards town. We walked by the Cathedral and to the main shopping street.  As we were walking around Mare pointed out that it was what they call the "blue hour" there.

She was right that the town just lit up a blue color. Mare showed me all of the large shopping centers and showed me where to buy traditional cookies and other Norwegian goods.

We hit the store and then went home where Mare cooked up an amazing delicious meal! She made stuffed peppers and salmon. The salmon was fresh from the area and seriously Perfect!! What a doll she is! We had Drew over for dinner and finished off the night with TV and homemade Glogg. I can't explain properly how perfect everything was!

On Saturday we slept in a bit again. We woke up and lounged around the house playing card games and such. We went to the store to get some ingredients for homemade pasta sauce for the night. Then we took another nice long walk down to the car so that Mare could drive me up into the hills and we could see more of the area. I was all about it! Sounds perfect to me. We drove up into the snowy trees and enjoyed everything we could see as well as some amazing views of Trondhiem from the top!

We drove back down and hit up one more store before returning home to finish up cooking and hang out. We had some ciders while we cooked and laughed with her amazingly sweet roomies. They tried to teach me all about Norwegian culture while I listened and tried to understand what I could in Norwegian. Drew came over for dinner and we had amazing eggplant lasagna (Mare lived in italy for a year!) and yummy wine.

We then got ourselves together and headed off to a party up at the place where all the students live. When we walked outside it was snowing really hard, like snowing right on top of us. I loved it, such a joy. We rode the bus up the hill and arrived at the top, fighting through so much beautiful fluffy snow.

The party we went to was a blast and we spent the night up there since buses didn't run late at night. We woke up to a beautiful snow colored wonderland. So much snow! Mare's friend Dave and I went out to do fun snow related things! We built a snow man and enjoyed the gorgeous snowy perfection.

Buses also don't really run on Sunday mornings, so mare and I decided to walk the about hour and a half home down the hill. I had her big warm coat, and finally understand how Norwegians are able to get outside and be active in any weather. They just bundle up! I was not cold once.

It was the perfect romantic stroll through the snow and we stopped off at the fortress to poke around before returning home.

Since it was my last day, we cuddled up with yummy veggie soup and enjoyed the comfort of a warm bed and snow on the ground outside.

I left that afternoon with Norwegian cookies, brown cheese, 3 phrases in Norwegian, and such a fabulous authentic Norwegian experience.

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