Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer of love

A month exactly after I got married, my sister is off to do the same thing.
She is 4,5 years older than me,
so FINALLY I beat her at something - I got married first!
Yay for me. Anyway. Gotta decorate, bring, buy, fix, drive, iron, wash.....sleep. And somewhere in between, pass by my JSS 10 year reunion party...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Border crossings

Sorry the updates haven't been as many as I had imagined I would produce. Not much going on so far north except trying to live with the fact that the temperature lies on a constant 10-12 degrees with strong wind, a blanket of grey clouds and sometimes some rain. Today the sun have been shining from a clear blue sky all day. Temperature? 12 degrees. And we are talking celcius here. But there is a Norwegian proverb from ancient times saying: There are no bad weather, only bad clothes. So, today we headed south and then east, towards the Norwegian border town of Kirkenes. It lies about 200 km from Vadsø, with a fiord in between. So on one side of the fiord - Vadsø, and straight across it - Kirkenes. The fiord is not THAT wide, and I'm sure with a speed ferry crossing it would take no more than an hour (do I know what I'm talking about?). But all we have is the good old Hurtigrute. It's a ship that has been patrolling the coast of Norway for ages, and before the roads were good and flying was an option, that was how people up North got around. It goes from Bergen in the South West to Kirkenes in the North, and turns. It takes 11 days one way, it has a million stops in small ports along the coast, and is now like a cruise ship, carrying bunches of tourists ever year, all searching for midnight sun, reindeer and untouched nature. They usually get it all, unless the clouds are all over all the time.

Why is she going on and on about this, you might think. No idea. But we went on the ship today, fr0m Vadsø to Kirkenes. With car and my father. We were gonna explore. After a 1hr45 minutes boat ride in this luxurious hotel on water, we arrived on the dock in Kirkenes. The first thing we saw were 3 reindeer. Then we headed East towards the Russian border. During the Cold War, sharing a border with Russia wasn't a small thing. There were restrictions on everything and the border was heavily guarded on both sides. Did you so much as wave to "someone" on the Russian side, you could get yourself in trouble. Today the relationship is much more friendly, but you still need a visa to go to Russia from Norway, and you are still being watched in secret from tall watchtowers along the Norwegian/Russian border by Kirkenes.

The German tourists rushing to be the first people out of the ship in Kirkenes.

The welcome committee at the dock in Kirkenes.

The Russians are watching the Norwegians - and vice versa.

Strict rules at the border!

Looking out to the end of the world. At least the end of Northern Norway and Northern Russia.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The sandwich terrorist and the ear ring assassin

My husband and I travelled across half the country yesterday. It’s fun to say husband.

Anyway, I believe I have written about the looong journey you have to take to travel from Middle Norway, that is Levanger where we live right now, to Vadsø, which is my hometown. So, I’m just gonna say: We got on the train to the airport at 2pm, and arrived in Vadsø at 00.30am. And though we got 2 hours delayed at the first airport, we didn’t arrive any later than planned, cos we were supposed to wait 3,5 hours at one of the 3(!!) airports we passed through. So though we had to be re-booked onto another plane, we still came 15 minutes before schedule. Nice journey. We had gorgeous weather, nice seat neighbours, and amazing views, especially for Eddy who has never seen it before. It’s no secret that Norwegian nature and landscape is impressing, especially the mountainous areas.

But in Trondheim, the trouble started. I had packed a lot of food, knowing we were gonna be 10 hours on the road. A part of it was a box with sandwiches. And at the security gate, Eddy’s backpack was taken off to be scrutinized. Thinking they check the bag because it belonged to the only black guy in the line? No. It was because of the suspicious looking box of something. The security guy didn’t speak English (if you work at an airport where they have international flights, you SHOULD know how to speak ENGLISH for …. sake.) Anyway, he spoke with me, and I explained what was inside the box. And we were in the clear.

At the next security we went through, we took out the box from the backpack to avoid more questions about our suspicious (and delicious I must say) sandwiches. The security guy here asked: what is in the box? Sandwiches I said. Oh, what’s on them? He said. Eggs, I said. Oh, Yummy, he said. My turn to go through the metal detector gate. Beep beep beep!! My earrings are very suspicious and have to go trough the x-ray machine.

Yeah yeah, I know this is totally common, and has happened to everyone once in a while in security, but we had fun being the sandwich terrorist and earring assassin, and when you spend half a day in airports and planes, you need something to entertain yourself with.

Now we are spending 3 weeks in my hometown and this is how someone spent their first day.

"Gosh, nobody told me this is what I was coming here for!"

Eddy with his father in law in the fog.

The Swedish adventure

We got married. On the 4th of July. The way from our first meeting until this day has been long, rocky, tough, amazing, exciting, full of paperwork and bureaucracy, and I never really thought it would happen. But it did, and now its in the past. We are married. Gonna need some time getting used to my new identity as wife. I have been an aunt for 9 months, and still have trouble remembering to call myself Auntie Yngvild when speaking to my nephew.

After all weddings, there should be a honeymoon, no?
Thanks to my sister, we got to have a honeymoon, totally unplanned. We said “lets go” on Tuesday and Thursday we were on the road to the East. Towards Sweden’s Paris – Ôstersund!! We had our little nephew with us, and expected a slow journey with time to stop a lot along the short (3 hours) drive. And we did. Let me show our adventures in pictures rather than words. Enjoy.

Gaute is ready!

Off we go!

Huh? What's this? Traffic in the middle of nowhere in Sweden. People running from a town in Sweden to a town in Norway... Sports are for freaks.

We saw some wildlife on the way.

And a big waterfall.

Took posing touristy pics.
Our space saving bathroom - here toilet and sink.

But the sink is attached to a movable wall, and all of a sudden you have a shower! These Swedes..

We laughed at funny street names. This means Nonsense street in Norwegian.

We learned that shopping in Sweden ..... like being in SPACE.

We looked for someone's wedding dress! (This is not the one we chose!)

Gaute having his first MacDonalds Experience with mother happily watching.

A green house makes Eddy invisble...almost.

Super uncle carrying me on his stomach! What a man.

Snow!! On top of Åreskutan, big mountain...

Bye bye, Sweden and your cute red "stugor"!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm back!

I have legalized my prostitution, and I'm now free to keep my mind busy with OTHER things than bridezilla tasks... Hurray :) So, when the honeymoon comes to an end (the honeymoon that I'm spending in our apartment), I hope more stories will fill up the blank spaces! We are soon to make the long and exhausting journey to the faaaar North of this long land, and I'm sure the exoticness of the place will inspire more stories!

Thank you all for not forgetting me. I WILL be back. As a mrs.