Thursday, July 9, 2015

Some Serious Norwayness

(if you click on the photos they get bigger and you can scroll through like a slideshow.)

So, here's where it gets reallllly Norway-y. Ready?

From Oslo, Jim, Clementine, Tone, Magnus & I jumped on a plane for Alesund, up in the...northwest-ish part of the south-ish part of the country? Do you like my geographic sense? Actually, I have a pretty good sense of geography, but Norway really throws everything off by being so looong and going about as far north as a country can go. And being all coastline, yo. I read this crazy number that says that if you measure the actual coastline in all its fjord-riven,'s like 50,000 miles. It sounds like I made that number up. To make it sound more like I made it up: Norway has about 50,000 islands. Really.

The view from the airplane was crazy gorgeous.

And Alesund wasn't bad either...

Right? Alesund is known as the Art Nouveau city, on account of having burned down in the early 19th Century and being rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style. I would say that if a city had to burn down and be rebuilt, 1904 was a good time to do it. Also, um, that situation? Kinda reminds me of Arendale in Frozen, which makes sense, because: Norway.

The flight was about an hour, and we rented a car at the airport for a few days of driving around. We only spent a morning in Alesund, and then made the goooorgeous drive to one of the most famous places in the country.

A fjord along the way:

We were so so lucky to have blue skies on this day! The colors! The light!

Oh. I mentioned a few posts ago that we saw like a hundred thousand lupines over the course of our trip? Here are a few. So. Many. Lupines. I wanted to make the hugest bouquet of lupines ever gathered, but was never in flower range and vase range at the same time.

This house! This abandoned house! Look how pretty!

After a bit of a meander, we had our first of what would be many car ferry experiences. 
Norway knows how to do car ferries. Easy, frequent, on time.

And not long after that we reached our destination: Geirangerfjord, aka fjordorama. 

First glimpse. That's a cruise ship. You know, I put it there for scale.

Next viewpoint. Wow. 

Embiggen this. This place. Wow. It's not one of the bigger fjords. On the map it's quite wee. But it's perfect. The sheerness of the cliffs, the magnitude of the waterfalls. I don't know.

I'd made last-minute reservations at the big Geiranger Hotel, and was surprised to be able to get "fjord-view rooms." But when we checked in and were given our keys to the second floor, we thought, well dang, that can't be much of a view...

And then opened the doors to this:

So okay. No complaint there.

This was our first night further north than Oslo, and it was also June 22, which is almost the longest day of the year, and the sun just stayed and stayed and stayed in the sky.

(the water was SO COLD.)

View as the sun finally reached the mountains:

The next day we found out how lucky we'd been to have that blue sky! 
We took a fjord boat in the morning, and it was like this.

Beautiful in a different way altogether. Again, cruise ship for scale. Convenient. 
(You can pretty much always find a cruise ship in Geiranger.)

Okay, but this is more fun for scale. See the waterfall below?
There's a mountain farm next to it.

Here it is, a little closer.

These farms! These intrepid people who farmed on cliffs!

No one has lived in these homesteads since the 1960s, though you can visit some of them. The king and queen of Norway celebrated their silver wedding anniversary at one of these. 

The boat tour narration told how this farm had lost seven inhabitants to landslides in the day. *shudder*
Also how they had to tether children to keep them from falling off cliffs.

So there's some super Norwayness! So stunning! Every moment as you drive the landscape takes some new sight out of its pocket and holds it up to the light. 

Still more Norway to come! 


tanita✿davis said...

Oh, the COLOR. Even the desserts look hypercolored. (YUM.) The fjords are amazing!

Laurence King said...

Some serious gorgeousness!!! Makes me want to go there now. Maybe I can make a detour and hop over there while I'm in France in September...hmmm, tempting :-)

Hedgecraft Studio said...

I agree with, Tanita, everything looks like technicolor magic! I love the unique sunlight in Scandinavia, it really does make everything *pop*. We've got 120F heat here now, so now, thanks to this post, I'm day-dreaming of cooler days by a gorgeous fjord!

GothicVamperstein said...

Seems like you're having a great time. Would recommend visiting Stavanger btw.

amy said...

Thank you for sharing these amazing images and your commentary! I am myself a little Norway-y, so it's extra fun to see it all!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Norway seems even more amazing in your pics, Laini! This is completely unrelated to your post and I'm sorry for that but... I kind need to ask if you can give some tips about how to deal with criticism. I find so hard to move on after a negative feedback, even though I understand that not everyone will like my prose or my characters or my story. I just feel kind paralyzed and unable to keep writing when such things happen.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I have missed your blog being one who lives vicariously though other people. This is off the Norway topic, but I wonder if, being an artist, you have heard of the photographer Kirsty Mitchell and her Wonderland project? For some reason her pictures call to mind your books for me.

amy said...

Hi! I just handed off my copy of Daughter (finally! been meaning to do that for a while!) to a friend who enthusiastically took it and said "Cool! I've been reading a lot of fantasy lately!" and walked away. It was a brisk focused moment - she had just stopped by my desk. After this exchange I was struck by the concept that I was passing along a whole new world - a creation of yours - in a hand-held rectangular unit - to someone fresh, unaware of the rich journey that they will step in to. I've never felt that so strongly in handing a book off to someone before. It was wild! Connection-y! I wanted to tell you!

Ashley Williams said...

Oh my!!!! So lovely!! I definitely want to visit =)!!

Julie said...

That is so amazing you have been to my home country! I am from Bergen in Norway, which would be central/southy West :P We just call it the West though!

I am so glad you enjoyed it! I have never been to Aalesund, BUT it looks absolutely stunning!

I came across your books by chance in Waterstones here in Glasgow (I'm practically adopted after having lived here for 8 years - love it!)... It was the first book in a loooong time I read that I struggled to put down when it was time to crawl to bed... Honestly I just inhaled the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. I am trying to get a friend to sketch up a scene that I want to get tattooed!

I hope you are doing well! And I am sorry to see I missed your visit to Scotland, sigh!

Hugs from Jules the Norweegie x

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