Sunday, August 11, 2013

Modalen

Kevin was working crazy hours while I was visiting, so I took a little trip by myself by boat to this place called Modalen.  (dalen=valley)

Here are some pictures of the Bergen harbor from the boat.  You can see Bryggen over to the right. 



Here are all the vendors that are out daily in the summer on the wharf. 
 I ate a nice meal of salmon and potatoes the day before this trip.  I also bought a new sweater for myself, and one for my baby niece.  If you have been on a vacation with me, you know I love this kind of shopping.



Passing the bridge that goes to the island where Kevin lives.  Many, many times we have joked about jumping off this bridge.  For example, "If it doesn't stop raining,  I'm going jump off the Ask√ły bridge." 
 
 


The boat ride to Modalen took about an hour and a half.  Here are some random shots along the way. 







I still laugh whenever I see a sign that says "fart" on it.  Fart=speed
 



 
 
Approaching Modalen
 


I wandered around for an hour before the boat took me back to Bergen.  










 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stavanger

 
In order to hike to Preikestolen, we had to visit Stavanger.  I've been here before on vacation, and I have to say... truly one of my favorite places in Norway.  Also, this is where Anne Lise and her mom are from.  Can you believe they left this place to live in Utah??
 
 
 
 
 


I make Kevin wear this shirt from New Jersey.
 



These pictures were taken at 9 or 10 at night.  Summer in Norway is a-ma-zing.
 



The lovely hotel where we stayed, right on the water!  Everything in Norway is expensive, but the hotels are pretty affordable.  




Saturday, August 3, 2013

Second Norway vacation this year

As you may know, I have worked at the same agency for 16 (!!) years.  The one benefit to this job is that I have always had lots of vacation, starting out with 5 weeks and earning a few days each year of employment.  This year, the agency has gone through some weird changes.  For one thing, they have renamed our main building "Corporate" and/or "Headquarters" instead of what it used to be called, which was 590 (the address).  They also changed some peoples' titles, like my director who was called the Director of Mental Health and is now called Vice President, Mental Health.  Or something.  Basically, I can't imagine WHY anyone would bother to make these changes, and knowing what I know about the corporate world, they probably hired some consultants who charge my entire annual salary for a days' work, just to make title changes that no one gives a sh** about or remembers. 

The other thing they did is that they changed how we all get vacation time.  Instead of having vacation days and personal days, as we used to, we now get PTO and it's all in one lump.  Vacation time used to be accumulated by fiscal year and personal days by the calendar year, so I always had days to take, which was really nice.  Now that it's PTO, it's all by calendar year, and that means for this year, I had one and a half years' worth of PTO to take by December 31, or in other words, I had about TEN weeks of vacation this year.  That is why I went to Norway for three weeks in the spring and three weeks in the summer. 

Now you know....

When I lived in Norway as a 20-something year old, I always wanted to go to a place called Preikestolen.
 

It is high above the fjords near a city called Stavanger and we were forbidden to go there, but I never lived in Stavanger, so I wouldn't have had the chance, anyway.  When I went back to Norway with Esther in 2001, we tried to go but it was still off season so the busses weren't running.  When I went back this spring, there was still snow on the ground.  So this time... WE WERE GOING!!  It involved a 5 hour drive from Bergen, including two ferries, then a 4 mile hike up the mountain, but it was worth it.  People that know me said, "YOU are going hiking??"  And likely people that know Kevin were thinking the same thing.  But the thing is that it was so beautiful and Kevin had me laughing the whole time, so it was a good time.  Here I am at the very beginning.


And here's Kevin at the bottom of the trail. 


The weather that day was foggy, but it didn't rain.  Here you can see that as we progress, there is fog waiting for us.


The fog was so thick at the top that we lost the main trail and ended up over Preikestolen, so this is a picture of us looking down on the people that were on the right trail. 





We made the whole trek up there and then couldn't see a freakin' thing. 



 I am not sure if it was because I was afraid I might just walk off the edge, since I could barely see it, but I surprised myself and got totally freaked out once I was up there.  Kevin might have been freaked out, but didn't show it.  

This is a woman who was not freaked out and sat right on the edge.




Kevy Kev and me, pretty much as close to the edge as I got. 


 
 
 


Heading back down....
 




Once we started back down, the fog started lifting right away.  We thought about going back up to the top, but since it was already around 6 pm and we had two hours of walking ahead of us, we didn't. 

Many, many times along the way, we joked about pushing each other off.  This would have been the PERFECT chance for me to push him.  But he had the keys to the car, so...



We had a completely different experience on the way down than we did on the way up and discovered how beautiful the trail was.  You can't tell from these pictures, but behind us, we could see all the way to the fjord. 





On the way up, we couldn't even see that there was this body of water, which you are allowed to swim in. 



Although on the way up, Kevin said, "I must really love you to do this," once we were up there, he said, "This is so cool.  I want to come back with my kids."  So maybe I'll get to go again, and maybe it won't take 20 years, and maybe it will be better weather... and maybe I'll push him off!