Sunday, August 16, 2009

Norway in a 10 cent nutshell

Well I am nearly over the jet lag from our trip back from Norway and finally I can tell you all about it!
About a year ago we decided to go and visit Astrid and Solve in Norway. We booked our business class tickets on points and counted the days until the trip would finally happen. It actually came faster than expected! Astrid and Solve took their belated honeymoon just before we arrived in Norway so ken and I planned a few days in another area before joining the Norwegians in Bergen.

Ken and I arrived at Stavanger airport and went straight to the Sola Strand Hotel . We loved the hotel. The room we were in was kinda small (that's what happens when you wait until the last minute to book a room) but the view was incredible! One of the staff members (I forget his name darn it) immediately took us on a mini tour of the hotel. He proved to be most helpful and pleasant for our entire stay! The rest of the staff also went out of their way for us constantly.
We had the use of the hotels free bikes (be prepared to do a little light maintanence yourself on the bikes, the staff can give you an air pump and some bike oil) which was super fun. There is a great pathway system that will take you all the way to Stavanger. We got lost several times haha but can probably make the 1/2 hour trip in one go now. (I think it took us a couple of hours the first time).
Like most Norwegian hotels, breakfast buffet is included. Sola Strand had an excellent breakfast! So many healthy choices and plenty of bacon etc. for the decadent indivduals. (Ken)
The beach that Sola Strand Hotel overlooks is beautiful, huge and wonderful.

After a few days in the Stavanger area , Ken and I took a ferry to the mountain lodge Preikestolen Fjellstue . The Lodge is architect designed awesomeness. Made entirely of Norwegian wood. We hiked to pulpit rock , and enjoyed a great dinner at the lodge. In the morning I got up early and had one of those "magic" photographer moments. Then it was back to the Sola Strand Hotel for a night and a walk on the beach and off to Bergen by air in the morning.

Astrid picked us up at the airport, we settled in to her gorgeous home and started touring us around Bergen right away. We ate like kings every night with the Norwegians cooking some nights and Ken and I cooking on others. It was awesome. Then they took us to their amazing second home at Voss . We hiked (sort of) haha. Biked! We feasted every night and day again, toured the area and had an amazing time. Once we got back to Bergen we walked the sites more, went to the natural history museum, and had some more great flickr moments . Astrid and Solve were so good to us. We were spoiled rotten and I'm certain we are some of the most demanding guests ever to visit. It was great. thank you Astrid! Thank you Solve! so many flickr moments and so many friendship memories.

Next Ken and I flew back to the Stavanger area as we wanted to take a Fjord cruise and do some more beach hopping. We don't recommend the second hotel we stayed at (Viste Strandhotell). It felt a little like the Hotel California. I swear we were the only guests yet our room did not get cleaned and well the room wasn't great. the carpet was stained and the breakfast didn't even begin to compare to Sola Strand hotel. Actually I couldn't even find anything to eat at the breakfast buffet with my gluten and dairy intolerances. Don't stay there. go to Sola. :)

Obviously we did much more than I can possibly write about. If we come back to Norway we will take a trip to the North. We wish we had pre-planned that now in hindsight. Don't plan on doing a whole lot of shopping in Norway. It is a very expensive place to visit. We think it was worth it though. Norwegians are super nice. We met and made new friends every where we went. The weather can be wet but we were quite lucky and only a couple of days were drizzlely and really only our travel days were full on rainy. so lucky!

Now we are home and planning our grand canyon rafting trip next summer will be on the agenda.


Betty said...

Gorgeous photos, as usual. Your early morning magic moment shot is just breathtaking.

emdot said...

I read it all and i looked at every single link and photo. I love your trip!! Really. Also, I loved Astrid's flickr set of your trip -- especially the videos Solve did. So much fun. Yea for 10-Cent Travels! You bring the world closer together. :)

Carolyn said...

YAY!!! what an awesome trip!

chocokat0718 said...

super awesome trip!! I enjoyed reading about it and seeing the photos. most demanding guests, eh? GULP!! ;)

Lori Andrews said...

Thanks for the comments girls! :) Norway was super. Getting back to routine is hard :)

strikk handknits said...

absolutely beautiful photographs :-) looks too gorgeous.