Since Chris and I spent the summer apart, as he was in Portland Oregon for his internship with the Center for Public Interest Design, when he returned at the end of August we were eager to get away together to celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary. We had been looking forward to heading north to Scandinavia to explore the beautiful country of Norway. We decided to fly into Bergen which is about a fourth of the way up the North Sea coastline, and is one of the best starting locations to tour the fjords. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with a population just above 278.000, but still maintains a small town feel.
We loved strolling along the port, admiring the colorfully painted houses with their steep slanted roofs for the long snowy winter which lasts about 5 months out of the year. The fresh fish and produce market in the city center is well worth a stop for lunch (as the lunch prices are a bit cheaper than dinner) so save your appetite. You can try anything from fish kebabs to reindeer or whale sausage. Take your pick from a variety of locally caught seafood which one of the market chefs will be happy to prepare to your taste.
We stayed in an airbnb right down-town with a fun Norwegian couple whose house felt like it was taken from a story book. Beautiful rustic beams arched across the ceilings and gorgeous wood floors creaked with the story of times gone by. We spent an evening just wandering the neighborhood, purposefully losing our way to discover the cutest nooks and crannies. Each cobblestone street was lined with historical wood homes whose candlelit windows allowed us a peek into the simple lives of locals. Orchids bloomed in the windowsills and children's bikes sat outside in the garden while their shoes lined the door mats outside of each perfectly situated home.
One rainy afternoon we stumbled upon the adorable Krok og Krinkel Bokcafe. This perfect little coffee shop opens at 11 on weekdays and Saturdays and noon on Sundays, but you'll want to venture in way before the shop opens as you walk past the incredible smell of cinnamon buns and other delectable baked goods wafting from the open front door, as the owner begins his daily baking at about 8 am each morning. Our favorite was the chocolate brownie with salted caramel icing and the apple coffee cake, The coffee is also freshly brewed and does not disappoint. The menu of baked goods changes on a daily basis, depending on what the baker decides to whip up each morning. Books, board games, vintage decor, and indie folk music make for the perfect atmosphere to wait out the frequent rain storms the pass through beautiful Bergen.
There is absolutely nothing like the Norwegian coastline. A myriad of green islands are scattered along the deep blue north sea, with a gorgeous blue-gray backdrop of sky as rain and fog frequently pass through the area. Brightly colored fishing houses stand side by side, built on the rocky shoreline, while fishermen dock their boats in the calm coves protected from the ocean's crashing waves. We took some time to explore the island of Sorta, just west of the city of Bergen, as well as the coastline about an hour and a half north of Bergen near the towns of Korssund, Dale, and Askvoll.
The best way to explore the coastline, in my opinion, is to take your time and trek the landscape by foot. There is so much to discover that can be easily missed when we rush from one experience to the next; this is why taking "The Road Less Traveled" is so important to us. From the incredible coloring and layers of a grand sunset, to the complexity of a butterfly wings or shell of a sea snail, there is so much to admire about our world. Take some time each day to find joy in the things around you, and explore places you've never been. Fall in love with the Creator, and see His love for you in this beautiful world.
This trip was originally published on A Road Less Traveled.