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June 25, 2017 / Aware of the Void

Day 6 – Gjerde to Boyem and a bit of Booktown

We wake with a post glacier walk hyperness in a campsite in Gjerde. I’ve had my first really decent meal in a few days as we had a great kitchen and lots of ingredients. I’m struggling a bit with vegan food here and finding it much easier to just cook it myself when I can. 

We set out on the road to find a Stave church in Urnes. We leave the car at the ferry port and decide we would all enjoy a walk up a big hill.

The church is from the 1100’s and would have been used to try and bring Christianity to the Vikings. It’s really beautiful.

This part of the road trip seems to whizz by in a series of roadside stops to snap pictures. I think in theory this was supposed to be our shortest drive between two points but or constant sightseeing prolongs the drive in a wonderful way.

We check into our second campsite of the trip and our first cabin. It’s fantastic. I go off for a run and the rest of the gang follow me towards booktown/Mundal at a much more sensible pace.

The town is beautiful and I kind wish I’d spent a bit longer looking at it. My run had me hot and sweaty and the Norwegian air temperature was not fun when I stopped so I ran home and waited for Nivetha to cook one of the most amazing Sambar that will ever be enjoyed in Norway.

June 25, 2017 / Aware of the Void

Day 5 – I’m feeling glacial, we should be glacial.

Day five see us in the carpark of the guest house at 7am making sandwiches for our lunchtime trek up the glacier. A two hour drive from Laerdal and a short ferry trip saw us at the Ice Trolls meeting point.

We get a short briefing on how to use the canoes and the next thing I know I’m paddling towards a glacier. This is a wonderful way to approach. Your slow enough moving that you can enjoy the scene but so full of adrenaline that you can’t get bored.

A twenty minute walk over rivers, rocks and boulders and we are at the starting point for our climb. We get crampons an axe and thered together for the stroll on the ice.

My words and pictures canning do this experience justice so I’d suggest that is you ever get a chance to do something like this grab in with both hands…

June 22, 2017 / Aware of the Void

Run Fjord your Life

In theory I’m currently training to do a series of half marathons over the next few months and potentially a full marathon before the end of the year. I had hoped to keep up my training regimen while we traveled but Niros shoes losing there soles in Oslo and Sunday shop closures in Bergen had hampered my plans as it turns out my having a spare set of footware was really useful!

My first run in Norway followed one of the Fjords and I have to say that I think it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever run. I was tired from the long days drive and was not sure what the town offered for a hungry vegan but wanted to try and do a lazy 5km just to feel it in my legs. 

The scenery was majaetsic and before I relatives I’d hit 5km and needed to run the same distance back. So my first run in Norway was an accidental 10km and a new personal best. 

June 22, 2017 / Aware of the Void

Day 4 – Gudvangen, Flam and onto Laerdal

ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!! 

If I’m very honest this is about the only aspect of this adventure I’ve had any input into and that was from a purely administrative point of view. For about 4 months before we set off I lied about booking the car. In my defence between study and work I did not have a whole pile of spare time to consider the rental options in Norway in the end I panic booked a VW polo about 3 weeks in advance. 

The car was collected from a rental hub on the far side of Bergen and getting used to driving on the “wrong” side of the road only took the crosstown spin.

I sat in the car and asked “what’s next” a series of things that might be nice to see were programmed into the SatNav – the trip has been well planed it’s just me that’s a bit hazy on the details.

The spin into the country was pretty fantastic. Someone had joked that the drive from Bergen to Gudvangen was the boring part of the journey as it’s mostly hills and tunnels. I found it pretty amazing. There is something wonderful about driving through a tunnel that is 26km long. 

As we drove into Gudvangen it was agreed that we needed more adjectives. WOW! Is not enough.


Flam was a little weird. We arrive and there was a massive cruise ship docked. It was surrounded on both sides by the rock walls of the Fjords. Here’s one for the fact fans. Many Fjords and deeper than the oceans that the join. This one is 1.8km deep.

Laerdal was supposed to just be an overnight stop to get us closer to the glacier in the morning. We checked into a pretty unique guest house. The guys had a look around the town for something to eat and I went for my first run in Norway (separate post for that adventure)

Laerdal is a beautiful sleepy town with a few restaurants and a disproportionate supermarket. It also had this hidden gem.

June 20, 2017 / Aware of the Void

Day 2 and 3 Bergen Interlude

Bergen is great. It’s an odd mixture of day time frantic as the city fills with cruise ships and tourist and at night the locals reclaim their streets. 

The two days here blended together in a wonderful way the even thought it’s only just happened I’m losing a sense of what order we done things.

Highlights include a visit to Edvard Greigs home to have a nosy and enjoy a recital of some of his works in the concert hall and a walk through the grounds.

I think you can’t really say you’ve been to Bergen if you have not visited the Leprosy museum. It’s only open for a few weeks every year but was filled with interesting facts and artefacts. For instance I never knew that Hansen was the most famous Norwegian 

Getting high in Bergen is pretty easy. You can just use the funicular. It was a bit misty when we done it but we still got a sense of the city.

The fish market and Bryggen area are beautiful. We spent too long swanning around in the rain to visit the Hanseatic museum but it seems like a good excuse to revisit.

Bergen is already on the revisit list.

June 19, 2017 / Aware of the Void

Day 1 Oslo and Upwards

I suppose that one of the beauties of not really being involved in the planning process is that I have not really had an idea of what to expect from this trip.

I’d been told that Olso was on the agenda because it is the start and end point of our journey. But it turns out that it was so much more. We woke and wandered. Found a nice cafe to have a breakfast snack and sit a chat catching up with old friends. 

Coffee was amazing as was the exterior of the opera house. We also made it to one of the military museums before lunch and a panicked dash to the train station.

A very pleasant seven train ride over the mountains say the temperature go from 26c to 6 and we got to enjoy seeing snow and ice on the hillside (a hint of things to come?)

We arrive late to a bright but rainy Bergen and our initial glimpse of the city is one of wow and wonder. It’s colder but in an Irish summer kind of way.

May 10, 2017 / Aware of the Void

Another Curry for Todd – Vegan Dal Makhani

Another super easy dish for anyone trying to up their curry game. Going out on a limb here suggesting that this is Dal makhani because I have not used two of the main ingredients- cream and butter – but it’s still tasty.

I think the video is slip shod enough to give a sense of just how easy this dish is to make but any questions please just ask away.

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