This is my fourth year of living in Norway and you should think that Norway's National Day isn't a big deal for me anymore, except that this year was the first one I got to spend in my new home of Stavanger! Having spent it in cold and rainy (and one year even snowy) Tromsø in previous years, I had high hopes of lovely weather and warm temperatures for the day - which, except for the coastal wind, was a wish come true!
Today I wanted to take the time to not only update you on myself, though, but also fill you in on the Norwegian healthcare system that I've now been forced to get to know a lot better than I ever did before in recent weeks. Whether you're a tourist coming to Norway on holiday or planning to move to the country, in this article I'd like to tell you everything I've learnt about what happens when you get sick in Norway!
When I moved to Stavanger, I was almost certain that from now on, I'd only ever see snow when visiting Simon's family for the Easter holidays. Literally, everyone told us that "it only ever rains in Stavanger" and asked if we wouldn't miss the snow in Tromsø. Of course, we would, but as it turns out - there was no need to worry!
But “Advent” is also the name for the period leading up to Christmas, and in Norway there are some special customs to be followed during these weeks. For instance, it’s common to light a candle on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and then light another candle each Sunday until the big day. These candles are often left in windowsills, so they can shine out at passers-by. Driving through a town or village at night, and seeing these little lights winking at you from every house, is a truly magical experience.
Lysefjorden Hiking Festival takes place in early September each year and after having lived in Stavanger for 4 weeks at that time, it seemed like a great opportunity to finally explore the famous fjord and at least get a glimpse of Preikestolen and Kjerag from the boat. It felt like a win-win situation: Heading all the way to the end of the fjord at Lysebotn (that way seeing the entire length of the fjord on the trip) and gaining insider knowledge from our local guide - what could possibly go wrong?
You might have heard it by now, but 4 months ago, I left the city of Tromsø, that was my expat home for 3 years, to move to Stavanger at the west coast of Norway - mainly because I just couldn't deal with polar night anymore!Now that I've got to know the city a bit better and have lived here for a while, I thought it was time for a little update, and, of course, for a little more insight into what life in Stavanger actually is like!
I've been living in Stavanger for 2 months now and I keep hearing people say that Stavanger can easily be explored in a day as there "isn't much to see anyway". Now, maybe it's because I'm still in the honeymoon phase of living somewhere new but to me, Stavanger offers endless opportunities to go out and explore! I live west of the city center, in an area that's called Madla, situated at the famous Hafrsfjord. Don't worry if you haven't heard about the fjord before though - I hadn't either!
Norway isn't just like any other country in Europe, and especially its northern part is a world on its own. In the 3 years that I've lived and travelled around Norway and the Arctic, I've accumulated tons of things that have become vital for my everyday life up north. Thus, I've compiled a list of the 15 things I absolutely couldn't live without here in Norway to give you an idea what you should put on your packing list asap!
Summer in Northern Norway isn't exactly sun-bathing, ice-cream eating and swimming in the ocean for 3 months. If you're lucky you get that feeling for about a week - and if you're extremely unlucky, maybe only for 3 days. That doesn't mean that summer in Northern Norway is dull of course. As with all places, it's just what you make of it!
Visiting Svalbard was intense. At one point I found myself staring at the towering mountains across the fjord and feeling incredibly small. I can't really put the feeling into words but one thing is for sure: Svalbard is enchanting! Once visited, this place never leaves you and in all earnesty, Svalbard managed to make me want to live there.
After 5 turbulent weeks in Fauske, we've finally moved down south and if you're following me on Instagram, you already know where. Gorgeous Stavanger - the home of Preikestolen, Trolltunga, Kjerag and anything else that tourists love so much about Norway! I can't say that we've explored much just yet. Getting our flat ready and settling in took a bit longer than expected - hence the sudden blog hiatus, sorry for that! Now everything's back to normal though...
If you've been following this move, you'll know that we're spending the summer at Simon's parents' house in Fauske where we moved to with all our stuff (minus furniture) at the beginning of July. It was an Arctic road trip and a move with a view. Can't say that it was a less stressful move than anywhere else but it was a quite gorgeous one for sure!
Since announcing our decision to leave Tromsø and move to Southern Norway, I've gotten quite a few questions a la: "What happens to your blog", "What are you hoping to gain from the move", and of course, "Where are you moving to"? Therefore I've gathered them all and decided to make a Q&A video which now has all the answers!
If you've seen my latest vlog, you might know that Norway's National Day on May 17 this year was a rather wet one in Tromso. That didn't stop us from having fun though and I brought my point and shoot camera along to take a few snaps from the parade and also shot our traditional champagne breakfast earlier that day. As a result, I was left with a few pictures that I think, summarize what 17th May in Norway is all about pretty well.
May 17th was Norway's National Day and as you might have seen on Snapchat and Instagram, we celebrated with lots of good food!I wasn't able to celebrate the day last year due to my Master's thesis so this time around, I was even more eager to join in on the fun and so we started the day with a traditional Norwegian champagne breakfast!
I guess I've become really Norwegian in the way that I have to go outside when the weather is good to soak up as much sunshine as possible - even if it's -10 degrees. With long and dark winters, you really learn to appreciate the short summers and sunny days much more and use them much better!And now that the snow starts to melt, I really can't wait to get back into hiking!
After 2,5 years of living in the Arctic and three winters spent here, it's however safe to say that I cannot spend the rest of my life in a place which doesn't get any sunlight for 2 months. And I know what you're thinking right now: but there's the Midnight Sun in summer so you'll get plenty of sunshine for the winter! Well...
Well, we're not quite rid of the snow here in Tromso yet but I just wanted to use this day to say thanks to everyone tagging me on Instagram and using #snowintromso. I got to admire some stunning pictures of Tromso in the snow this winter! So I thought it might be nice to share my favourite pictures of yours and your favourite pictures of mine this winter!
For some reason, crime novels have become really popular here in Norway during Easter so everyone buys a few before heading to the cabin. In fact, the traditional Easter Crime has become so important, that there's one printed on the side of the milk cartons. It’s a crime cartoon and people can solve the crime and send in their answers to win a prize after the holidays.