Monday, July 27, 2009

Norwegian Experience: Days 6 and 7

I just got off the phone with Judy and let me tell you-- she's had a whirlwind of a weekend! Where to start...where to start...the beginning sounds about as good a place as any, don't you think?

When we last left our deft adventurer, Judy was preparing to leave Lillesand for Stavanger--a drastic change in scenery to be sure. On Saturday Judy and her sister boarded a bus, saddened by having to say goodbye to Lillesand, and rode through some of the most beautiful, mountainous areas Norway has to offer.

Once they arrived in Stavanger they were treated to yet another street fair! If you remember, Judy and her sister were treated to a street/art fair while in Lillesand as well. Just between you and me--I'm beginning to wonder if Borton Overseas hired a group of performance artists to follow Judy around Norway, putting on art fairs and food festivals at each of Judy's stops? They're the most amazing travel partners I've ever had the pleasure of working with, so I wouldn't put it above them.

Back to Stavanger--after spending the afternoon walking around, taking in the sights and smells of everything that was going on, it was time for dinner. With so many food booths to choose from, I hear that Judy had a hard time picking one (she was even offered a moose burger!). In the end, dinner comprised some delicious hand-made lamb balls in pasta, with a divine dessert of Rommegrot. Rommegrot is one of those Norwegian delicacies that, similar to Lutefisk, you either love or detest. Me, personally, I love the stuff. Put some butter and brown sugar on it and its heavenly!

OK, on to Sunday! Judy and her sister were up early yesterday for their Lysefjord excursion. This trip would take them by bus and boat into some of the most scenic areas of Norway! Their bus wound its way through picturesque farm lands and past scenes of traditional Norwegian traditional in fact that there was livestock everywhere...even places it shouldn't be, like the middle of the road! No fear animal lovers, thanks to the quick reaction of their bus driver, the tour narrowly avoided hitting a a few sheep who had wandered away from their grazing land.

Once all that excitement was over, it was the perfect time for something a little more serene, like Øygardstølen (the Eagle's Nest).

After that it was time for the cruise portion of the trip. Judy commented many times on the dramatic difference in the scenery. This part of her trip was much mroe mountainous (say that three times fast) than the rolling hills she'd seen earlier. The boat cruise took the visitors past waterfalls, Fantahola (the vagabond cave) and then the entire group was treated to an unexpected show when some base-jumpers took the plunge not too far from the ship! After that it was time to head back to shore.

Now for most folks this would have made for a full day. However this year's Norwegian Experience winner is apparently a robot, because even after all this she and her guest still had enough energy to go to the Norwegian Petroleum Museum.

Get it? "energy" and "petrolium"? I made some funny, right? Oh nevermind...

Judy told me that the museum is pretty awesome. It has a lot of different interactive displays and its a great place for families. One of Judy's favorite installations was a simulator of a Norwegian oil rig's control room. You get to work it as if you were running a real rig! Very cool, indeed.

Ok, after THAT part Judy and her sister got a tired and decided to call it a day. What a day huh? I gotta tell you, hearing all these great stories from Judy really make me wish I were in Norway right now! Hey don't forget to check back later as I recap her expereinces from earlier today!

The Norwegian Experience Recruitment Contest is a joint venture between Sons of Norway International and its partner Borton Overseas. The contest is open to all Sons of Norway members who sign up a new, dues-paying member between January 1 and December 31, 2009. A winner will be drawn at random in January of 2010. For more information about this year's contest, visit or click here.

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