Settling in Norway

As I settle in here in Norway, I find myself astounded by the amount of opportunities I am presented with. The old cliche really does hold true; everybody fortunate enough to be able to study abroad absolutely should. I will write a blog soon about settling in to student life, as things get more regular, but I already have found a group of friends and begun turning in assignments and papers, which has me feeling much more in a routine. For this blog, I thought I would start out nice and strong with my breathtaking hiking trip to Trolltunga.

We set out on Friday morning, September 1st, as I rented a car for our group (no 25 year old requirements here!), and my German friend Oliver rented an airbnb for the 7 of us. We planned the hike for Saturday, leaving at 7am, and although we knew the 28km trek would be exhausting, we were all filled with excitement. The hike up to Trolltunga is advertised as the second most beautiful hike in Norway, something I can now confidently agree on.

Hiking standards in Norway are a bit more extreme than in the United States, and this hike was no exception. 28km, with a few km in elevation change, it took us 10 hours, 2 hours below the recommended time thanks to our relatively athletic group. Blisters and aches aside, this hike through the fjords was absolutely worth it. The views we experienced were nothing short of mind blowing, like something out of Jurassic Park, to which photographs can’t possibly do justice. Representative of the pure nature in this country, we even refilled waterbottles and drank from the crystal clear glacial streams. Although we saw helicopter medical rescues, crumbling boots, and sobbing hikers from the heights and physical stress, we trudged on and were rewarded thoroughly. The photos I’ve included are surely some of the best I’ve taken in my life, though like I previously stated, they really only capture 10 percent of the true beauty of the Norwegian mountains and fjords.

We returned to base camp thoroughly exhausted, our hair windswept and our faces lightly sunburnt from the incredibly fortunate weather. After peeling off our boots and assessing our physical states, my wonderful Honduran friend Estela made us a much needed hearty meal of Honduran beef stew, rice, and beans, washed down with cheap wine and introspective conversation. Overall, this trip was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, combining nature with mental and physical trials, as well as an incredible opportunity to bond with new friends. I can only look forward to more inspiration and beauty here in this amazing country, as I eagerly embrace every moment and chance for new experiences here in Norway. I’ll update again soon!