International Student Blog

Study Break: Bucket list

If you are an international student and your time in Norway is short, or if it is drawing to a close, you might be thinking about places you’d like to visit before it’s time to move on. If not, you may want to start your list. There are many many destinations worthy of a visit during your stay in Norway, for example, there are some classic hikes to consider when the spring and summer come.

Trolltunga, for instance.

trolltungaPhoto by Alexander Artworkx. Image: http://imgfave.com/view/4264409

But also Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock). 

foto9Image: http://www.preikestolencamping.com/

Please please be careful if you choose to go hiking, especially if you are an inexperienced hiker. As there have been some tragic accidents, everybody’s safety cannot be overvalued. Consider going with other more experienced outdoorspeople, or organized groups – and try to be careful and alert. And note that these hikes are ‘real-deal hikes’, they are hours long, and intense, so keep in mind that this neither of these are a quick trip!

Whether you are a big hiker or not, there are many other great options for a Norwegian bucket list, for instance…

I can’t say enough about the amazing Lofoten.

imagePhoto: Stand Hiestand 

If you haven’t been, Oslo is a place you should probably go.

(There’s even a really decent Mexican restaurant, if you’re craving Mexican. — although, apparently there may be better ones, search yelp before you go!)

imagePhoto: Stand Hiestand 

Perhaps you want to take a journey to the Borgund Stave Kirke.

IMG_5035Photo: Stand Hiestand 

And of course, beautiful Voss awaits you, you can even ski there at the moment.

IMG_3770Photo: Stand Hiestand 

I absolutely recommend Flåm and Aurland.

 IMG_3872Flåm is filled with tourists when the cruise-ships come in. Photo: Stand Hiestand 

IMG_3944Aurland’s beauty is underrated, I think. It seems like most people choose to visit Flåm. Photo: Stand Hiestand 

IMG_3998Photo: Stand Hiestand 

A boat ride back to Bergen from Aurland or Flåm through Sognefjord (the longest fjord in Norway) on one of Norled’s boats, is a beautiful trip and worth the time. And remember, you can also get to several of these destinations (Oslo, Voss, and Flåm, for example) via the scenic Bergen Railway.

Or, a little closer to Bergen, you could explore Rosendal.

Perhaps a day-trip to a historic manor? (manor not pictured).

imagePhoto: Stand Hiestand 

I thought I’d take some time to focus on one more possibility that I have yet to experience:

Tromsø.

I remember distinctly a day in the fall when I arrived in Bergen. I sat in the director of my programme’s office while it poured rain outside, and she spun me a beautiful image of her experience of Tromsø. She spoke of being nestled under a blanket, on a dogsled ride, under the cloak of winter’s darkness, and under the stars. And, as she rode, she started to notice the dancing green of the northern lights. This imagery has needled at me ever since, evoking a distinct desire to pay a visit to a sled in Tromsø.  It may have a little to do with my Dad reciting me poems about the Yukon as a child (“While high overhead, green, yellow and red, the North Lights swept in bars…” – Robert Service), and a little to do with the enthusiasm with which the some of the Introductory Programme speakers describe the ‘magic’ of wintertime in the North of Norway, but I think most of the credit has to go to my Programme director and her joyful face as she described the “brilliance” of her evening. Now, the winter is running out… so I had better try to get there!

I have yet to see the Northern lights (despite their visibility several nights in Bergen). Apparently, in the north, if it is dark and there is no light pollution, the northern lights appear regularly!

northernlights_leandervoets_arcticexplorerImage: http://www.visittromso.no/en/northernlights_forever

You can even drive your own dogsled. That’s crazy.

Dog-Sled-Expedition-1-day2-736x260Image: http://villmarkssenter.no/vinterprogram/hundekj%C3%B8ringsekspedisjon-1-dag/

Or perhaps you prefer reindeer-sledding??

imageImage: http://booking.visittromso.no/en/to-do/a949954/reindeer-sledding-%E2%80%93-troms%C3%B8-villmarkssenter/showdetails


So where else do you recommend I add to my Norwegian bucket list? Please comment below!

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