Hey everyone! So much has happened since I last posted. Much like college, this program has really sped up connections and the process of settling in. So on the topic of friends and all, there's not much to say other than I've met some of the most incredible people here. I will do a quick recap of the festivities.
The first weekend I was here I climbed the Besseggen Ridge in the Jotunheimen mountains. It was literally a 12 mile hike that lasted nearly 7 hours and, mind you, this was my first hike ever (basically...) Except for the night before, where at 11 PM, two friends and I decided to climb a mountain nearby. I was like, "oh no biggie, this'll take max 30 minutes". Wrong. It took nearly 2 hours. I was in a full body sweat and there was a part where I had a vertical climb next to what could have been a small glacier? Not sure but it was probably a good precursor to the next day's monster of a hike. In short, I saw reindeer and waterfalls and views that brought tears to my eyes and I bonded with people from all around the world and ate Norwegian Kit-Kats as my legs dangled off a cliff.
The next weekend I went to Bergen. We made many stops along the way, one of which was a small coastal village in a fjord. This would have been cute except for the fact that, on my morning run, I was literally attacked by seagulls. I must have done something to ruffle their feathers (haha... I'm sorry) but they followed me (and one seagull in particular) for a good fifteen minutes, screaming, and kept making dive bombs for my head, while simultaneously dropping fecal matter around me from every direction which made me feel like I was in a war zone. I have never sprinted so hard in my life. The seagull found me again, thirty minutes later, and I have reason to believe that I survived the attack by a narrow margin. Bergen itself was amazing. Unfortunately/fortunately I had seen many of the things we did already, but I suppose it was nice to revisit them. I went antiquing and museum-hopping and cafe-sitting and the culture was so incredible. I actually purchased a 100 year old Norwegian oil painting from the antique shop that I basically paid a kidney and a lung for but #soworthit. I saw the Munch and Astrup exhibits along with the Norwegian National Romanticism sections within a handful of KODE museums. This was obviously extra special for me since I'm studying all of it:). I also met the designer of a famous menswear boutique and we had a lovely conversation, but yeah that's a story for a different time...
And finally, as for this past weekend... it was multi-fold. First we went to a boat party on Wednesday. This was good, wholesome fun; Bonding with others from the program and I also got to know some locals :). Then my roommate and I went on a double date. Then we traveled to Gothenburg (Göteborg) and this was the fun part. It's such a beautiful city that reminds me of both Spain and Italy, and also a hint of Boston in the suburbs. They have millions of cute cafes and boutiques, yet the locals tell me it's so boring. Either way, this was probably the most ratchet week/weekend of my life. We went out partying (in some form or other...) 4 nights in a row. I don't know about you but that's like, 3 times too many. Every night we slept maximum 3.5 hours, I would say. One night I even got 30 minutes of sleep. That being said, it was also one of the best weekends of my life. There's something about traveling independently, watching plans come to fruition and exploring a new city on your own time. There wasn't much in the way of tourist attractions, and we had little time to do museums and such, so we basically just partied. And let me tell you: Europeans go hard. They stay out till way past the risen sun (hence why sleeping was minimal) and I don't even understand how I made it to class today. It was so much fun. One night we went clubbing with 4 wonderful Norwegian boys and it felt like New Year's Eve with sparklers and confetti and laughter and dancing. I had to stop to either pinch myself or soak it all in. It was like a slow-motion, real-life Great Gatsby scene.
But anyway... fast forward through the ratchet-ness and now I'm back. Sitting in my bed both thankful that it's all over and sad that it ended. You may notice that I only listed weekends... Yes, a lot happened in between. I don't even remember them right now but it probably involved lots of food (per my Instagram) and lots of museums. Anyway, enough word-fluff, on with some relevant photos!