When Rachie originally told me her plans for Norway, I had my doubts. Three ten-hour hikes in the span of three days seemed ambitious; when I found out they were each in different cities hours and hours apart, conquering all of them seemed downright impossible. So we revised our plan and settled on two treks – Trolltunga and Kieragbolten, the latter being accessible from the town of Stavanger. We arrived in Stavanger the evening before our second hike, ready to treat ourselves to our first real dinner since we left Edinburgh. We were drawn to the restaurants along the harbor, which, while probably a little touristy, were too cute to pass up:
And the one we settled on was tasty to boot. Post-seafood feast, we decided to walk off some of our meal by checking out the area directly across the harbor known as Old Stavanger. I was really looking forward to seeing the pristine white cottages that made up this part of town, and I’m here to tell ya, it did not disappoint!
I ran all over that place, snap-happy and over-joyed. By the time I captured my 76th photo, I could tell the girls were over it; it was time to head back to our hotel and get some sleep before the hike. But then, from up above… a voice. Our gazes drifted upwards to a friendly face hanging out of the second story window of one of the homes that had been the subject of dozens of my photos. A local! With arms flailing and excited words flying, our new friend ran downstairs to greet us. All smiles and laughter, Remko was a gem.
I mean, just look at him! Minutes later his friends joined us, and we moved the party upstairs to indulge in wine and keep the chatter going. Hours passed while the welcoming committee told us their backgrounds. Norwegian they were not; Dutch rather, and they were quite the fascinating bunch. Before we knew it, it was nearly 11 pm. The long summer days had us fooled, but as the sun started to set, it was time to head out… for one more drink.
Stavanger at dusk was gorgeous, and had us wishing again that we would have allowed for more time in the Norwegian cities. Caught up in the conversation and the laughs, our impending hike was forgotten. Once the early morning hours began to creep round, it was time to make a decision: go back for a few hours of sleep before dragging our sore legs through another whopper of a hike, or take our new friends up on their offer to set sail in the morning…
Whadya think we’d choose?! Thank you to our perfect hosts for opening our eyes just a wee bit more to the world around us