After Paris, Sarah, Frank and Zac flew to Sweden for a few days before driving to Norway. Frank had some last minute work to do before heading to Australia, and was awesome enough to lend us his car! This would make it MUCH easier to travel around Norway and Sweden. The trains and buses are great, but they are often quite expensive, and don’t get you to all of the countryside locations.
First, we needed to figure out our Visa status. Americans can visit the EU (what’s known as the Schengen Area) for up to 90 days out of every 180 day period. So you can stay for 3 months, before you have to leave the EU for 3 months. It sounds easy, but 3 months can FLY by if you’re not paying attention, and we wanted to stay longer than that.
Luckily, Zac is a Dual Australian, and Dutch Citizen, so he has an EU passport. That means he can live over here, once he registers at the local police office (for most part). Once he’d done that, we had to wait 5 or so weeks for my application to be processed. At the end of it though, I now have a Spousal Visa, which allows me to stay in the EU as well.
While we were waiting for this to happen, we did a few things around Norway.
- Ate ice-creams outside in the snow
- Played around in the snow and went to see all the Norwegians cross-country skiing (everywhere). Through the woods, through the cities, across frozen lakes. You name it, they’ve probably skied it.
- Explored Fornebu. This is a little peninsula where we were staying. There’s lots of nature trails, beaches, parks and was the site of the Old Oslo Airport. The air traffic control tower is now a restaurant!
- We watched a guy spray fake snow onto everything (during winter) for a movie that was being filmed
- Discovered Founder Brewing Co. Beer at our local Vinmonopolet (The ONLY company allowed to sell alcohol above 4.75% in Norway apart from restaurants/bars).
- Met Sarah’s Norwegian relatives. We had a lot of fun hanging out, trying Norwegian food and generally just goofing off!
- Explored Oslo
- Saw Holmenkollbakken, which is a downhill ski jump just outside of Oslo. This venue has been home to the Olympics, World Championships, and the World Cup. As a World Cup venue, it has been held here from 32 out of the past 37 years! The current record distance jump (at this location) is 141m / 463ft! The WORLD RECORD is 251.5 m / 825 ft, set by Anders Fannemel at Vikersundbakken in Vikersund, Norway.
The Polar Plunge in Norway
One of our craziest experiences, was the Cold-water plunge that we did, into a very, very cold lake.
Watch the video below 😛
Unfortunately for us, the car that Frank left for us was stolen. This really screwed up a lot of our exploring Norway plans, as our budget is not equipped for public transport to some of the areas we wanted to explore.
At least we got to experience the incredibly dark, long nights of Norway in winter!
Next up: Ireland!