To Scandinavia, that's where!
I apologize for the prolonged absence, but I just kept putting off cleaning up my pics of our trip! As many of you know, during the last week of June and the first week of July, Jason and I got to take our first ever trip to Europe. Sweden and Norway, to be precise. And did you notice I said just "Jason and I"? That's right - thanks to our amazing parents who watched our girls, we were kid-free! Jason's work had to send him to a conference in Northern Sweden, and we piggybacked off of that and created our 10th anniversary trip.
We start in Skelleftea, Sweden (sorry to any Facebookers who have seen most of these already):
This quaint, sleepy little town is in Northern Sweden, close to the Arctic Circle, and when we were there (Solstice), the sun never truly set. Which was trippy! Even with two shades drawn and sleep masks, we were disoriented, to say the least.
And we felt that we should be out all night enjoying the light (the above pic was taken about 10:30pm on the town square). (The locals know better - there was almost nobody walking around after 8pm.)
Though quiet, we thoroughly enjoyed Skelleftea's scenic beauty and rich history.
From Skelleftea we went down to Stockholm. Oh! I forgot to mention that both Sweden and Norway were experiencing a heat wave the entire time we were there. Temperatures were in the high 80s and 90s, and the humidity was tangible. Needless to say it made for some sticky-icky sight-seeing.
I loved Stockholm - oy! I had no idea it was comprised of a bunch of islands. Gamla Stan (Old Town) was simply fantastic for it's old Europe architecture and cobblestone streets.
And I found a troll to kiss.
After several glorious days in Stockholm we headed west to Oslo. . . which I have to say somewhat paled in comparison to Stockholm. Oslo had some great architecture (the Parlaiment building, below) definitely has an edgier feel to it.
But we weren't there long before hopping a train west to the Sognefjord - the largest fjord in Norway. We took the amazing Flam Railway down a steep descent into Flam at the top of the Sognefjord. (This is where I took the picture in my previous post.) I can't quite describe the beauty of both the railway (before descending we were above the treeline, in the snow and passing through avalanche tunnel after avalanche tunnel), and the beauty of this tiny, tiny little fjord town.
Our hotel was right up near the water, and had its own brewpub! It was the first and only brewpub we encountered on our trip. And while the beer was good, we were more impressed by the price: US$12.50 per beer! We knew Norway was expensive, but whew!
From Flam we took a boat up the Sognefjord to the Western coastal town of Bergen. We wished we had more time to spend there - it looked beautiful! But - we had a sleep train to catch back to Oslo, and then home the following day!
It was amazing, amazing, amazing. I saw the Selbu Husflid mittens for sale in some of the nicer shops, which got me all amped up for Purlaway's October workshop making Selbu mittens with Terri Shea. And I purchased an amazing stole from a Norweigan sweater company - Oleana. But overall the yarn choices were unexciting - lots of good, hardy wools and sturdy cottons, and outrageously priced Rowan.
Thanks for letting me take this little excursion on the blog, and stay tuned for actual knitting content!