Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day: Bergen style

I didnt want to post 2 days worth of stuff, so here is what we did on the 31st.

Sad story: so I brought my sleep mate to Norway. Anyone who has has a sleepover with me, in my family, my roommates, etc know that is how I sleep. Well....Adam told me not to bring it. I did. And it started on fire. Well smoking. I'm so sad. I had had that thing almost my whole life! It is how I sleep well. So the next 6 weeks will be interesting. It also shorted out our entire room. Luckily it doesnt get dark here!

Woke up around 8 (that is about 13-14 hours of sleep) and got ready and ate at this cute bakery on Bryggen Steet (that is the street in my last post). It was called Bakers Brun and we had their cinnamon buns. We then bought our tickets for the White Lady, a ship that took us on a 4 hour tour of the fjords.

The tour was just incredible. Almost no words can really describe what we saw. Look at the video for more scenes.

When we first got on board before we even took off we met an Indian family that had 3 cute kids, one a little one year old boy. Super cute. Just when we took off the family stands up and goes crazy. Their baby had a seizure luckily there was a doctor on board and the ship turned around with ambulance waiting to take the family to the hospital. By the time we got back to shore the baby was fine, family still very worried.

The tour was great. Met people from Canada, England, Australia, Armenia, other Americans, and Norwegians. All great to talk to while seeing beautiful fjords. I really suggest to people to take a fjord tour in their life. What once was a glacier, now rock is just amazing.

Went shopping when we got back. The street vendors sell the good stuff at a great price compared to the stores. I talked to a designer of one of the Norwegian wear brands. She told me how she creates her designs. She takes the old traditional designs from each area, and combines them to create an updated version of their traditional patterns. I thought that was really amazing. I got a super warm pair of gloves. In one of the shops I also got the matching earrings to the necklace I love that I bought on my first visit to Norway.

Found a great restaurant a local on the tour this morning suggested to us. It was nice to try Norwegian food.

Bought breakfast for tomorrow and stole wi-fi. What a great day! Hope your Memorial Day was great back home as well!

Getting to Norway

Hey everyone! Mom and I made it! Here is a bit of what happened yesterday:

Arrived super early to the airport thinking long lines. In Humphrey terminal there is hardly anyone! So no line for tickets, no line for security. So we got to sit at our gate for 3 hours. The flight was only 5.5 hours to Iceland. I tried sleeping (and failed) and was heavily medicated when entering the Reykjavik airport. Just so you all know, Iceland looks like nothing is there. I know that isnt true, but seriously when landing it looked like only grass grew there. We didnt see any volcanic activity, but when taking off an hour later I did see where dried lava was running or currently running into the ocean. Landing in Norway was beautiful. I wish I took a video of what landing in Bergen is like.

We got our luggage and took an 90kr ($18) bus ride to our stop. From there we had a long walk with 50 lb luggage uphill on cobblestone. (yes, with no sleep on top of it) We are staying at the Skiven Guest House. The family lives upstairs and downstairs there are 4 rooms and we all share a bathroom and kitchen. All the other people we have met are also American. Nice place.

After dropping off our stuff we were starving so we found a hot dog stand. GROSS!!! Bad idea, but we ate them anyway. We found the Tourist Info place and exchanged money and learned about different things to do in the city.

After that we found the "real" Bergen, the stuff from the pictures. The World Heritage protected area. The picture above is the street that was the medieval Bergen from 1100 something. We took this picture as we were about to walk down the famous avenue. After walking around awhile we realized that we could just about fall over from being so tired. So we went to a Narvesen (convenience store) and bought what I ate last time I was in Norway: Grandiosa pizza and Got Morgen yogurt. We were both asleep by 7:00.

Funny story: Because it never gets dark here, I woke up and looked at Mom's watch. 9:30 I thought I had slept 15 hours. I got out of bed to go use the bathroom and the other guests looked like they were getting ready for bed. I ask what time it was to realize it was 9:30 at night. Anyway mom and I thought we had been asleep for 25 hours before we got up again to ask what day it was. Jet-lag sucks people.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Just the facts

So of course the day before big travel no one really sleeps that well. Anyway I was wide awake at 7 so here is some random facts about Norway for you all learn a bit about where I'm going.

Official name: Kingdom of Norway

System of government: Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy

The Royal House of Norway:
Harald V, King of Norway, born 21 February 1937
Sonja, Queen of Norway, born 4 July 1937
Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, born 20 July 1973
Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway, born 19 August 1973
Ingrid Alexandra, Princess of Norway, born 21 January 2004
Sverre Magnus, Prince of Norway, born 3 December 2005

Head of Government: Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

Area: 385,155 square kilometres

Population: 4 801 100 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2009)

Capital city: Oslo

Languages: Norwegian bokmål, Norwegian nynorsk and Sami

Religion: Church of Norway (Protestant Christianity)

Currency: Norwegian kroner (NOK) 1 krone = 100 øre
100 kroner equals approximately € 12,5

Time zone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +1 hour

National day: 17 May

Average life expectancy: Female: 82.5 years, male: 77.7 years
Last updated: 2010-04-20

About the Midnight Sun

About the midnight sun!!

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon which means that the sun does not set during the summer months. In other words, given fair weather, you can see the sun for a continuous 24 hours.

The duration of the midnight sun depends on how far north you are. At the Arctic Circle in the county of Nordland, you can see the midnight sun from 12 June to 1 July, at the North Cape in Finnmark you can see the sun from 14 May to 29 July, and at the North Pole the sun does not set for six months.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Introduction

Hey everyone. For the past few years in college I have heard from just about everyone that I needed to start a blog to be productive in the Communication world. Well, I didnt really have much to write about before this point.

My Norway story:

Hi, my name is Joy Lussenden. I'm a recent Augustana College graduate (Go Augie!) and I am now entering the world as a full fledged adult. I have had a dream to live in Norway since I went there with my J-term class in January 2008. I felt that Norway and I were not finished with each other. And so I started down many paths to get my dream. To those who are Fulbright scholars, I applaud you. My application took 5 months to complete and was then followed by 3 sets of interviews to have my research project denied by the Norwegian government. By that time, I no longer wished to be out of the country for 10 months. I was now looking for a shorter stint in Norway. I looked into a semester at a college, since college is free, but I just am not up for more schooling at this point of my life. After the winter Olympics, a wonderful women name Bente from Sim Optima came to Professor Nitz's classes to discuss her company and the roles good communicators make in their company and for their clients (Olympics, World Cup, etc). I told her I would love an internship.

Guess what: it finally happened... almost a year after I started my Fulbright application I will be in Norway.

My Adventure Abroad:

My Mom and I are traveling for one week before I start my internship at Sim Optima. On Saturday we are flying through Iceland (a big risk for us!) on the way to Bergen. This is one city I always wished to visit. We are doing fjord tours, along with the regular touristy stuff. We are then doing the Norway in a Nutshell trip to Oslo which will take all day. Trains, bus, boat, bus, train. It will be great! Then in Oslo I will show my mom my favorite sites from my first visit along with experiencing new things. Mom leaves me June 5th as I get ready to stay with a host family and start my new job in Norway!

Get ready for 5.5 weeks of posts on Norway, working in Norway, customs, and life as young adult. When I come back to the states in July, I start a full time job at Spark letterpress in Sioux Falls. Life is exciting and I want to share show of my experiences! Please comment and let me know what you would like to see/hear about!

P.S. Pray for fun and safety. Thanks.