Europe Norway


By on November 20, 2014

Where do I even begin with Norway? This place absolutely stole my heart for a few reasons and all I can say is if a few things didn’t happen the way they did it would have been a totally different Norwegian experience. When I was booking how many days to stay in Bergen I thought I would play it on the safe side and book it four days just so we had enough time to plan for Trolltunga, the soul reason that inspired me to go up North. After two flights from Amsterdam we finally made it late at night to Bergen, accompanying me in my backpack were the two packets of mushrooms that I had thoughtlessly brought all the way from Amsterdam. I was so happy to find no further security checks and that customs hadn’t confiscated. After collecting our backpack’s Dean and I then caught the bus and proceeded to head to the city center. I had been left instructions by the hostel that the reception wouldn’t be open as it was about 12:30am and that I would have to swipe my credit card in the keypad and it would all be good. As you can imagine these things don’t always go according to plan as we only made it past the first door. Luckily for us someone was in the same boat and we managed to get into the hostel and into our bedroom. The hostel we were staying at Marken Gjestehus was unlike any other I had ever been before it had this peaceful and cozy warmth that made me feel right at home. The thing is in Bergen there are very few hostels to choose from and Marken Gjestehus gets booked pretty early but lucky I got onto it when I did or else we would have missed on staying in such a wonderful hostel (and no they didn’t pay me to say that). I have come to the conclusion that the only people that come to Norway are people with an agenda, it’s not a country where you would be generally passing through hence the different kind of crowd at the hostel. It had families there with kids running around and a lot more solo travelers then usual with a specific place to go in mind. One thing to keep in mind if considering traveling to Norway is that prices there are expensive. That goes for everything taxi’s, food, accommodation and especially alcohol. Whilst walking the streets prices for breakfast were like $30 for something like bacon and eggs, yer that wasn’t going to happen. As you can imagine whilst backpacking money comes scarce and this was the first part of the whole trip where we cooked. Not to far away was a supermarket where we bought some food for the next few days and we cooked our own bacon and eggs in the hostel which had pretty good kitchen facilities. I think now that there was just two of us we were able to cook which I didn’t have a problem, it was actually a nice change instead of eating at restaurants all the time.

On the second day our friend Freddy had drove all the way from Oslo which is about 8 hours to Bergen to meet up with us. We had come really close friends with Freddy at Tomorrowland and told him about our mission to climb Trolltunga which he was very keen on also. This was also his first time to Bergen so it was just as new to him as it were to us. Accompanying him were his friends Kristian and Milla who also made the trip down to visit friends they had in Bergen. After some breakfast we finally met up again with Freddy, it was so good to be reunited again. Having a chance to see Bergen in the day time was truly amazing it carried a fresh cold scent up in the air and the place was as scenic as it gets with trees and mountains surrounding the city. Living in Australia we don’t have this kind of scenery and for me there is something so calming being around a different kind of mother nature you have never seen before. I told Freddy how I had smuggled some Mushrooms in the country and he looked at me with confusion and told me I was crazy. Apparently it’s a 1000 euro fine if customs catch you which a friend of his found out the hard way, luckily I didn’t know that before I left because there was no chance I would’ve brought them knowing the penalty but fortunately for us there was no harm done. Whilst we were in the town center I went to find out some information about Trolltunga, I thought it was going to be a simple bus ride and a simple climb whenever you please sort of thing. Boy was I wrong, getting to the mountain is like a 5 hour journey by public transport and the climb takes about four hours to get up. Not only that but because Bergen is so far up Scandanavia even though it’s summer the weather is very unpredictable like Melbourne and the only day the conditions were suppose to be good was the last day. There was no way I was going home without walking the tip of the mountain we had come all this was specifically for that. It was then we decided to make plans that we would make the trip tomorrow night and stay close to the mountain ready for out climb.

Since the second day was our only real chance to take the mushrooms you know exactly what we did. Freddy was staying at Kristian’s friend Stian’s house who took us in and generously drove us around while he attended some meetings. So the following events that occurred will stick with me forever. We were originally suppose to be dropped off in the park to trip there but the weather had started raining so we went back to Stian’s house to re evaluate our game plan. Now this house has a basement where we then divided the two packets of shrooms for the three of us. On the menu were the Atlantis mushrooms which were of overall medium strength and had the key highlight being ‘Strong Visuals’. After downing our share it was the waiting game and the best way I can describe what these mushrooms felt like is that it makes you feel like your a little kid again with trippy vision. Thirty minutes later it started coming up and with me I can feel my stomach feel spacey and the initial yawns start kicking it. It was time to get outside and do what I love best and get outdoors and be around mother nature whilst on this stuff. To our super delight it had stopped raining and then it was the question where do we go and how do we get there since we were on foot. Overlooking Bergen is this ass huge mountain called Ulriken that people hike up to see the view. I was planning to squeeze it in sometime during our stay in Norway and what better time to do then whilst we were shroomed up. It took us a mere 15 steps out of the door to see one of the cable cars going up and in that second we made the executive decision to make the epic journey up. Freddy called a taxi which picked us up and took us to the base of the mountain, you should have seen us we were like three fuckin excited little school kids. At this stage the weather was still good and we jumped in the cable car on route to the top.

I’m going to explain this next part as best as I can. Keep in mind that the mushrooms were in full effect by now and we were had hit level 2 of happiness (Level 1 was being overseas). As the lift got higher and higher we could see more and more of the city. My heart was pumping, about 15 minutes ago we were looking at the mountain outside Stian’s house where we made the spontaneous decision to get to the top. We made it to the top at about 4 o’clock and one of the female operators gave us a heads up that if we wanted to catch the last cable car down it was at 6. Out of the lift we got and we rush to one side of the mountain. This was the first time we saw the whole city from the top of the mountain and my goodness I have never seen anything like this in my life. This was the part where I achieved happiness level 3. Luckily I brought my camera me I was a bit hesitant at first because I didn’t want to wreck it being on the shrooms but so glad I did. We were one of the very few people on the top I think it was the combination of the weather and the time which caused this. As we were laughing and running around taking photos you could see  large heavy black clouds in the distance that were coming towards us, the clouds blackened and the wind was picking up but we couldn’t care less. I was on a mission to get some really good shots and make the most of the short time we had left up there. Moments later a misty gushy wind started flowing right through us, we were getting more wet and it was getting more windy, we were now in the storm. The only time I have been as high as the clouds before is in a plane, being stuck between mother natures storm was one of the most amazing feelings I have ever experienced and I’m sure the shrooms made it a lot more intense then it would have been being ‘normal’. We ran for cover because we were being soaked and found this covered area that we called the pig pen. Mother Nature was really unleashing now with the sky turning black and the thunder was going berserk. The way it was going I didn’t think it would go away and that would’ve been the end of our exploring but Norway had a plan for us and after some waiting the rain begun to stop.

I checked the time and it was 5:30pm we only had thirty short minutes to explore the other side of the mountain. Now this side was a whole lot more scenic then the other side with a much more rocky muddy path. I remember very vividly looking at the grass which in my eye sight was fluro green. I couldn’t get over it I was giggling and carrying on I felt like Dora the Explorer on psychedelics up there. The altitude was causing my breathes to become deeper and I felt very alive and very happy on that mountain, it was then I hit level 4 on the happiness factor. We made our way further down to take some more photos and there was this one section where the rock was and I passed the camera Freddy to take a photo of me and Dean. I leaped up and hugged my brother and we shared a moment that I will never forget. If anyone knows me and Dean it’s always Dean that I experience all the epic shit with, we were kings of Bergen on top of that mountain. Around us there were mountain goat casually minding our business and we we howled like wolves that echoed around the mountains. Time was quickly coming to an end and I passed Dean the camera to too take some remaining snaps of myself and this breathtaking view and it happened. The sun started to break through after the storm and the view never looked more clearer and more beautiful then it did, it was then that I started to cry. I couldn’t remember the last time I cried and I definitely never cried tears of pure happiness. I was on holidays, with my best friend, in the most beautiful country I have ever seen, up high in the clouds on top of this epic mountain looking at one of the most spectacular views with the sun emerging through the clouds ….. on shrooms. It was so overwhelmingly euphoric and no one will understand what it truly felt like to be there at the moment except for Dean and Freddy. I’m an emotional guy and I wasn’t scared to let it out nor would I cared if anyone else was watching because that moment then was one of the most exhilarating feeling I’ve ever experienced, it was level 5.

We quickly took our remaining photos and decided to wrap it up as it was just on 6. I was so devastated we had to leave the mountain. There was another option to stay up there and walk down ourselves which would have taken ages but we opted for the the cable car and thankfully we did because it started pissing down hard again. As we declined down it felt like I was leaving a part of me there, my brain was still in disbelief with the events that had just occurred. As we reached the bottom it started raining even harder, It felt as if the streets had been abandoned due to the weather like it was the apocalypse. Freddy called a taxi with the last remaining bit of battery which arrived to our savior not to long after. We made a dash to the car and jumped in soaking wet. I think the taxi driver was use to it being in Norway because he didn’t care, it looked as if we had been swimming in the ocean. After taking off I realized that this was no ordinary taxi it was like a sky taxi with pretty much the whole ceiling made of glass so you could see all of Bergen’s beauty. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, I was back down to about happiness level 3 but I already missed that mountain. We finally made it back to Stian’s and to go from a stormy mountain to a nice warm house where we were able to take our wet clothes off took comfort to a whole new level. We went down to the basement so we could ‘Mush Out’ which pretty much means ride the last bit of the shrooms out whilst listening to some music. We decided not be rude and went upstairs to meet Stian’s girlfriend Silje, both Kristian and his girlfriend Milla were there also. The thunder had knocked the power out for a bit so most of the house was lit with candles and there was something very Zen about the house, Stian was a healer and he had heaps of cool healing stones and other valuable things he was showing us. Out of the kindness of his heart he generously gave Dean, Freddy and I a stone to take home with us. We spent the next few hours laughing and talking about our interests and how similar we were and that they were like a Norwegian version of us. This was the first time the whole trip where we were actually kicking back in a local’s house, just like I would be back be as if I were back in Australia with my friends and I was loving every single second of it.

Time flew right by us and the girls were ready to hit the town and we proceeded to the city center to check out a few bars. I left my id in the hostel which wasn’t too far from where we were and when I got back to meet up with them Dean had found an Australian busker playing the guitar on the side of the street. It must have been better then the nightlife because we all stayed outside and danced the night away singing with randoms and simply having a good time until the early hours of the morning. By around 4 am it was time for us to depart ways and Dean and I said our goodbyes for now and we walked back home after a long both physically and mentally exhausting day. As quietly as we could we got into our room and got some clothes ready for a much needed shower to cleanse us for the day it was. It was nice to have this hot as shower after a cold day, in the bathroom they also have heated floors which I have never seen. You would totally need it in Winter when it gets to something like -20 degrees. We finally got into bed and as I lay there I couldn’t believe what had happened, this was one of those days I couldn’t have planned any better if I tried, this was the happiest day of my entire life.

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