Funny that I’m half Swede and never thought about traveling to Scandinavia. Though, now that I’m here, I’m not sure how I am even remotely Scandinavian. I’m much more crude Scot, which will be the latter half of this trip and the blood of which does not at all run through my body.
But here I am in Bergen, Norway. This is the brainchild of my friend Noelle. And she got us this great Airbnb tucked into an adorable neighborhood just outside the tourist scene.
Yes, I’m on Pinterest. Yes, I have read up on hygge. But until you’re in an incredibly simple white space with a brazen yellow chair, relaxing on pillows, and looking out at the rooftops of other adorable homes and relaxing with a friend, it’s hard to fully appreciate. I’ve already let Kirk know I want to come home and paint everything white. Funny, I don’t think he responded to that specific comment.
The neighborhood is fantastic. If you keep to the cobblestone, you’re on a sidewalk of sorts. They wind around people’s homes and gardens and feel intimate at times.
After having a nap to acclimate, we did the ultimate tourist thing: take the Floibanen to the top of Mount Floyen. It’s an impressively steep funicular ride to an incredible view of the city.
Warning, Americans: If you are obnoxious here (or anywhere), you will be discussed. Noelle overheard a woman say in German that a loud American nearby had “a voice that sounds like a pig.” Just keep it down and enjoy the view.
As if life couldn’t get better at the top of the mountain, there are goats. Just hanging out. Like it’s no thang.
And hey, look, they’re all named…
And there he was.
Noelle petted him and called him Barry. And a very dark-skinned man from some other country said to us in broken English something along the lines of, “See, he looked at me. He knows we are the same.” And so it goes. It’s not about ignoring our differences. It’s about embracing them. So, thanks, Bergen, for naming your one black goat after our one black president. And lefty America can rest knowing that Barry is seriously chillin on a mountaintop and being enjoyed by all.
Not enjoyed by all? The unbelievable walk back down to the city. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great walk. It’s beautiful, it’s scenic, it’s quiet. But it’s also 45 minutes straight down on swtichbacks. And for two tired old broads, it was a feat. My toes tingle just looking at this picture.
What impressed me on this walk was not the number of people walking and running up this mountain, but the simple fact that EVERYONE was wearing spandex. Like pants. No one in Bergen covers their spandexy bums, men or women. They flaunt them. And fuck. They should. Everyone here is in perfect shape. Not a rubbed thigh to be seen in all the land. I’m the fattest person in Bergen.
And to celebrate my superlative stance in Bergen, I topped the day with a reindeer hotdog. Covered the way the locals like: with lingonberry sauce, mustard, and dried onions. It was delightful.
Then it was time to pat my belly and get some real sleep. Cheers.