Sunday, August 29, 2010


We just made it to the hostel back in Oslo, after an awesome 2 days in Grimstad. We visited our family friends, the Folkmans, who were so warm and welcoming and gave us a fantastic visit. They live in one of the prettiest towns I've ever seen. It was so idyllic, with the sun shining, it was warm, and everything was so green. We took the train from Stavanger to Kristiansand, and then the bus to Grimstad, and they picked us up there. The bus stop was right on the water, and as soon as we stepped off the bus we knew we were going to have fun there.

After picking us up, Kristian and Lars took us for a mini driving tour of Grimstad, and we went up a hill to look over the town and took advantage of a few Kodak moments:

This is the second largest wooden church in all of Norway. That's a big deal.

See what I mean? Gorgeous. Sailboats were out and we were about to join them.

Here I am making out with their dog, Tussa (It means troll in Norwegian! Poor Tussa...). I miss my kitty, and am taking the animal affection wherever I can get it. This was right before she ate the pile of crap. Thankfully.

Here is Trine and Fredrik... They took us out on their vintage wooden boat the first day which was so relaxing. It reminded me of the boat rides around Balboa Island that we used to do, but with even prettier scenery.

Jeff and Kristian driving the boat:

We docked on one of the small islands off the coast and Kristian brought his fishing pole to see if they could catch any fish to put in the fish soup he was planning on making us the next day. They did! Jeff caught the first one less than five minutes after putting the hook in the water, and then Fredrik showed him up and caught an even bigger fish! Quite successful, although they didn't top the record breaker my dad caught when he was there visiting...

Still exciting! Jeff was pretty proud, and Fredrik taught Jeff how to stick his fingers up the fish's tonsils to carry it like a fisherman.

After we got back and had a lovely dinner of fish stew, we were wiped. We took over Lars' bedroom and guess who wanted to bunk with Jeff...?

This morning we woke up to more beautiful weather and a Norwegian breakfast (homemade bread, jams, meats, fish, goat cheese, coffee, juice and milk) and set off again on their other (more reliable) boat, this time going to a further island and with the whole family. We hiked on the rocks, sunbathed, they swam in the freezing water while Jeff and I looked on horrified, threw a stick repeatedly for Tussa, and ate the fish soup Kristian made before heading back. It was so gorgeous there, I can't imagine why they would want to move back to California (they lived in Foster City for 3 years and loved it). Then again, I do remember the two times I've been in Norway in the winter.... Here are some pictures from the island we docked at:

There were so many jellyfish in the water! This one was the grand pumba of them all. It was huge!! Probably 18" diameter I would guess. Bjorn touched it on top (the tentacles on the bottom are what sting you), fearless Norwegian. 

I took a crazy amount of pictures and video of this leg of the journey, again all posted on Flickr if you want to check them out... Oh. I just realized the limits of the free Flickr account. You might not be able to see the older pictures anymore... I guess they just allow you the most recent 200 pictures? Sorry! Update: Here are the Grimstad Flickr pictures.

Meeting up with Per and Tor Einar tomorrow to see Lillestrom, where my dad grew up. I'm looking forward to showing that to Jeff. That's my Norway. :)


ET said...

Wow! You guys are lucky as it looks like you had great weather during your visit to Grimstad. But I am not complaining as Grimstad was fantastic even with rain, as we had when I visited the Folkman's in May and celebrated May 17th with them, with flags, parades and the whole 9 yards...

As I expected, Kristian, Trine, Lars August, Bjorn and Fredrik would take good care of you and show you the wonderful area in which they live. The south coast of Norway is the favorite spot for any Norwegian to spend the summer. So I am very glad you got to see it in great weather.

After this, I am afraid that Lillestrom will have a hard time to compete with what you have seen on your trip so far, but I presume it will have more of a sentimental appeal, so enjoy. Apparently the weather will continue to be nice, so hopefully you both will have a very nice day with Per, Gunnar, et al.

Jerod said...

Wonderful!! My vicarious self is having the trip of a lifetime!!

Jan said...

Amazing, that dog is rad! I would have tried to visit the Grimstad beer brewery, but I GUESS hanging out on the rocks and on the water was more fun/less hangover potential.

Mosin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.