My final European stop in Jan 2014, before beginning my Asian excursion, was Norway. I found a great flight to Nepal from Norway, so I decided to see my buddy Gilles, who is currently living in Stavanger and working in the oil industry as an engineer. Norway is an oil rich nation (and by rich, it is also a very expensive place.. wow!), but really lovely, quiet, and being that its Scandinavian, English was not a problem. Gilles was the university roommate of my three year New York City British roommate Henry, who I lived with from 2007-2010. Henry introduced me to Gilles in 2010, when he was living in Madrid, as I was visiting and looking for a place to crash and people to meeet. Gilles gave me a place to crash and showed me the city, introduced me to some cool people, showed me the nightlife, let me drive his motorcycle around the Spanish countryside, and has always given me a place to crash when I did follow up visits to Madrid. So it was really good to see him in Norway, meet his girlfriend Nina, and chill for a few days in the village of Stavanger.
Stavanger is a small port village, and though I didn’t do much but work and walk around, I partook in wonderful Norweigan food, including Komle, which is a potato dish eaten with boiled carrots, bacon, and sausage. I also had Kjøttkaker, which is a meat cake/patty similar to Swedish meatballs. Gilles even made us reindeer steaks one night. Sorry Ruduolph, I hope I didn’t just ruin Christmas! Aside from eating, I explored the old city, and the city center, spending a lot of time at the coffee shop Sting or walking around the port and taking photos of the jötnar, or Norweigan trolls of old Norse folklore.
The final night, Gilles and Nina took me to eat Komle, then we went to Sverd i fjell, or “Swords In The Mountain”, also knows as The Three Swords, because its a monument of.. well.. three giant swords. The monument honors the Battle of Hafrsfjord in 872, when King Harald Fairhair united the the three kingdoms of Norway into one Kingdom. Pretty impressive, see the pics!
After that, I had a good nights sleep and prepared the least the west for the east.. to Nepal!!