Bergen and Finse in retrospect.

Finse Travel Blog

 › entry 11 of 15 › view all entries

So. This is not the route. But I promised that I would follow up with the story.

Unfortunately I did not have access to internet because this has been a camping-centric adventure through Norway. But to tell you the story, I started in Oslo. I took the night train to Bergen where I had planned on spending 4 days (I heard there was good hiking, and I wanted to trek my way to one of the fjords).

I had taken a regular seat, not a sleeper seat (because that is what I do, and that is how I save money).  I quickly found out that this sucks (although not as much as in Thailand), because I ended up with my feet in the air during the night and my head in a complete fuzz in the morning because I couldn't have gotten more than 2 hours of a sleep.

I arrived in Bergen early (8am) and was pissed at myself because I had no plan and nothing to do (because this is what I do, and this is how I save money).

I walked around the city during the wee hours of the morning and saw the typical sights that everyone goes to see. It's actually a (gayness alert) quite lovely town with a quaint feel to it. However, I didn't know anyone, and everyone at my hostel was 30+. I decided to hike the big mountain next to the town to get a feel for what I was up against the next day. This was cool for 5 minutes.

I must say that all the houses located on the hill were pretty cool. It seemed like a very exclusive (but not wealthy exclusive) community in the hills. Once I got above the houses, it was a nice outdoorsy hike. But lets get serious here. I'm in fucking Norway.

I didn't come here for a ''nice outdoorsy hike''. I'll go to Quincy for that.

In my incredibly uncomfortable, sleeping-limb-sydrome (SLS. I just coined that. It's mine. Fuck off) inducing state on the train to Bergen the night before (I mentioned this. If you'd don't remember, go away. You're stupid) I woke up at 4:15 (along with many other times). We happened to be passing through this place called Finse at the time, and because the sun doesn't set (ever), I fell completely in love with the landscape. It was this incredibly dramatic rocky frontier with no trees in a lingering dawn.

The color was epic. It was epic because there was no color. It was the kind of scene where you can't believe your eyes. The grey sucks any color you could conceive out of the terrain.

It is lifeless. Grey and black. It's almost unnatural.

So as I stood atop this hill overlooking Bergen, I knew that if I didn't return to Finse, I would hate myself forever.

And so I did. I blew off my train ticket for Flam (schedule 4 days later) and bought a ticket to Finse.

I met a lady on the train to Finse. She was from the Philippines and was traveling to Oslo and was very interested in this crazy American sitting next to her on the train. She asked me how old I was and I replied ''24''. Well...she doesn't understand English well.


''No, I said...''

''Ahh! Are you married?''

''No I am only twenty-f....'''

''Ahh! My son in 42. He is your age. He is married. You should get married''

Really lady? 42? I know we can't all be asian and look like we're still at the age where we add ''and one half'' to our years, but Jesus (she had a bible), I ain't 42 and I hope I don't look 42.

So heehnyway. I got to Finse. But I realized an hour before I got there (on the train), that I don't remember Finse having too many trees. And as I looked at the thermometer on the train, it was getting colder and colder as we gained elevation. Colder. Colder. Ah shit. It's 2pm and it's 50F out. Ah shit. There's probably no firewood there.

There was no firewood there.

I spent a total of 6 hours in the next 2 days walking the paths of finse picking up every twig and branch I could find floating in the lake, or forgotten in a bush. To the twenty or thirty hikers/campers there, I must have looked like an idiot. It's ok, I tell them, I'm an American. This ended with me raiding a train output, stealing 4x2s and old construction wood to start a fire.

It's ok, now I have fire.

Beautiful. The terrain was as dramatic as I remembered.

Beautiful. Desolate. Completely---lonely. It was a great experience with lots of reflection time, but 2-1/2 days alone is a long time alone. Especially when you're eating beans and rice in 50 degree weather. But there was a glacier.

And to the glacier I hiked. And it was awesome. I will save you the time and let you look at the pictures.

So after 2-1/2 days, I caught the train to Myrdal, and from here you can read the previous entry to get the story.

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photo by: mountaingirl