I actually wrote this a couple of days ago, but this is the first chance I've had to post it with the busy itinerary. Enjoy. Perhaps tonight I will have a chance to post some pictures.
Last night, looking for a less-expensive dinner, which is saying something. We went for Indian at a restaurant called Maharaja. A simple Indian meal was $200 American, which is ridiculous. I was surprised by how much food, especially, costs in Norway. One of our traveling companions bought what would be a $19 bottle of wine in the U.S. and here they paid $75 American. One could say, well, that's the import of the wine or some such. Carol and I split a beer the other day, and it's translated value was $22 or so. My lunch of a couscous salad and a pita bread with a tablespoon or two of tszkiki sauce was about $14 U.S. So crazy, these amounts. Those people with the $75 wine? They had fish and chips that translated into $30 U.S.
Last night, we ate dinner on the street in a fish market. I had Minke Whale. Yup. You read that right -- whale. Not like Dolphin which is really the fish and everyone thinks, oooh, I'm eating almost a porpoise. Last night, it was whale for real. It was a little like beef, only more tender. The cutting of it with a plastic knife wasn't so easy, as there were parts of the muscle that didn't want to let go of each other. But, still, it was lovely. My belly didn't react to the heaviness, as it has done with bear and moose. It was quite lovely, as conch wasn't. But, it was cooked on a grill in the middle of the fish market and I was handed it on a paper plate with plastic silverware. I had a bottle of water to drink and just a few veggies surrounding the main entree. It wasn't a fancy-schmancy meal, nor was it the most expensive thing on the menu, by far. But, it still cost $40.42 U.S. That was just my meal, with barely enough food to fill. I wound up getting a soft serve vanilla icecream for dessert and I asked for sprinkles. The sprinkles were little bits of crunchy sugar in pastel colors - unlike our chewy-waxy sprinkles. The difference was interesting.
Yesterday we took a train ride up to a fjord. There we hopped on a boat and wandered around deep water and seriously tall, craggy mountains to a town named Flam. There we had some micro-brewed beer and ran through some tourist traps before hopping a train through the mountains. It was actually a remarkable day when it came to scenery. Tall mountains, beautiful waterfalls, little towns nestled against mountains with vibrant colored homes.
I had my own room last night. The shower in that room was absolutely amazing. I didn't know what to do with it, at first. The "shower" floor was just the tile floor of the bathroom, lowered about the height of my pinkie toe. There was a shower curtain suspended from a rod attached to the ceiling and walls, and only wrapped around from beside the toilet to the side of the sink. So, basically, I was showering, literally, in the bathroom. This wasn't a ship; this was a whole building.
I am on a train to Oslo as I type this. We will be on this train for about seven hours total. We got on about 8am local time and it's now 9.25am local time. There is an adorable young couple on the seats across the aisle canoodling with each other. They are curled up in each other's arms, snogging and there is something sweet about their giggles and mumblings -- not that I would be able to understand them even if I could hear what sweet-nothings they are sharing.
Besides the canoodling couple, the views from this train are lovely. Again, tall mountains covered in pine trees and deciduous trees, green and lush, with breaks for rock cliffs, waterfalls and glaciers at the very top. Towns are speckled about. It really is lovely.
Remember how I said that it was hard, hard to knit while listening to a book and do fancy lace knitting? I put that down, though I want to work on it. My brain is not able to work on it too much at night, as it takes concentration and I want to go to sleep. Lace knitting late at night is also not a good idea. Instead, I am working on my Halloween costume. For years I've wanted to knit a Harry Potter scarf -- in this case, a Ravenclaw scarf. I have pretty set opinions about said Ravenclaw scarf. The movie says Ravenclaw's colors are blue and silver, but in the books, Ravenclaw is blue and bronze. The scarf I am knitting is true to the books. Now clumping around in my master's robe, with a little black skirt, white button down shirt and cobweb stockings will make so much more sense with a house scarf. I'm going to go back to working on that. For one can knit garter and watch the scenery go by and listen to a silly romance at the same time. Look: I've got some serious talent.