Scandinavian Awesomeness – Part 9

Dinner in the room was a great idea – and the pizza was really good. Their small is interesting though – think they’ve been taking lessons from the Americans. Neither of us could get through our own “small” pizzas (which were each 8 slices!).

Early sleep, as both of us hadn’t had much water and were dehydrated….which wasn’t a good thing.

Up early the next day to go down for breakfast – breakfast here was lovely, lots of choice. And DECENT SIZED CROISSANTS! That’s the one thing I’ve found a bit odd with the breakfast croissants here – they’re all bloody tiny! Fill up on food, then back to the room to grab all our washing and head to the laundromat.

Off to the laundromat and we have only one load – which is good. Dump it all in and hang around. Whole process took just over an hour, which was awesome. Only cost 80NOK too, just is WAY cheaper than the 700+ NOK the hotel wanted to charge us…for what would’ve amounted to exactly the same thing, as we saw the hotel bags rock up while we were waiting for ours.

Instead of waiting around, we wandered up the road to a coffee joint called Bluebird Kaffebar. AMAZING coffee – even Alex said it was the best coffee he’s had since being here. I had a mocha and it is, without a doubt, the best mocha I’ve had. Ever. Anywhere. It was delicious. No bitter aftertaste, just smooth and creamy and very yum. Will definitely be going back there.

Washing done, head back to the hotel….where they’re waxing the front lobby floors and the floors in the elevators, so up we trudge up 6 flights of stairs. Have to say, doing that while you’re wearing warm outdoor coats in a warmly air-conditioned stairwell is tough. Finally got up to the room, hung up a few pieces of clothing that needed to manually dry (jeans, bamboo socks etc. :P) and then back down the stairs and out the fire escape exit to start….the trek.

I’m going to refer to it as the trek from now one because I truly didn’t understand quite how long it was! About 5.2km to get to ‘Swords in Stone’ or (in Norwegian) ‘Sverd i fjell’. The walk there was actually really pleasant, only a slight bit of rain (which our jackets protected us from anyway) and a really good look at a beautiful city. So much of it is old, so it was really nice to see it! As expected, the swords were gorgeous and worth the trek. While we were there, we noticed a small tour bus of young people (think they were American) posing on the beach for photos in their swimgear…and it was about 7C. They then all ran into the freezing water, screaming the whole time. Alex and I just lost out shit, it was so funny. Don’t think they were quite prepared for the cold!

Walk back to the hotel was uneventful, a few side trips to some monuments to take photos. Still can’t get into the hotel, due to the waxing, so off to find somewhere to sit down and have a drink. WAlked into the centre of town and passed an AMAZING shop – Outland ( I fell in love. All traces of my feet hurting were gone. I think I spent about 45 minutes in the shop just looking at everything. Alex finally managed to drag me away with the promise that we’d go back provided I had a plan and something I wanted to buy! Meanie!

Had a quick sit down, some cold drinks and hot chips, then back to Outland to buy me the newest Minecraft Lego set (not too bad on cost either, only $60AUD roughly, so I was happy with that) and to do a bit more admiring. The lady behind the counter then let slip they had a webshop, so I was fine to leave…and browse from a distance 😛

Back to the hotel and we can FINALLY get in – relax a bit (poor sore feet!) and then time to find somewhere for food. Ended up at a local Thai joint that WASN’T fully booked out (apparently the “Thai” rule only applies in Trondheim…see previous posts if you’re confused about that :P) and headed in there. It was good – not fabulous, but filling and tasty. Think we’re a bit spoilt back home for food choices and quality, something I’ll try and remember not to take for granted when we’re back!

Quick stop in at a local 7-11 for desert – Mars icecream for me and Snickers ice cream for Alex (I didn’t even know they MADE these!) and then back to the hotel. Alex piked a tad early, but I was up fairly late. Had a chat to a few work mates when they just started worked (11pm my time, 7am their time!) and then finally piked myself at about midnight.

Woke up, this time a leisurely breakfast, as the museums we wanted to see don’t open until 11am. Breakfast this time was croissants and Norway’s version of Nutella, which was delicious! Still had an hour or so to kill, so back to BlueBird Cafe for some coffee and mochas…which is when I discovered that they had a communal knitting project! ^_^ So excited. Spent the next 45 minutes happily knitting away on a bright orange scarf for a Christmas charity. Was very relaxing and very cool!

It was then time to start the “museum” trek – we headed off the main Stavanger museum first, and their incredibly awesome collection of natural history stuff…though the skeleton room was slightly creepy. Their main attraction was a history of Stavanger, which was also really fascinating to look through.

We then went back to the hotel, grabbed out stuff and stashed it in the car so we could check out – problem is we’re still here for another 8-10 hours, so need to find a few more things to do!

Lunchtime, and head back into central Stavanger – which was actually quite a long way (my poor feet were still recovering from the day before!) and we found a local pizza joint that did garlic bread, a must for Alex. Food was good, not fantastic, but very filling. Once finished, then time to head back to the other side of the city (again!) for Stavanger Archaeological Museum. This was my favourite by far – a whole heap of stuff about the vikings, their history through the bronze and iron ages and how their culture was slowly eroded.

By this time, we were ready for some relaxing – headed to another coffee joint and Alex found some Bundaberg Ginger Beer – almost like being home! Killed another half an hour, then decided to just chill in the car. By this time, it was about 5pm, so thought we’d head down to the harbour and await boarding on the FjordLine ferry to Denmark.

What a catastrophic mistake. Bored shitless in the car, because we’d run out of Norway data on my SIM and we didn’t end up boarding until gone 8pm. Parking on the ship was somewhat…interesting. No rhyme or reason to the parking, no order. Just seemed to be a tetris style “put the cars where ever they’ll fit” type arrangement. Can’t take large suitcases (as you get charged for them as “cargo”) so stuffed a change of clothes and our toiletries into a small bag and head up to our cabin.

Not exactly what I’d call spacious – almost pleased we didn’t bring the suitcases up as there would’ve been absolutely nowhere to put them! There was literally 10cm between the end of the bed and the wall. Bathroom was the smallest we’ve come across and yet this was more expensive than our VikingLine cabin! Not very impressed. Even less impressed with the fact that the internet didn’t work when we boarded…and didn’t end up being fixed for the entire journey, even though we’d already paid for our 12 hours of access – the first place in Scandinavia that’s charged us for internet access. Somewhat ridiculous. Would’ve got a refund, but the refund process involved the guy behind the counter writing down my credit card details, including expiry date and full name of the card – something I was definitely not impressed with. Took the paper he wrote that down on and said we’d take the 160NOK hit rather than have our holiday credit card skimmed and possibly locked. Guy behind the counter really didn’t give a shit. Another strike against FjordLine.

Trip over was horrible – they’d lost all electricity just before they landed in Stavanger, so they spent close to 2 hours trying to get everything back up and working. Because of this, we were late leaving Stavanger, so they had to make up the time…which made for the rockiest, most horrible boat ride I’ve ever been on. Alex certainly wasn’t a fan and ended up in the bathroom that night.

Very happy when we could finally get off in Denmark – went to the first StatOil service station we could find so we could get a Danish SIM card so we could have data. YAY! Finally reconnected with the world again! From there, it was time to make the 3 hour drive to LegoLand. In fog. Was a tad eerie, but we finally made it.

OH. EM. GEE! LEGOLAND! EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! (Yes, they actually had the ‘Everything is Awesome’ song playing, non-stop, at the front of the park…I think Alex was going crazy after hearing it for only 5-10 minutes!)

Seriously, had an amazing time at LegoLand – it was everything I thought it would be! First stop was the Lego shop – was hoping for some rare sets, but sadly nothing there that I didn’t have already! (Minus the SandCrawler, but I’ve been promised that will be being ordered when we get back for me for Christmas ^_^) Picked up a few things here but would return a bit later in the day for a few little presents 🙂

Next was miniland – parts of the world recreated in Lego. Was just amazing – so many thousands of bricks, such detail, it was just mindblowing. I really wish I had the same level of talent as these builders. Alex asked if I could do that for a living – HELL YES! They also had a miniland area of StarWars! Hoth, Endor, the clone assault – it was just awesome. They also had a MASSIVE Imperial Shuttle – make my one at home look tiny in comparison!

Then on to a few other areas in the park – Adventure Land (with knights and dragons and serpents!) and Pirate Bay, where we went on the boat ride through the pirate caves. Then to the Lego Racers mini coaster – which I of course had to go on…and get my photo to remember the experience! We were then going to go through the Pharoahs ride, but the line was a tad too long – didn’t want to waste the entire day. Same with the Adventure Land Viking ride – this was similar to the water rafts at DreamWorld, and as I’m now down to a single pair of jeans, didn’t really feel like getting saturated. Watched for a bit though! And got a few photos of the Lego vikings and dragons!

I also went on the Polar Xpress roller coaster and the Haunted House giant drop type thing – yes, I got photos from them too. There were also live penguins of which we got some seriously dodgy photos (because they move way too damn fast) but I did manage a small recording of them – they were very cute.

The haunted house was my favourite place by far – they’d recreated all the Lego Monsters stuff, it was just *squeeee* worthy. Even the house was built the same as the Lego Haunted House set – even down to the gates (which I had to take photos of!). Many photos were taken in here.

After the Haunted House, back to Lego shop for a few more things – bit sad as they had a very very limited amount of clothing for adults (only two shirts – I bought one) and a few small pieces that you could only buy in LegoLand, then it was time to leave. Was a bit sad to say goodbye to LegoLand, but we’d been there for FIVE HOURS! Definitely felt good to sit down in the car.

Dinner was on the road – as we were in Denmark, and wanted to complete our “survey” we called in to a service station and grabbed some local McD’s. So far, Denmark rates below Norway but above Finland in the “Who’s is better?” stakes.

Continued on to Malmo in the dark and finally arrived at about 7:30pm. Checked in, parked the car and headed up to our absolutely GIANT room – certainly made up for the tiny cabin we were in the night before. Massive King-size bed too, slept straight through.

We’ve just been down for breakfast – certainly looking forward to coming home and having more basic breakfasts – just some toast or cereal would be nice! We’re back in the room now, packing up a little bit before heading out into Malmo for a little bit of sight-seeing before checking out at midday and driving the 3 or so hours onto Gothenberg!

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