Travel Dates: September 10-19, 2016
When traveling around the world on your honeymoon, you end up spending a lot (A Lot) of time with your spouse. It sounds obvious, but I hadn’t really considered it until we left the shore sailing into the open ocean on our ship for two. Fortunately, Linda and I have lived together for over a year, and she has somehow learned to tolerate my stubbornness, need for attention, and other amazing qualities 🙂
As we’ve shared our honeymundo plans, we’ve hoped to have friends meet up with us along the way. We figured it would be a fun way to catch up, mix things up, and explore together…which absolutely was the case when two of our best friends, Dave and Vee, invited us to join them in Scandinavia.
We didn’t even have Scandinavia on our list for traveling through Europe, since we were a little more focused on the warm Mediterranean spots. But when adventure (in the form of an email from Vee) called, we had to answer.
Accommodations: Hotel Christiana Teater
We arrived in Oslo in our standard beach gear, immediately realizing we needed a warm coat for the northern climate. Our survival skills instantly kicked in and led us to to a shopping mall adjacent to our hotel. A couple hours later, Linda and I were armed with puffy jackets (and, for me, a puffy vest – which is a magical piece of clothing I hadn’t used before but have worn almost daily since, reluctantly removing it only when extremely hot out).
Oslo was a beautiful city – monolithic old buildings intermingled with modern architecture. Very friendly people (perhaps a little too tall for Linda). But, most importantly, it was the place we reunited with awesome friends.
If you plan to visit, be sure to grab a cocktail at the Hotel Cristiana Theater and The Thief – both spots mix up incredible potions to warm you up on cold Oslo nights.
Accommodations: Flamsbrygga Hotel
The following morning we hopped on a train to head into fjord country. The final train, the Flam Railway, took us through some epic landscapes with massive waterfalls. We spent the night in Flam, a tiny village nestled on the water amidst huge hills, our entry point to the fjords the next day. That evening we feasted on BBQ and beer at Flamsbrygga brewery – definitely one of our best meals in the north.
The next morning, we set off on a beautiful hike along the water and then jumped on the Catch Fjords Cruise. The boat took us through the fjords and some of the most extraordinary sights of our trip so far.
Accommodations: Scandic Hotel Bergen
The fjord cruise docked in the beautiful port city of Bergen. We spent a couple days here exploring the city. The highlight was Fløyfjell, a 1000+ ft peak with magnificent views of the city and surroundings. The other highlight for Linda and I was the incredible sushi and crab bisque in Fisketorget directly across from our hotel.
Accommodations: Stalheim Hotel
After Bergen, we made a pit stop en route back to Oslo, staying in a picturesque village at the Stelheim Hotel. Boasting a terrace with the best view in Norway, how could we resist! Unfortunately, the dense fog killed the hotel views that day, but we still had a blast sipping wine and whiskey by the fireplace. The hotel also reminded us of The Shining, so it didn’t help when we stumbled into a haunted section (floor K, below the basement) when Linda pushed the wrong button in the elevator…
Fulfilling one of Vee’s lifelong goals of going on a cruise ship, we took the DFDS overnight ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen. It was an awesome way to travel – nice restaurants and drinks – though the disco filled with old Scandinavians listening to country music was a little weird.
We awoke the next morning in Copenhagen. Consistently rated one of the happiest cities in the world, it was easy to see why, especially on a sunny day. There are beautiful, sprawling parks throughout the city. Everyone gets around on bike. And there was a relaxed, happy vibe in the air.
A few highlights include strolling through King’s Garden park, riding the Star Flyer (a 260 ft high swing set) in Tivoli Gardens, and…eating the most delicious hot dog we’ve ever had at a døp hot dog stand (get one with built-in cheese topped with the works, including friend onions).
Accomodations: Sheraton Stockholm
Our final stop in the Scandinavian tour was Stockholm. Here we explored the beautiful old town, shopped around – unsurprisingly, they have incredible interior design shops – surprisingly, they also had incredible sci-fi book and game shops (which Dave and I loved!).
Sadly, we said goodbye to our friends the next day as they headed home to NYC. We loved traveling with friends and can’t wait to do it again as the honeymundo continues.