(I've gotten a bit derailed from sharing photos from my travels this summer, but I still have so many left that it's time I got back on track!)
Waking from fitful plane slumber to find myself peering out through bleary eyes over the fjords of Norway is something I will never, ever forget. Blue water extended like endless fingers into green forests and yellow fields, dotted with tiny islands and disturbed only by the wakes of scattered cruise ships and ferry boats. On the ride from the airport to our hotel in Oslo I couldn't take my eyes off the countryside, as I counted red-roofed barns and tried to catalog flora and fauna (fireweed, just like at home!)
Knowing I had less than 24 hours, not just in Oslo but in Norway as a whole, I fought off jet lag and spent the next few hours wandering around solo. What I found were roses. Roses piled several feet deep all around Oslo Cathedral and in the adjacent park, clogging public fountains and even sprouting from salty piers. Beautiful, but also heavy.
That night after the festival we made the wise decision to skip sleep and instead found our way to an afterparty where I met Fleurette and her amazing friends. One thing I learned on this trip: Scandinavians know how to party. I wish we could have stayed and danced until sunrise, but our 3am lobby call time loomed and soon enough we were on our way to Sandefjord airport--next stop Helsinki.