In the previous installment of our honeymoon travelogue: Cori and Ryan travel to Sweden and get a Volvo. The people are pretty and the meatballs are tasty.
We woke up the next morning to a bright, crisp day in Kristiansand, Norway. Our Radisson was right at the end of an absolutely lovely bit of seaside — we had breakfast and went for a walk along the marina that morning.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we enjoyed every minute of it! We chatted with some locals and decided that Kristiansand was a lovely little place to live.
Now, you may think us crazy for this next part, but less than 24 hours after picking up our brand-spanking new Volvo, we rented a motorcycle and left our nice, warm car in long-term parking at the airport. We wanted to see Norway by motorcycle ever since seeing this video. So we rented a Honda CBF1000F from MC-Senteret in Kristiansand — Eric was very helpful and outfitted us with all the gear we would need (well, almost…but more on that later). We suited up (like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man) and we were off!
The Honda was a super comfortable bike, and we had more than enough space for our things — two side cases, a back case, a tank bag, and two red duffel bags we strapped to the top of the side cases. We had intercoms so we could talk to each other, too. We headed off toward Stavanger, Norway!
Things were lovely, for about an hour.
Then it started to rain. Just a bit.
Then it rained some more.
Then it POURED.
And it didn’t stop.
Oh, and it was windy, too.
This is when we learned that our rented waterproof gloves were not exactly waterproof. I’d, on the other hand, compare them to a sponge. First my fingers were wet. Then my hands. Then there was standing water in my gloves. Then the wet started traveling up my sleeves under my jacket. All I could do was sit on the back of the bike and shiver. I remember pretty much nothing about the drive from Kristiansand to Stavanger, except being wet.
Oh, and we took our first of many, many ferries.
We pulled into Stavanger and instead of exploring the town, we laid out all of our wet gear and crashed. I’m sure Stavanger is a lovely place, but I couldn’t tell you one thing about it.
The next day, we were hoping for better weather, but no luck! While we had a bit of cloudy weather to start out, it rained and rained for most of the day. At one point, we came around a bend in the road to see a huge truck sail through an enormous puddle of standing water across the road. I, of course, didn’t panic or shout swear words. Nope. That did not happen. Ryan slowed down and drove through the puddle at a crawl and we made it safely to the other side.
Sometime during this day, we had our first of many gas station calzones. I must say — Norwegian gas station food is pretty tasty.
We arrived in Bergen thoroughly soaked. We found the charming little Bergen Bed & Breakfast and the super-kind owner, Kristian, helped us bring in all our gear. I went to grab some dry pants out of my duffel bag only to find that our “waterproof” bags couldn’t handle all the wind and rain we threw at them — water got up and under the waterproof flap — so pretty much everything we owned was wet. We draped everything wet over every available surface in our tiny B&B room. (So sorry Kristian, for making it smell!)
And, as far as we could discover, there were no laundromats in Bergen. The second largest city in Norway. Try harder, Bergen.
It was at this point when I broke down. Just a little. I just wanted something dry and warm and not smelly to wear. Kristian suggested walking a few blocks to an H&M to pick up a few dry things. And he gave us umbrellas. Soon I had a pair of dry sweatpants and two dry zip-up tops and I was doing much better.
We wandered around Bergen that evening — what a great little city. We loved walking along the docks and seeing the Hanseatic Wharf with its tipsy buildings. I rode a fish. Things were looking up.
The next morning, we spent some time chatting with the two other couples staying the B&B. One couple was from Denmark and the other was from Sweden — they were both quick to give us a history lesson about Norway (mostly that it was owned by both Denmark and Sweden at different points during its history). It was fun to get a little lecture, and to watch the two wives quietly vie for Top Scandinavian Country. Denmark seemed to win, mostly because her English was better.
We also decided that morning that we needed new gloves. Two soaked days was enough to make us think about changing our entire trip, but we thought if we could just get some warm gloves, we’d be okay. We found a Yamaha dealership outside of Bergen and bought new gloves. I’m not sure what they cost in Norwegian crowns, but I’m pretty sure our future children will not be able to attend college on our dime.
Even though we had two wet days, we were really looking forward to the next part of our drive — we were entering fjord country!!
In the next installment of our honeymoon travelogue: Cori and Ryan find laundry and save the Sabbath.