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A voyage through Norway: Mesmerizing beauty, unforgettable memories

With my feet solidly planted back on Indiana soil, I am still having dreams of Norway. So here comes the last part of that story and soon, I’ll be in full applesauce canning mode, and my dreams will be everything apple…

Trondheim, Norway is northern country. It lies along the same latitude as Iceland and the tip of Greenland. Since we are that far north already, we decide to take the train from Trondheim north to Bodø, a 10 hour trip that has been televised in its entirety on Norwegian TV.

The railroad makes its way from the 1,000 year old town of Trondheim across farmland, through pine and birch forests, across bridges, sometimes along the coast, past waterfalls and lakes and fjords and mountains, until it reaches the tundra and crosses the arctic circle, and finally wends its way into Bodø.

If you are into slow TV, it is a beautiful journey you can take vicariously. Though I packed a book for the train ride, I never opened it. The scenery was enough to keep us absorbed for 10 hours!

From Bodø, we go south to Bergen, the gateway city to the fjords. And one more reason to call this country the most beautiful one in the world.

On a semi-cloudy day, we rise early to walk to the giant bus station where people have congregated to find their way to work. Our bus also carries workers, but a few of us are making our way over and through the mountain to get to Hardangerfjord.

The bus driver maneuvers us carefully through tunnels, steep mountain roads, back down to the valley, around the lake, over the river and finally to the small harbour where we will catch the ferry. The views are already amazing: gushing waterfalls, sod-roofed cabins, pine forests, quaint villages.

But today, it’s all about the fjord. As the sun starts to break through the clouds, the ferry takes us from one harbour to another as we edge further and further into the fjord. What we see mile by mile is indescribable: picture perfect landscapes that continue as far as the eye can see.

Up on deck, standing in the fresh air, we start to take pictures and then realize even pictures cannot show what we see and feel. We stay there, mesmerized, soaking it in, knowing that this unforgettable voyage will be stored in our memories forever.

While these days we have social media to make our lives “look” perfect, I find that it is my outlook on life and how I frame it for myself that makes it perfect or not. I can choose to take the picture of life’s ugliness and frame it, or I can choose to reframe it at its best.

My approach is to soak in all I see and wallow in the goodness, the beauty, the awesomeness of what it means to be human today on this earth. Those scenes from Norway, in their pure beauty, are one of those amazing things.

But back to northern Indiana. The leaves are spreading their palettes of colour, the morning brings a pink tinge to the whole landscape, the blue sky of autumn lies above. We are lucky to be here, right now.

Here is a recipe for a salad, using some of that delicious Norwegian smoked salmon.

Smoked Salmon Salad

  • 8 pieces of smoked salmon
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 8 slices goat cheese
  • 2 red beets, cooked, peeled and cut into thin sticks
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • 4 thin slices of sweet yellow onion
  • Lettuce greens
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette

Place the greens on 4 plates. Decoratively place the rest of the ingredients on top and alongside the greens. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

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