Norway

2019 Norway Vacation

Norway was truly a trip of a lifetime.  Seven women, 3 generations, so much family, fun, and adventure!  It all started a year ago when Nancy and I were doing the ultimate Alaska road trip.  Nancy mentioned some of her family was thinking of going to Norway and I asked if she needed a photographer.  A year later we were back on the road together in the beautiful fjords of Norway with her Grandmother, Mom, Sister, Aunt, and Cousin.  

Day 1:  I met the group in Minneapolis where we flew to Iceland for a layover and onto Bergen, Norway.  In Bergen we took a bus from the airport to the downtown area where we walked a few blocks to our hotel.  Having plenty of daylight left, we headed to the fish market where we found a delicious dinner, including whale burgers.  We then made our way to the Floibanen Funicular for a tram ride to the top of the mountain where we had spectacular views of the city.  After wondering around town we finally headed back to our beautiful and historic hotel near the train station.

 

 

 

Day 2:  We celebrated my birthday by doing yoga in the hotel courtyard followed by a spectacular breakfast buffet (meats, cheeses, fruit, smoothies) having the best coffee on the trip!  Then over to train train station as we headed to Gol!  We traveled for about 4 hours and passed the most beautiful country side with lakes, waterfalls, and glaciers.  We finally arrived in Gol around 4pm where our rental cars were waiting for us at the train station.  We quickly learned the basics of driving a Norwegian style car and made our way to our hotel where we checked in (fun fact – this hotel has what must be the worlds largest coffee grinder). Then a relative met us and took us to the beautiful Torpo Stave Church (built 1192).  After touring the church we drove to the family farm and then up the mountain to the family cabin and finally to dinner.  

 

 

 

Day 3:  We took a very curvy road to Lillehammer which had beautiful views the entire way.  Once in Lillehammer we ate at an adorable cafe downtown, did some shopping, and then headed to the 1994 Olympic Ski Jump.  Of course you can’t get the whole ski jump experience if you don’t walk all 936 steps to the top, in our case, in the rain.  We visited the Ostre Gausdaul Church then checked into our home for the night which was part of a potato farm.  The home was originally the grandparents home and had been recently remodeled to accommodate guests.  Then on to meet a relative at the Sor-Fron Church in Hundorp which was a unique octagon church on the hillside.  

 

 

 

Day 4:  We started the morning by visiting the Ringebu Stave Church which was incredibly beautiful.  Norwegian Fun Fact: there isn’t a lot of room in the cemeteries, thus the family pays to keep your remains there.  If they stop paying they remove the headstone, and bury someone else on top.  Therefore, in some church cemeteries you can find the old headstones along the fence or piled up in the church yard. We drove over the mountain to Tynset and passed lots of roaming sheep on the beautiful tundra.  We visited the Tynset Church on a hill before visiting family in Berkak.  The Holanda Church was next on our list before finding the Klefstad Farm (which was an adventure in itself).  Finally on to Melhus where we visited with family and enjoyed “The World’s Best Cake” (Kvaefjord) before finding our motel for the evening.  Our final adventure of the day was the Nidaros Cathedral in downtown Trondheim.  The cathedral was beyond beautiful and very detailed.  It got dark while we were there, and it became even more enchanting in the evening!

 

 

 

Day 5:  We flew from Trondheim to Bodo where we discovered what Norwegians think a rental car for 7 people looks like!  Somehow we managed to cram everyone plus luggage into our little car!  Our first stop was Saltstraumen which is a small strait with one of the world’s strongest tidal currents.  It can create whirlpools 33′ wide and 16′ deep!  After that we traveled down the road where we saw non-stop beautiful views.  We traveled through Ornes, passing the Svartisen Glacier, took a short ferry then drove through a few tunnels, before finally getting to our home for the evening near Jektvik.  We were able to meet with some family that evening where we were served bread, jams, cheese, lefse, “princess cake”, and fresh strawberries and cream for dessert!  While the family was sharing pictures and stories and I ventured out to the rocks for an evening stroll until dark.

 

Day 6:  Out the door early and on our way to an old family farm.  We walked down the long driveway from the road and came across the old farm house and WWII rock bunkers overlooking the sea.  Then we met up with family who took us to the island Rodo where we visited a church and two cemeteries.  Rodo has a beautiful mountain called “The Lion Face” which is a popular hiking spot.  Sherpas came from Nepal and built steps up the steep side of the mountain, making the climb accessible for others.  Lunch was on Gjerdoya Island at the Lyngvagen Kafe – possibly the best lunch spot of the trip.  Fresh seafood in a beautiful cove; the shrimp was salty but good! On our boat ride back, grandma even saw a whale!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7:  We were on the road extra early, as we had to navigate tunnel construction and catch two ferries.  Miracles happened and we made it to the Lofoton Islands as scheduled! After 3 hours on the ferry we were all ready to get settled in, so we traveled directly to our cabins at the Nusfjord Arctic Resort.  An old fishing village, it had been updated to become vacation cabins, restaurants, and museum buildings.  For dinner I tried cod tongue, delicious by the way, before enjoying some time in the wood fired hot tub!

 

 

 

Day 8:  In the morning we headed to Haukland Beach and hiked to the top of Mannen Mountain.  The views were amazing as you could see 3 beaches from the top.  After the hike down we visited Uttakleiv Beach.  The Arctic Race of Norway was underway so we had to wait at an intersection for an hour – but we got to see 130 racers from 12 countries wiz by us on bicycles.  It was incredible to watch!  After, we stopped at a glass blower’s shop before heading back to the resort for dinner.  This time I tried the stockfish, which is rehydrated cod.  It’s like having a fish steak. And it was delicious!

 

 

 

Day 9:  SUP – I had been wanting to try stand up paddle boarding for a l-o-n-g time and I finally got to try it in the most beautiful location!  But after SUPing around the fjord for a while it was time to head back to the ferry and start to make our lengthy trek home.  Our first stretch was our 3 hour ferry ride back to Bodo.  That evening we stayed at a hotel close to the airport/ferry terminal.  We walked around town and discovered there was a huge concert in the park near our hotel.  It looked like fun, but we were all too exhausted!  Day 10 – The next morning we got up early and headed for the airport where we flew to Oslo, Reykevik, and Minneapolis where I said “ha det” for now!

 

 

 

Adventure. Photography. Love.

Amanda is a highly sought travel wedding photographer, where no destination is to remote.  Based in Palmer, Alaska with a satellite location in the beautiful Kickapoo Valley in Southwest Wisconsin.  Amanda is available to travel to your destination wedding, elopement, or engagement. Recent wedding and engagement travels to New York, Virginia, Jamaica, Mexico, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin showcase her adventurous spirit to capture love in remote and unique locations.  

Playing with toy cameras before she could walk, Amanda was soon using a fisher price 110 mm film camera.  She found herself spending her teenage and college years with her 35 mm film camera, rarely leaving her side, Amanda spent six weeks in Iceland and Europe capturing environmental justice with her film cameras before entering graduate school and the digital age.  While still enjoying 35mm and medium format film for personal projects, today Amanda uses digital technology for documenting her clients biggest day.  

 Photography the Feels Natural

Ensuring her clients enjoy their wedding day is the most important element for Amanda. Thus Amanda is unobtrusive, capturing the day as it happens. Amanda does not work from a shot list, but instead reacts to events as they unfold.  This form of photography creates a visual story organic in nature.  Amanda has an eye for capturing real moments.  Her style of photography sets her apart from other wedding photographers.  

Throughout the day Amanda uses nature to help enhance her beautiful subjects.  Using natural light, shadows, and reflections Amanda ensures the bride and groom stand out.  Amanda is drawn to the magical light occurring at sunrise and sunset where she lets her creativity run free.  While Amanda prefers to work at venues that accompany her free spirit including backyards, farms, ranches, barns, wineries and secluded getaway, her talents allow her to work in most any setting.

Amanda loves to meet new people email {amanda@amandacrowephotography.com} to connect.

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