Rosendal

When my German friend Nadine came to Bergen to visit, I was hoping to show her the Western Norway that I was already growing to love — the mountains and the fjords and even a taste of the fine weather that was just starting to be possible. But it turned out to be a rainy, foggy May week, and we spent much of it drinking tea and watching Norwegian movies in the comfort of my dorm room.

As the week went by and the weather forecast didn’t improve, I decided we had to take a bit of a gamble. So, on Nadine’s last full day, we booked tickets to Rosendal, a bit of the Hardangerfjord just south of Bergen, and accessible by ferry all through the winter. At the last minute, we were joined by Laure, a French CouchSurfer who was in town looking for some fellow travelers to spend time with.

The weather for Bergen was meant to be rain, rain and more rain — while Rosendal’s “mostly cloudy” offered a chance at a few moments of sunshine, or at least a few mountain views. Things didn’t look promising as we set out through cold, chowder-thick fog — but when we arrived in Rosendal, we were charmed despite ourselves by the mysterious, almost medieval feeling the weather cast over the hillsides. Even without the promise of views from the top, we decided to follow the lower mountain trails and go exploring.

In the end, we were rewarded for our optimism and indomitable spirits. Just as we’d fully accepted our unusual, but beautiful day in the fjords, someone spotted a bit of blue sky as we were walking back towards the sea.

Before long we could see a bit of water down below. As we came out into the village, we could see a low mountain emerge clearly from the mist.

For a moment, we looked uneasily at the strange looking clouds that continued to cling to the horizon. Then we realized that we were looking at a mix of clouds and snow. There were big, snow covered mountains, right in front of us! The weather continued to clear and for the last half hour in Rosendal, we had glorious sun, blue skies and mountains!

In this country, you very seldom get what you expect.

But each day finds its own way to be perfect, just the same!

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