I came to Norway to see the famous Norwegian fjords. But before seeing the fjords, I traveled through the amazing landscape of Oppland county and saw spectacular scenery. LillehammerI knew Lillehammer was the site of the Winter Olympics and have been once the center of the skiing world and still a skiing paradise in the winter season. So, I was not that excited at going to Lillehammer in the summer. But it was part of the itinerary of this trip. Obviously, the scenery was totally different from the winter season. Lillehammer was surrounded by mountains, forests, and lakes. It was a gorgeous scenery nonetheless.
One of Lillehammer’s most famous tourist attractions was the remnant of the 1994 Winter Olympic ski jump venue, officially known as the Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena. Our guide said that the Ski Jump can be called the "New Lysgårdsbakkene" because there was an old ski jump that was built there in 1903 and other ski jumps that collapse in the year 1966. The top o…
I arrived in Oslo, Norway late in the afternoon on solstice day, June 21st. Instead of giving in to jetlag, I joined our host for a walk to the harbor after dinner. The harbor was packed and lively with a street concert that featured pop performers like HRVY and screaming teenagers dancing to his music. I decided to stay at the concert and listen to a few more songs. It was still light when I returned to the hotel past 11:00pm and crashed out when I hit the bed. At around 4am I was woken up by bright lights peering through the window shades. Did I miss 24-hours of daylight? I wonder.
Like most people, my goal for visiting Norway was to see the UNESCO World Heritage Natural site Norwegian fjords. And most international flights to Norway land in Oslo, so my itinerary included 48 hours to explore Oslo. Coincidentally, the city was hosting a pride parade the following day, Saturday and it was said that more than fifty thousand people were expected to attend the pride event. Our guide…
I consider myself blessed by the many beautiful religious places I’ve
seen in my life - the Vatican, Jerusalem, and the Wailing Wall, the temples in Kathmandu, the Hassan II Mosque in Morocco, the Blue Mosque in Turkey, Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon and Bagan's more than 2000 temples, the Ling Yin Soul Retreat Temple in China - now there’s a new
addition to the list: Rila Monastery and my new way of seeing things. WhenTurkish
Airlines changed my connecting flights to Sofia, Bulgaria to a much earlier time that no
one could not possibly make, I rebooked my flight to an earlier
date.It gave me a chance to explore the
city on my own before joining a group tour to the Balkans.I had another stroke of luck when out of the blue, I received an email from a travel buddy from my North African past two weeks before my trip.She happened to live and teach at Sofia
University, so she gave me a list of things to see and do in Bulgaria.
Another thing about travel is meeting people with the same