Woke up to the unknown, but the promise of another great adventure. We were told to expect a 7 hour drive, which mad me guessing Trondheim, but that’s too far away. Somewhere with snow would be nice though I thought.

As we drove, after stopping for lunch in Kuen, my new guess was Geirangerfjord … one of the most majestic in the country, but again, I’d be proven wrong.

As an aside, while lots of my mom’s side of the family is in Tvedestrand, my dad’s side has some history in Gausdal. Pretty darn cool driving past Lillehammer and seeing exits for Gausdal which was no more than 30 minutes off the highway. Unlike the beautiful fishing village of Tvedestrand, Gausdal’s region appeared to be more desolate, and a very mountainous region. It’s easy to see why they left if they were farmers.

The drive also proved the difficulty of farming in Norway, fjord after fjord had beautiful farms puzzle pieced in where feasible, but most were on significant angles, and the harsh, Norwegian winter probably didn’t help their cause. It’s on thing to be told this, and a whole different thing to see it with your own two eyes. I get it now.

After lunch the second half of our drive was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Across valleys, through mountains (literally tunnels right through mountains) and past Galdhøpiggen, the tallest mountain in Norway. You could call our ride a sightseeing tour and sellout of tickets immediately.

The bus finally stopped in Stryn, a beautiful town nestled – like so many other Norwegian towns, in a fjord. The waterfalls all around us were unreal – too many to count. (As another aside, our timing on this trip is so great. The snow is melting, but not completely melted, giving us spectacular waterfalls, greens landscapes, but also plenty of snow on mountains.)

Our night in Stryn was relatively quiet. After being given two free hours before dinner, I took a walk as high as I could go to get the best view of town that I could. On my walk I was very surprised, and happy to run into a beautiful Norwegian fjord horse and its baby! Someone turned half of their property on the hill into a little barn and area of their horses to walk around!

After dinner we were divided into teams for this week’s competition:

Red: Lars, Kelsey, Joni, Johnny, and Derrick

Blue: Thomas, Brittney, Lauren, Richard, and Jeff

Troll: Kate

If the competition is skiing related I like our chances, but it’s a bit of a catch 22. Having a strong team means if you lose the team competition, you’ve got even stronger competition in the individual competition which ultimately sends someone home.

We were encouraged to get a good night sleep, because tomorrow is supposed to be a very long day. No idea what’s in store for us, but it should be a blast!

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