Day Four

It’s about 9:30 PM local time and I’m just settling in for the night. There is a dock dance in downtown Kragerø tonight, but I think we are all too tired to attend. It was nice walking downtown, though, since the town is adorned with Norwegian flags everywhere you look for their town celebration. However, we didn’t spend much time in town today. Instead, we went hiking on a nearby island called Jomfruland (virgin land). According to Marte, Chuck Norris visited once and it is now only known as ‘land’ — hah!

The day started by catching a car ferry for an hour trip with a couple of stops before Jomfruland.

Here is a view from the ferry as we departed:

The first thing I noticed was the smell of Norwegian waffles as we made our way to the upper deck. Apparently, this is a common treat on ferries over here (and as Marte is clarifying right now — they are actually common almost everywhere). At that point, I knew I would have to have one on my way back later in the day. Candice would LOVE these things. So would Jasper.

The view from the ferry was amazing. In this region, the are several large islands with smaller islands no larger than half an acre dotted between. The ferry made its way through this maze while Anders and I took turns capturing photos on his professional camera. The weather was warm and sunny, so it was a treat to be on the top deck when we arrived at Jomfruland.

Once we hopped off the ship, we didn’t waste time and started hiking immediately with camera and drone by our sides. Our goal for the afternoon was to make it to a beach that faces out towards an area in the sea called Skagerrak (between Norway and Denmark) to relax. After a quick stop at a couple of small art galleries on the island, and a visit with some new canine friends (Tassen and Toja), we made it to the beach. The beach was all rocks, but they were smooth and easy to traverse. Eventually, we found a spot to put our towels out and enjoy the warm sun and sound of the waves.

Anders had his drone out faster than a Norwegian in search of salmon. He ended up taking video from way above the island, but it’s a bit too large to post the video here. Trust me — it’s amazing.

Marte sunbathed while Anders and I skipped rocks and enjoyed the view of passing sailboats.

The water was a bit warmer than I expected but still sent a shiver up my spine when I put my feet in. We decided against swimming since there were so many rocks.

After a while, we made our way back to the trail and over to a pond filled with lily pads before grabbing a bite to eat at a restaurant near the dock. Coincidentally, this restaurant is kept by the wife of the chef at the restaurant from yesterday and they have the exact same menu, which is nice because I wanted to try the Skagen smørbrød (sandwich). Everything was washed down with a local pilsner that was very refreshing after our hike.

Oh, I have some trivia for you: how do you say ‘speed’ in Norwegian?…

I’ll give you a hint:

Fart! This sign actually reads ‘sakte fart’ which means ‘slow speed’ and is used for boats in no wake zones. It’s a fairly common term, so you see the signs everywhere, and I laugh every time.

After lunch, we decided to head back to the trail and walk around a bit more. We stopped for a refreshment of coffee and soda and then made our way to the small pond again to take photos of the lily pads and to get more drone footage. We also ran into a few cows that were roaming free on the island and caught a small bit of rain on one of the trails that forced us under a wild cherry tree for some shelter.

The ferry would be back soon, so we decided to pick up the pace and head back. Once we were on the ferry, I quickly bought a couple of waffles for us and some ice cream for Marte and Anders. Marte helped me with putting condiments on the waffles in true Norwegian fashion and we grabbed a few seats to relax and snack away.

By the way, these are two of the finest people you’ll ever meet. They have treated me like family since the moment I set foot here and have been incredibly generous both in treating me and with their time. Most Americans wouldn’t travel where I am now, as this is mainly a Norwegian vacationing spot. Yet, I am here thanks to their generosity.

Full disclosure, I am wearing the same shirt today as I was yesterday.

Family and friends — I love you all! When out driving, be sure not to drive with too much fart.

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