Faraway Files #20


20 WEeks of BRIDGE building Blog link ups

Woot woot! It’s a celebration! This is the 20th Faraway Files blog link up. No big deal, just twenty weeks of building community and sharing and inspiring. Nearly 100 travel writers have been contributing about destinations in over 60 countries. And last week we had 46 contributions. Holy wow. That is cool. Awesomesauce. As I like to say. I have been introduced to places that I never even knew I needed to see. I have learned new perspectives about places I thought that I knew.

I am happy. And inspired. This is what Katy, Clare and I started Faraway Files for. And now, I want to see more. There are holes in our map. Let’s fill it in. I am putting a call out for more posts about experiences in Africa. We have learned of Uganda and Rwanda and South Africa and the markets of Morocco. But I know you’ve seen more. Let’s share more.

And South America – let’s see some posts about Brazil and Venezuela and Argentina, Chile and Machu Picchu in Peru. Have you been? I’d like to! They’re on my list. You too?

Let’s fill in the map. That’s what our community can do. Open up eyes and share the world. Where have you been? We’d love to know!

Haven’t been to any of the blanks on our map? We still want your piece for the Faraway Files. You have a way of experiencing that is unique and interesting. And you’ve been to that village in that far corner of France. Or Italy. Or Thailand. Or Indonesia We still want to see those too!

Last week’s record-breaking link-up had so many amazing contributions, it was difficult to choose!


But first – coffee. Thank you to Addie from Addie Abroad for taking us more of Panama and this lesson in coffee production. I can almost smell it from here. Pour your own mug full and take a look – beautiful images and experience.


Got your cuppa? Good. Because now we’re going on a few adventures. These places I’d never read about and they’re now on my wandering wish list. Kerrie at Travels with Mum regularly features a favorite travel experience from one of her children. I can see why her daughter chose this river rafting trip on the Hozu-Gawa in Japan. Looks super fun and something my teens and tween could definitely get on board with. See what I did there? Oh, wait. There’s more!


Staying adrift – I now want to cruise on a dhow. In Oman! Oh man, this looks amazing. Snorkeling and spotting dolphins? Yes. And Please. Thank you to Faraway Files newcomer Agatha Bertram for sharing this last week.

CRUISING MUSANDAM, OMAN | Agatha Bertram Travels

Don’t worry there’s nothing fishy going on – just heading to Norway for my last favorite from Faraway Files #19. Van from Snow in Tromso takes us on a boat trip of a more relaxed type. An old fishing vessel that has been turned into a gorgeous spa on the water in her Arctic town of Tromsø.


So float with me now and fling us a fish. I mean a file. A post. Of a place that you love. This week I’m sharing tried and true tricks to rock travel with your teens in tow. You not have teens. Yet. But you may remember being a teen. And whether you are taking them to Egypt or Argentina or Azerbaijan or Nepal, these ideas can help you all. (Those are more places we’d love posts about! Hint, Hint.)

Link up is right here today – scroll down for how to participate or check out the links. As the Danes say – have a lovely lille Fredag! Little Friday!

Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin


We’d love you to join us in building this supportive and growing community who will inspire and share each other’s posts. All three hosts will try to read and comment on every post and we’ll share them on social media too. Each week we’ll choose our favorites and highlight them on our blogs and social media channels using #FarawayFiles.

  • Link up one travel-related post and add the Faraway Files badge onto the post or your blog (code below) or link back to the hosts.
  • The link up will go live every Thursday at 8 am UK time (9 am, CET) until midnight on Friday. It will alternate between Untold Morsels, Suitcases and Sandcastles, and Oregon Girl around the World.
  • Link ups work best if everyone shares so please comment on all three of the hosts’ posts and at least two others.




(@suitandsand, @UntoldMorsels, @oregongirlworld) using the hashtag #FarawayFiles and we’ll retweet to our followers.


Tag @FarawayFiles and #FarawayFiles – and we’ll repost our favorites.


We are posting each week’s links on community Pinterest page – join in over there.


Find Faraway Files on Facebook. Like us. We’ll like your page. We’re friendly that way.

Oregon Girl Around the World
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Norway by Rail

Start Your Norway in a Nutshell Tour by Train from Oslo

Summer break is almost here and maybe Norway is on your list. If you haven’t taken the overnight ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo – that is an experience in and of itself. Spend time in the elegant and accessible city, but don’t limit your Norwegian trip to Oslo. Norway really shines outside the capital. Ride along as I revisit our train trip from Oslo to fjord country… this is Norway by rail.


Wending along in the eighth of ten cars, feeling the pull and sway along the tracks. Remarkably insulated from the bracing sound of metal wheels upon steel rails. Suprisingly infrequent is the clickety-clacking one most associates with this mode of travel. I love riding the train.

Continue reading “Norway by Rail”

Norway by Boat

Explore the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord from Flåm

Float with me as we continue our Norway in a Nutshell tour through the gorgeous Norwegian Fjords. More than one scenic train ride stemming from Oslo yesterday brought us to charming Flåm for a relaxing overnight once the tourist hoards had vacated. Bellies sated from the full Nordic buffet at the Fretheim Hotel this morning, we check out and head to the harbor to start the boated portion of our pre-planned Norwegian package.

Continue reading “Norway by Boat”

Sharing a New Home with Family

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Hej! I’m back! What? Didn’t realize that we were on break? Undskyld. Sorry. (A phrase I am hearing often lately out of my teen’s mouth. I guess I should be happy he is learning Danish? I digress.) But for the past three weeks, my mom and her husband have been visiting us here in Denmark and I haven’t been writing, just enjoying the time with them, sharing our new home and accumulating lots of great new experiences. We’ve been fjording in Norway and fishing in Fyn. I’ll share it all – don’t worry. There were brilliant glimpses of Danish sommer. It was hot! No really – for a couple of days – it was actually really very hot! (For Denmark. Everything is relative.) We’ve also had thunder storms and wind warnings and driving rain. It was a veritable cornucopia of Scandinavian meteorology and tourism.

Continue reading “Sharing a New Home with Family”

Safety in the same, amidst the ny and different

During an expatriation – having a respite from the ny (definition and pronunciation the same as our new), a break from the different, a harbor of hospitable homogeneity is sometimes welcome, therapeutic and wholly necessary. Somewhere, where a shared language, common experiences and a duplicitous feeling of home allows one a place for letting down your guard, a determined safety, a place to exhale. In. Out. In. Out. Repeat. In. Out. In. Out. Sigh. Whether this craving for same amidst the different is positive for the procession of phases within an expatriation or not … it IS strong, powerful and real. And we accommodated it. Fed it. Stoked it. Fulfilled it. (The craving that is, people.)

And I can relate that experiencing a peer’s different and ny, with them, in their new, is a glorious thing. Suddenly, you become tourist to their guide as they share with you what they have gleaned, learned, found, cherished. And with no pressure, or judgment, or fear of alienating oneself for expressing those little annoyances, confusions, conundrums that can be caused by the differences in cultures. Because we get it. We are doing the same thing. THAT. Is a glorious thing.

Beautiful Bergen, NorwayWe recently shared all of the above and more – including but not limited to – excellent food lovingly prepared, beautiful community, boxed wine, unbridled play, sledding adventures, hearty belly laughs, impromptu dance parties in medieval fortresses, up-late sleepovers with finger nail painting, old school video-gaming, brown cheese and temporary tattoos. Traveling to Bergen, Norway for a long weekend with a family from our home-town in Oregon was gloriously bucket-filling. And whilst there, sighing and laughing and replenishing – we learned. We experienced. We grew.

NorgeNorway is not Denmark. I know. Gross over-generalization. But as aliens having landed here in Scandi-land from a galaxy far, far away, I will admit sheepishly that we (at home) not knowing any better may or may not lump all the northern European inhabitants into a characterization of similar ilk. We don’t know yet the distinguishing characteristics and differences. But I am learning. So I will share. As Copenhagen may not = all of Denmark, nor Bergen = all of Norway, my clarification rather than Norway is not Denmark… BUT Bergen is not Copenhagen. (Duh says those of you who know.) Maybe it is an unfair comparison. Oslo may be better able to hold up for direct assessment being Norway’s Capitol replete with culture, architecture and scenery not to be missed, more akin in population, attitudes and offerings to Copenhagen. But I haven’t been to Oslo yet. I’ll revisit the comparison when I do. You can hold me to it. I have been to Bergen. In the winter.

Meeting the locals on FløyenI was told that the wintery wonderland that we landed in late Thursday night was not normal for the city streets of Bergen. The mountains that surround the fairy-tale town on all sides have frozen precipitation that paints the landscape in a broad white-stroked backdrop. Norway is the backdrop for the Disney hit Frozen you know. And Frozen’s Elsa is loosely based on (Danish) H.C. Andersen’s Snow Queen – which is chock full of trolls and magic and ICE. Norway. The sheer prevalence of references to magical creatures here makes it distinguishable from Copenhagen. Tivoli aside, they are very into fantasy here. And why not, it is fantastic here. For instance, trolls are everywhere. Peeking out windows. Hiding behind trees. Little ones in every shop for the tourists to buy. Huge ones that greet you on the mountain-top. Witches are apparently to be wary of as well. No witches hereThe myriad of signage regarding such atop Mount Fløyen, looming large above Bergen, was amusing if not confusing. Castles, tall-ships in the harbor, pointy little leaning brightly colored row houses of Bryggen, all add to the fairy-tale character of Bergen. But don’t get me wrong, don’t think that it is all sparkly rainbows and unicorns here (evidence in gallery below). The Norsk are the warriors. They are the hunters. They are the Vikings from tales of yore.

I have shared with you before how I think the Danes are hardy with their biking in the driving rain, the snain, the sleet, the snow. Naked Danish dips in the frigid Øresund only reinforce first impressions. But. Heels and furs and cocktails and Noma and the cultured cosmopolitan tendencies carried by most Copenhageners is for want here in Bergen. But, Norwegians. Wauw. Within three days my esteem for the Norsk was definitively etched. This is strong stock. Through soupy and continually precipitating ankle deep slush, troops of Norsk run in packs like wolves. They run through town and then UP mountains with skis on their backs, pulling children, carrying multiple packs or sleds. Orienteering Bergen's icy cobblestone streets

They charge full-speed down icy cobblestoned streets and passages staring at maps in a world-class orienteering challenge that was like nothing I have ever witnessed. Our hosts’ home affording a perfect vantage point for the crazy zig-zagging, looping, map-reading-while-running, barely watching where they are going, crashing down hills, nearly impaling selves on broken railings Norwegian street race. And we were able to experience it all in the safety of our own familiar. Without retribution or misunderstanding of our amusement. With a communal sense of awe at these Norwegians. Impressive. All of it.

As an Oregonian, I have often held fast to the mantra that “there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” Turns out – it’s Norwegian in origin. Makes sense now. The Norsk hold true to the sentiment that there is “no problem that can not be solved by going outside.” I would conclude this is also a very Oregonian sentiment that I can whole-heartedly get behind. With a landscape and rugged sensibility that surrounds one in Bergen, there is a gravitational pull to experience outside. Thank you for sharing it with us friends. It is certifiable. And worthy. And fulfilling.

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