We drove on and on, the craggy mountains multiplied until the sheer magnitude of the place began to overwhelm us. It was so beautiful. “Wow…” we kept exclaiming in reverent tones as we drove. It was just so incredible. We darted into every roadside pull-off to take a picture and stare at the wonder ahead of us.
Though months of travel have made it hard to feel impressed by much of anything, we were awestruck and feeling particularly grateful that we’d been crazy enough to decide to just come without doing any research and knowing it would take us days and days to get here.
In case the mountains and water weren’t enough, suddenly we started noticing powdery white beaches curved around sparkling turquoise water. All the way up here in the Arctic Circle and the beaches were every bit as clear and striking as they had been in Greece. We were stunned.
It only took a few minutes before Ben had decided that he was going swimming. Never mind that it was so cold out that I was wearing two layers and a jacket, he was determined. The next beach we found, he stripped down to his swimsuit and headed toward the water.
Ben: I knew that the water was not going to be pleasant. In fact, I did not even dare touch the water before making the decision to jump in. As I ran out across the beach and down the shallow slope into the water I could feel the cold sting in my feet creeping its way up my legs. Since I am a total wimp when it comes to cold water, I knew the slow approach wouldn’t work. With that in mind I dove into the Norwegian Sea, immersing myself fully in the icy water.
It only took a few seconds before the swim was over, and I ran back onto the sunny beach where my aching legs quickly thawed. There was no way that either of us were going to swim for any amount of time given that other visitors on the beach were in full winter coats, so back to the car we went.