I know, I know. I’m kicking myself in the butt. Blogging is quite the commitment! But better late than never?
So when Ingrid’s roommates first tried to translate “melkesyren” for me, it seemed that the very literal translation was “sour milk.” After consulting google, it was clear that the term better translated to “lactic acid.” If you aren’t sciency or fitnessy or it’s not a familiar term, lactic acid is the byproduct produced by exercise, which I think can definitely leave you feeling like sour milk when you are sore the day or two after working out. Which is appropriate as all this talk of melksyren was in reference to Stoltzen, a doozy of a hike up one of the seven mountains that surround Bergen. And in particular, a sign that greets you as you are panting, on hands and knees, just trying to muster enough strength to progress an inch. But we’ll talk more about that later.
While I am thoroughly enjoying my time here and learning loads, melkesyren was definitely felt this past week. Per usual, time in the hospital was spent treating a variety of diagnoses in the cancer and pulmonary units. Lotte and I sure are being challenged with each patient, because while cancer may be their primary diagnosis, we have treated impairments from a dislocated shoulder resulting in brachial plexus involvement to aphasia. Other than these awesome patients, the week in the hospital was uneventful. Oh, yeah. Except I almost broke the machine where we return our scrubs. Oops. I hadn’t acted quickly enough as one of the pant legs was hanging out of the machine and not knowing the door locks after each article of clothing, there it was just hanging. After figuring out we could go behind the gate containing the collecting bin, I freed it but the machine was still out of commission. Never fear! By the next day it was working properly. I promise I don’t break everything I touch, just some things.
Other than that, on Friday I got my first taste of pizza here! We were saying good bye to one of the interns and what says we appreciate you better than pizza? Now it wasn’t Mellow Mushroom or Toppers (where my T.O peeps at??), but I love pizza and Pepe’s hit the spot. I mean it had bacon, and we all know how I feel about bacon. Nom.
And to wash this pizza down, one of the PTs made brownie cheesecake (I have failed to mention that cheesecake is my all time favorite dessert). I’m still dreaming about how good it was. Man, I wish I could have another piece right now.
Now, you might be wondering after a week with pizza, how could I have had a sour milk experience? Well, I’ll tell you. Norah and I discovered we had bed bugs. I know, not the best kind of news. I had been waking up with bites for about a week and after washing my sheets multiple times, cleaning my room and moving my bed away from the wall, I just knew. Fortunately, the staff here at Fantoft acted very quickly and within 2 days of contacting them, our apartment was treated and I have now had 4-5 bite-free nights! Woohoo. I had called my dad in the midst of all this bed bug chaos and he kindly let me know that in his 60 something years he had never had something like that happen. Thanks, dad. Lucky duck. Norah and I had heard that Fantoft wasn’t the most luxurious place, but I can’t hate on them for something like this happening. It really could happen to any place, even personal homes. Luckily, we acted somewhat quickly and hopefully kept it from spreading, because in a dorm setting like ours, it could be catastrophic. Besides the bites, of course, I think the worst part about this is that a lot of my sheets (makes sense) and my clothes are in an industrial freezer to kill any of the sneaky ones that might have weaseled their way into my other stuff. However, Norah and I learned after we had already packed up our stuff and presented it to them, that it was only pertinent to clothes in our rooms. Most of our clothes are kept in the hallway closet of our apartment, so potentially out of harms way. Oh, well. Better safe than sorry, right? While I am grateful that they are taking care of everything, like providing us with new beds and new linens while we wait to get ours from the freezer, the linens are far from Egyptian cotton. They are reminiscent of the paper gowns we wear in the hospital in the US when a patient has contact precautions. But as bad as a situation like this can get, I am very thankful that we do not have to take care of any of the cost and that they take necessary precautions to fend off an infestation. And like I said, could happen to anyone, right? Ok, enough about that. What else happened this week?
I have taken it upon myself to try various fitness classes offered at the gym, especially ones that I have not seen available stateside. This week I attempted using the Basis Ball, it’s like those medicine balls that have handles. Maybe you’ve seen them. Anyways, the handles are very handy, haha, for doing swings or thrusts, because as I am prone to breaking things, a flying medicine ball in a class of 20-25 people would not be a welcomed site. The class definitely got my heart rate up and I was pretty proud of myself, as it was taught in Norwegian, I only had to ask a couple times what the instructions were for an exercise. *Pats self on back*
Yup, that workout made the stairs hard the next couple of days. I was recovering just in time for our Friday hike up Stoltzen, the mountain I mentioned before. I’m not sure I have told you about Stoltzen yet, but if I have, forgive me. I know I have told you about the 7 mountains that surround Bergen and so far Norah and I have only been atop Fløyen, so it was about time to try another one. Since we have gotten here, we have heard nothing but how painful it is to climb Stoltzen. It doesn’t take a terribly long time, but it sure is steep. As well, we quickly learned that many places just had jagged rocks that were suppose to be steps? Mind you, the record time to ascend this so called trail is just under 8 minutes. What?! Besides the imminent fear of falling to one’s death, how does one sustain a pace that fast on a slope that literally feels like 90 degrees.
After stopping a few times for some photo ops and to catch our breath, I do have to admit the view was well worth the suffering. The top was considerably colder, so we snapped some shots, took in the view and headed down the way we came. We had seen quite a few people descending the so-called steps as we were making our way up, but we soon learned that 1) it’s much scarier than the ascent and 2) no one usually does it. There is a trail that connects this peak with Fløyen, so many opt to take that back to the city center. Well, since I had left my things at Lotte’s, going down the way we came would be the quickest. And it actually turned out to be a good idea as we caught our friend, Ida, on the way down. Instead of continuing down, we decided why not see the top again? How many people can say they were at the top of Stoltzen twice in one day? We can! It felt significantly colder the second time, so we were even quicker with snapping shots and finally made our way all the way down to Lotte’s. Since Lotte is like the unofficial celebrity of my blog and I don’t know that the last post had a picture of her, here is a view of her apt from Stoltzen. Swear I’m not a stalker!
And here are a couple more pictures of the spectacular view from Stoltzen.
Stoltzen was a good end to the work week and made me feel not so guilty about endulging in some pizza and cheesecake earlier that day. I also beat Lotte in number of steps! So all around a good day.
Saturday was much more relaxed as I decided to explore the other end of the bybanen, Lagunen! I was met by a big shopping center. Right now, my perception of Bergen is hiking or shopping, as most byanen stops have some sort of little mall. Anyways, I thought, hey, I survived bed bugs and most of my clothes are in a freezer, why not treat myself a little bit? As much as I wanted to load up on all the awesome winter gear, I settled for a cute new peacoat and a couple tops. A lowkey Saturday left me well-rested for a day of skiing Sunday. I know, no coffee! I’m shocked, too! But hey, why not have a funfilled day on the slopes when everything else is closed?
Fortunately for us, we had found a Facebook event about a ski bus that runs to Eikedalen, a spot about an hour outside of Bergen. And a lift ticket was included in the fare, perfect! So we geared up and caught the bus downtown. After getting our rentals, Norah with her skis and I with a snowboard in tow, decided to warm up on the bunny slope. Mind you, it had been 2 years since my last time on a board. I tell you what, I was more defeated by the gosh darn lift than I was with actually snowboarding all day. Whatever I was doing, not setting my feet just right or holding too tightly or too loosely, I must have eaten it at least 3-4 times before I said forget it and decided to just venture up the big lift to the top of the mountain.
Little did I know that it would take a solid 10-12 minutes to get to the top. But boy, what a view. And while some areas of the ride down were steep, I was actually surprised at how well I handled the descent. Like riding a bike, right? I will have to admit that I did fall a few times, mostly when trying to avoid people and you can’t always predict their movement. So my bum was a little sore and I forgot how much of a work out it actually was to control that dang board! Overall, it was a great day even though I almost froze. Oh! I almost forgot to mention that Norah and I saw something we had never seen before. Paragliding skiing! Crazy stuff! Not sure that I could be tempted to do it, but I definitely see how it is a rush. Maybe if I master that blasted lift, I’ll consider paragliding skiing. But I probably won’t do that until pigs fly.
Anyways, I had a weekend well spent and my week of activity left me feeling that melkesyren. It was a good hurt, really.
Ok! Keep an eye for a post about this week, it’s my birthday week so hopefully I’ll have something exciting to talk about! No plans yet, if you’ve got any ideas, let me hear them!