Bergen International Wood Festival
Early mornings began with mostly-terrible coffee and interesting spreads and meats resulting in an half-asleep army-corps march down the mountain and into the city. As we carried our woodworking tools (and Muskan), we suddenly remembered the purpose for this trip, the Bergen International Wood Festival. With saws over our shoulders and batteries in our hands, we marched armed with the goods (100% Canadian Maple Syrup) to our site at the Bergen Wood Festival. The can of maple syrup and a tasteful yet humble Canadian Flag defended our site as we explored the UNESCO Heritage site, giving out sorry’s to every fellow tourist. Our installations slowly began to erect as my black converse shoes melted to the black tarmack below.
Two days in Iceland (almost)
A red eye flight had us arriving in Iceland at the crack of dawn. The epic and foreign landscapes of Iceland quickly woke us up (with the help of the car rentals unlimited free coffee). Our 24 hours in Iceland began with the screeching tires of our tiny rentals as we flew across the fiction-like Island. We were quickly pulled off the highway by enormous raging waterfalls peering through the fog. Iceland brought out the most of our adventurous bravery. A secret waterfall hid behind a rock crevasse and soaking-wet boots. As we climbed a rock within the crevasse, the waterfall crashed over us.
Once we emerged from the crevasse , reborn and incredibly saturated. We marched back to our vehicles to refuel on the best souvenir shop coffee and to perform an awkward in-car change of wardrobe. This short adventure sums up the remainder of the of the Icelandic adventure - chasing coffee and light as we zipped back towards Reykjavik.
“Welcome to HEL”. Our first encounter with Finland would be it’s ironic arrival sign, and a few moments later we were driving through the Ontario-like landscape in search of Myyrmäki Church. The light-filled church would serve as a metaphor as to the rest of our enlightening Finnish adventures. Once booked into our apartments in downtown Helsinki (near Kamppi) we would make the most of the sun-filled days that began with coffee and treats at Cafe Charlotte (10/10 would recommend) and then venture off to view beautiful buildings and explore the green and serene city centre. One cannot put into words how pedestrian-friendly this city was. We found ourselves walking kilometres simply because we could, and it was enjoyable.
A visit to our lord and saviour Alvar Aalto’s first house (and office… and shrine) brought tears to our eyes and blue bags to our feet. Aaltos quirky and beautiful house is like the love of a puppy, overwhelming at times but also incredibly perfect. Sun poured in through the windows and bleached away any embodied darkness
Our flight to Bergen held us in Copenhagen’s unbearable airport where we were greeted with washroom-monoliths directly as we exited the plane. In contrast, Bergen greeted us with an incredible descent into a fjord-ridden landscape, our jaws would remain suspended the remainder of the trip. Our long shuttle-ride to our mountain-top hostel flew by thanks to the roundabouts. As said previously, our hostel was perched on the side of a mountain, and our first night was spent watching the incredible city from above. Bergen at night is indescribable, the sky never sleeps and the breeze refreshed our jet-lagged bodies. The experience was like looking through a kaleidoscope while floating through the clouds.
Apparently it rains nearly every day in Bergen, yet we were fortunate enough to have an incredibly beautiful week in the fjords. (I’m blaming it on the planted can of maple syrup. As our installations neared completion and our hearts filled, we said goodbye to our International friends and took off once more. “Welcome home” said airport security, marking the end our our sweet, sweet, Scandinavian adventure.