On Tuesday, we started by meeting outside of our rooms at 7:45am and walking down to the HINT cafeteria for breakfast. Ham, salami, cheese, tomatoes, peppers, bread, heart-shaped waffles with jam and butter were available to eat along with an abundant supply of yogurts, orange juice, coffee and milk. We then hopped on the bus at about 9am for an hour and a half drive northwest. Everyone, especially Becky, was in a great mood since the bus driver had her wallet that she had been searching for. Tor came with as well as our lecturer for the day ( the most enthusiastic person in the world about lichens) Hawk-in. Or at least that's how it is pronounced, but probably not spelled. Anyways, on the drive we went through a river delta that was filled with a bunch of pink-footed geese and common crane. This delta, also called a sea meadow, is a nature reserve that is home to a variety of bird species for nesting and an abundant amount of flowers during the spring and summer seasons. As we were checking out the sea meadow from our luxurious bus seats, we noticed a large bird flying our way. The bus driver also noticed and kindly stopped the bus, so we could perfectly execute the typical American tourist tactic. It was a white-tailed sea eagle! And it had a fish clutched in its talons! Once it got directly in front of the bus, where everyone was able to witness, the eagle dropped it from an incredibly high point. We all gawked at the site of this pour, helpless fish as it tested gravity and made a huge splash into the river delta. There were a few good pictures of the incident taken by Jake and Sarah.
We then made it to the boreal rainforest! This is where Hawk-in took over the excursion. As we walked through the forest he talked about the three types of lichens( fruiticos, folios, crystos) and showed examples of each throughout the hike. At this point the sun came out from the behind the clouds and stayed for the remainder of the day. The forest was extremely beautiful. It was completely green, from the floor to the tips of the trees. You could feel the wet, damp atmosphere to experience the high humidity and precipitation of this sweet microclimate. The forest consisted of mostly Norway spruce with a few Mountain Ash and Willows mixed in. We learned the rainforest has about 250 days of rain throughout the year for about 70 inches. We then made our way back to the bus for a 12:30pm lunch. So we sat and ate sandwiches and drank orangejuice and coffee under the beating Norwegian sun overlooking the river.
After lunch we made our way over to the coastal flora. This was obviously on the coast and had a great view overlooking the sea. We observed some more lichen at this point and then chugged up the side of the mountain to get to the tippy top. We finally made it to the top once we were out-of-breath. We took some cool pictures and just took in the amazing landscape that surrounded us as we felt like we were on top of the world. On the bus trip back we had another American tourist incident. We saw our first moose of the trip! So the bus stopped, backed up, and pulled over to the side of the road so we could get the best snap-shots possible. We got back to the University at 4:30 and had dinner. After dinner, we casually skipped on over to the gymnasium to witness an intense game of handball. Most of us thought that handball was a game similar to racquetball, but were proven wrong. We had to laugh at the sight of Martin and Hana(dean of HINT) running up and down the court trying to keep up with the youth team in a game where the 12 year boys team played against their parents. After watching a good hour of handball being played it was our turn to show of our skills! At this point we also realized that we had lost two member of our group that just finally arrived. But Sarah and Chelsea deserved it after what they had done to me the previous day. Since we all had our hiking boots on (not tennis shoes) we had to take them off and play in socks (a huge disadvantage). With 7 allowed to be on the floor at once we had about two shifts during the 20 minute game. I like to think we fought hard for it being our first time ever playing the sport. Big Tyler put in two early goals, Jake had one somewhere in the middle, Nicole was robbed, Mike and Jennea had some breath-taking saves, and we scored two more in the closing minute. It was a close game but the inexperience and no shoes aspects got to us and we lost by one goal. We shock hands with the kids and joined them for a little dessert, said our good-byes and parted ways. We walked back to the University, visited the computer lab for a bit, took a long walk to the grocery store, walked to Onkel Oscar's, and then walked back to the rooms.
We ended up with two twisted ankles.
We learned that in Norway beer is not sold in grocery stores after 8pm.
We learned that in Norway you are not cool unless you have a trampoline in your yard.
We learned a lot, had great weather, and much much fun!