Day 40- Thursday June 2, 2016 (Travel Day!)
We traveled today to Alesund by plane then drove 2 hours to a place called Valldal. This place is beautiful and along a fjord so no matter where you look there is a spectacular view. I'm rooming with Lauren in a super cute little local hotel room. I walked down to the waterfront near the local ferry boat to sit and write. We had dinner in the cute hotel café and Tom and I went for a walk and had a beer by the water—I'm missing Dan so much. I'd love to be snuggling him and having a beer with him instead.
Day 41- Friday, June 3, 2016 (day 1 filming episode 7)
Today we drove to a remote little field where we, as always had to wait for info about the first competition.
Our travel to see Fridtjof, however, was so exciting! We drove to the top of thissort of mountain where there was a neat museum. It was super foggy but eventually we saw a huge old loking bus—it looked like it was from the 50's maybe. We boarded and rode all the way down the famous Trollstigen which means troll ladder. I was scared in that old bus since it was making weird sounds and the road was extremely windy and on the edge of a cliff. When we get to the bottom we saw a sign for troll crossings and then made our way to where Fridtjof was. He told us about our first competition being a 3 headed troll and we had to find the "Christians" (cookies) and eat them! We'd be tied together like a 3 legged race only one person can see and one can eat and one has to smell the ropes to determine if they can eat it is a Christian or not. Blue team is Me, Jeff, and Thomas. Red team is Richard, Johnny, and Kelsey. I'm not suer I know what to expect, but it was crazy! I was the "smeller", Jeff the "eater", and Thomas the "eyes" and direction giver. We made a pretty great plan at the start of how to get moving smoothly as well as how I would pass off the cookie to Jeff to eat after I determine who is a "Christian" or not. What I didn’t' see comign was how disgusting the smell would be! Apparently it was just Japanese fish oil, but it smelled like urine and it made me gag so badly! It was hard to smell over and over again but it was also easy to tell if the cookie was to be eaten or not. Thomas did an amazing job of leading Jeff and I since we were blindfolded. Jeff did great eating but the cookies were so dry that one point Jeff asked me to spit on the cookie to make it easer to eat and I did! I almost gagged just thinking about him eating the cookie I had just spit on!
At the end of it all, the red team won since they ended up eating one more cookie than us :(
I'm bummed because you never know when you might really need to the team advantage. We were told by Fritdjof that we would be staying in a Goppahuk for the night which sounds sketchy- however,
we learned we will actually do that tomorrow. We instead slept at the Grand Hotel Bellevue in Andalsnes, I got my own room! Yay!
We ended tonight with dinner in the hotel restaurant then went outside with Fritdjof to film us singing a version of "Alt For Norge" song. He had given us lyrics to practice before our flight to Alesund and we had been practicing for this! It was so much fun, and I can't wait to see how it all turns out.
I ended up watching Under Siege since I was tired and have been dying to watch a movie! It's funny the things we miss. Thank goodness for a movie, even if it was Under Siege.
Day 42- Saturday, June 4, 2016 (day 2 filming episode 7)
Today started around 9am and we got info about our competition right away. Get out of the Norwegian Woods before time runs out. In order to leave the woods we need a 3 digit cod for the lock- we get the code by completing the puzzle and we get the pieces by completing the different tasks. I felt nervous from the start since you never know whats going to happen and since its timed, the red team gets a 1 minute deduction from their total time which could really make it or break it for us. When it's our turn we start off rocky since I lead our team astary with a bad compass read! Its funny what your brain does when you are in a competition like this—I thougtht it was already set and calibrated and I'm honestly mortified I didn't notice that it wasn't set correctly! This cost us extra time for sure. The other stations consisted of tasting wild plants to pick puzzle pieces, finding worms and pinecones and sticks in a box of dirt whose numbers made up a lock combo to unlock a box for the next station which had a slingshot inside. We had to use the slingshot to shoot pinecones to shoot down a bird. the final station we had to take all the puzzle pieces out and put the puzzle together to find a 3 digit code for another lock to be able to get out fo the woods before tiem was up. We had to grab the bird since we couldn't shoot it down then we did pretty good putting the puzzle together and we quickly got our code to be able to unlock the lock to get out of the forest. I almost instantly started crying since I thought for sure I ruined it for my team with not setting the compass correctly. we had to wait awhile for results but there were a lot of tears for me while interviewing and waiting to go to results. Jeff and I had a nice talk and shed some tears for our parents we lost while waiting. I can tell he wants to be here just as much as me and it was nice to bond with him, even in this anxiety ridden time.
At results Fritdjof announces the winners in a way that has my mind boggled....to the red team he says something like, "you took 3 minutes.....longer than blue team so you win Blue Team!!" Or something like that. I can hardly believe it and lose it on the spot. I'm so HAPPY! I get another week in Norway!!! Next, we have to change back into what we were wearing yesterday and will go to the "Gappahuk" that we were told about yesterday. We drive about 10 minutes or so and are filmed walking into a "woodsy" area where there is a sort of "lean-to" shelter made out of wood and a neat fire pit all set up. They film Kelsey, Tom, and I looking for a prime bathroom spot and tom builds/digs a hole for us to use! I will not be using it- after all, a lady doesn't poop outside! Just kidding! We returned to the campfire after digging the hole to find the rest of everyone cooking sausages wrapped in a sort of dough. They were pretty good although there were some chunky white parts I really didn't care for- we finish filming and spend the rest of the evening drinking the beer and aquavit they left for us. Johnny had the idea to put it in the wood bag and set it in the river to cool it all down and that worked great! It was one of the most fun nights we've had in a while. We had Larsy's boom box and Eric gave us his phone and let us type in song requests from Spotify! It's funny how Spotify can feel like such a "treat" when you don't have regular access to music!
At one point, we hear some weird noise in the woods and we find that Eric has turned on some weird troll sounds and we filmed all of us reacting using the backstage cameras. We filmed a lot of fun stuff too like Johnny jumping over the fire, the boys throwing stuff at tree, pretending it’s a troll, and us doing a fun dance party! So hilarious!
Day 43- Sunday, June 5, 2016 (Day 3 filming episode 7)
We danced and sat by the fire all night. We fell asleep, well some of us fell asleep. Tom was snoring in my ear all night, lol, and so many others were snoring too. I woke up around 5:40am and found Tom awake and tending the fire- I joined in and tried making coffee which turned out to be disgusting! The film crew finally showed up and actually was able to film people waking up! It was pretty funny- we were filmed eating knickebrod and cheese and other foods in tubes, yuk! Not my favorite, but it was fun to be camping in Norway and eat what I'm guessing they eat on their trips to the woods.
The rest of the day was an interview day and we spent the rest of the day after interviews walking around and relaxing around the city. then we ended the day with dinner in the hotel restaurant. Tomorrow is individual competition day for Johnny, Richard, and Kelsey. I'm feeling nervous for all of them and am so sad we will have to say goodbye to one of them.
Day 44- Monday, June 6, 2016 (Day 4 filming episode 7)
Today was pretty relaxed since it's individual competition day. I walked around Andalsnes a bit and had to buy some lotion and shampoo, geez Norway is expensive! It's weird to think I've been here long enough to have run out of toiletries I had brought with me. I found a cool sweater store and wanted to buy everything in it! I refrained though. I am wishing I had bought one of the Norwegian knives that I saw in the store for Dan, but I just couldn't decide what he'd like or want or use.
We went to film the results for this episode and it looked like Johnny, Richard, and Kelsey had to do some sort of relay or timed activity to do phrases about then take selfies using props. Whoever got them all or the most was the winner. Unfortunately for Richard, he lost and we had to say goodbye. This part is never fun, but I had a feeling he would be okay. Saying goodbye was still hard.
We did some stand ups and then went to a beautiful spot where we played a Norwegian yard game called Kubb and had beers in the sun. Thomas sang his song about episode 7 and he was then awarded the spirit troll! I'm so happy for him!
We've been told we are driving a charter bus home tomorrow- so we are in for about another 7 hour bus ride.
Day 45- Tuesday, June 7, 2016- TRAVEL DAY!
Not much of anything today other than the long bus ride back to the Scandic Vulcan. We did stop for lunch in Lillehammer which was fun. It was very sunny and warm today an it felt good to sit outside the restaurant before driving the rest of the way home. We've been told we will begin filming episode 8 tomorrow and just the thought of starting it all again already tomorrow has me feeling really nervous. We will see what tomorrow holds! I will try not to worry, since it won't help me at all.