Day 28- Saturday May 21, 206- Travel Day!
Today we took and late morning early afternoon flight to Kirkenes! Which is near the top of Norway! It took about two hours to fly there. While waiting to travel we hung out at a local mall for a bit. I bought a pair of knitting needles and yarn there in hopes of learning from Johnny how to knit, and I figured this would help me grow a little closer to my mom since she was such a big knitter as well! Johnny says we need to find a pattern of some sort so I will be keeping my eyes open for that.Next we piled into two vans for a long coastal Drive to VardØ. We had no idea where we were going. The drive was sunny and we stopped in a small town called Varangerbotn for lunch. I tried my first kebab and was not impressed. For some reason I thought it would be more like euro meat, oh well. We continued our drive which was gorgeous. The land is all rocks, not a tree in sight and we saw a lot of heard the reindeer along the way, so neat! I found it confusing to see beaches in Bluewater opposite of leftover snow banks and reindeer. So fascinating. When we got closer to the hotel and figured out where we were going we entered a really amazing underwater tunnel that was 2.9 km long. They call it a Isthavstunnelen (Arctic Ocean Tunnel). It was so neat! Also my first time really feeling a bit nervous traveling through one of the many tunnels we’ve gone through while in Norway.
As we drove into town it was also confusing since it appeared to be a fairly big and occupying town but also had a quiet eeriness to it. I’m really curious about what’s to come. Lauren and I have an awesome water front view room and invited people and to hang out. Thomas played his guitar for us and saying and we all took silly pictures on the roof outside our window! We are in the land of the midnight sun and it’s 12 I am and it looks like it’s about 5 PM! Looking forward to finding out what in the world we will be doing up here tomorrow!
Day 29- Sunday May 22,2016 (episode 5 filming day 1)
We woke up early today and drove to Hamningberg which is, I have learned, a semi abandon timber built settlement. It definitely has a ghost town feel and that’s exactly what they wanted us to feel today. We film some scenes of us walking into town and checking out some old houses. We then came to a house that looks super creepy and Kelsey was really not liking the vibe this was all creating. Today’s weather was definitely perfect for this since it was raining and cold and foggy, very creepy. We were walking with a creepy figure wearing a black robe and hood and carried a broom and rake. We freaked out! I am loving the excitement and curiosity. We have been reading about all the witch trials that took place here and we were convinced that was what was happening. We got to another house where they ask Kelsey to go in first. Since I was loving this, I happily went with her and inside was an old creepy room with pictures that had a figure in it, fake rats, and a skeleton of Fridtjof holding a scroll. We figured it was still something with the witches, but it was creepy for sure. We were then told our teams and told what our first challenge would be, to find all the people and carry them to either the graveyard or the hospital depending on which play and they had bubonic or pneumonic. Bubonic meant they might be saved, but pneumonic meant they had to go to the graveyard since there was no way to save them.
The blue team got to go first and we waited in this old creepy chapel wow they competed. I found a really neat old organ that still required foot pumping to make it work on the upper level of the chapel. I had fun playing with that while we waited. When it was our turn we started out by reading a squirrel and strategize. Richard carried a ton of people on his own and we had to check them for which plague they had. It was starting to rain and freezing cold. The extras who were playing the sick people had make up that really looked good and they were so cold they were actually shivering as well. We were more concern over getting the kids and adults in the correct location for points but time is also a factor. By the end of all of this we were so tired! Kelsey and I promised the guys back rubs, but we all were so tired by tonight that we never did any of that.
When it was time for results we were nervous but knew it was just for a team advantage.When Fridtjof announced team red as the winners I was so excited! Yes we were exhausted and freezing, but we won! We walked to find the house we were going to sleep in and saw a witch burning happening so we went to check it out. We sat around the campfire and listened to stories about the witch hunt and what happened. We ended at the house where they filmed Lauren, Kelsey, and I going to sleep. Our team competition will happen tomorrow, can’t wait to see what we do!
Day 30- Monday May 30, 2016 (episode 5 day 2 filming)
Wow! What a day! We started off by filming us walking into the Vardøhus Festning, a fort built in the 1700s. It was here that we sat with Fridtjof around the cannons and he told us about the town of Vardø, The one tree that they love so much and that they used to be fearful of which is going around town throwing spells on people, and that is exactly what we would be doing as our team challenge! Fridtjof explains that we need to put on our witches outfit and get ready to fly around casting spells on the towns people!
Blue team drew first so red team sat around the fort and talked, Thomas and Martine scaled the wall a few times and Richard learned the word diarrhea in Norwegian and had fun creating a new Norwegian wrestler name. Thomas died laughing while filming Richard using the backstage phone camera. I sure do wish we had access to all of those videos!
Now it’s our turn to head out and practice, wow! I’ve never ridden the Segway before, but this can definitely be added to my list of natural talents for sure, just kidding!
Blue team went then it was our turn. I had so much fun with my witch hat helmet and which Cape and thoroughly taunted the towns people while tossing spells on them! While filming our challenge Kelsey fell really hard! Thank goodness she was OK! After a while we were brought to the edge of the fort for the results for both teams. I kept envisioning Fridtjof saying red team wins! I couldn’t wait to hear the results and I was so nervous! When he finally says red team my face exploded with joy including the scream of joy! So this is what this feels like! I’m so happy that I get another week in Norway I can hardly stand it!
Next we were told that we would walk to the harbor for a surprise and when we arrived by the water we saw some fishermen with big bins full of king crab! We got to pick them up and weigh them and they even taught us how to kill them so we can cook them for dinner. They were very prickly and heavy. Some of them were even over 10 pounds. Joni especially had a great time learning how to butcher the king crabs. We sat on the dock and enjoyed our crab and wine. Like always when they film us eating on Camera they always have an actual meal prepared the hotel for us afterwards.
We celebrated at dinner tonight since it was Sindre’s birthday! Lars gave me his “units”. We got three tonight, so much wine! The crew and all of us hung out almost the entire night! We watch some of the video clips that Fridtjof have been working on as well as some of the amazing photographs that Tormod has been taking all along the trip. It’s amazing to see what it’s coming together to look like. We ended up playing some card games and just being silly. I leg wrestled an arm wrestle Thomas twice and I let him win all four times, he’s so lucky! Ha ha ha! We ended up downstairs in an impromptu dance party in an old abandoned dance club that was attached to the hotel. It was called club Vega! It was so much fun! (I’m definitely regretting the amount of alcohol I drank and I am feeling very yucky the next day).
Day 31- Tuesday May 24, 2016 (episode 5 day 3 filming)
Not much to share about today since it was an interview day. Basically had to wait around until it was my turn to be driven to a cold wet spot outside to be interviewed. I’ve deafly recovering from too much fun last night but I’m still so glad to have one my first competition! I’m starting to get really sick and tired of this midnight sun business and I’m ready to head back to Oslo. I’m feeling nervous for the people who will be going into an individual competition tomorrow as well. I don’t want to see any of them leave. I’m headed back to bed where I’ve been pretty much all day. We celebrated at dinner tonight because it was Fridtjof’s bday! Lauren and I have gotten into the habit of watching Sex and the City every night on TV. It’s sort of comforting to watch some television in English!
Day 32- Wednesday May 25, 2016 ( episode 5 filming day 4)
Today was individual competitions. Joni, Johnny, Jeff, and Lauren left at 7:30 AM while the rest of us met at 11 AM where we drove about 10 minutes from the hotel to a beach. It was freezing, but we knew we wouldn’t be out there long. We were told about their challenge and how they had to get dressed, eat, brush their teeth in pitch black darkness. It could be anyone, but as we stood on the beach and it came down to Joni or Johnny I was so sad. I couldn’t see either of them going. When Fridtjof said Joni I started to cry a bit. I really love having her around and I think that she is just the most amazing person. I hope nothing but the best for her and especially pray she meets a man who is incredible for her as well.
We said our goodbyes and then had a little more filming on the beach at a picnic table drinking beer and cheersing while Fridtjof gave out the Spirit award to Jeff. I definitely wish that I didn’t get it so early on since those later episodes, the stakes get higher. I’m just going to keep a positive attitude and thinking and visualizing winning next week’s team challenge to stay safe another week. I want to make it to the final four so badly I can taste it!
After filming we had to go to a café and hang around Vardø. For a few hours while the crew and Joni packed up at the hotel. We finally got back around 530 and later walked back to town for dinner at an Asian restaurant where I ate a really delicious yellow curry! Kelsey and I found the sauna at the hotel and figured out how to turn it on and we sat and had a really great talk for over an hour. We were dripping sweat, but it felt amazing. When we got back to my room we stepped out onto the roof outside my window and took some really fun pictures. We snacked and watched Sex and the City too it was so much fun!
Off to bed now since we are traveling back to Oslo tomorrow!
Day 33- Thursday May 26, 2016- Travel Day
Today we took a small plane. I was so scared Tom let me listen to his music to help me relax. These are the times I wish Dan was here to help me feel safe and hold his hand. Sometimes I miss him so much my heart hurts so bad. Our plane went from Vardø to Vadsø and then Vadsø to Kirkenes- both of which were about 10min long. Then we boarded a larger plane on to Oslo. I got an aisle seat, thank goodness!
We had some extra time off in the afternoon and evening and just had to turn our laundry in. I really love getting our laundry done all the time! I went shopping to find something to wear on these days off. Since we are always turning in our laundry I never have any clothes left except workout clothes which I don’t particularly want to walk around Oslo in. We went to that 80s bar called Rebel again and then moved onto a bar called Quidis where Lars and Jan Kenneth played ping-pong and Kelsey, Thomas, and I went back to the hotel and Kelsey and I settled in for the night.