Trolls & Trails

WORDS + PHOTOS: IAN FLANIGAN

I was gonna write Norway as a dream, as if I were dreaming, describing the pictures and how I felt. So I texted Ian for some background.

– Can you send me a quick email about your trip? I gotta write 500 words on Norway and I need some ammo.

– Just emailed you some words. Sorry I’m so bad at writing. I hope you can get something out of it. Lol


So I went to Norway with my little brother. He just turned 21, and I'd never hung out with him outside of family gatherings. He moved away with his dad a few years back, so I hardly even saw him anymore. He's like Malcolm from Malcolm in the Middle or Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory – super book smart and annoying about it too, but I love him still. We're super super different. I'd never thought to go to Norway before, I had no idea what it would be like.


Most of the nature images were shot in Bergen, Voss, and on a fjord tour. Oslo is on the east side and Bergen is on the west, so naturally we had to do the 'west coast is best coast' thing ya know. I don't know if that saying holds up in Norway, but I did like Bergen much more than Oslo. Oh man the train ride from Oslo to Bergen is insane. On the Internet it's referred to as the most scenic train ride in the world. Our tour guide (who was actually just a girl my brother had been talking to online for the past year and probably the reason he dragged us to Norway in the first place) was a local and really knew her city. She gave us tons of cool facts and information, most of which I forgot because I was stoned the whole time and running around taking pictures like a madman, per usual. Norway is known for its outdoors, they're very active people, and I am not. We went on a hike, really just a path to the top of this mountain. It's apparently the easiest hike in the city and I was still dying at the top. It was super scenic though, and there were wooden troll sculptures everywhere. They're actually pretty creepy. I guess trolls are HUGE in Norwegian culture, legends say they wander around at night killing Christians or something. I can't remember the actual facts, sorry, again I was high like the entire time.


The fjord tour was cool but it wasn't so much a tour as a mode of transportation that Norwegians take to get from city to city and then call a tour for tourists. So you don't learn anything about Norway on it. We went on another hike and saw some waterfalls and rivers and really cool houses. We also saw these piles of rocks everywhere, just stacked up. What struck me about it was that if I saw this in America, I feel like people would kick over the rocks. I couldn't figure why I thought this, but I know I'm not wrong.


Norway is so fucking expensive, everything costs like four times what it should. I took my brother to dinner and I spent $90 on two burgers and a pitcher of light beer. I went broke so fast and mostly bought candy cause all the food sucked, sorry Norway! I did have the best crab legs I ever ate in my life. There was a tank with Norwegian crabs and a tank next to it with American crabs, just to show how much bigger the Norwegians were. Dude I hope some of this helps with your writing, though it probably made it worse. Haha sorry dude.