2013 has been a year marked, above all, by my one-year Erasmus in Bergen. A year with very good experiences that I will try to summarize in this post. First of all, I have to say that my memory is terrible and I remember most of the things because I have one or several photos of the moment. So I might be wrong sometimes or I could forget important events I don’t remember. If that happens, you’ll have to forgive both me and my head for the oversight. On the contrary, I’ve omitted a lot of experiences aware of it, since they don’t coincide with the issue of this post. That doesn’t mean they haven’t been important to me, simply, it’d be impossible for me to tell everything.
I started this year between Burgos and Valencia, during Christmas holidays, after having spent a whole semester in Bergen. It was a time of relax for recovering lost energy due to lack of sunlight and constant rain.
Bergen is a beautiful place but it is also the rainiest of Europe. Practically, from Summer to Christmas it was raining almost every day. Furthermore, during the Winter it was only five hours of light. Therefore, it’s a city in which is hard to live in, especially for people from the Mediterranean zone of Spain.
In January, just gotten back to Bergen, they told me about doing a trip to Trolltunga and trying to camp at -20ºC/-30ºC and I joined. I will never forget that trip, and even less the way we went up. In this trip I realized that I wasn’t ready for that kind of adventures. Two of the crew almost die frozen. We run out of water because most of it got frozen. So we had to prepare soups with snow. Although the worst part for me was to see how a Norwegian that was going down the stairs, slipped without falling. That made me throw my ass to the ground and spend a whole hour going down with my legs trembling. Definitely, the trip could have ended really bad, but I suppose we had some luck.
It was the first time I drove a car with winter tires along snowed and frozen roads. Although it may seem otherwise, it’s very safe to drive with that kind of tires. Now I can say I’ve driven along frozen roads.
I spent February and March mostly in Bergen, especially in the residence where I lived. The only trip I did, no less important, was one that Juanmi organized, a good friend from Ciudad Real, to Oslo. We were Ana, Juanmi and me, in a car from Bergen. It was a trip where we visited curious enclaves like a bakery with a cellar in which the Black Metal scene was born.
Once you have seen other cities of Norway and you visit Oslo, you realize the big difference between the capital and the rest of towns. For me, Oslo is the only place in Norway that looked like a city.
June was the month in which I did two trips.
On one hand, a few ones went all over Stavanger zone, south of Norway. Eight people in a rented van, sleeping either in it or in tents during two nights. The idea was to go up to Kjerag but, due to bad weather only a few dared. The others toured the area by car.
The second trip was to Trondheim and we could do it thanks in part to Lau. Lau is a Valencian girl from Cullera that I know. She will be living in Oslo in a few days, but in those days she was living in Trondheim. She was the person who gave us housing. Although the main reason for doing the trip was because we found cheap flights from Bergen to Trondheim.
In that trip I could experience what is going to a cottage in the middle of nature. That was one of the best experiences in Norway. It was a cottage without electricity, with a sauna, a kayak and a lake next to it.
Trondheim seemed a charming city to me, very small and quiet.
July was a month which I spent between two countries and a lot of plane travels. I had to come back to Spain to take exams, but I didn’t want it to be a last farewell, so I returned. In my first return to Spain, I visited Guadalest village, in Alicante where the castle is located. Then I flew once again to Bergen and I enjoyed the days walking by Bergen.
I won’t forget that car trip to a one of the Norwegian glaciers with Arnau and Aurora. 1000 km. driving across the country, totally improvised, but it was one of the best, in which I have to highlight some things like seeing a glacier up close, spending the night next to a campfire next to the glacier and sleeping in that very place.
At the end, I had to go back and it was when I had my first contact as an adult person, with Barcelona. I fell in love with one of its quarters, the Gothic Quarter.
When I got back to Cullera, I saw the things through different eyes and during the summer I spent my time shooting customs and traditions of Cullera and surroundings. Also near villages.
August was also a month in which I was going along Alicante coast with Guillem and Marta. In my opinion is one of the most beautiful zones of the Mediterranean coast. There was when we had to sleep in a tent, in an abandoned camping area that a friendly couple recommended us, after having been looking by the surroundings for a place to sleep, fearless of being fined by the police.
We were also in a heavy metal festival, which was our original destination, but we modified at our will on the fly. There was where we met again with some friends with we had lived in Bergen that year.
In November, coinciding with Halloween, I had a meeting in Barcelona where some friends from different countries met again, in a house that Guillem kindly lent us. I was lucky they were holidays in the quarter and I could enjoy of the Diables del Poble Sec nocturnal show, also known as ‘els correfocs’. It was my second visit and I think I have already a good general idea of the city. With this second visit I ended up falling in love with it.
And I finished the year coming back to Burgos, city in which I grew up. Which other than meeting with my family, so I did with old secondary school friends which I only see once every one or two years. One of them I saw him for the last time three or four years ago. With them, the last day before coming back to Valencia, I did a trip to north of Burgos where we visited typical Castilian villages like Tobera with its waterfalls and we did a route through the Montes Obarenes and San Zadornil Natural Park.
This route has been a good way of saying goodbye to Burgos and also to the year. I hope this 2014 will be as intense or more as the previous one.
Translation by Juanmi Tocados.