Showing posts from August, 2011

IKEA assembly day

Saturday afternoon Marius and I took the grand adventure to IKEA to buy some things for the apartment, most important being a nightstand for me. It is very easy to spend lots of money there when everything is priced between 5- and 15- kr. We managed to also get a scale, fish shaped ice cube tray, toothbrush holder, oven mits, and other random necesities.

Sunday was table assembly day. Did not take very long at all before we got to enjoy the luxury of having a table by the bed for me to put my alarm clock and glasses! No more fear of stepping on them now!

Sunday night Marius also had a soccer game. I went with him and ran while his team was warming up. They lost 3-2, but it was still a nice way to spend the afternoon.

Week 1 conclusions

One week finished of my Master's degree and this is what I've discovered... that I really got a great education from UoA, because I know how to do a lot of things that the Norwegian students did not get to practice in their Bachelors program. Such as statistical analysis, scientific writing, and data sampling. Sounds very simple, but it wasn't part of their studies.

I managed to not have to take the Aquatic Ecology course and have room in my schedule for Fish Behavior thanks to all my ecology courses last semester. Also, the manadatory BIO300 course focuses on statistics and data presentation, which I think I really learned how to do in Auckland, so it will be nice to know I can do well in the course with the most work this semester.

London Summary

Now that I have a few more minutes I'll write about the trip to London to visit Carolyn. Marius and I left Bergen on the 17th and stayed with Carolyn at the home where she worked this summer. She was a good tour guide! We took the Underground to get more central and walked to all the touristy things you can do.

My favorite was Westminster Abbey. The history was really interesting and it was just beautiful inside the abbey. It was a shame that taking pictures isn't allowed. I tired to sneak one but it came out too blurry. We also saw St. Paul's, which was also beautiful, but not as impressive as the great Abbey. We attended an evening service, which was very pleasant.

We also walked by the typical tourist spots: Big Ben, Parliment, London Eye, across the Tower Bridge, walked around the Tower of London (it was too expensive to go in and see the crown jewels), and other things such as parks, Oxford Street, and Picadilly Circus.

My second favorite part of the trip was Boroug…

Getting settled

Monday was officially my first day of classes. I had BIO300 (Biological Data Analysis and Research Design) and MAR310 (Marine Methods); I'm also taking Fish Behavior and Marine Flora/Fauna. And right away we had our first field trip to Espegrend Biological Station near the Bergen airport. We did some intertidal work that was similar to what I did in Auckland, so I had the upperhand yesterday. Similar species to identify, just different names. It was a 6am start for me to get the busses out there and then we finished earlier than expected at 3. So when I got home I went to the gym and then Marius and I hiked up Ulriken again, this time with some running intervals...hard work!! Just a month left until Stoltzen Opp, so we really have to get training!

Today I got my reading room, kind of like my office that I share with 11 other people. But I have my own desk and we get keys to lock our things inside, and we don't have to stress about fighting undergrads for a study space. Next I …

Getting registered

Registering for a program over here seems a bit more complicated than when I was doing my Bachelors. Today I'm meeting with a lady in the BIO department to help me select classes for my study plan. Just one year of courses and then the second year is working on the thesis. I think I will specialize in fish ecology if I can. I'll see what she recommends. Excited to get this underway!

More photos

[Borghild cooking fish on the little grill]

[Stavanger - a small city about 5 hours south of Bergen - from the car ferry]

[Marius and Carolyn creeping towards the edge of Preikestolen]

[View of Bergen from Ulriken]

[Crooked door at Bryggen]

[Tram up Fløyen mountain - a popular tourist activity in Bergen]

[Some of the university from bird's-eye view, but my building is not included in the picture. The museum (the big pink building) is where the Rector will have his 'Welcome' speech for the new students]

Carolyn's Visit

After not seeing Carolyn for about 2 years and 8 months, she came to Bergen to visit for the weekend. She got in Friday evening and went home Monday around dinner time. When she arrived, Borghild and Knut came over and we cooked fish on the grill with veggie skewers and potatoes.

In the morning, we got up and drove 6 hours to Preikestolen. We had to take 3 car ferries to get to the hike. The weather started out nice, but when we got to the end point of the hike with the great view, it was cloudy and very windy. All the pictures I had seen showed sun and people sitting on the platform enjoying some food. But it was still a great hike. The one I most wanted to do over here.

Instead of staying the night in Stavanger (near the start of the hike), we drove all the way back to Bergen. In the morning, we slept in a bit and then hiked up Ulriken (the highest of 7 mountains surrounding Bergen). It was VERY steep! Knut runs up that mountain several times a week...amazing that he can do that. …


I arrived in Norway Thursday morning around 8:30AM local time. The flight was one of the shortest I've had in a while (7 hours from Newark!). I landed in Oslo and Marius picked me up from the airport. We went to his parents' house before driving to Bergen, and his mom had a very nice breakfast prepared for us. There were nice bread rolls, peppered mackerel, various cheeses and sliced turkey or ham, fruit, and my favorite from Christmas called gomme! It was mostly Norwegian style breakfast, but they said the fruit was because Marius remembered fruit at our breakfast table in MI. What a nice greeting to Norway!

We spent about 8 hours driving from Oslo to Bergen, where we have an apartment. The views were so different from when I visited in December. Everything was green (as compared to covered in snow), and the fjords reminded me of South Island New Zealand. My camera was acting up so I didn't manage to get pictures along the way; however, Marius has a couple on his iPhone f…

Off to Norway!

In the morning I'm on a flight to Norway for the new phase to begin. It was nice being home and spending time with everyone, but it's time to keep movin'! Friday I get to see Carolyn (after being apart for nearly 3 years), and after her visit Marius and I are going to go visit her in London. I hope the riots clear up. Not a nice way to start the trip (but luck is usually on our side with these things)!

Updates on the way when I get to Norway!

Ha det!

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today was Dad's 52nd birthday! I didn't know what to get him so I cooked dinner and got him a card. We had grilled shrimp and pineapple with jambalaya rice and salad, followed by pineapple upside-down cake for dessert! Happy Birthday Dad! I had to make up for not being here for the last 2.

I have been keeping myself fairly busy at home. I repainted my room and have given both the cat and dog two baths. Last weekend we went to Grand Rapids to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa. Mom did a great job refinishing their dining room table from 1955!

This photo was sent to me by one of my favorite lecturers (Dr. Mary Sewell) on a field trip to Whangarei Heads. Here we are identifying soft shore organisms.