Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend Getaway in Ålo

One of the perks of working in Norway is their hytta (cabin) system setup for employees. Most companies own a number of different "cabins" (could also just be apartments, houses, etc) around Norway as well as other countries (ConocoPhillips has some in Sweden, Demark, and the Canary Islands - don't worry we are likely never going to get that one!)

They run a lottery system each spring and fall for priority to the different cabins. Depending on your number of years with the company and a few other factors you can increase the odds for a high season cabin (ones close to skiing in the winter and ones near the water in the summer).

I threw my name in for a hytta near Kristiansand for this past four-day weekend after unsuccessfully convincing Jason that we should fly somewhere ("But sweetie, technically, I can fly up until the end of my 36th week, which is Tuesday and we will be coming home Monday!" Yeah that obviously didn't fly (pun intended) with Jason.)

Fortunately, we were able to get our first choice, a cabin by the water in Ålo, just 30 min from Kristiansand. We headed down there after work on Thursday and were greeted by one of the neighbors warning us that we'd have an early wake-up call to start the festivities of Norway National Day on Friday, May 17 (you can read more here).

Here's a shot of the cabin. We had the entire second floor to ourselves, including the amazing double-deck patio that we used to soak up the rare weekend sun. In fact I got burned. Uncool Norway.

Saturday we headed to Kristiansand and visited Dyreparken, a really fun zoo. We love walking around and looking at the animals (even though they didn't have our favorite, the okapi). It was definitely a tiring day though!

We treated ourselves to dinner out afterwards at Christiansand Bryggehus and enjoyed our fish and pork.

Sunday we slept in and then did - get this - nothing. Okay so technically you can't really do nothing, but we spent the entire day eating, sleeping, reading, and playing lots of dice and card games. It was fabulous!

And of course got a change in scenery for my Week 36 picture.

We headed back to Stavanger today excited that we got to spend the weekend relaxing and seeing another Norwegian city (even if we really didn't do much touristy stuff). It was nice to have a quiet weekend since this is our last getaway before Madison arrives! :-)

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