When you leave the States and head across the pond many things strike you as different and traveling from California to Scandinavia might make for some interesting sights. So I decided to take some pictures of things I thought you might not see back at home.
Our first stop was Norway where we decided to hit the grocery store and pick up a few things. Not sure if this is sign is telling me the food in the case is Paleo or not, so we investigated further. At first, we read this as gluten-free, but upon further inspection we learned this was not the case.
Then Raphael and Alex found some local spices. I guess Black Boy Spices are the best in Norway.
We found some fish rich in Omega 3’s. I was surprised that in the land of Omega 3 and fish oil they would even have to label it. I kind of thought it was just expected.
As we walked towards the back on the grocery store the term “farm fresh” took on a whole new meaning.
Max found a local appetizer to cut into and we are on our meal was underway.
These are moose steaks cooked over an open flame.
We had a nice stew made with whale meat. Yes, whale meat. If you have never had whale meat it is unique. Since whales are mammals the meat is red and has the consistency of red meat. But the taste is a bit fishy and metallic. I can only imagine what the nutritional breakdown, but I could venture out on a limb and say it is very high in protein. At this point we were starting to feel very primal.
We walked out of dinner at midnight and I decided to take a picture of the local horizon. We just so happened to be in Norway in the time of the “Midnight Sun”. Want to break your internal clock? Fly on a few different planes for 20 hours, end up in a time zone 9 hours ahead and then not see darkness for 5 days. This is guaranteed to put your body in flux for a few days.
We left the land of Midnight Sun for Stockholm with a brief stop in the Netherlands. Since we had some time to kill we decided to hit my favorite restaurant in Amsterdam, Barney’s Uptown.
Then walking down the street we saw this great billboard for espresso and coffee.
The bicycle culture of the Dutch never ceases to amaze me.
We took a short visit to the Van Gogh Museum to see the “Potato Eaters” and many of Van Gogh’s most famous work. Sadly, no “Starry Night”…that is at the Louvre in Paris.
We left the land of wooden shoes and tulips and headed to visit our friends at CrossFit Disco in Stockholm. We had a dinner in Stureplan. Stureplan is the happening part of town with bars, restaurants and home to many guys in pink polo shirts and skinny jeans.
While walking down the street we happened by an local art gallery, I saw this picture in the window and was a bit perplexed by the artist’s inspiration and meaning.
We left Stockholm and headed back to California after two very successful CrossFit Football certifications in Norway and Sweden. We worked with athletes from all over Europe and hope we had as big an impact on them as they had on us. Thank you to our hosts and friends for your hospitality and good laughs.
John Welbourn is the creator/operator of CrossFit Football and Power Athlete. He is a 10 year NFL veteran. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft. He went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John also is owner of CrossFit Balboa, an S&C gym in Orange County, CA. CrossFit Balboa is one of a handful of Westside Barbell certified gyms in the world. In addition to training MLB, NFL and other professional and Olympic athletes, John travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie.
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