Trygve Bernhardsen's love for his new bride Ellen Hertzberg can definitely go the distance. The 79-year-old groom swam over 2,600 feet in one of Norway's fjords in pouring rain to get to his wedding last Wednesday — all while wearing a bowtie!
In an interview with Norwegian newspaper Agderposten, Hertzberg stated that the swim was a crucial part of her husband's commitment to her. "He didn't want to marry me unless he was allowed to swim to his bride," she said. "And I thought that was great."
Two of Bernhardsen's grandchildren joined him for the journey through 57-degree water. "It was terribly cold, I could feel the cold towards the end of the swim," he said, noting his relief that his younger relatives were with him. "My legs were completely stiff." Once he arrived at his destination, his bride greeted him on the rocky shore — wedding dress, bouquet, and all.
The watery travel route was something of a tribute to Bernhardsen and Hertzberg's 15-year courtship: They first met when he tied his yacht near her home in the town of Lyngor. They now live in that same town, which they describe as "our paradise." Their long relationship instilled confidence in Hertzberg that her fiancé could successfully make the swim.
"I was never afraid. He's like a seal," she said, adding that Bernhardsen swims in the often-frigid Norwegian waters both in summer and winter. "This swim was nothing for him. I have found the best man in the world."