Norway – Beautiful but challenging

This became our catchphrase (as well as “F/*k me Norway”) as we toured around, because it simply is one of the most beautiful places we have ever been, but man is it hard to get around (see epic driving section for more details).

It would take me aaaaaages, and I would go into far too much detail, if I wrote a day to day blog of what we did in Norway. So instead I’m going to run through our highlights.

Our route

Oslo – Flekkefjord area – Stavanger – Pulpit rock – Haugesund – Bergen- Hardangervidda – Gudvangen – Vik – Jostedalsbreen Glacier – Loen – Geiranger – Alesund – Molde – Ocean Road to Kritstiansund – Innerdalen – Trondehiem

Mountains

Everywhere you look. They are the reason for Norway’s raw immense beauty and also the reason it’s so bloody hard to get anywhere. Our favourite mountain hikes were Pulpit rock (big tourist attraction but going out of season it wasn’t too bad. It’s a very sheer drop from the pulpit and great views), Mount Ulriken (a 16 mile horseshoe walk from one mountain to another) and Mount Hoven (snowy mountain top, all to ourselves with 360 views of mountains as far as you could see).

Pulpit rock

Mount Ulriken

Mount Hoven

Snow

Every time we saw snow we got exited, it never gets boring. Our first night in Norway it snowed, which is still our coldest night in the van – slept in 2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of trousers, t-shirt, fleece, fleecy dressing gown and a hat and still was a bit cold! Our initial plans did somewhat change slightly as we had no idea how much snow would still be around in Spring, and that many of the roads and hikes we wanted to do were still caked in too much of the white stuff. Our three snowy highlights…. 1) Driving through the incredible landscape of Hardangervidda mountain plateu, just rolling white hills, frozen lakes and the odd hut for two hours of driving! 2) The drive to Geiranger. This mountain road had only opened 2 days before we drove down it. We drove past snow packs higher than Scooby, along narrow roads with everything else in sight white and fluffy. 3) The previously mentioned Mount Loen walk which we did in shorts and t-shirts as it was so warm!! 

Hardangervidda

Drive into Geiranger

Making fresh tracks on Mount Hoven

Waterfalls

Everywhere you look. Spring is a great time of year to travel if you’re a waterfall fan as all the snow starts melting off the mountains creating waterfalls everywhere, straight off the mountains and into the fjords.

Fjords

So many of them. It kept blowing my mind how far inland the waters were saline. We didn’t see the coast for about a week yet everyday you would look into the fjord and see seaweed, fish, starfish, jellyfish and seals. I swam in every fjord we camped near – man they are cold but very refreshing and awakening. And we went kayaking once in our trusty inflatable and for my birthday we splashed out hiring some sea kayaks. One of the most amazing moments in Norway was sitting, having a sunset beer, looking out across Sognefjord at the snowy mountains and waterfalls, where we both heard a noise and looked at each other to say ‘really did you just hear that’, we then watched harbour porpoises playing around in the fjord and the sound of their breathing carried so far it was like we were swimming with them.

Swimming and kayaking around

Coast

Mainly rugged and rocky, with many small islands and with some incredibly beautiful white sandy beaches.

Insane driving

You don’t really need to get out of your car in Norway because the views while driving are breath-taking enough.  As beautiful as the driving was, it was equally as challenging. Scary narrow winding mountain passes, massive tunnels (24km was the longest), road closures due to snow, a lot of expensive ferry crossings and all the tolls.

Other things to note

We are nature people so really that’s what did it for us. We did visit several cities – our main synopsis is pretty wooden houses and expensive beer (up to £10 a pint!!!), Trondheim was our favourite then Oslo and Stavanger. We also obviously passed through many villages along the way, so many red wooden houses, lots of grassed roofed mountain huts and a beautiful stave church.

To be continued….

We are currently back in Sweden for a bit to travel North along some easier roads and visit some national parks. We then will be back in Norway around the Lofton Islands in June. Already looking forward to going back!

See you soon Norway
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