It’s that time of the year again; the end of September! Which means that I’ve just returned from another one of my travels – there is a pattern, guys, there is! – and I have a lot of amazing experiences to share with you.
This year around my September destination was the beautiful country of Norway! Norway had been on my bucket-list since the beginning of time and now I’ve finally been able to get a taste of this Scandinavian country. Yeah, you sadly can’t see all of it in just two weeks…
But we did manage to do quite a lot, and that’s what my first post is going to be about; an overview of our two-week roadtrip itinerary through Norway!
This trip actually started with a major downer. Two days before departure I got diagnosed with mono. At first I was quite relieved to finally have an answer to why I was so freaking tired the entire time, but that of course didn’t help our current situation. We were leaving on an active hiking holiday and my doctor had just told me to rest a lot. Yeah… major downer. Cancelling the trip was of course no option – I had been looking forward to it for almost a year -, but it meant that we had to slow it down every once in a while.
Although I must admit that even without this diagnosis, the amount of planning for this trip had been absolutely minimal. We’d booked our hotels and had a vague idea of what we could do in the area, but nothing much had been set in stone, as it usually is before I leave. But hey, time to experience another way of traveling huh?
On the image above you can see the rough outline of the trip we took. We actually started our trip back home in Belgium, drove all the way to Kiel, Germany, and took the Color Line ferry overnight from there to Oslo. That way we had our own car to take us around Norway. Plus it was a nice experience for me to be on a boat that big for the first time.
Our ferry docked in Oslo harbor 10am sharp on Friday morning August 30th. We very swiftly got through customs and were ready for an almost full day of exploring Norway’s capital.
The next day, we only reserved a couple more hours to sightsee around Oslo before we hit the road. There were only a few hours of driving to cover to make it to the town of Sauland – our end destination for the day – so even with a stop along the way at Heddal, we still had plenty of time left to relax at our B&B before dinner.
Sundays are meant for rest, so atypically of me, we had another not so busy day ahead of us. Our main goal was to make it to Odda at a reasonable hour. However we did make a detour and visited Gaustatoppen. The weather had cleared up unexpectedly and it would have been a shame not to take at least a little bit of advantage of that.
The reason why we had wanted to be in Odda early the day before was because we wanted to be well rested for the day after. On Monday September 1 we had planned to tackle one of Norway’s most famous hikes; Trolltunga. This postcard picture hike is a pretty long and heavy one, so you need to be in good condition and have an entire day at your disposal to complete it.
While our muscles and legs were still cooperating the next day – thank god! -, our plans were to take it slow again, just in case. We drove to Bergen in the morning and then spent the rest of the day wandering around and discovering the city.
And then the weather turned sour. It was pouring rain the next two days, which left us with little to do. This country is made for hiking and spending time in the outdoors, which sadly isn’t all that much fun when you’re drowning. But we tried to make the best of those days anyway. The first day our end destination was Undredal, a little village by the water, but we made a stop at the Bordalsgjelet for a small hike along the way. The next day we drove to Heggjebygda. This is a tiny village near Nordfjordeid where a friend of a friend lives. We were so fortunate to be allowed to stay with her for the next two nights. An amazing experience to stay in a secluded place deep into the Norwegian Fjords. Even when it’s raining!
On Friday, the clouds were still present, but at least most of the rain had already fallen and we managed to keep it dry most of the day. So we drove to Norangsdalen for some pretty eery views and then in the afternoon put on our hiking boots and hiked to one of the tops in Nordfjordeid: Skårhaugsnakken.
By Saturday the sun decided to finally grace us with her presence again, so we were absolutely delighted to take the Loen Skylift up to Mount Hoven and hike around around the top of that mountain. In the afternoon we then drove along the Gamle Strynefellsvegen to Geiranger, one of Norway’s most famous Fjords.
Most of the next day was spent getting as many pretty views on the Geiranger Fjord as possible. We started off with the highest viewpoint; Dalsnibba and then did the small Løsta hike to stretch our legs a bit and enjoy the beautiful environment and the sun on our faces. Then it was time to leave Geiranger behind us and drive up the Eagle Road before tackling the famous Trollstigen road to Andalsnes where we would spend the next two nights.
Another Monday, another big hike on the menu! We only decided to actually hike Romsdaleggen the night before as it is known to be a heavy one, both physically and technically, and we weren’t entirely sure if we were up for it. But we decided to just go for it and honestly it was the best experience I’ve ever had in my life. I literally can’t wait to tell you all about this day.
And then the two days after that, it was recuperation time. It wasn’t that I couldn’t walk anymore, but I was just tired and I also felt like nothing could top the experience of that Romsdaleggen hike. So after a short stop at Trollsveggen, we slowly made our way to Lom where we spent most of the afternoon relaxing, first around town with coffee and pie and then in the awesome cabin we had rented for the night.
The second day after Romsdaleggen was the one where we had the most driving planned; from Lom back to Oslo. Around lunchtime we stopped for an hour in Lillehammer, which was also a really nice place to stretch our legs for a while. We made it to Oslo early enough for dinner and then a late night stroll through the city. Bliss.
On the day of our departure, the sun was once again present, so we took advantage of that once more and went for a last exploration of Olso city. It’s crazy how different the atmosphere of a city can be when it’s sunny. It sure was the perfect ending to a perfect trip.
So that was it. As you may notice, it’s a lot less “face-paced traveler” then you’re used of me, but it was both due to less planning ahead of time and my goddamned mono. Either way, I’m looking back on this trip with so much love. I’ve completely fallen in love with Norway and I surely am going to go back one day. There is still so much to explore there and hopefully next time my health will be much better.
And as usual, to end this thing, here you have the entire itinerary once more in a pretty, neat schedule.
Day 1: Oslo
Day 2: Oslo + Heddal + drive to Sauland
Day 3: Gaustatoppen + drive to Odda
Day 4: Trolltunga hike
Day 5: Drive to Bergen + Bergen
Day 6: Bordalsgjelet + drive to Undredal + Flam
Day 7: Drive to Heggjabygda (staying with a friend)
Day 8: Norangsdalen + Nordfjordeid hike
Day 9: Loen Skylift + drive to Geiranger along Gamle Strynefellsvegen
Day 10: Dallsniba + Løsta hike + Eagle Road + Trollstigen + Andalsness
Day 11: Romsdaleggen hike
Day 12: Trollveggen + drive to Lom
Day 13: Lillehammer + drive to Olso
Day 14: Oslo + ferry back home
So that’s that. And now in the coming weeks you can once again expect posts on each part of my trip with a lot more details on what we did and how we did it. If you already have any questions in the meantime, you know how to reach me!