Joan’s Exciting Road Trip in Norway
I started planning this adventure long in advance, and the first choice I had to make was about the destination. In the end, my choice fell on the Land of Vikings, since a couple of my friends suggested me to visit Norway – they recently visited this Scandinavian country and had the most positive impressions about it.
Since I had 2 weeks to spend in Norway, I decided to include many stops along the route and reached out to Nordiva Tours to help me plan the trip. I ended up having a route from Oslo to Bergen, which included quite a few detours. Considering that I am a supporter of an active lifestyle and practice it myself, I asked Nordiva Tours to include a couple of trekking routes along the way.
Once I had landed in Oslo, I sought to rent a car right at the airport. I ended up driving a basic Ford Focus (cheap and reliable) in the direction of the Norwegian capital, which I literally reached in around 10 minutes.
According to my trip plan, I was about to spend a couple of days in Oslo. The guide of Nordiva Tours met me in the evening on that day and conducted an intro tour to the city. The hotel I checked in was located in the centre, so many of the city’s attractions I have already briefly seen at a glimpse.
The guide, however, introduced the other side of Oslo to me: I got to know the dramatic history of this country and how the royal palace was built, how the country has got its own parliament, the great fire in Christiania, etc… Of course, I’ve also seen the futuristic building of the opera house and we walked down the modern neighborhood of Tjuvholmen. Eventually, the guide gave me suggestions about restaurants and clubs in the city.
The following two days I spent in the Norwegian capital were filled with fun, great emotions, and nice food. And well, the lack of sleep was the only thing that pestered me. And well, if anyone has problems with what else to see in Oslo, away from the city centre, I would suggest you check out Vigeland Park and take a boat to Bygdøy!
Eventually, I embarked on my trip to Bergen and the first stop on my way was the town of Rjukan. There, I wanted to climb Gaustatoppen, an impressive mountain I was amazed by as soon as I saw it from afar (while driving to a parking lot). By the way, I started my trip in the early morning, so I wouldn’t arrive late for the trek (and I recommend you to do so as well).
After I left the car, I used a cable car that brought me to the top of the mountain. Just in some 20 minutes, I was standing on the top of this towering mountain and enjoying the captivating views around me. I bought some coffee (yes, there is a café on the top of the mountain) and just relished the views. I decided to go down the mountain on my own to enjoy nature.
After I returned to my car, I drove further to Odda and checked in a hotel (by the way, the Netflix series “Ragnarok” was filmed right here!). The plan was to hike the famous Trolltunga and stay a couple of days in a tent near the top – that’s something my friends did and suggested me to do as well! In the high season, there are many people who stay there, so you definitely won’t be alone.
So, I started my hike in the early morning on the next day and drove to the parking lot of Trolltunga. Then, I just took only the most basic things (tent, sleep bag, some warm clothes, food, and cooking equipment) that would let me easily last a couple of days near Trolltunga. In the end, the hike wasn’t difficult, but I had a relatively light backpack (around 7kg).
As expected, there were myriads of people waiting in a queue for a photo at Trolltunga the moment I arrived. So, I decided to rather set up a tent and then go trekking in the area around Trolltunga. After all, I got the photo of me on Trolltunga taken the next day…
Once I returned from the hike, I decided to stay one more day in a hotel in Odda and check out the town. Apart from eating out and drinking an astonishingly expensive (for any sane person) beer in a local bar, I also went to see Låtefossen, an impressive waterfall not far from Odda.
On the next day, I continued my road trip and headed to the parking lot of Hardangervidda (which wasn’t that far from Odda). To be clear, Hardangervidda is a huge mountain plateau (the largest plateau of such kind in Europe), so there are many points of entry.
I ended up entering the plateau from Ullensvang and had a chance to see a couple of waterfalls not far from the entry point. The next couple of days I spent hiking in this area and enjoying this connection with nature. This national park is a perfect place for hiking, and there is plenty of wildlife roaming around. However, don’t expect to see much greenery here…
In the end, I exited this national park far from my entry point and had to hitchhike, so I could get back to the parking lot where I left my car.
The next stop of my road trip happened to be at Voss, a region in Norway that is famed for its beautiful nature and plenty of opportunities for various activities. So, I booked a hotel in the village of Vossevangen for a couple of days.
To be honest, I tried to try literally everything, from kayaking and rafting to mountain biking. And even succeeded to do a short hike! So, I was somewhat drained and exhausted when I left the village – though, it felt like a good kind of exhaustion for sure!
The final stop before arriving in Bergen was a short detour to Steinsdalsfossen, a waterfall behind which it is possible to walk. So, of course, I stopped for a visit and left my car in the parking lot. Such “closeness” to the waterfall made it feel somewhat special, even though I have already had some type of “waterfall fatigue” on my trip – Norway, indeed, has a lot of them!
Eventually, I arrived in Bergen and spent the last couple of days discovering the city and communicating with the locals. Of course, I took photos at the world-famous Bryggen, but also enjoyed the opportunity to taste delicious food on the local market and enjoy a short fjord cruise.
After I had boarded the plane and it had taken off from Bergen, I could finally sigh and say that my trip was over. These two weeks were full of fun, activities, and beautiful sceneries, and I absolutely loved it! But I had also made the trip so intensive and full of things to do that I needed at least a day to rest after my vacation. 😉
From Nordiva: don’t miss this fantastic read from Alexandra about her trip to northern Norway!
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