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[RD] Hiking through Norway

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by warpus, May 21, 2018.

  1. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    A couple of years ago I spent 5 weeks backpacking, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and white water rafting through Norway. The following is an attempt to document this journey in some way and share it with the rest of the community here.

    I made this thread RD, so that any discussion stays on point, to make this thread easier to look through for those who have an expressed an interest in following it.

    Here's an index I will update as I make future posts:

    Day 2 - First Impressions of Oslo | 2
    Day 3 - The Adventure Begins
    Day 4 - Arrival in Jotunheimen National Park
    Day 5 - Bukkelægeret | 2 | 3 | Video
    Day 6 - Besseggen Ridge | 2 | Video
    Day 7 - Otta
    Day 8 - Teaser | Sjoa Whitewater Rafting Video | Highlights Video | Train ride to Åndalsnes
    Day 9 - Romsdalseggen Ridge | 2 | 3 | 4 | Video
    Days 10 and 11 - Just chillin
    Day 12 - Bus ride to Geiranger | Trollstigen | 2 | 3 | Video | Troll | Eagle's Nest | Geiranger
    Day 13 - Teaser | Geirangerfjord kayaking | Hike up to Skageflå | Skageflå | Geiranger kayaking cont. | Ferry to Hellesylt | Hellesylt | Kayaking Video
    Day 14 - Good morning Hellesylt | Return to Geiranger | Flydalsjuvet | Djupvatnet | Dalsnibba | Back to Hellesylt | Video
    Day 15 - Steimsnibba | 2 | Summit | More summit | Video
    Day 16 - Hurtigruten | Arrival in Ålesund
    Day 17 - A walk around Ålesund | 2 | 3 | Fjellstua | Ålesund Town Park
    Day 18 - Bus to Bergen | 2 | 3 | Video | Bergen | Bryggen | Bryggen and Fløyen | Sunset | Fløibanen Video
    Day 19 - To Flåm via the Sognefjord | Stegastein | Railway Museum
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018 at 7:56 PM
  2. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 2 - First Impressions of Oslo

    We start with day 2 and not day 1, because in all my notes day 1 is the flight. To avoid any confusion going forward, you are going to have to pretend that I told you the story of how I met a guy flying to Greenland to film a documentary on day 1. There isn't really much to it, and the post would just be full of complaints about the food, so there you go let's move on to day 2

    My flight landed in Olso at 5:40am. I dropped off my stuff at the hotel, enjoyed my first Norwegian style buffet breakfast, and was soon ready to take my first stroll around town.

    It was Sunday, July 12, 2015


    Having booked this hotel (and most of the trip) well ahead of time, I was able to stay in a central location and get over the jetlag in comfort at a very reasonable price. The above is the first view you get as soon as you step out of the hotel front door and look to the left. The building you see straight ahead is the Grand Hotel. It is situated right on the Karl Johans gate (road).


    Right around the corner was also this park area, which runs adjacent to Karl Johans gate all the way to the Royal Palace.


    I had plans to visit the Royal Palace the next day, so instead I walked south and ran into Franklin D. Roosevelt


    A couple minutes later I was treated with a nice view of Pipervika Port.


    Very close nearby is also the Akershus Fortress, which I very much enjoyed walking through and exploring.


    Some sort of Norwegian artistic expression can be seen above.

    Day 2 will continue in my next post
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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  3. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 2 - Further First Impressions of Oslo


    Looking down Karl Johans Gate towards the Royal Palace.


    The Oslo Opera House and ominous clouds


    This is right about the time when it started raining


    This guy hangs out in front of the central train station


    This is where Karl Johans Gate starts. The train station is right behind me. If you keep walking straight eventually you'll get to the Royal Palace (and pass the hotel where I was staying along the way)

    I had a long first day in Oslo, and overall my first impressions of the city were positive. The rain and stomach problems, and the breaking of my mouth guard in half (at some point during the flight) dampened the mood somewhat, but overall I was excited about the days to follow
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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  4. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    That's a cool (brass?) tiger, but why is there a (concrete?) statue of FDR in Oslo, of all places?

    That gate name sounds familiar - presumably named after the Napoleonic marshal who somewhat improbably got elected to take the Swedish throne and who became King of Norway as well.
     
  5. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I know day 1 is early in your 5 week trip, but how was it living out of a "suit case" for that length of time? I guess the long summer days worked to your advantage.
     
  6. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Thank you for starting this thread, warpus! :)
     
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  7. NovaKart

    NovaKart شێری گەورە

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    Isn’t Norway insanely expensive? About the laundry, I have washed underwear and socks just in the sink while on vacation.
     
  8. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald nIGHTMARE

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    It's got huge testicles
     
  9. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It might have something to do with this

    That's the guy! The "Gate" is referring to a street, so there is no actual gate there (I don't think)

    It worked well overall! Everything fit in my 74L backpack, including a smaller backpack I had with me for day trips and day hikes. I only had to drag the large backpack with me for the first hike, and of course on all the flights, boat rides, bus rides, etc. Overall it worked out very well, the backpack wasn't even 100% full. (maybe 85%?) Almost all the clothing I brought is made from fabrics that tend to not smell when sweaty, dry fast, insulate well, etc. I can't remember if I did any laundry or not, but if I did, it will come up in my notes.

    Yeah, it's one of the most expensive places on the planet, which is why I booked almost everything months in advance, and ate my first dinner at Burger King (which didn't even turn out to be a great option for cheap food). I ate quite a number of 7-11 hot dogs wrapped in bacon during my 5 weeks in Norway. Those were really cheap and quite filling, and considering the price tasted very good. Another key was to, when staying at a hotel, to really fill up on the breakfast buffet, and just forget about lunch on those days.

    Looking through itineraries professional travel companies put together (which I used to inspire me when I was doing my planning), this trip could have easily been 4-6 times more expensive. I managed to do it "on the cheap", but it still wasn't really that cheap. The key was booking everything ahead of time, and staying at hostels where possible.. and not insisting on all the fancy things travel companies usually throw in. My costs were quite reasonable, for example all the trains I took were super cheap, I paid $35 USD for a 10 hour train ride from north of the arctic circle back south to Norway proper.. Got the hotels I stayed at at reasonable costs too, and managed to eat out occasionally enough and keep everything in my original budget. I took the bus almost everywhere, aside from the couple trains I took, and I found the buses cheap overall. Ferries were a bit more pricy, and boats too, but I booked in advance and it wasn't so bad. The one internal flight I did (from Trondheim to Oslo) was quite cheap. The SIM card I bought and data I used were both quite cheap as well. I found food prices in the country overall expensive, but in a lot of cases on par with what we pay in Canada. Usually it was the beer that was a lot more expensive, but even so a $12 beer here and there makes you just feel like you're always on a cruise, so what the hell. I found cheese very cheap in Norway, even on a remote island north of the arctic circle a roll of Brie cheese was 30% cheaper than what I pay here in Canada.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  10. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald nIGHTMARE

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    "gate" means street
    gate is "port"
    port is "havn"

    sorry for shuch banal posts in your thread, warpus
    I think you've seen more of the country than I have
     
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  11. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It's not obvious to those who don't know much about Norway!
     
  12. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    Well, that explains both why the English word "haven" exists and part of the etymology of København (Copenhagen).
     
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  13. Snerk

    Snerk Smeghead

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    This. I've done very little travelling in Norway.

    I'm still furious you didn't come fishing with me warpus. :mad:
     
  14. gozpel

    gozpel Couch-potato (fortified)

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    Maybe next time you do Sweden, especially Gothenburg, second of Stockholm? Stockholm is a big concrete block, while Gothenburg still have some nice views and a few secret places. IF you ask nicely, we are Vikings after all, haha. :)
     
  15. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I've mentioned my itinerary route to Norwegians during planning, and some people said my trip is what a trip would look like if the Norwegian Tourist Board planned one and went way overboard. Which is fine by me, as unfortunately I will probably never return, as it's so pricy, so I wanted to see all the best things. My day to day itinerary didn't seem hectic at all either, so I think I did a good job planning everything

    You live in Tromso! I almost made it that far north. If you had lived on the Lofoten islands we'd have all sorts of fishing stories. I loved Norway though, if I ever strike it rich in some way I will most definitely return. Hook me up with a Norwegian pension and I'll be there tomorrow

    Stockholm is definitely on my list!
     
  16. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 3 - The Adventure Begins

    I woke up with blood on my bed sheets. There was some initial panic, but turns out that I cut a finger on a pointy part of the broken mouth guard. Not a bad cut, but somehow a decent amount of blood.

    I didn't really have much time to panic though, and eventually some of the pain went away and I was able to run some errands.

    First I picked up my DNT membership


    DNT is the Norwegian Trekking Association. They help maintain the trails and environment, lead tours, and run mountain cabins throughout the country. While there I also bought hiking maps and a waterproof map holder that you can attach to your backpack.

    While running errands I also bought some superglue that was safe to put in your mouth. It was not easy to find such superglue in Oslo, and people gave me weird looks when I tried to explain what I was looking for, but in the end my mission was a success. I would fix my mouthguard later and avoid future incidents involving blood


    This was my last day in the city, so I put together a reasonable walking tour that would take me through several places I was interested in, such as the Royal Palace.


    Royal Guard on duty


    Slottsparken, The Royal Park

    I continued north on foot and about a half an hour later found myself at Vingeland Park, the world's largest sculpture park created by a single artist.






    I found this particular piece to be the most striking







    After getting back to my hotel I was able to actually fix my mouthguard with the superglue! I also went to a pharmacy and figured out that I need to take 3 imodium tablets. That ended up fixing my stomach problems 100%, which was good because the next day I was taking an early bus to Jotunheimen Park, one of the country's premier hiking destinations.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
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  17. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 4 - Arrival in Jotunheimen National Park

    After a bit of a sleepless night I woke up just before 7am and wolfed down a big breakfast. At 8:35 I was on the bus that was going to take me to Jotunheimen National Park.


    Here you can see the route of the 5 hour long bus ride, as well as the location of the 3 DNT huts I visited on my first hike.

    The further north we went the more concerned I became. Eventually things started looking pretty damn ridiculous


    This is not what you want to see when you're heading out for a hike in mid July

    After my bus dropped me off at Gjendeshejm I had about an hour to make a decision. At 2:25pm the last boat of the day was departing to take me where I had initially planned - 2 days away on foot. The hiking conditions didn't look great though, and for all I knew they were going to get worse. I also had 15kg or so to carry around with me, and I didn't want to be climbing slippery ridges in bad conditions and visibility.. There were alternatives, such as cutting the planned hike in 2, or not doing it at all..

    I stepped into the Gjendesheim DNT tourist lodge and talked to one of the rangers about my plan. He told me the weather has been very unpredictable, but that I should be okay. He said it could rain or snow, but if I only have this opportunity to do the route I selected, I will regret not doing it, so I should.

    "Alright, let's do this!" I thought to myself and went to wait for the boat



    There were big maps nearby of the trails I was about to hike


    The boat drops me off on the left in Gjendebu. I sleep there, wake up early, and hike to Memurubu, on the right side of the map.


    The next morning I hike up the Besseggen Ridge and eventually find myself back in Gjendesheim


    The boat ride takes about 2 hours


    Made it to Gjendebu!

    I had about 2 hours until dinner, so I spent some time unpacking, changing, and taking in my new surroundings.








    This is not where I slept

    According to my notes this is also when I started reading the book Hyperion by Dan Simmons

    In other good news my stomach pains were now completely gone. I also had some new friends! All sorts of Norwegians, some of them named Lars, David, and Espen. For dinner we had goulash with mashed potatoes, which was delicious

    I repacked my bags and got everything ready for tomorrow, and drifted off to sleep thinking about fjords and Norwegian landscapes
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  18. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald nIGHTMARE

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    I actually was there for a week when I was like 12.

    Climbed the peak and crossed the glacier and all
     
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  19. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 5 - Bukkelægeret

    According to my notes I slept very well that night and woke up at 7am. By 10:30am I was ready to go


    The trail follows the lake at first, but 20 minutes in and you're faced with a rather strenuous climb to the top


    Looking back towards my starting piont, Gjendebu

    I had all the stuff I brought with me for 5 weeks on my back, which made the climb a bit more demanding. I took many breaks and slowly made my way to the top, every once in a while having to put up with a bit of a drizzle of rain.

    Just before noon I noticed that 2 hikers were also making the climb with me, and they were catching up to me.



    Turns out it was a mother and father taking their 2 children for a walk


    Here you can see the father with one of the children. They easily passed me, somehow being able to maintain a rather impressive pace

    I made it to the top just before 1pm

     
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  20. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 5 - Bukkelægeret (continued)

    There were several trails running on this plateau, the markers were few and far between, visibility was poor, it was slippery, the climb up here depleted a lot of my energy reserves, and for long periods of the hike there was nobody else around. My survival instincts perked up.. I wouldn't want to get lost here!


    I had a map and compass with me, but these markers were key. Unfortunately sometimes the next one was quite far away






    I did sort of feel like I was walking on another planet





     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
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