Last year I went to Norway, it was a trip into the unknown and I loved every minute of it. The landscape was breathtaking but it left me wanting to see more. This year myself and three friends made our way to Bergen, where we started our exploration of the western fjords.
The turquoise waters of Lovatnet reflected huge mountain sides which gleamed in the falling sunlight. Despite the lake looking inviting, it wasn’t that comfortable due to it being freezing glacial water. That still didn’t stop our quest to find the best swimming spot.
Located in the next valley to Lovatnet, Oldevatnet is home to multiple accessible glaciers. Naturally we decided to go to the glacier which was the least accessible and required a steep hike. We were fueled with supplies from the local Bunnpris supermarket and the misty mountains would be our home for the next night.
The glacier was incredible, the power of water into the hanging valley was monumental. Thunder overhead went on into the morning, which contributed to the low clouds around our tents when we woke up. The thunder was not the thing to wake us all up, instead it was the sheep baaing at crazy volumes just outside our tent.
Hairpin after hairpin, the drive to Andalsnes did not disappoint. With plenty of views and chances to get out to take photos, the 3 hour drive whizzed by. Driving along Norwegian roads was a breeze, the roads were practically empty, and not a single pothole to be seen. If only England was like this…
Andalsnes is home to many epic hikes. We decided to do the Romsdalseggen ridge walk, which started about 9km from the town centre. After being given free carrot cake by a lovely coffee shop assistant in Andalsnes we were fueled up for the day. The hike started off with a steep ascent from 300m above sea level to around 1000m. Scrambling our way up to the ridge, the views just kept getting better! The view on top of the ridge will probably never be matched. It was something else entirely. Spreading across the whole valley floor was a meandering river that was mesmerizing to look at. Despite being dangerously close to the edge, the ridge walk was nothing but spectacular. It was challenging and exhausting, yet still lots of fun.
As we scrambled down the mountain, the sun started to set. The photo on the right shows the peaks we scrambled over earlier in the day.
On our quest to stay away from tourist traps we avoided Geiranger’s busy harbor and wild camped in a nearby lake. The lake lived up to its name and was very grand. The whole area was extremely calm and shielded from the wind, it was possibly the perfect camp spot.
Skåla was our big uphill hike that would see us go to the highest Norwegian mountain with its ‘foot in the sea’. As it turned out we had finally met our match; the weather. Halfway up Skåla, the weather dramatically turned to become very stormy and windy. At first this did not prove to be a problem, so we kept heading up the mountain, the views were impressive as we trekked through snow covered areas. Around 300m from the summit we suddenly got hit by some almighty gusts. In an effort to make it to Skålabu, (the mountain hut) we kept heading up. The wind speeds kept increasing as did the rate that which the rain was beating down on us. The conditions kept getting even worse so when we started to get uncomfortably cold we decided it was best not to carry on to the hut, it was simply far too dangerous. We had to turn back and descend the mountain, which was disappointing, but also the sensible thing to do.
We raced down the mountain in around 1 hour and a half, probably beating some record. We wanted to get off the mountain and into dry sleeping bags as quickly as possible. Luckily we had somewhere to camp at the base and get some much needed sleep.
After being fairly disappointing that we were not able to summit Skåla, we aimed to do one more hike whilst we were in Norway. It was decided to head into the Flåm valley and cut up one of the mountain paths to a lake. The hike was tough and we climbed around 1000m over a kilometre. It was hard work but rewarding to get to such an untouched lake. The clouds parted and revealed blue skies, something we hadn’t seen for a couple of days.
This trip had come to an end and it was great to leave it on a high note. We had experienced a lot during our time in Norway, winding roads, stunning scenery and awesome hikes. I returned to Norway in hope of delving deeper into the country and finding things many others don’t. We certainly got a taste of a purer Norway, a place which is untouched and unbelievably beautiful.
Thanks for reading,