It will soon be a month since we left for our Norwegian adventure and seeing as I promised to write about what we got up to, I figured it was time to pull my finger out and share some holiday snaps!
This was my 4th trip to Norway and it really is one of my most favourite places to explore - each trip has been so different but every time the place has blown my mind! We have been twice in the Winter months and twice in the Summer now. This year we have been lucky enough to go twice and even though we stayed in exactly the same place, we had two totally different holidays.
I thought it might be nice to have a cheeky re-cap of my Norwegian trips so far before I gush about our latest adventure…
Oslo & Hemsedal : winter 2013
This trip was ‘Pre-Beard’; when we weren’t a couple but both went on a snow holiday with some of our friends. I fell in love with Norway there and then… as well this team of huskies!
Mandal, Kjeragbolten and Stavanger : summer 2017
Our first trip to Norway as a couple didn’t happen until a few years later. We went in the Summer months to explore the South coast, hike to the famous Kjeragbolten and took a quick trip to Stavanger, which is a great city to wander around!
We are lucky, because The Beard’s Dad lives in Stavanger so we often have a place to stay and can share the expense of food etc whilst we’re out there. Norway is a rather pricey country so this is one of the reasons we can visit more often and I will certainly never take it for granted.
bergen & Røldal : Winter 2019
You might remember me writing about this trip as it was back in April this year - you can read more in my ‘hello APRIL’ post if you need a re-cap (HERE).
My first time on skis, no snowboarding for me this time!
It’s so nice looking back and I feel incredibly lucky that I’ve been able to visit Norway so many times already. I’m rather excited to be able to share yet another trip with you now too! So read on to find out what we get up to this time around…
Røldal : Summer 2019
I’ll aim to keep this short and sweet, with PLENTY of photos so here’s a bit of a daily diary-style account of our holiday last month. Don’t panic tough! We were only away for a week so it won’t be super long.
DAY 1 : Luton - Bergen - Odda - Røldal
We flew from Luton to Bergen this time, we’ve flown from Gatwick before but Wizz Air proved pretty cheap and Luton is surprisingly easy to get to from Cambridge too!
We collected our hire car and started our journey to Røldal, but not before picking up some essential road snacks. Norway have the BEST crisps and some of my favourite chocolate-based snacks (that’s saying a lot for someone who doesn’t usually go for chocolate!)
We took the ferry from Jondal to Odda, which is a STUNNING drive and lovely crossing.
The road from Odda to Røldal is even better, with more incredible mountain and fjord views as well as some mighty waterfalls along the way. Låtefossen is so impressive and well worth stopping to check out.
We arrived at our Hytte at Røldal Skisenter just as the sun was going down. We stayed here in April on our snowy trip and even though it was a familiar view of the neighbouring apartments with the mountains and waterfalls behind, it still took my breath away.
DAY 2 : Baurbreen Glacier
After a bit of unpacking, food shopping and planning in the morning, we decided to drive out to nearby Folgefonna National Park and hike up to Buarbreen Glacier. It was a beautiful afternoon and the trail was so much fun, with plenty of bridges and ropes to help you up climb up steeper bits of rock.
We enjoyed a late picnic lunch in the sunshine at the top of the trail, including my favourite aforementioned chocolate snack!
We were treated to the most incredible view of the glacier in front of us and the valley behind.
We also made friends with the teeny-tiniest kitten and his Mum at the start of the trail! I found it quite hard to pull myself away from playing with the fluff ball - I almost got left behind whilst I was trying to figure out if I could take him with us.
DAY 3 : Trolltunga & Mini Prekistolen
Although Trolltunga is a tourist hotspot, therefore something Will and I would normally avoid, it is a hike we have always wanted to do. It’s a long old trek if you want to do it in a day and is totally doable but Will’s Dad suffers with his knees (after years of cross country skiing and adventuring!) so we decided to bring our lightweight tents with us and make a two day trip of it.
We took our time hiking the beautiful trail in towards Trolltunga and enjoyed glorious weather and views along the way. We had located a secluded, wild camping spot outside of the touristy parts (so as to avoid the ‘no-camping’ areas as well as people) and set up camp in the late afternoon.
We took another short hike out towards the main event, to Trolltunga itself and took a peek at the impressive rock formation and people queuing to get the perfect photo. We hiked past and followed the trail to ‘mini Preikestolen’, where there is an impressive chunk of rock sticking out of a cliffside, overlooking the gorgeous Lake Ringedalsvatnet.
After playing about on the rock, without another soul in sight, we hiked back to our tent and ‘enjoyed’ a dip in the freezing cold Lake by our little campsite.
We also enjoyed the most stunning sunset, whilst we warmed up with numerous cups of tea and our supper. It was wild camping at it’s absolute best!
DAY 4 : Trolltunga part deux
I woke up fairly early again and was treated to some beautiful views from the tent door as the sun rose. I enjoyed several cups of tea as I took in the colours and the beautiful morning silence.
We took the early morning opportunity to sneak out to Trolltunga and beat the crowds so we could take some silly photos on the Troll’s Tongue in peace. There were still a few keen campers there but it was pretty quiet overall and we had a bit of fun playing with photos.
After a bit of pratting about and just before more people started turning up, we headed back to the tents to pack up camp and start our hike home again. It became slightly overcast on the way back but was still a beautiful day and seemed like we were back at Skjeggedal in no time.
DAY 5 : Vøringsfossen
We decided to drive a bit further out of town to Vøringsfossen, where there was a great little hike down and along the river to another mighty impressive waterfall.
There was a bit of rock hopping and a bouncy bridge across the river, (which I had far too much fun running across!) but overall it was a nice, short route.
The viewing platforms up above the waterfall were great too. We had to drive up and around to them but it was well worth it - not that my photos do it any justice so you can have one of our cheesy mugs instead!
DAY 6 : sunrise coffees & lilletopp hike
I was up SUPER EARLY the following day so snuck out of our room with my book, made myself a coffee and spent the next hour watching the most beautiful sunrise from our little balcony.
The colours were incredible and I don’t think I actually read any of my book… just spent the whole time gawping and smiling at the sky in front of me! I also took a little video so you can see more of the gloriousness over on Instagram HERE.
Later that day we took a little trip into Odda and did the short hike up to Lilletopp, which runs up alongside the amazing Tyssedal hydroworks pipeline. It’s bonkers to think workmen hauled so much metalwork up the mountainside to build these impressive waterworks!
The views over Sørfjorden and towards the glacier from the top were incredible and although it was drizzling as we set off, we were treated to a bit of sunshine and more stunning views at the top.
DAY 7 : Tyssedal Via Ferrata
After seeing the Tyssedal pipework from the ground and path up to Lilletopp, the next day we got to climb up right alongside, underneath and over them as we hiked the Via Ferrata route.
I’ve never done any Via Ferrata climbing before and was equal parts nervous and excited. If you don’t already know, a Via Ferrata is a protected climbing route; often built with a steel cable rail fixed to rock, with metal steps, ladders and suspension bridges. You wear a helmet and harness and are always clipped into the metal work as you go, allowing you to climb up steep rock safely.
I LOVE stuff like this and although I’m not afraid of heights, whenever gear of any kind is involved in adventure activities my brain puts me in a bit of a tizz - mainly because I’m worried I’ll hurt someone else by getting things wrong. It’s a bit silly really because as soon as I get started and know what I’m doing I’m fine!
The cables, metal steps, ladders and bridges were bonkers and although it’s probably quite a tame via ferrata route, the steep drops and exposed rock face we were on at some points were enough to put the willies up me once or twice!
I LOVED every moment though and don’t think I stopped grinning all the way. Will, being a climber and 100% at home on the rock, took it all in his stride and enjoyed chatting to our knowledgeable guide about the history of the Tyssedal Hydropower industry, whilst I was finding my feet and trying to take photos of the amazing views (and rainbow!) along the way.
As part of the trip we also watched a short film about Odda and the Hydropower industry, which was fascinating (read more here). After the film we had a tour of the power station and museum, which may be one of the most beautiful industrial buildings I’ve ever been in.
Everything from the restored paint work and tiles to the control room was just beautiful. It’s well worth a visit if you’re ever in Odda!
After our little via ferrata adventure we took the mountain road back up and over into Røldal, where we were treated to some fantastic moody and misty mountain views! A pretty nice end to a great day!
DAY 8 : homeward bound
Sadly, it was time to go home and as we had a lunch time flight back to Luton, we set off for Bergen quite early in the morning. The ferry trip and drive back was pretty rainy but we were treated to one last burst of sunshine and a double rainbow(!!!) before we got to the airport.
I think it’s safe to say Norway treated us kindly with the weather while we were there and I will never forget some of the views and scenery we were lucky enough to experience.
Hopefully, judging by the photos so far, you can tell how magical a place Norway really is. It just keeps punching you in the face with it’s stunning scenery and mind-blowing views.
I hope we will continue to visit regularly and keep exploring different parts of Norway - my dream is to go much further North in search of the Aurora Borealis and maybe even try ice climbing again. We have also been talking about getting Buddy over there to tour around, which almost makes me wee with excitement just thinking about it!
Anywho, before I do end up getting over-excited, I’ll wrap up this little adventure post and hopefully be leaving you with a huge wanderlust for exploring Norway too…