Norway/Sweden – May 2011

Having visited Norway in July 1975 as part of our big overseas trip, we were keen to travel there again, as it held such strong memories for us. We’d loved the countryside for its spectacular scenery and variety, and its wild, rugged and underpopulated feel. We had met our friends Kym and Sue in Oslo and spent a good two weeks travelling around with them, punctuated by breakdowns of our Commer van (a lemon if ever there was one) and the necessity to all fit into one van – cosy! So this time we vowed we’d have a reliable vehicle at least.

Mike and Meg were happy to join us for the adventure, and we had fun fitting the four of us, plus camping gear and lots of food into the relatively small Renault Megane. It was a red letter day when we could reduce the number of duffel bags in the middle of the back seat from two to one! We set off from Kiel and were able to leave some stuff at Emmy’s, or we would never have fitted. Our route took us through Denmark (stopping only for lunch) and up the Swedish coast. By Day 2 we were at Odda, after a wonderful drive across the southern part of the country through green spring countryside, towns, tunnels, forests, past thundering waterfalls and along half frozen lakes, up into snow country and back down to fjord level. This pattern continued as we explored the fjords and coast. The scenery was often awe-inspiring, and we were impressed by the roads with their numerous tunnels, bridges and ferries tying the country together.  We camped when the weather looked OK, and stayed in a Hytte (cabin) when it looked like rain.

As we headed further north from Trondheim it got colder and starker, less spring-like and more like winter. (We certainly beat the rush, tourist-wise!) The Lofoten islands, past the Arctic circle were our northernmost point,and here we were lucky enough to see the midnight sun -a very special moment! We also brought out the down jackets and woolly hats. On our way back south we headed across to the Swedish Baltic coast and visited the famous High Coast or Hoga Kusten (still rising after being weighed down by huge glaciers in the most recent Ice Age) and then inland past lakes and forest back through Denmark (stopping once again for lunch) to Germany.

photo Photos

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Rough map of our route. We were amazed to see partially frozen lakes on the way across towards the fjords. (Near Va) Little did we know... 7th May 2011 Extensive snowfields in the high country before we descended towards Roldal and Odda. 7th May, 2011 Beautiful snow country on the plateau. 7th May 2011 Lovely campground just north of Odda. We almost had it to ourselves. 7th May 2011 Walk to the Buerbreen (glacier) south of Odda. 8th May, 2011 Glacial ice towering above us. 8th May, 2011 The "kids" went a bit further than us. The steep icy slope deterred us a bit! 8th May, 2011 The Buerbreen seen from the other side of the valley. 8th May, 2011 Looking down onto the Sorfjord, north of Odda. 9th May, 2011 Waterfall #2 on hike near Kinsarvik - spectacular! 9th May, 2011 Waterfall #3. Wow! There was a waterfall #4 further up the valley - didn't get there, too snowy. 9th May, 2011 Sunset view from our campground at Eidfjord. 9th May, 2011 Bridge pylons on both sides of the Hardnagerfjord near Bruravik. The bridge is due for completion in 2013. The Norwegians are amazing road, bridge and tunnel builders! 10th May, 2011 Putting up the tents south of Bergen. A bit chilly, this night but they had a camp kitchen. 10th May, 2011 Drying the washing in the sun the next morning. Now it's T-shirt weather! 11th May, 2011 Part of the Bryggen in Bergen, World Heritage wooden warehouses first erected 900 years ago. 11/05/11 A lovely day in Bergen! 11/05/11 The Bryggen from across the water. 11/05/11 They're big people, these Norwegians! 11/05/11 Cute little cabin in Flam. The predicted rain never quite eventuated but it was a good excuse for a bit of cosiness! 12/05/11 Boat trip from Flam along the fjord to Aurland and then up the Naeroyfjord, Norway's narrowest. 13/05/11 Spectacular rock faces! Saw some seals and dolphins and lots of very agile seagulls. 13/05/11 Walk up to Myrdayl that afternoon.13/5/11 Yeah..... Don't let them tell you Norwegian is like German or anything else! Just as well they do pictures as well! 13/11/11 Slightly less clement at Myrdal! 13/5/11 And a bit of rain on the way back down. 13/5/11 Cute little lambies at Aurland. 14/5/11 World's longest road tunnel at 24.5 km from Aurland to Laerdal. 14/5/11 Stave church at Kaupanger from 1150 AD. 14/5/11 We were lucky enough to get a look inside. 14/5/11 Part of the Jostedalsbreen  (huge glacier) near Faerland. 14/5/11 Byrkeljo - lovely spot! 14/5/11 Historic pulloff where we'd camped with Kym and Sue in July 1975- still looked the same. 14/5/2011 Bert and Ethel perched above the fjord all those years ago! Note that Ethel is being repaired (again). Knut's campground near Loen- don't you just love those grassy rooves! 14/5/11 Morning reflections on the way up to Briksdal Another part of the Jostedalsbreen near Briksdal. A bit wintry all of a sudden. 15/5/11 Snowy road above Geiranger. 15/5/11 Speccy walk the next morning. Looking back towards Geiranger. 16/5/11 Part of the Geiranger fjord from above. Wow. The cleared area above the waterfall was a farmlet. 16/5/11 Driving out of Geiranger - another amazing road. 16/5/11 Near the top of the Trollstigen. 16/5/11 And down, down... into another glacial valley to Andalsnes. 16/5/11 Late afternoon sun and new snow on some of the peaks of the Romsdal. 16/5/11 Norway's National Day! 17th May. We finally caught a parade in Einesvagen. The Atlantic Road - stylish bridge. 17/05/11 It curves beautifully - we drove over it and back again. 17/05/11 Trondheim's Bryggen- the old and the new. 18/05/11 Travelling north into a wintry landscape every time we left sea level. 19/05/11 Brrr.. There's a souvenir shop here - had just opened for the season. 19/05/11 Pretty bay north of Fauske. 20/5/11 Our "rorbu" - fisherman's cottage near Kabelvag in the Lofoten Islands. 20/5/11 View from the deck of our "rorbu". Ever-changing light and water level. 20/05/11 View over Svolvaer from the top of the nearby hill we climbed. 21/5/11 Drying racks of (very smelly) cod at Svolvaer. 21/5/11 Beautiful bay of Vikbukta. We found a quaint "rorbu" here after a day that included a flat tyre, rain, a hike, and almost giving up on finding affordable accommodation. 22/05/11 Our little rorbu. It had bunk beds and the bathroom was a way down the hill - so cute! 22/05/11 The midnight sun near Vikbukta-  yes it really was midnight! ( a bit after, actually.) So hard to get to sleep afterwards. 23/05/11 Reine, near the southern tip of the Lofotens. The weather has gone downhill today. 23/05/11 On the ferry leaving the Lofotens, 24/05/11 Beautiful views in all directions. 24/05/11 After a night of rain, heading to Sweden on the E12. Poor little Asterix - it was 0 degrees and his dashboard display was flashing the distressing news. 25/05/11 Our first reindeer. 25/05/11 Tranquil bay on the Baltic Sea in the Skuleskogen National Park. 26/05/11 Walk in the Skuleskogen National Park. 26/05/11 Lovely views to the east, Skuleskogen National Park. 26/05/11 Walking out of our camp, Skuleskogen National Park, the next morning. 27/05/11 Tivedens National Park, Sweden. Beautiful old forest. 28/05/11 And back over the water towards Germany. 29/05/11

Posted on November 9th, 2011, tagged with events

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