SUMMER 2016. After graduating from school, my parents made me the best present ever – a 17 days vacation to Norway.
Our trip started with the Color Fantasy Ferry (Norwegian ship) from Kiel/Germany at 2 pm. The photo below shows our sunset view from the ship around 11:30 pm.
After a silent night on sea, I woke up at 6 am, when we passed the entry of the ‘Oslofjord’. Luckily we had the privilege to have an amazing various breakfast in the ship’s panorama restaurant with view on the Fjord and its first small Norwegian houses.
Arriving in Oslo at 10 am, we first needed to get out of the ferry, which in Norway takes definitely longer than in Germany. (sorry to all Norwegians, but it’s true!)
First time, first day in Norway. From Oslo – to Vikersund: our first action was to visit the world’s largest Ski Flying hill as it was on our way to Fjord-Norway. Vikersund is truly beautiful and of course the hill too, but there were definitely too many stairs to climb the top in that hot summer sun with 27 degrees.
MAURANGERFJORD. On the photo above, you can see the place where we stayed for two weeks. It was a pretty house in a typical Scandinavian style situated directly at the Fjord. We also shared a jetty together with our neighbor house, but in contrast to them we never went out for fishing. And before you ask, no, I also didn’t swim. First reason, it was raining 12,5 of 14 days, second reason – we had around 7-13 degrees every day. Don’t ask which temperature the water has had…
Anyway the most fascinating thing for me is still the fact that it doesn’t’ get dark in Norwegian summer nights. It’s just so amazing…you almost don’t need any light when you’re out at 2 or 3 am. At the place we’ve been, we had the sunset around 11:30 pm, but it didn’t really get darker after it.
BONDHUSVATNET. A lake in the mountains near Sundal at Maurangerfjord. It was quite an easy walk to and around the lake in this beautiful Norwegian nature. Pure silence and relaxation for soul – similar to the European Alps, but yet so different.
ODDA. A village at one end of the famous Hardangerfjord with a small fishing port surrounded by snowy mountains. Actually we wanted to look for some fish there, but it looked like we will not find any fresh fish at this port. In the end it turned out that there is only one small hut selling fresh fish. And the funny thing was, it is running by two Germans who live near Odda already since years – very kind people and honestly, the best fish we got during our whole time in Norway!
HARDANGERFJORD. I really couldn’t imagine that I would find cherry and apple plantations in Norway…but well, I did. That showed me once again how various Norway actually is. Concerning weather in Norway everyone mostly think about cold temperatures and rain, especially at the Fjords, but it seems like they must have some nice summer days too.
HARDANGERVIDDA. What an interesting landscape. I’ve never seen something like that before and although it was pretty cold (like 5 degrees) it amazed me in a special way. I’m sure that for all who are not so much into nature, it would look just boring as it’s a very simple and not much diversified landscape. But exactly that’s the reason why for all nature lovers, it’s everything, but not boring. Hills covered with tundra and snow. Only a few moss and small lakes. Actually there is just nothing, but that makes it interesting, at least for me. I felt kinda free and just out of any stress.
BERGEN. A famous city in West Norway with 248 days of rain per year – the rainiest city in Europe. As the photo shows and as I expected before, I wasn’t able to chose one of the 117 nice days. But when you’re already one week in Norway, you don’t complain about weather anymore – just ignore it.
Bryggen is in my opinion not only the most interesting, but also the best part of Bergen, including Mount Fløyen – nice sight point you can read with a cable car. The rest is more like city…For everyone who plans to visit Bergen in the future, I recommend to have a look at the small stores in and between the houses of Bryggen. Also there is a huge fish market (pretty expensive) at the port near Bryggen, quite interesting too even if you don’t wanna buy something.
FOLGEFONNA. With 214 square kilometers it’s the 3rd largest glacier of Norway. We saw just a few parts of it around Odda, Jondal and Sundal. Very impressive, so thick ice…Concerning nature, Norway has just everything I love. Mountains with snow in summer, huge glaciers and all that directly at the Fjords. Isn’t that amazing?
Well, I could tell you so much more of places my parents and me have visited, but I will switch now to the last part, our 3-days-stay in Oslo. If you’re interested in some more places/photos, just visit my gallery. I will chose some of my thousands of photos to give you an overview.
SCANDIC HOLMENKOLLEN PARK. Probably people who don’t know that place would ask: What is it? Is it a church? Well, it is a hotel. And there is no doubt that this is the best placed hotel in Oslo with the greatest view over the city and Fjord! Also I should mention their breakfast! So various and delicious – best breakfast I ever had in a hotel…from cereal, fish, porridge to warm things like small potatoes and small sausages, just everything. The same on the Colorline Ferry by the way!
Just a few 100 meters away from the hotel, you find the Midtstua Ski Jump Hills and the famous Holmenkollen Ski Jump Hill with the sports areas for Biathlon and Cross Country next to it. By train you can easily reach the city center in only a few minutes.
OSLO. Norway’s capital and biggest city. As you might already know, I’m not the biggest Fan of cities, but to my own surprise I felt a bit different in Oslo. It’s a quite ‘clean’ city with a nice character and different parts, from old to very modern. The photo above shows the ‘Karl Johans Gate’ – the main street in the center of Oslo and probably the most famous for its very expensive and individual shops.
In the previous years Oslo was listed as the most expensive city in the world! And when you’re looking around for dinner or a beer, you know why. My parents and me decided to have dinner at an Italian restaurant because it was the ‘cheapest’ we found. We only had three pizzas, no drinks (water was for free) and payed around 80 euros. By the way, if you’re looking for a 0,5l beer, you have to pay at least 12 euros (up to 17 I think). Some more examples:
- 2 hours parking near the port = 20 euros
- using a toilet in a shopping center = 5 euros (only credit cards were accepted)
- small beer 0,2l = 7/8 euros
Generally, you can/have to pay everything by card in Norway. The problem might be, especially in Oslo, you often need a credit card.
Back to sightseeing. Of course I did the same tings like every tourist – doing a city tour by bus which included the ‘Vigelandpark’ (sculpture park) and the Holmenkollen Ski Arena. Other things I can recommend to do are walking through ‘Aker Brygge’, to the Opera House or the Royal Castle. And again, there are much more places I’ve been at in Oslo, but it would take too long to talk about everything.
If you have any special questions to any of the places or to my trip, let me know!
MORE PHOTOS in my GALLERY -> NORWAY.!