Joel’s 20 Favourite Images from Norway

After wrapping up our first full year of teaching in Istanbul, we packed our trusty backpacks and headed off for a hard-earned summer holiday of friends, family, and adventure. This was the first time we traveled together over a substantial break with jobs waiting for us on the other end, so it was a great opportunity to chip away at our buckets lists. First stop: Norway! I’d always been entranced by the epic landscape images I’d seen out of the northern nation but had been scared away by backpacker horror stories of inflated costs. I’m happy to say we left the country satisfied both with our experiences and remaining budget. Best budget tips for Norway? Camp everywhere and self-cater. It didn’t cost much more than Canada as long as we followed those rules.

We flew in to Oslo and spent a couple of days wandering the city and getting our fill of quality Vietnamese and Indian food. After maximizing our museum cards, we picked up a rental car and began our grand tour, driving first to the stunning Lysefjord where we knocked out a couple day hikes along the steep ridges. From there, we followed the rocky coast northward, enjoying ferries and twisting Fjord-side roads to Odda and the trailhead to Trolltunga. Put off by the crowds we’d seen earlier, we abandoned our plan to do a two-day hike there in order to get deeper into the wilderness farther north.

After an enjoyable night in Flam, (in)famous as a port for cruise ships and as the terminus for Norway-in-a-Nutshell, we carried on to Bergen where we dried out in an AirBnb the size of a closet and hiked the ridge around town. Then it was northward once more over the highest road in the country and down into Jotunheimen National Park. A long, two-day, 50km loop hike took us far from the crowds and allowed us to enjoy Besseggen Ridge, the most popular hike in Norway, completely alone. From there, it was a bittersweet drive back south to civilization and an airport where C and I parted ways; she was headed home to be a lifelong learner and I was bound for Spain to cross the Camino de Santiago before we would reunite in London.

I took a lot of pictures in Norway. These are my favourites:

The Oslo Opera House was a shining example of positive design in public spaces. It functions like a concrete park and was bustling all the time.
The Oslo Opera House was a shining example of positive design in public spaces. It functions like a concrete park and was bustling all the time.

 

We wandered Oslo for a couple days and took a lot of pictures.
We wandered Oslo for a couple days and took a lot of pictures.

 

The Vigeland section of Oslo's Frogner Park was full of amazing sculptures made by the city's sculptor-in-residence.
The Vigeland section of Oslo’s Frogner Park was full of amazing sculptures made by the city’s sculptor-in-residence.

 

We watched the sunset from the tip of the Lysefjord as paddleboarders set out.
We watched the sunset from the tip of the Lysefjord as paddleboarders set out.

 

The famous pinched rock. Gale-force winds had us sliding flat-footed across the cliffs on the hike out, and I just couldn't muster myself to go out on it - too many amazing places left to see!
The famous pinched rock. Gale-force winds had us sliding flat-footed across the cliffs on the hike out, and I just couldn’t muster myself to go out on it – too many amazing places left to see!

 

The view from our second campsite along the Lysefjord's northern coast.
The view from our second campsite along the Lysefjord’s northern coast.

 

Taking a time-out on our hike up to Pulpit Rock.
Taking a time-out on our hike up to Pulpit Rock.

 

Off-camera, there are a hundred people queued for this shot. Our experience on the way up rerouted our planning for the better.
Off-camera, there are a hundred people queued for this shot. Our experience on the way up rerouted our planning for the better.

 

One of the many views we found just off the highway as we jetboiled up another brew.
One of the many views we found just off the highway as we jetboiled up another brew.

 

Self-catering isn't a punishing way to travel!
Self-catering isn’t a punishing way to travel!

 

C enjoyed the view as we walked the ridge around Norway's second largest city.
C enjoyed the view as we walked the ridge around Norway’s second largest city.

 

A last-minute Google map took us on a detour to the Nigardsbreen glacier.
A last-minute Google map took us on a detour to the Nigardsbreen glacier.

 

It has been melting for years now.
It has been melting for years now.

 

A nice view from the highest point on the highest road in Norway.
A nice view from the highest point on the highest road in Norway.

 

I picked up an ND filter and a tripod before our summer trips. C spent a lot of time patiently waiting for me to play.
I picked up an ND filter and a tripod before our summer trips. C spent a lot of time patiently waiting for me to play.

 

Our site in Jotunheimen National Park - no bears to worry about made us lazy cooks!
Our site in Jotunheimen National Park – no bears to worry about made us lazy cooks!

 

This is the most popular hike in Norway, and we had it all to ourselves!
This is the most popular hike in Norway, and we had it all to ourselves!

 

It was worth the walk the day before.
It was worth the walk the day before.

 

One last epic view before we walked back out to our car and began our travels southward and onward.
One last epic view before we walked back out to our car and began our travels southward and onward.

– Joel

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