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: