NORWAY 2016

NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
NORWAY 2016
Norway is one of those countries that one needs time for proper exploring and gandering. So we gave it 2 very short weeks. BUT we have to choose well and wise. With only limited gear on us, all tucked away in little luggages, our big dreams of hiking Kjeragbolten, Preikestolen, Trolltunga - or even hardcore hiking in general - weren't quite realistic. So we decided to do other parts of Norway and hit up the rest at a later time (hopefully in the near future!) when we're more prepared.

I know! I was really looking forward to those big picturesque nature scenes that everybody keeps taking pics of! But from what I've heard, it's super crowded and touristy at the moment, peak season and all, so maybe it's good things didn't quite work out?

On top of all the hiking woes, Norway is one expensive AF country! Probably one of the more expensive countries we've ever been to! If not the entire Scandinavian region! Grocery shopping. Def a must.

Alright! Enough of that. Here we go!


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// LOFOTEN ISLANDS //
Picturesque island living at it's finest! Dotted with quaint fishing villages and iconic red rorbuer cabins and commanding mountainous backdrops. No less, in the ARCTIC CIRCLE! (I still can't get over that fact!) And at this time of year, ALL basking in 24 hours of sunlight goodness! (Another fact that I also can't get over!) It made night hiking the Svolvaergeita a memorable and surreal experience. A challenging hike, but totally worth the views that the Lofoten Islands are famed for. And afterwards? Driving back to our place in 2am twilight quietness and glowing Lofoten beauty. With jazz music in the air. Felt like we were the only 2 people in the world. Again, just reiterating this magical place. I really can't believe people actually live here.
>> Stay #1: Rorbu. ~$280/night.
>> Stay #2: Lofoten Summer Hotel. $50/night.
>> Stay #3: Finnholmen Brygge. $142/night.
>> Car Rental: Avis/Budget from Bodo Airport.
>> Ferry Ride from Bodo to Moskenes: $60.
>> Ferry Ride from Svolvaer to Skutnik: $33.

// BERGEN //
Ah. The gateway to fjord country. It's a surprisingly bustling city with it's own Nordic touch, but a nice place to hang out and enjoy the best of both worlds, modern civilization and seaside traditions, before hopping onto a boat to explore the fjords. A couple of days here is enough to get your fill, after all, the fjords are calling!
>> Stay: Marken Guesthouse. $37/night.
>> Flight from Bodo to Bergen: Norweigan Air. $300.
>> Shuttle from Airport to Bus Station: Flybussen. $11.
>> Fjord Boat Ride from Bergen to Alesund: Hurtigruten. $140.

// ALESUND //
I really can't get over the mix of Nordic and Art Nouveau architecture in this quaint town, making it a joy to walk around and enjoy the views. Not much to do here, but Alesund is a great base for day trips to Trollstigen and the kinda-out-of-the-way Hjorundfjord swing that's now gaining popularity through the travel Instagram community.
>> Stay: Alesund Youth Hostel. $30/night.
>> Car Rental: Europcar from Alesund Airport.
>> Train Ride from Andalnes to Dombas: $31.
>> Train Ride from Dombas to Oslo: $50.

// TROLLSTIGEN //
Probably one of the more scenic serpentine mountain roads I have ever seen! Also one of the most crowded and touristy, but it's blatantly clear why it's so popular. Dramatic waterfalls, both small and large, at almost every turn. The bird's eye view is just as dramatic. We actually visited Trollstigen twice. The fist time, it was so foggy that we couldn't see anything! The next day hailed better weather in the forecast. And this time around, we were simply blown away at what was hiding underneath all that fog from the previous day! What. A. Sight!

// HJORUNDFJORD //
An hour drive from Alesund, followed by 2 ferry rides with very limited ferry schedules - and we found ourselves at the somewhat remote Hjorundfjord. All that effort just to get to a famed swing. And it was worth it. This particular swing has been gaining popularity recently, but still under the radar, perhaps due to the fact that getting to it is slightly inconvenient. But we did enjoy 5 uninteruppted hours of swing time. No tourists. No crowds. No one! Just a gang of goats that visited us a few times to see what we were up to.
>> Ferry Ride from Solavagen to Festoya: $14.
>> Ferry Ride from Strandal to Trandal: $14.

// OSLO //
We honestly didn't do much in Oslo after 2 whirlwind weeks of roadtrips and boat rides through fjord country. A much needed chill time was in order and we did just that in the heart of Oslo, everything wonderfully close to our needs. Walking distance to the train and touristy streets and restaurants. Although I'm not sure why everybody says Oslo isn't as pretty as the other Scandinavian capitals. Must be a European thing, because from this American's stand point - it's still pretty nice to me!
>> Stay: My City Home. $90/night.
>> Airport Transfer from Train Station: $20.


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When: August 2016
Temp: 55-75F.
Places: Lofoten Islands, Bergen, Alesund, Trollstigen, Hjorundfjord, Oslo.
Stay: Refer to individual cities above.


-jin-