Sunday, 28 August 2016
NORWAY.... NO WAY!
Hi folks, I'm back!
I haven't posted anything over the last few weeks as I've been away on a respite trip to Norway with Hubby, Daughter Number Two and The Hungry boy. Wow! What a country!
I visited Stavanger many years ago when I was around 13 (athletics exchange trip) and I remember it being a beautiful country from back then, but I have never been back.... until now.... and had forgotten how spectacular a place it really is!
Below you can check out our travel itinerary and some pics from our trip as we flew in to Stavanger and made our way up to Bergen..... driving, hiking, exploring the fjords and Airbnb(ing) in between. But first this week, however, I felt that I wanted to address the idea of "tunnels" again......
It's quite ironic actually... given that one of the last post I wrote here on the blog was all about tunnels and my utter dislike/ fear/ anxiety of them. I kind of hadn't prepared my self for the sheer number (and extreme nature of them) as you drive around the fjords in Norway. Doing a driving trip there, you really can't avoid them... unless you go everywhere by boat.
Two of the worst tunnels were as we made our way to Alvadsnes (to a viking village).....one was around 6 km long and the other around 7km.... and you have to drive under the sea for both!
Driving on the roads by the side of the fjords there are tunnel after tunnel..... otherwise there would be no way of getting any further if the road ended at each massive rock. It got me thinking of how tunnels are a necessary, if not extremely useful part of the Norwegian road infrastructure.They get you from A to B the most direct and quickest way. In fact if there were no tunnel and you had to take the "long way" it would be a huge inconvenience for everyone.
After the analogy of tunnels in the previous post, I had the realization that our tunnels/ trials are actually the quickest .... (may I even say easiest way?) to our destination! Now that may sound odd.... trials being easy?
Trials are hard.... hence the word trial.... we are tried and tested and hopefully emerge stronger and better at the end of each one... more refined and a better human for it. But what if we had no trials/ no tunnels in our lives? We would then have to take the longer route.... maybe the less painful route and definitely the more scenic route....so what's wrong with that?
Nothing. Sometimes that's exactly what we need... but sometimes it's not.
So when I say "easy", I am not negating the difficulty of "the way" through the tunnel, rather the fact that a tunnel is more practical, utilitarian and quicker..... sometimes you just have to get from A to B in the fastest way possible so you can go somewhere else and move on to the next place!
SO I would invite you to consider as you travel through your own personal tunnels/trials that you are actually going to get where you need to be in a more timely way in the long run!
Anyhow.... I survived the tunnels...I'm still alive.... and in the end as I look back, they weren't as bad as they seemed while I was traveling though them.... and in the end the gift of "time saved" meant we could actually fit more in on the trip!
If you have always dreamed about going to Norway, or have it on your bucket list of things to do and places to visit.... you may want to scroll below to see our itinerary....
Day 1 -
Fly in to Stavanger airport, pick up rental car and drive in to Stavanger town to find Airbnb number 1 (for two nights)
Walk to the harbour through the old town and explore....
Day 2 -
From Stavanger drive on E39 and then along the Road number 13 (the scenic way) to Lauvik.
Take the ferry from Lauvik to Oanes and continue on the 13 until signposted to Priekestollen (pulpit rock)
Climb pulpit rock, peer over edge, and drive/ferry back to Stavanger again for the second night!
Day 3 -
Leave Stavanger and take E39 north.
Take ferry from Mortavik to Arsvagen.
Continue on E39 through the two under sea tunnels to Avaldsnes.
Stop at viking village and Nordvengen History centre.....
.....Drive from Alvadsnes to Dreganesvengen to arrive at Airbnb number two in Dreganes for two nights
Day 4 -
Drive from Draganes to Vikedal...
Check out waterfalls and climb Skomakarnibba (a less touristy version of Trolltunga)
Drive back to Dreganes for second night and enjoy sunset.
Day 5 -
Drive from Dreganes to Skanevik and take ferry to Utaker
Drive from Utaker to Rosendal to arrive at Airbnb number 3 for three nights
....stopping along the way for swimming and food.
Day 6 -
Walk up to the waterfall and take a dip in one of the pools
Walk to Barony Rosendal and look around and eat at the Greenhouse
Walk around the stein park (stone park)
Build a dam in the river for hours!
Day 7 -
Hire sea canoes and mess around on the fjord for a few hours.
Drive to Sundal to walk up to the glacier...stopping off to see waterfalls along the way.
Drive back to Rosendal for third night.
Day 8 -
Drive from Rosendal to Arsnes.
Take ferry from Arsnes to Gjerdmunshamn.
....Drive from Gjerdmunshamn to Venjaneset and take ferry to Hatvik.
.....Drive from Hatvik to Bergen.
Take the Fløibanen funicular up to the view point on Mount Floyen and eat lunch taking in the view.
Walk back down the three kilometers to Bergen Harbour and look around the Old Town.
Drive to Bergen airport and fly back home.
I just loved Norway...it's amazingly peaceful and around every turn of the road you see mountains, sea, fjords, lakes and waterfalls and it's the perfect hikers paradise. The weather was even in our favour for most of our trip and we got the bug to go back and explore some more in the future.
I hope the pictures have tempted you to go organise your next trip and I hope you get the opportunity to visit somewhere special real soon .....