1.Of Course the beauty and nature
Norway is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on this earth, and this alone should be a reason to visit Norway! The country is encompassed with mountains, glaciers, and deep coastal fjords. The whole time we were in Norway all me and Cole kept saying was, ‘I cannot believe how beautiful this place is!’ It is honestly unbelievable, you can stand in any spot and be amazed.
On our first night camping, we were both pretty excited to be starting our adventure in Norway, but to add to this when we looked outside our tent door the scenery was like a painting and there were thousands of stars above, we both just looked at each other in amazement. The clear night skies will always be something I will remember about visiting Norway, as there was just an abundance of stars. My most favourite night was when we were camping in Lysebotn and we were both a bit stressed from the drive and not being able to put the tent up quick enough (Cole’s one and only mardy), and we looked up at the sky and the stars were breathtaking.
However, when people think of Norway their main focus is on the fjords and mountains, but Norway also boasts some of the best beaches. Along the south coast, the beaches have white sand and the clearest water (although very very chilly). I would recommend doing the national tourist route that runs from Ogna to Bore, and runs along the coast of Norway.
So if pristine waterfalls, dramatic cliffs, thick forests, majestic fjords, and white sand beaches are for you, then Norway is the place to be.
Norway enables everyone the right to roam and gives unrestricted free access in the countryside and national parks. There are a few rules in which you must follow which are; be considerate and thoughtful, do no make lasting damage, and leave the landscape as you would want to find it. So this law allows you to camp in a tent, or sleep under the stars for the night anywhere in the countryside, forests, or mountains! Although you must keep 150 metres away from any inhabited house or cabin. This also helps with the cost of travelling around Norway, as many people know, it is a very expensive country, and this is one of the main reasons people put off going to Norway. But with wild camping being free, this saves you a lot of money and gives the most surreal experience and the most amazing view to wake up too.
In other terms of freedom, we had a car like many others, and therefore had the freedom to go where we wanted too. We swapped and re-arranged our plans day by day so we were not stuck to a rigid plan like when you go on some other trips. For example, when we were in one destination and weren’t or couldn’t do what we planned, we could easily jump back in the car and head off to another.
3. Cultured capital city
It is easy to forget the capital city of Oslo when you think of Norway, as one may only think of the landscapes of fjords and mountain ranges. However, Oslo has so much to offer with world-class museums, galleries and cutting-edge architecture.
The tops museums are; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Norwegian Nation Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to visit these 3 museums, but we did get to go Nobels Fredssenter (Museum of the Nobel Peace Prize). There were many exhibitions on, and we both really enjoyed our time walking around, being inspired by these amazing brave people.
Around Oslo, there are also various sculptures and statues outdoors. There are a number of sculpture parks, a sign Norwegians truly love the outdoors when they want their sculptures outdoors rather than in museums! So you can either visit these parks such as Frogner Park or Ekeberg park, or simply walk around Oslo and see what you find. Cole found a new friend…
Norwegians also love coffee and there are an array of coffee shops where you can grab a quick coffee and a cake or pastry! With the average Norwegian drinking nearly 2 cups of coffee a day, the cafe culture is very popular in Oslo. Perfect place for me as I myself am a keen coffee drinker (maybe I’m Norwegian!).
4. Challenge yourself
Although Norway’s nature is incredibly beautiful, it can be challenging. You can challenge yourself, whether this is a hike, an extreme sport, or simply just the wild camping (I definitely found this factor challenging at some points). They have such a range of activities you can do from kayaking to bungee jumping, so there is honestly something for everyone or something new to try.
Our main challenge was hiking. We both have never really been on hiking holidays, apart from our one day in the Peak district, but even then we got lost on the trail and only hiked for a few hours. So when we were faced with steep climbs, and 22km hikes we were challenging ourselves and our bodies.
My main challenge was stepping onto the boulder at Kjerag! I am clumsy, I fall over my own feet so stepping onto a boulder 1000 metres above water with no hand rail was a big challenge for me! But after climbing 3 steep climbs I got to the top and thought I didn’t do all that to not stand on that boulder. And guess what I did it, and did not fall! Hooray!
5. Perfect Photo Opportunities!
Lastly, in Norway, you will get some of the most amazing photos that you can treasure forever. I love looking back on our pictures from our adventure, and reminiscing on our times hiking and sleeping under the stars (oh and eating lots and lots of coop cookies!). Trolltunga, Kjerag, and Preikstolen gave us some of the most amazing photos at the top of the climbs that we will both treasure forever.
Here are some of our favourites!
Until next time,
India and Cole