From Sea to Sky: 10 Amazing Places to Visit In Norway
Norway, the land of vikings, tunnels, fjords, oh the beauty.
Some of our Favourite Places
So if you're anything like me, now that you've seen some photos of the unreal beauty, you're already planning a trip to Norway. In that case, I've compiled a list of information on how to navigate the amazing country.
Make transport your friend
I hear that the National railway is an absolutely beautiful way to get around Norway. The train however, was on the upper end of our budget. Another great option is to take the bus, but with all 3 of us having to buy tickets, the cost was fairly similar to renting a small car. We thoroughly enjoy the flexibility that driving our own vehicle allows us, so we rented a vehicle. (I actually quite recommend renting a car because the countryside is breathtaking and it's nice to be able to go where you want when you want and to stop wherever and whenever.)
Okay, so now for the language difference. Pretty well everybody spoke English (ridiculously proficiently) so there was no language barrier when it came to speaking to locals. That being said, the names of the towns were mouthfuls and most signage was in Norwegian. There were traces of English here and there but I would say majority of signage did not cater to English speakers. Which is totally cool unless you're lost.
"Right to Roam"
One of the things I love most about Norway is "Allemannsretten" or "Right to Roam". Part of the country's identity is its scenery and they encourage exploring it. The right to roam means that you are able to tent anywhere on public land as long as it is 150 metres away from the nearest inhibited cabin or house. (some restrictions apply) So if you're headed to Norway, pack a tent! The only downfall is that open fires are not permitted in or near forested areas between 15 April and 15 September. And it still can get pretty cold at night, so keep that in mind.
how to make mealtime your friend
Now I don't want to scare you off, but eating in restaurants is not exactly cost effective. We spent roughly 45.00 Canadian on 2 beer and a hot chocolate at a beautiful street-side patio in Oslo. In Trondheim, we accidentally spent $50.00 on a pizza, thinking that pizza would be a cheap family meal. It is definitely possible to search out more frugal options, but if you're trying to keep costs down, I suggest purchasing a lot of your food in grocery stores and making some of your own meals.
As for accommodation, try shopping around. After a succession of rainy cold nights in the tent we decided that we wanted to stay in a nice warm and dry bed, so we called around to a few places. Somewhere outside of town there was a small ski lodge that was in the off-season that offered us a pretty wicked deal.
you don't need a route but leave lots of time for driving
Once out of the city, the beauty of the countryside Is undeniable. We headed towards Trondheim, no specific route just us and the open road. Up and up we drove following the road twisting itself through the mountain pass. In Canada, 100km takes roughly an hour at 100km/hr. Despite some differing suggestions from google maps we had assumed that the distances in Norway would take fairly similar amounts of time. All I have to say is, listen to Google Maps. For this instance, the facts don't lie. 300 kilometres would sometimes take us the entire day, between stopping to see beautiful landmarks, the narrow roads, ferry rides (and there are many of them) tunnels, and whatever else life threw at us, we drastically stretched the time we had allotted for driving.
Ferries, Tunnels and nasjonaleturistveger
Are there ever a ridiculous amount of ferries and tunnels in Norway. It's actually home to the longest tunnel in the world (It is 24 km long if I remember correctly.) Many of the tunnels are the fast easy alternate routes for a longer, more scenic drive around the mountain. Tunnels are time savers but driving over the mountain tops is BEAUTIFUL. If you get the chance, I recommend to slot in more time and take the "nasjonaleturistveger" which loosely translates to "National Tourist Route". There are many of them speckled throughout the country.
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Thanks for checking in. -R
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