By Constantin Gerlach & Laura Droße
Experiencing how the weather changes between high plains and small cities by the sea. Losing track of time in between fjords and roads. Exploring some 3.000km Norway by car, ferry and foot. That has been our idea since leaving Germany far behind and starting to our first venture north #onthenorway.
None of us had been to Norway before and anticipation was quite high as we do love the roughness of the Atlantic Ocean, the solitude of tiny scattered coastal islands and the open roads leading through big plains (Norwegian: "fjells"). When we started the engine of our MINI countryman, that would serve as our own home on wheels for the next 18 days, our cameras were fully charged and our heads already filled with hopes of the images waiting for us on the road.
Traveling off season gave us the luxury of empty roads and campgrounds and at times of complete and utter silence. When it wasn't completely quiet, we were surrounded by the sounds of nature: heavy rains and the stormy sea, countless roaring waterfalls as the snow was melting fast on mountains and fjells, and the growling noise of a moving glacier, which left us humbled and speechless.
The scenery was changing blisteringly fast and so was the weather! 18 days were enough to experience it all: radiant sun and 20+°C gave us our first sunburn of the year, never-ending rain left us and our gear soaking wet and frozen, while we found ourselves in knee deep snow on the fjells near Oppdal.
Some days we started with a freezing cold "shower" in the river and ended with fresh prawns from our campfire. We woke up with the most scenic views we could have wished for and fell to sleep to the songs (aka screams) of myriads of sea gulls. By the end of the trip we were addicted to "Canelsnurrer", the Norwegian version of a cinnamon bun.
Before it has been a guess, now it's a certainty: we need to go back #onthenorway!
Our five most important tips for your own road-trip through Norway:
1. Go off season! Especially the narrow mountain roads are better without heavy caravan traffic.
2. BYOB! Get your booze at the duty-free, even in regular supermarkets it will cost you a fortune to get beer or other alcoholic beverages.
3. Regardless the assumed availability of fresh fish everywhere, its quite expensive (and at times hard to find). But: Fresh prawns from the local supermarket are exquisite and you'll get it by weight for a convenient price basically everywhere!
4. Have an extra sweater and/or rain jacket with you at all times. Weather can change in a heartbeat and sometimes temperatures can fall 10°C and more within one hour!
5. Norway is so much more than the fjords! Try to hike through the National Parks and explore the Fjells and Islands, too. You will be stunned by the diverse landscapes!