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Old 5th September 2016, 20:34   #1
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Default Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia

There are times when it is tough coming back home. Why?

Here's why!

You get to drive on one of the craziest roads of the world!

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4280_1024.jpg

The roar of the waterfall, one of the thousands, sends you in a trance

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Every vista has a magic tale to narrate.

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You stop counting the hairpin bends, & have a tough time keeping your eyes on the road.

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4764_1024.jpg

Villages are so picturesque, you pinch yourself to believe your eyes!

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Your coffee spot is by the atlantic ocean.

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The Gondola takes you to a place so quiet, yet so serene, you start connecting to self.

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There are times when you park by the side every few minutes, to soak the views in

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You reach the top of a pass, and can backtrack your last 2 hours journey through your eyes!

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The term 'blue water' has a new meaning.

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_5341_1024.jpg
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Old 5th September 2016, 20:54   #2
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Default re: Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia

I would like to present a small photologue of the journey we undertook last month.

Country : Norway

Type : Self Drive

Team : 2 Couples, with 2 Kids (10 Month old & 2 year Old)

Distance covered : 2700 Kms

Vehicle : Citroen C4 Picasso 7-seater

Rental Company : Avis

Cost of Vehicle : $175 / day, all-options, unlimited mileage with comprehensive insurance and zero deductible

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4146_1024.jpg

Itinerary :

Day 1 : Oslo

Day 2 : Oslo - Oppdal

Day 3 : Oppdal - Kristiansund (Via Aursjøvegen mountain road)

Day 4 : Kristiansund - Atlantic Ocean Road - Bud - Molde

Day 5 : Molde - Alesund

Day 6 : Alesund - Strandfjellet Gondola - Alesund

Day 7 : Alesund - Trollveggen - Trollstigen Highway - Geiranger

Day 8 : Geiranger - Trek to Storseterfossen Waterfall - Eidsdal

Day 9 : Eidsdal - Stryn - Jostedalsbreen Glacier - Stryn

Day 10 : Stryn - Briksdal glacier - Bergen

Day 11 : Bergen - Flam

Day 12 : Flam - Aurlandsvegen Snow Road - Oslo

Day 13 : Oslo

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Old 5th September 2016, 21:14   #3
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Default re: Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia

Epilogue:

Back in April, I and my wife had started to discuss our next road trip. The planning was different this time around, with a (then) 6-month old as our new co-passenger. The discussion swerved from New Zealand to Turkey to Croatia to Spain (Almost froze on it). During those days, my cousin was also planning for a vacation with his wife and 2-year old. Since all of us were very well-traveled, there were a few places none of us had been to, before. Also, the criteria were :

- Neither too cold, nor too warm
- Kid friendly place
- Easy to rent a car and drive on Indian license
- Road-trip worthy destination
- Bent towards scenic beauty

After a lot of brainstorming and back-and-forth, Norway seemed (in hindsight) a no-brainer. It checked all the boxes, and then some more. Next came the phase of sorting out logistics.

MMT app was fired up, and in the next few minutes, we booked ourselves on Emirates - Ahmedabad - Dubai - Oslo - Dubai - Ahmedabad. With four months to go, there was ample time to figure everything else out. During this time, I used TripAdvisor's Norway Forum to good measure, and ensured the itinerary would put the 13 odd days to best use.

Schengen visas were stamped through Mumbai VFS route, and the rental car was booked off-Oslo Airport- a Citroen C4 Picasso or similar, they promised. This was an all-option MPV, with integrated GPS, sunroof, dual-zone climate control, 6-Speed AT, heated seats, and the works. They had also offered child seats (Infant / booster) at no extra cost.

Ladies got busy, packing food for the kids and back-up snacks for the vegetarians (All except me were no-meat guys).
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Old 6th September 2016, 08:04   #4
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Default re: Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia

Day 1 :

The excitement of what lied ahead was mildly subdued by the apprehension of how the babies would take to it. Although my 10-month old had already been on a few flights, the longest being a 5-hour one to Hong Kong, there were butterflies in the stomach - Long flights, weather, road-trip through unknown and sparsely populated sectors, et al.

My family's journey was a longer one : Mumbai - Ahmedabad - Dubai - Oslo. This was done for all to assemble at Ahmedabad and travel together from there. We had upgraded to Business for the Dubai-Oslo sector, in the interest of kid's comfort. Luckily, all the flights were on time, and with absolutely zero drama, we touched down at Oslo. Since the transit at Dubai was pretty short (1.30 hours), we just had enough time to change-over to the other flight.

Oslo Gardermoen Airport is a delightful little terminal, contrasting in nature to the fancy ones we usually come across at Dubai, HK, Singapore or NY. Immigration was a breeze too. However, due to some glitch, the luggage took another 2 hours to come in! Luckily, the kids were still being co-operative, despite being on the go for the last 20-odd hours!

With luggage coming in, we pulled up to the Avis counter at the arrivals, and the cheerful gentleman guided us to the rental parking lot. There was a sea of rental vehicles - from Tesla S to BMW GT (5), and from Escalade to Prius. We were shown to our companion for the next two weeks or so - Citroen C4 Picasso.

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_5746_1024.jpg

With stuff and passengers loaded, and formalities with Avis taken care of, we headed to our Hotel for the day - Scandic Holberg
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Old 13th September 2016, 19:29   #5
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Default re: Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia

A customary note about the car :

This was a 7-seater variant of the popular Citroen C4 Picasso, called the Grand C4 Picasso. It is a very handsome MPV, with contemporary styling and compact size. We picked up a 6-speed automatic Petrol (Rated at 165ps), that had barely clocked 2000 kms! This was as good as new.

In terms of creature comforts, there was enough and more - way too many features to be listed here. To touch upon the ones that stood out :

- Front seats with massager + heater, with the co-passenger seat having an electric foot-rest a la business class seats
- Interactive MID that ran half way through the dashboard
- Picnic tables at the back of front seats, with reading lamps
- Panoramic sunroof (Needed for such a beautiful road-trip!)
- Parallel park assist, with front and rear cameras / sensors
- Lane departure warning


Central Touch-screen control for Audio/Navigation/HVAC
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With the Indian consumers raving about Innova, I feel short-changed and completely out of options in India for a decent 7-seater.

Also, it is a quick and smooth car (8 odd second to a ton) with decent braking and dynamics. I won't say, it is the best money can buy - but is ages ahead of anything that we have on offer < 25 Lacs in India. The only glitch was the limited boot space, what with us packing like we have moved to Norway!

With Avis, we had taken a comprehensive insurance with zero deductive, for peace of mind, along with unlimited mileage. Since this was towards the fag end of summers (Tourist season), the deal was on the expensive side. However, this is probably the best car we could've rented out, with our needs.

Last edited by mathranik : 13th September 2016 at 20:16.
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Old 13th September 2016, 19:43   #6
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Default re: Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia

Day 2 :

Drive : Oslo - Lilehammer - Oppdal

Distance : 400 Kms


We started at around 10 am, taking it easy in the morning to have the kids get oriented, relax from the long previous day and segregate our luggage in such a way that we only have to remove a little bit every day rather than everything!

Also, I wanted to get a hang of the car for the first 50 kms on the highway. On a tankful, we hit the highway in a few minutes, driving towards the airport before turning towards Lilehammer. This was to be a relaxed 6 hour drive.

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Speed-limits in Norway for 4/6 lane divided highways was 100/110, and for 2-lane highways it was 70. I was told by my friend not to exceed the limit by more than 10%, since the fines can get pretty heavy.

A point on the tolls - The car had a RFID label pasted on the windscreen, and this would get charged automatically. You wouldn't even know there's a toll, unless you see the sign-boards on the side, as the cameras are mounted at a height, without having to pass by any lanes. Your rental company then charges your credit card at the time of return.

At some 100 kms from Oslo, we came across this pretty lake and one can't help but halt here!

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Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4053_1024.jpg

Such peace, such tranquility. The pictures don't do justice to the azure water that shone like a mirror.

A little after, we started driving parallel to a gushing river down in the valley. The weather was perfectly sunny, for some good music and a fun drive.

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The tarmac, with twists and turns, was a delight to drive on.

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Reached Oppdal at 4pm, and checked into our AirBnB apartment. It was a neat, cozy and comfortable 2 BHK with all amenities, a friendly host who lived elsewhere and a beautiful view. There isn't much to do in Oppdal with kids, although there's a lot for a trekker / hiker. This is a base camp for a lot of mountain climbs, and has ski slopes for winters. We drove around a bit, as there was a lot of daylight left (Got dark at 11pm!) and went to a beautiful mountain-top for these views.

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Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4092_1024.jpg


We went back to our apartment an hour or so later, and with the kids dozing off happily, the four of us got to Scrabble, before calling it a night. Tomorrow promised to be the real start to some serious adventure and fun!

Last edited by mathranik : 13th September 2016 at 20:32.
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Old 17th September 2016, 16:20   #7
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Default re: Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia

Day 3 :

Route : Oppdal - Aursjøvegen mountain road - Kristiansund

Distance : 200 kms

Today promised to be the start of the real fun, and we had decided to take the Aursjøvegen mountain road detour. This is a single lane, super narrow road for the most part, traversing the valley and passing by numerous still-water lakes, waterfalls, snow-clad mountains and some unbelievable scenery. Although narrow, there was hardly any traffic on it - with stretches where we came across zero vehicles for 15 kms!


Such drive, much Wow

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A Dozen Hairpin bends

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A Random still-water lake

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Basking in the beauty

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Such waterfalls were a common-sight

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The distance was hardly anything, but with the number of photo-ops available, we couldn't help but stop every few kms and gaze in awe. Good news again was that the kids seemed to be happy and liking it too!

We stopped for lunch, from the stuff packed earlier in the day, at this spot. I can do this every day for the rest of my life!

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With views like this, I ate more that I should have!

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The road kept getting more interesting by the mile!

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And then we reached a tunnel nee cave. It was absolutely dark in there , and eerie. On top of that, it seemed never-ending (checked later, to find out it was a couple of dark kms that seemed like forever!)

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Finally, light at the end of the tunnel

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Biker's Paradise?

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Towards the descend of the mountain road

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This is when the realisation struck, that we have been on this stretch of 90 kms for the longest time, not realising its already 3pm! The views kept getting better, and there was never a dull moment on the drive. As we climbed down the mountain to approach Kristiansund, the GPS instructed us to take a right but the signboard pointed straight.

We followed the signboard, and entered a tunnel. After what seemed like 3-4kms, as I looked onto the GPS screen anxiously, it showed the car to be in the middle of the sea! We were in an under-water tunnel, one of the dozens in Norway. After another few kms, we exited the tunnel to see the GPS distance-remaining go down by 20 odd kms! This indicated that the tunnel would've been new and not plotted on the maps yet.

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4219_1024.jpg

The complete drive was parallel to a river / Fjord with ever-changing colours of water and landscape. The waterfalls were so common-place that we had almost stopped noticing a few. I did notice, though, a giant fall a few feet from the highway that looked like dropping at least 300 feet and with a solid splash. Couldn't capture it, as the co-passenger didn't have camera handy.

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4217_1024.jpg

Another half an hour transversing the beautiful town of Kristiansund, and we reached our abode for the night - another AirBnB property. But, this blew us away completely.

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A huge Bungalow with landscaped garden in the backyard, with an area to play some badminton, a kayak at our disposal, lake in the back of the house and then some more! To top it all, it was sunny and beautiful.

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4222_1024.jpg

Last edited by mathranik : 18th September 2016 at 09:22.
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Old 19th September 2016, 11:12   #8
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th September 2016, 05:43   #9
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Default Re: Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia

Awesome thread, congrats on the great vacation. Awesome location for a vacation.

What are your thoughts on the car after the trip? Had it lived up to the promises? May I request you to post a quick review.
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Old 20th September 2016, 12:22   #10
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Default Re: Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia

Day 4 :

Route : Kristiansund - Atlantic Ocean Highway - Bud - Molde

Today was supposed to be the most anticipated day of the trip - after all, we were to drive on the much fabled Atlantic Ocean Road! Energy got the better of everyone, and we were up and running at 8 am (An achievement, given the kids). It was another sunny day, which comes at a premium in Norway, at the fag end of summers.

Our hostess helped us to a nice breakfast, while we soaked the sun in the backyard overlooking the lake. This promised to be a beautiful day.

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4223_1024.jpg

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4224_1024.jpg


We made our way out of Kristiansund, following the GPS towards Averøy. Another underwater tunnel awaited us, and this was another 8 km long well-lit and sloppy affair. For the record, it goes as deep as 250 meters, making it one of the deepest underwater tunnels in the world! I could feel the downward slope for the first half, as the ears went numb.

Soon after the exit, Atlantic ocean made its first appearance - Azure blue, calm and spell-binding!

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4225_1024.jpg

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4269_1024.jpg

Atlantic Ocean road is a spectacle, that attracts riders and tourists from across the globe. It regularly features in the top-10 best road-trips of the world:

From Wikipedia :

The road is a 8.274-kilometer (5.141 mi) long section of County Road 64 that connects the island and municipality of Averøy with the mainland at Eide. The road runs across an archipelago of partially inhabited islands and skerries.[2] To the north lies Hustadvika, an unsheltered section of the Norwegian Sea, to the south Lauvøyfjorden.[3] The road has a width of 6.5 meters (21 ft) and a maximum gradient of eight percent.[4] It consists of eight bridges and four resting places and viewpoints. Several tourist sites, including dining, fishing and scuba diving resorts, have been established on the islands.[5] Along with the section from Vevang to Bud, the road has been designated one of 18 National Tourist Routes.[6]


The Hulvågen Bridges looking towards the mainland
The road begins at Utheim on Averøy, close to the village of Kårvåg. It runs onto the island of Kuholmen and then across the 115-meter (377 ft) long Little Lauvøysund Bridge onto the island of Lille Lauvøy. It continues across the 52-meter (171 ft) long Store Lauvholmen Bridge onto Store Lauvøy. Next it crosses the equally long Geitøysund Bridge to Geitøya, which features a viewpoint and parking. It then runs across Eldhusøya and Lyngholmen, before reaching Ildhusøya, where there are a resting place, parking and a viewpoint. Next is Storseisundet Bridge, a cantilever bridge 260 meters (850 ft) long. The municipal boundary between Eide and Averøy runs under the bridge. It then runs across Flatskjæret, where there is a viewpoint, before crossing onto Hulvågen via the three Hulvågen Bridges, which combined are 293-meter (961 ft) long. From there the road runs through Skarvøy and Strømsholmen, both with a resting place. The route reaches the mainland over the 119-meter (390 ft) long Vevangstraumen Bridge



Now, to some eye-candy :

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Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4333_1024.jpg

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Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4335_1024.jpg

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4347_1024.jpg


Day 4 to be continued
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Old 20th September 2016, 12:29   #11
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Wow.. what a travelogue, nothing short of other Norway Travelogues and great captures. We were concerned on the 10 month old kid with us, but after looking at your successful completion, I feel we could have planned. But anyways would plan it sooner.

I have always admired Citreon's designs and this looks very catchy. The New Innova designer(s) might have been an old employee of Citreon , especially the front.
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Old 20th September 2016, 12:39   #12
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Default Re: Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia

Intriguing country Norway is!

1) Why is there such steep elevation at the entry/exit of bridges? There is lots of space around - so they could have opted for steady increase in elevation.

2) In Norwegian language, why are some "o"s crossed and some "a"s have tiny o's on top?
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Old 20th September 2016, 18:57   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Intriguing country Norway is!

1) Why is there such steep elevation at the entry/exit of bridges? There is lots of space around - so they could have opted for steady increase in elevation.

2) In Norwegian language, why are some "o"s crossed and some "a"s have tiny o's on top?
I know why the bridges are high, there . The Atlantic ocean can get pretty rough, and tides very high. This is to counter the rough sea.

The different As and Os are because of phonetics. They have a distinctly pronunciation that can either be sharp or short.

Quote:
Originally Posted by informmaha View Post
Wow.. what a travelogue, nothing short of other Norway Travelogues and great captures. We were concerned on the 10 month old kid with us, but after looking at your successful completion, I feel we could have planned. But anyways would plan it sooner.

I have always admired Citreon's designs and this looks very catchy. The New Innova designer(s) might have been an old employee of Citreon , especially the front.
Thank you for the kind words. The best is yet to come though! As for traveling with an infant / toddler, my thought on that has always been to go ahead. We first traveled with the kid when she was 3 months (Goa), then when she was 6 months (Hong Kong) and now this. So long as they get their sleep and food, while being warm enough (or cold enough in some cases), they are good to go. Just plan it at a sedate pace, and go have fun.


Quote:
Originally Posted by basilmabraham View Post
Awesome thread, congrats on the great vacation. Awesome location for a vacation.

What are your thoughts on the car after the trip? Had it lived up to the promises? May I request you to post a quick review.
Thanks! It is a fantastic country to travel to.

I will post a small note about the car at the end of this travelogue. In short, it is a brilliant machine in all aspects.
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Old 21st September 2016, 17:25   #14
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Default Re: Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia

Great report. I was there this summer and must confess its one of the best places to drive. Also a landscape photographers dream. I did mostly on trains and public transport. Even the normal cross country train from Oslo to Bergen is such an amazing journey and is a tourist must see in itself !
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Old 21st September 2016, 21:39   #15
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Continued : 4th Day

A fair bit of time was spent gazing at the Atlantic ocean, finding a nice spot for some coffee and snacks that we had packed and stopping by the many viewing spots.

We then continued our journey towards the fishing town of Bud. The scenery changed from blue to green - Windows 95 wallpaper-esque

Sheep to give us company - quintessential Europe

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4363_1024.jpg

Ideal scenery

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4364_1024.jpg

The trail to a hidden beach

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And the beach itself - warm enough for a quick dip

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4393_1024.jpg


Bud is a tiny town, known for its tranquility, fishing boats and a small peak that can be scaled by steps. We did that, for 360 deg views of the ocean and town.



Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4414_1024.jpg

Beauties at the foothill of the cliff

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4398_1024.jpg

View from the top

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4400_1024.jpg

Soothing view all around

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4403_1024.jpg

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4401_1024.jpg

Hopped down, and resumed our journey towards the last stop of the day - Molde. The town is buzzing for beautiful beaches, cafes and the views.

I can drive on this all day long

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4413_1024.jpg

Slightly busier as we approach the town. This is how wide most of the roads were all through Norway

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4417_1024.jpg

Just when you think you have seen it all for the day, one such sight comes in front

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4423_1024.jpg

Another vista worth a photo-stop

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4426_1024.jpg

A bright, pink moon-lit sky at 11pm

Magical Norway - 2700 km road-trip through the beautiful Scandinavia-thumb_img_4427_1024.jpg

Last edited by mathranik : 21st September 2016 at 21:42.
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My Norway Trip udaydesai Travelogues 36 12th October 2010 14:31
Road Trip–2700 KMs Europe & 3380 KMS UK + end-to-end. ramkya1 Travelogues 177 26th June 2010 14:54
Flashback to Miami(beautiful machines & beautiful bodies) & glimpses of Chicago Sidz Travelogues 57 11th September 2008 08:33


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