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Uprasenjit 15th August 2018 14:06

Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
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Who doesn't want to drive on this crazy road ?



There are very few wishes in life which comes true. Fortunately one of my wishes is about to come true. I am about to start one of the best road trips in the world. I am so excited that I started writing this thread way before the journey. In 2017-18 I have been to many countries in Europe. I drove to many cities this year and all the road trips are equally fantastic. Autobahn and route 500 in Germany, A500 in Scotland, Road to Matterhorn in Switzerland - all of them are special in their own way.

There are two places in Europe which is in my road trip bucket list - Iceland and Norway. I was adamant to cover either of them this time. Iceland was way out of my budget this time of the year so I started researching about Norway. After going through several sites including Team BHP, reading fellow bhpians travelogue we came up with the below plan. 5 days wasnt enough but we had to make something out of it.



Just before I start writing I want you to have to look at the scenic drive routes in Norway, there are 18 of them. These are according to the Norwegian are carefully chosen national tourists roots. And yes we drove on many of them.


https://www.dangerousroads.org/europ...in-norway.html

Uprasenjit 29th August 2018 16:49

re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
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I am just back from Norway and like always we didnt follow the plan cent per cent. Instead we decided based on weather and time. The weather wasnt that supporting this time but I can tell you one thing that Norway is by far the most beautiful country I have visited. Not comparing with India though lol:

We knew Norway was costly, so to save money we booked apartments and cabins with kitchen and private bath. We cooked our own food except the first day.


Day 1: Oslo - Ulvik (350 km)

We reached Oslo the day before and stayed at a hotel nearby. Our car was booked with SIXT. Car rent in Norway is higher than many countries in Europe. In the morning I went to airport and picked up the car. Initially I booked a small automatic hatchback but when I went there any hatch wasn't available. So they gave me a mid size automatic hybrid- Toyota RAV4. I was quite happy to get a car this size because for any long journey a mid size car is better than a small hatchback. Toyota RAV4 has thousands of features which took me 3 days to get used to.

We had our breakfast and packed our bags in the car. It was time to start the road trip. Our first destination Vøringfossen was 300 kms away. So most of our time was spend driving to the destination. After crossing around 100 kms the weather started to deteriorate, and what was sunny in Oslo was cloudy and rainy near Vøringfossen.

Waterfalls are very common in Norway. Every 10 km and you will get to see a waterfall. But this one was majestic. Voringfossen is 180 meters high. There are multiple viewpoints. On the highlands there is a platform made for the tourists and the waterfall can be seen from above. There is also a trekking route of 2 km which will give a better and front view of the waterfall. Due to rain the trekking route was slippery and dangerous. I did try the trekking route but at one point of time I thought it was better to do a drone video rather than walking lol:

It was drizzling in the afternoon. So instead of trekking further we drove towards our hotel. In summer as the days are longer than the night we get more time to see places. When we reached the hotel at 7pm it wasnt dark at all. The check in process was smooth and we were given our rooms immediately. The son of the owner was managing the hotel at this time and along with being the manager he was the only cook. He cooked us a hamburger and salmon. Not the tastiest I have ever had but it was good.

Norway is colder as it is in the northern part of Europe. End of August is usually monsoon so more than warm clothes you need raincoats. It kept on drizzling till the end of the day.


Uprasenjit 31st August 2018 21:13

re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
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Day 2 - Ulvik to Bergen via Steinsdalsfossen (150 km)

The morning was beautiful with sun shining on our faces. Ulvik is a very beautiful place and not many tourists comes to stay here. I met a 60+ aged gentleman from USA who hired a 1000cc motorcycle from Oslo and was on a roadtrip. We had little chat about motorcycles and how it is different in a car and a motorcycle. We took a little walk beside the lake in front our hotel.

We had our breakfast and drove towards the next waterfall - Steinsdalsfossen. This waterfall was smaller than the previous one and didnt require any trekking to reach. It was more of a park decorated for tourists. The stairs/path to the waterfalls allows to reach behind the water.

After spending some time there we drove towards Bergen. Our house in Bergen was booked in Airbnb and was just outside the main city, away from the crowd. We planned to reach Bergen before lunch and cook some food. When we reached Bergen it started raining once again.

In Bergen there are lot of things to see starting from Bryggen to cable car or train to the top of the mountain. We took the cable car to Mount Ulriken. And then spend some time in town center. Rain did spoil the mood but it didnt stop us to roam around in the car. We were continuously following the weather app to see when the rain would stop. The city is small so you can walk around and dont really need any public transport. There are few good restaurants if you want to try some Nordic delicacies.

While returning home we picked up some groceries for dinner, and that is when we found out that in Norway selling alcohol after 6pm is prohibited :Shockked:



The house we booked from Airbnb in Bergen -


Drone Shot of Bergen-


Uprasenjit 5th September 2018 13:18

re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
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Day 3: Bergen - Geiranger (380 km)

Plan for Day 3 was to drive to Geiranger and see the mighty Geiranger Fjord. The drive was long which included valleys, curvy mountain roads, lakes, beautiful countrysides and ferries.

Most of the drive was by the lakes. For hundreds of kilometers we kept on driving and crossed many fjords. There are no motorways or multi lane highways in Norway. Most of the them are dual carriageway with a speed limit of 80 kmph. But each one of them are beautiful. So covering 300+ kms took us 7-8 hours, and yes we stopped numerous times to take photos. The route we followed went through a valley and it was absolutely outstanding. Like always I prefer to stay outside a city and this time we booked a cottage outside Geiranger. The place we stayed had only 4 cottages withn 5-6 km range and it was absolutely brilliant. We could stay there forever have and have tea looking at the mighty fjords and see the blue sky and white clouds. But as all good things must come to an end we had only 1 night to spend there.


Uprasenjit 8th September 2018 09:24

Re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
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Day 4: Geiranger - Atlantic Road - Flam (580 km)

My wife wasn't happy when I asked if we should go visit the famous Atlantic road. It was not in the plan. We were supposed to go to Flam today. Going to Atlantic road and coming back would need extra 4 hours. But we were here in Norway and Atlantic road was only 160 kms away, one of the famous road in the world. And then we decided we shouldn't miss this. Coming all this way and missing Atlantic road would be a shame.

We crossed several fjords, were on 2 ferries and then after driving 3 hours from Geiranger we reached Atlantic road. The Atlantic Road connects the island of Averøy with the mainland via a series of small islands and small islands spanned by a total of eight bridges over 8,274 meters. The road was opened in 1989 and is toll free. See the screenshot from google -



The road is one of the best scenic route in Norway. It crosses an infamous stretch of ocean and I am sure many people has seen photos of waves touching a bridge. The road has received few weird awards along with "Best scenic road", "The Norwegian Construction of the Century" etc. It also has received "The world’s best place to mend a broken heart" from Lonely planet. Hustadvika and the Atlantic Road is the best place to go to contemplate how you got dumped. Preferably in the autumn; the view, wind, waves and cries of the gulls are the perfect medicine, whether you are working through grief or recovering from being dumped”, Lonely Planet wrote.

We also crossed worlds longest road tunnel -Lærdal Tunnel, which is 25 kms long on the way to Flam. The tunnel was one hell of a never ending tunnel. Luckily there were some interesting lights and parking areas in that tunnel. Our room was booked in Gudvangen Camping which is after Flam. After driving almost 600 km when we reached Gudvangen we were dead tired. We didnt even realize that the location of our camp was so beautiful, until next morning.


Uprasenjit 11th September 2018 12:19

Re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
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Day 5: Flam - Oslo Airport via Aurland (330 km)

The next day when we woke up we realized it was the last day of the road trip. In last 4 days we have seen varieties of landscapes, numerous waterfalls (I don't even remember all the names), lakes, different terrains and what not. Almost everything you see around was picturesque.


I marked the places in google maps which we intended to visit the last day. Near Gudvangen camp there is a model viking village. There is another interesting place just after Flam known as Otterness. Its a bit offroad and on top of a small mountain. This place has ruins of a farm. The 27 old buildings are still there. The cultivated landscape remains essentially intact with hills, stairs, stone walls, wells, etc. Very few tourists visit this place. But from here the view of the Fjord below is marvelous.


The next place we went is a famous viewpoint of the fjord - Stagestien.The viewpoint is 650m above the fjord and 15 mins drive from the town, so you can understand how the drive to the viewpoint will be. This platform is made out of wood and steel. A panoramic view of the fjord including the mountains and the town can be seen from here.


And then we realized we were late. Our return flight was at 7pm so we have to reach the airport by 5:30 max and it was already 12pm. Oslo was 5.5 hours from there. I had to cancel a plan to save time and drive on the Aurlandsfjellet National Tourist Route. This route is one of the best in the country providing magnificent view of mountains and fjords. Stagestein view point is a part of this route. Read more about this route here - https://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/...urlandsfjellet


We had heavy breakfast so weren't hungry. We were too late now and decided not to stop anywhere after the national tourist route has finished. But couldn't stop myself and stopped twice or thrice to clicked photos. Reached the airport exactly at 5:30 PM. Before entering the airport I had to refill the car. :D


Sad that we didnt have more time. More time to know the nordic culture and about their history. We also didnt visit any museum and part of the reason was time. There are plenty of places in northern part of Norway which are way more beautiful. May be someday we will come back again and visit those places. Until then we were be happy with the memories of the roadtrip.

I took my drone with me and whatever I wrote about the beauty of Norway is captured in the below aerial video, check this out -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bps4G0HmwwU

And signing off with this boring video of all Norways roads -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX7fb...ature=youtu.be

Eddy 12th September 2018 13:41

Re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
Note from Support: Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.

Thermodynamics 12th September 2018 14:02

Re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
Norway offers some of the most striking landscapes on our planet any time of the year. Magnificent fjords, pristine lakes, snow capped mountains, and the northern lights, scenes straight out of fairy tales. Thanks for sharing. Some of your shots appear like miniature.

Blooming Flower 12th September 2018 15:07

Re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
Fantastic write up coupled with mind-blowing pictures. Every landscape through your lenses portrays the real facets of exotic Norway. Your TLs on foreign countries and driving a dream car on those superb roads are dreams for many including me.:) Keep traveling and gift us more awesome travel stories in future.

Payaniga 12th September 2018 17:36

Re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Uprasenjit (Post 4444762)
Who doesn't want to drive on this crazy road ?


Just before I start writing I want you to have to look at the scenic drive routes in Norway, there are 18 of them. These are according to the Norwegian are carefully chosen national tourists roots. And yes we drove on many of them.


https://www.dangerousroads.org/europ...in-norway.html

Wow! What a beautiful country it is! Thanks for sharing this. You are a lucky person to drive amidst beautiful landscapes.

Is Indian DL sufficient to drive in Norway?

gunsho 12th September 2018 17:41

Re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
Excellent travelogue Uprasenjit. When I finished reading, have decided to visit Norway. You have captured and also shared it in a great possible way. Amazing and Thanks for such a wonderful post clap: Do share more of your great experiences.

BlackPearl 12th September 2018 18:07

Re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
Beautiful pictures Uprasenjit. Will definitely add Norway to the bucket list before we leave Europe. What were the options apart from RAV4? The RAV4 does not sound too exciting for those fantastic roads :D

yogesh.8984 12th September 2018 19:40

Re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
These pictures are just out of the world. How lucky you are (and dare I say you made your luck here). This is definitely on my bucket list now looking at the beautiful landscapes and roads traversing through them. I plan to move to Finland soon and I guess and I can have this one ticked off soon.

Just a query - What about DL? Can we use India DL (I head we can use it for first one year)?

reignofchaos 12th September 2018 19:44

Re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
Beautiful Thread! Oslo-Flam is amazing if you take the mountain road (highway 50 I think) which has snow even in summer. The scenery is just out of the world on that road!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Payaniga (Post 4459962)
Wow! What a beautiful country it is! Thanks for sharing this. You are a lucky person to drive amidst beautiful landscapes.

Is Indian DL sufficient to drive in Norway?

Yep! I drove all over Norway using my antique book type mumbai issued license lol:.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackPearl (Post 4459979)
Beautiful pictures Uprasenjit. Will definitely add Norway to the bucket list before we leave Europe. What were the options apart from RAV4? The RAV4 does not sound too exciting for those fantastic roads :D

Don't be too tempted - the speed limits on those roads are 60-80 kph and fines are heavy if you are ticketed. I personally rented a V60 diesel wagon. Was more than enough. Car rental prices and also fuel prices are probably the highest in the world in-spite of all sorts of discounts we got from the rental company.

//M 12th September 2018 19:47

Re: Drive to the Norwegian Landscapes | 5 Days | 1700 km
 
Wow many thanks for the travelogue. cpics:

Norway has been in my radar since a long time. This travelogue will be really beneficial when I take the plunge. Any other places you suggest to be included that you might have missed visiting during this trip?

I am keen on covering the Trollstigen Mountain Road and maybe if time & budget permits, then a couple of days in Svalbard as well.


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