We spend 2 nights in Trondheim. It’s a fairly big town for Norway (number 4 I believe) which is as quiet and sleepy as I would not have expected it from a city of 200.000 inhabitants. People are blessed enough with the appearance of some glimpse of the Polar Lights; not during summer though. Instead I discovered that at our northern most destination, we have hardly experienced the us well known dark nights. I believe they do not really exist.
Not to miss in Trondheim is the cathedral, the biggest stove church in Northern Europe and at it’s time the centre of pilgrim for Northern Europe, the northern Scottish islands, Iceland and Greenland. We were lucky enough to participate some time to a Norwegian German mess and listening to the play of the impressive organ of the cathedral.
A beautiful part of the town is also the small quarter of Bakklandet with the first regular bike lift in a town and it’s small cafés. The bike lift was quite special. Remaining on your bike one is supposed to get pushed up the mountain by leaving the right foot on a tiny metal triangle which runs in a trail to the top. Even after the 6th attempt I failed and all the cheering of the people around me did not help make my defeat feel better. David managed to get carried up after the 2nd time. I blamed my ankle and it’s missing stability for my failure as it’s been only 4 weeks that my cast had been removed. I felt slightly better with my excuse but wondered if this lift was actually used by locals. In any case, it was good fun.
Also the city bikes in Trondheim were quite heavy but extremely useful. You can get a rental card from the tourist information and use the bikes for 3h for free until returning them to one of the plenty parking points in town. Afterwards you can take an other one if you wish so.
Our Airbnb landlord was a great person to discuss about the culture, the region and so many more topics. To make a long story short it’s been a great stop for us to pick up my mum (great flight connections from Europe), to enjoy a bit of luxury (a real bed, a shower, some nicely cooked food) and to have a day of sightseeing and fun in Trondheim.
After a day in Trondheim, we headed south east to Rondane Nationalpark. Our 4h drive was not as spectacular as the last ones, we took the E6 from Trondheim direction Lillehammer / Oslo passing Lom and arriving in Otta. The house was located almost next to the entry of the National Park (the first official one in Norway) and nicely quiet and hidden in the forest. My brother found it quite a long time ago and for it’s size it was fairly cheap. It was a typical cottage of the region with a sweet Norwegian interior which made it a pleasure to explore each single room.
We decided not to move the car if not really necessary as we already managed to drive 4000km within 1 week or so. We got our bikes out and drove to Mysusaeter where the first hike started: beautiful grasslands and sparse mountains, plenty of small river courses and some wet shoes but happy faces. We cycled around lake Furusjoen; a 30km trip with a 500m elevation gain and climbed the little mountain just behind the house. The mountains have not been spectacular as we have seen in Jotunheimen National Park but the feeling of pure nature and outdoor adventure was present everywhere and it was a just perfect to take the bike to go somewhere nice in the mountains.
The only day where we drove quite far was to climb the Besseggen mountain. David, my brother and his little 7-year-old daughter and me decided to do the 8h hike. I was not sure if my ankle was stable enough to support me through this 15km walk with 1100m of positive climb and back down again. To provide the answer straight away: yes, no problem and I am extremely proud of my little niece that she was not afraid at all of the climbs during the hike.
Besseggen round tour can be made by anybody with good physical conditions and without any problems of height. It is possible to take the boat from Gjendesheim to Memurubu to shorten the trip but you can also walk along the water. If you don’t want to walk alI way I would suggest to make the boat trip first as from this side you will climb up the steep part of the mountain. Some of the people doing the hike the other way around looked quite scared and to be honest I was relieved myself that we have not kept the boat trip for the end as I initially wanted to do. Also the waiting time for the ferry can be quite long. There is space for approximately 80 people on the boat and when we arrived around 9:30am we had to wait until 11am until we got on one. For Norway, this is very touristic place and quite unusual. Once there is one boat arriving at starting point of the hike, you make your way up in a group of approximately 80 other people. However during the ascent it gets fairly well distributed that I rather had the feeling to be on a popular hike in the Alpes. Besseggen mountain is surrounded by 2 lakes at very different level of height. Climbing the mountain ridge you will see Bessvatnet lake on the left in a deep dark blue colour 300m below you and on the other side you will see the big Gjende lake on which we made the boat trip on in a turquise blue colour at about 600m below you. There were some breathtaking views during the climb and it’s hard to say which one I enjoyed most: the snow covered mountains behind us, the mountain ridge with the 2 lakes aside or the view into the valley with several small mountains, lakes, rivers and a boat which smoothly made their way through the turquise water. Despite all these people, I would call this hike the most beautiful part of our Norway trip and I would recomment it to everybody who likes a challenging hike with breathtaking views.
Next to the boat stop at Memurubu there is also a camp ground where you can put up your tent and to be honest, if we had more time, this is something I would have loved to do. There are plenty of hikes apart from the famous Besseggen one where you can enjoy some great landscape in a far less crowded environment.
Conclusion of the 2 weeks Norway trip: I so enjoyed the trip to Norway and it’s a miracle that we have not been to Norway before. Breathtaking landscape and untouched nature, friendly people and a relaxed way of life. I haven’t seen a single elk though (very surprising) but some lemings and 2 moshusoxes. The weather was much warmer than expected, even sometimes slightly too hot (up to 30 degreesin the valley) and I loved the increadibly long days.
Next stop 1 month Germany before heading to South America.