Aaron and I have spent the past two weeks backpacking through the wilds of Norway. Being away from civilization for that long is the cause of this recent silent period on my blog!
Our first foray was to the west coast of Norway, where we hiked the length of Lysefjorden. This fjord has some impressive, one-of-a-kind sights, and since we were visiting this place on foot, we had the privilege of discovering lesser-known-but-just-as-incredible places as well. We began our trek at Preikestolen. The hike up there was quite arduous, especially with our heavy packs. This view at top though was incredible. 1000 meters above the fjord, with a sheer drop off the edge of the view point, the view down the entire length of the fjord was amazing!
At the top of Preikestolen, with the sun shining!
Look at that sheer drop!
Oooh, see how small the ferry is WAAAAY down there.
Aaron and I continued our hike inland. We followed a DNT “trail” that was really rough and more of a passable route over stone and boulders than a real trail! The further along we traveled, the better the trail did get. We spent a couple nights camping in the woods, but one night we reached a DNT cabin at an abandoned farm sight. This little place was truly a piece of paradise. The cabin was rustic and charming. It sat in a grassy meadow alongside a beautiful mountain stream (where we took a quick dip!) with high mountains rising up on both sides. The night we stayed here also happened to be my birthday, and Aaron surprised me with a Mountain House blueberry cheesecake for dessert!
The paradise we found in the rugged wilderness.
This lovely stream ran through the meadow with our cabin. After getting hot and dusty from hiking, Aaron and I both braved the frigid waters for a quick dip!
After four days of hiking, we arrived in the hamlet of Lysebotn and the innermost point of the fjord. We made camp in this town, and took a day hike to Kerag the next day. It was 6 km of walking up a road with hairpin switchbacks and a spiral tunnel to gain a lot of elevation, then we continued on 6 more km of strenuous hiking to reach Kerag. This high cliff above the fjord had incredible views. We could see all the places along the fjord we had been to previously. There were massive waterfalls plunging over the edge, and Kerag bolt (the boulder suspended between two cliffs) was impressive to see. It was quite blustery on top and snow started falling soon after we arrived, so neither of us was too interested in walking out on the boulder. It was cool enough just to be up there and see the views!
At Kerag, with waterfalls in the background, just moments before it began snowing.
This friendly little guy, a Norwegian fjord horse, followed us a ways down the road.
Aaron and I took the ferry out of Lysefjorden and enjoyed the view of seeing the sights from the perspective of the water. This week was quite amazing, with so many incredible sights to see. It was quite strenuous, and we certainly got enough exercise. We covered at least 80 km on foot that week!
Our second week of adventures took us to the islands of Lofoten, above the arctic circle. This unique archipelago is different from any other place I’ve seen. Colorful, quaint fishing villages hug the coastlines, and pointed, rugged mountains rise straight up out of the water. The terrain is majestic and beautiful, and Aaron and I both enjoyed our five days here.
Incredible scenery along the coast of Lofoten.
What a view to have while eating your lunch of fresh bread and reindeer salami!
I love Reine!!!
Could you imagine having this view from the window of your fishing hut?
We hiked up to a mountain cabin that we used as our base camp. From here, we went out each day to explore the coastline and lovely villages. We were very near to the towns of Reine, Å, and Moskenes. I think Reine must be the most beautiful town I have ever seen! The setting just makes it a fairytail village.
Our cabin was awesome. It was a two hour hike up from the coast and sat at 400m elevation. Even at the end of May, there were snowfields covering the ground, and the two large lakes near us were still covered over with ice and snow. This little cabin, named “Munkebu”, had been built by local volunteers in 1991. Because of its remote location, all building materials and supplies were helicoptered into this sight! This place was snug and cozy, and we enjoyed lots of card games, crackling wood fires, and hot meals in this little cabin. We did leave just in time, right as a gusty snow storm enveloped the mountain tops!
Our mountain resort cabin. Munkebu was a really special place.
The view from our cabin.
Just a few of the thousands (millions?) of dried cod that keeps these fishing villages alive.
At the end of our two weeks of exploring, we were quite tired, a little sun burnt, and ready for showers and clean clothes. But the adventures and sights we saw were so worth it. Aaron and I both had a blast with our rugged, wilderness adventures! I am so thankful for this experience and the great buddy I had to share it with! During our ride on the Hurtigruten back to the mainland (a 10pm to 2am trip!), we got our first and only sight of the midnight sun.
A serene finale to our incredible adventure.