Regardless of how many backpacking trips one manages to fit into the summer, it is never enough. In July I did pretty well though. 2 trips, 2 weekends in a row, to 2 very different parts of Norway.
Trip 1 involved heading south. A six hour drive to Geiranger, because there was no sun in Trondheim (there hadn’t been for weeks). So we drove to where there was supposed to be sun. And instead found this:
Which did thankfully turn to sunshine as the morning wore on. Geiranger is one of Norway’s most popular tourist destinations, but we left the crowds behind as we climbed up, up, up, above the fjord. Geiranger fjord is stunning from below, but it is just as beautiful from above.
The clouds might have rolled back in the next day, but it didn’t dampen our spirits. It really was worth it to drive 6 hours and climb almost 1400 meters to get some fresh air and a little bit of sunshine.
Trip number 2 kicked off my summer vacation and involved heading north. Again we were chasing the sun that was eluding Trondheim. Børgefjell reminded me of Alaska, full of big wide open spaces and touted as Norway’s most undeveloped and inaccessible national park.
Like Denali – Børgefjell is “trail-less.” But in Denali, there is a quota system to limit the number of overnight visitors in the backcountry. Only a couple hundred people camp in the 6 million acres of Denali backcountry a night. Additionally, backcountry travellers are told to avoid making social hiking trails (hiking in a line, thus forming an informal trail). No such regulations exist is Børgefjell, so even though there are supposed to be no trails in the park, there certainly are in popular destinations, especially close to the roads adjacent to the park – as you can see below. But these trails aren’t maintained, which means that in some places the human impacts on the land are much greater that if there was an official trail in the first place. Just random thoughts that pop into your head when walking all day…
The weather was fantastic. So fantastic that it was even a bit too hot for hiking (by Norwegian standards, never mind that only one of the eight of us was actually Norwegian). Luckily, the river with all its standing pools was perfect for swimming. And the water was incredibly warm, again, by Norwegian standards of course.
Basically it was like heaven. Sometimes I feel like I am on repeat, but man, Norway is pretty awesome. I feel really lucky to have access to such places, and maybe more important, great people to explore with.
Pretty sweet way to start summer vacation, no??