Mikkel Fogt - Exploring Norway, land of the Vikings
Norway is home to a wealth of riches the outdoorsman just can't ignore, a mountainous land with peaks rising up from fjords, surf lapping on bays surrounded by iconic towns such as Lofoten and bergen.
WildTriber Mikkel Fogt explored the hiking and camping delights of the region on a two week mission that took him from Trolltunga to Bergen. Here's Mikkel to share his adventures and tips to help you plan a similar adventure.
I'm Mikkel Mandrup Fogt, a 21 year old from Denmark. Earlier this year in June, me and Frederik (the blond guy!) packed our bags, said goodbye to the music festival season and took off on an adventure to Norway. We thought a tent, sleeping bag, and ten days of freeze dried food should see us through nicely. So all ready, we got going and set off for the Norwegian wilderness. Our plan was to split the trip into two halves, Odda and then Bergen, both reside in the majestic Hordaland Province.
Our Norwegian experience began with a hike up to Trolltunga. It's a 22km trek with some nice elevation gain and quite a diverse route. It get's going with steep and narrow passages crossing through humid forests and steadily into open fields with iconic views of Norways Fjords and mountains. The crown of the route is without doubt Trolltunga, the infamous cliff formation 1150m above sea level, with a 300m drop over Ringevattnet.
If you're thinking of heading to Trolltunga he's some guidance we learnt along the way. Early risers will benefit, the trail can get busy, especially on the sunny days, if you can make it through the narrow sections early, you'll enjoy the hike a huge amount more. At the 1km sign there is a nice plateau or even right up by the top of Trolltunga you can pitch a tent and stay for the night, guaranteeing you a chance to enjoy the expansive views before the crowds trundle on up. I better mention about the weather, like any mountainous region it can turn fast. We experienced 2 degrees in June! Snow and some harsh winds, so be prepared.
The region around Odda has wilderness to explore beyond what our 3 day hike allowance could fit in, the area is filled with hikes that take you deep into Norwegian back-country. Whilst the tourist centre is busy navigating the crowds up Trolltunga, it leaves the rest of the region free to explore in peace. We took a three day trek to Strand, camping in some stunning locations, stomping trails that navigated past icy cold waterfalls, and along the route we only met a handful of friendly locals.
We sought out some local advice and was guided to take a bus to Strandvin, where you can hike a 'secret' route leading through farmland, past many waterfalls and down to strand. On route you can camp at Lake Liasette, calm, chilled spot surrounded by farmland. Trouble sleeping? Well, no problems, literally count sheep in the neighbouring fields. You can also take a detour onto the Jordalsnuten hike, climbing only 300m will open up spectacular views of the Fjords and mountains engulfing Odda. The route we took is very new, so make sure you get the latest trail maps. Beware if it's been wet, as some of the route can get swampy.
Mt. Fløyen, Bergen
Bergen is cool, vibrant and very picturesque city to visit even without all the exploring. But what really makes this place special is the mountain, standing tall, directly in the middle of the city! This is Mt Fløyen and is connected to Mt Ulrikken, a hike recommended by many. Access is either by hiking or the tram. We chose to hike, it's what we came out here to do, so the tram would have been cheating! 2km up the route we pitched our tent for the night, now we've since been told that's not allowed, but really no-one minded and the locals seemed fine with it. By doing so we experienced the natural phenomenon of the Norwegian midnight sunset, very strange and cool.
Thanks to Mikkel for sharing his recent adventure. If you've been on a recent trip, or have an expedition planned, get in touch and let us share your inspiration.
Considering a trip to Norway? Here's a helpful link to connect you with some further information