Vøringfossen, Norway - a majestic waterfall

Just as amazing as the waterfall itself is the mountain block its falling from. It's like a fairytail, huge, impressive and romantic at the same time.

The waterfall Vøringsfossen has a free fall of 145 metres. You can either see it from the road or walk 30 minutes in to it - we didn't but they say it's worth it. Vøringsfossen is placed on the beautiful Hardangervidda (the road from eastern to western Norway) and the also very romantic Måbødalen. In other words - one of those road trips worth taking in Norway. We drove from Hemsedal to Eidsfjorden and then back to Hemsedal via Voss and Flåm. That's a lot of Norwegian beauty. Stop at Eidsfjord Gjestegiveri to eat some pancakes after taking in the sight of the waterfall. 

We even got a bonus rainbow when there!

upload.jpg

Gaustatoppen, Norway - the lazy way

They say you can see 1/6 of Norway from mnt. Gaustatoppen (1883 masl) in Telemark. There is no way I can verify this, but I can promise you that the view is really great and it does feel like you se at least a very big part of Norway. 

Normally people hike to Gaustatoppen, or go ski touring. It's a challenging hike, but if you are used to hiking, hit it. Just remember it's Norway - bring clothes for all weather seasons. More about the hike. But there is an easy way up, a cable car. We chose that way this time (let's call it research for the ski touring season;-).

You can take a cable car inside the mountain all the way to the top. It takes you 15 minutes, avoid it if you are claustrophobic, if not it's great. Or you can take it one way. Read more about it. We took it both ways.

As said, the view is really really nice and if you are in the area Gaustatoppen should be on your to do list for Norway. I'm looking forward to skiing it this winter!

Me and 1/6 of Norway. (Photo: Bjørn Dyresen

upload.jpg

A scenic road trip in Western Norway: Fjords and mountains all the way

The road trip we had last weekend was like a long beautiful dream with fjords and mountains playing the lead roles. Even though I live here and have traveled around a lot, this exact road trip was one of the most scenic I've done ever. One for the bucket list!

We started our trip in Hemsedal (since this was our base for the weekend) and including many photo stops, lunch and more it took us about 12 hours. So starting there it is a nice day trip, but it's a perfect weekend trip if you start in Oslo (spend a night in Gudvangen or Aurdal). 

This was our route:

Hemsedal - Lærdal (via the historic route Kongevegen)
We started by driving over Hemsedalsfjellet (wishing we had a cabin there), great mountain scenery, still in Eastern Norway. A while after passing the county limit to Western Norway (Sogn og Fjordane) we left the main road to drive the old Kongevegen (Kings road) - a historic route where we stopped at Borgund Stave Church (you should too). The road is narrow and very cool, passing waterfalls and steep mountains.

Lærdal - Kaupanger - ferry to Gudvangen
Our next goal was Kaupanger. To get to Kaupanger from Lærdal you need to take a 15 min long ferry from Fodnes to Manhellar. Make sure you buy Svele with smørkrem on board. In Kaupanger we had a a look at Kaupanger Stave Church before heading to the main goal of the trip - the ferry from Kaupanger to Gudvangen. Make sure you buy your ticket ahead (here). The ferry takes almost three hours and starts in Sognefjorden and ends in the famous Nærøyfjorden, a fjord on UNESCOs World Heritage List. Charge your camera, bring your Goretex jacket and enjo!y

Gudvangen - Stalheim - Flåm
Leaving the ferry we drove straight towards Stalheim Hotel (but you should stop and look around Gudvangen as well). Stalheim Hotel is a historic hotel, unfortunately not in it's prime shape any more, but the lunch was pretty good and the view you get for desert is almost worth the whole trip! Drive down from the hotel through Stalheimskleiva if you have the nerves. One of Europe's steepest roads. Our next goal was Flåm. Unfortunately Flåm is mostly a harbor for cruise ships these days and suffers a bit from that. But Flåmsbanen - one of the worlds most beautiful train journeys is worth considering.

Flåm - Aurland - Stegastein  
Our next goal was Stegastein viewpoint. We drove from Flåm to Aurland and then followed another narrow road with hairpin turns (one of Norways national tourist roads) up to Stegastein. The Stegastein viewpoint juts 30 meters out from the side of the mountain, 650 meters above the Aurland fjord. The panoramic view of the fjord is unsurpassed and was breathtaking!

Stegastein - Aurland mountain road - Lærdal - Hemsedal
From Stegastein we stayed on the same national road (also called the Snow road) over the mountain of Aurland and down back to Lærdal. Another road with amazing views all the way. From Lærdal we drove back to Hemsedal.

 

This road trip really gives you something else! Very worth it, but you should be used to driving narrow steep roads. The reward is amongst very few!

Kongevegen

Kongevegen

Borgund Stave Church 

Borgund Stave Church 

The ferry from Kaupanger to Gudvangen 

The ferry from Kaupanger to Gudvangen 

Waterfalls all the way 

Waterfalls all the way 

Nærøyfjorden 

Nærøyfjorden 

The view from Stalheim hotel 

The view from Stalheim hotel 

The view from Stegastein 

The view from Stegastein 

On the road in Norway 

On the road in Norway 

The mountains are calling and I must go

The mountains are calling and I must go is a quote by John Muir, one of America’s most famous and influential outdoor enthusiasts. I often feel just that. The urge to be outdoors, in one with nature. It doesn't have to be the mountains (even though I love them very much!). Things like kayaking, hiking in the woods, skiing hills or just sitting in a park - they all give me bliss, energy and joy.

I grew up in Urke, surrounded by the Norwegian alps (Sunnmørsalpene) reflected in the fjord (Hjørundfjorden). Time was spent outdoors, in the weekends we hiked. Some of it I enjoyed, some of it not. As children do. I actually had to grow up, to move away to understand how much I loved it. Today I will hike in Oslo, I'll start outside of my apartment, hike to lake Nøklevann, 2-3 hours. It doesn't have to be more. This weekend we will hike in Hemsedal, a few weekends ago we hiked a real mountain - Besseggen and camped by the lake. During the winter we went skiing every possible weekend. That's the life I like!

Travelling gives me great pleasure, but I have realized that being in the nature gives me just as much and I often seek outdoor activities on my travels. Living in Norway gives so many opportunities. My goal is that every possible weekend is about doing some kind of outdoor activity. At the moment it is. That makes me very happy.

I have a tent, skiing equipment, outdoor clothes and I own half of a kayak and a bike. It helps to have stuff you need but it's just as much about seeking the nature experiences, feeling the joy of it. Buy stuff to use it, not because you think about using it. Don't make it to complicated. Define your own adventures. Be outdoors, seek the green spots, the woods, the hills, the mountains.

The mountains are calling if you are listening.

upload.jpg

Hiking Besseggen, Norway - a unique scenery

This weekends escape was to the area of Jotunheimen, to hike over Besseggen ridge. The scenery is unique and hard to compare with other mountain hikes I have done. The views are amazing. I loved it.

Besseggen ridge is also one of Norways most popular mountain hikes, so you won't stroll on your own. But I didn't mind, it was still worth it and more! The night before our hike we camped by lake Gjende, also very recommended if you are in the area.

Worth knowing before hiking Besseggen

  • You need to be fit. The hike takes about 6-8 hours + breaks with net 900 meters elevation gain/loss. And you should have some hiking experience. Parts of the hike is rough, you need to use your hands and shouldn't be too afraid of hights. But it's not an extremely hard walk, so if you are normally fit and have done some hiking earlier - go for it. 
  • Start early, I recommend to start from Memburu and walk to Gjendesheim. That way you walk up the steepest part with plenty of air on both sides. It's way less scary than walking down. You can stay at Memburu lodge or camp. If you camp you can send your luggage with the boat to Gjendesheim and pick it up when you get there. Or you can stay at Gjendesheim lodge or camp by Gjende llke we did. Then you take the boat to Memburu the day of your hike. Make sure you catch one of the earlier boats and take your place in the line about 30 minutes before departure to secure your place.
  • Pack good clothing and enough food and water. We had all kinds of weather from sun to heavy wind and sideways rain in the middle of July.
  • Bring you camera and make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy the views!

Some picture from our camp/hike. 

The famous view

The famous view

My man taking photos 

My man taking photos 

Photo: Bjørn Dyresen 

Photo: Bjørn Dyresen 

Met Rudolf

Met Rudolf

Our camp

Our camp

Bliss. Photo: Bjørn Dyresen

Bliss. Photo: Bjørn Dyresen

Summer skiing in Stryn, Norway <3

Most people hit the beach when the summer starts for real in Norway. Not very strange, we have a long winter and the skiing season for most people end at easter. Buuut, some of us still chase the snow. This year I'm one of them. So last weekend I went to the very best place for summer skiing in Norway, Stryn Sommerski.

Located between high peaks on the mountain Strynefjellet you can both ski at the resort with plenty of back country options and you can go ski touring. The lift helps you half the way and there are many options to go further on with steep downhill runs. When the weather is as perfect as last weekend with clear blue sky all day long - there are not many other places you would rather be. 

Stryn Sommerski has a really chilled atmosphere, people are laidback, the mood is good. If you are in a party mood you should stay at Folven Camping where the after ski happens. If you want somewhere more quiet I'll recommend Nygård Camping where we stayed. 

Sun + Summer + Skiing + Stryn = <3

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Powder paradise at Strandafjellet, western Norway

At Strandafjellet ski resort you get some of the best off piste possibilities in Scandinavia and the best fjord view. With 7 lifts and 17 downhill slopes and ski touring options all around, Strandafjellet is one of the most magnificent skiing resorts in Norway and Scandinavia. You actually ski in the Norwegian alps - Sunnmørsalpane.

I visited one day during this easter and even though I wasn't that early there where plenty of untouched powder areas to be the first one down. And make sure you eat your lunch there, this is the view you get: 

upload.jpg

Downhill skiing with alpine feeling in Hemsedal, Norway

Looking for downhill skiing with off piste possibilities and the feeling of being on high mountain tops without having to walk there yourself? Then Hemsedal ski resort may be your answer. 

Hemsedal is situated between Oslo and Bergen, about 200 km northwest of Oslo. Hemsedal has pistes from 620 to 1,450 metres above sea level. In the eastern part of Norway this is one of the resorts with the best total package. (Skiing in Western Norway is a totally different story).

The pistes in Hemsedal start from three summits with a grat view over the village of Hemsedal and the surrounding mountains. There are many possibilities for off piste skiing and ski touring in the area as well.

And then you have the after ski! Probably the best one in Norway. Hemsedal ski resort and the surrounding areas offers many places to sleep for a few hours between after skiing and skiing and many restaurants and shops as well. 

Take a look:

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Insiders guide to Oslo

Your interests and what you do for a living often predicts what you like to see and do when travelling. So I wanted to make an insider guide to Oslo based on that. I asked some friends and colleagues what they would recommend. Here you go:

Hike with a view and multicultural Grønland

Take a hike in Ekebergparken. Why? Great view over the Oslo fjord, world famous art and great nature. Take the tram to get there.

Visit exotic Grønland. Oslos most multicultural area. Eat cheap and very good indian food at Punjab Tandoori, good Norwegian food at Olympen or the best food in Norway at Maaemo. Drop by Oslo Mekaniske, great selection of beers (and the Norwegian apple cider Lovløs which some friends and I make), enjoyed in a Norwegian sofa from the 50ies.

Jostein Magnussen, marketing manager and founder, likes running and cross country skiing and is a bit of a foodie.

Nature walks, sculpture park and seafood

Oslo is a small city, so to see the different neighborhoods and the variations of the city is doable in a day or two. Here is my top list! Best nature walks; Sognsvann-Ullevållsæter and Bygdøy. Best sculpture parks; Frognerparken and Ekebergparken. Best Seafood: Lofoten Fiskerestaurant. Best drinks: Himkok. Best hidden restaurant; Sawan. Best Sunday Brunch; Bølgen & Moi. And you must take a walk in these areas; The Opera, Tjuvholmen and Vulkan/Grunerløkka. 

Melinda Johnsen, Digital Marketing Manager, I travel & eat a lot! :)

Mausoleum and fish cakes

One of the coolest places I take my friends is the Emanuel Vigeland's mausoleum. Some find it macabre, some find it beautiful, everyone loves to enter that little door into complete darkness.

Another one loved by foreigners: I used to take my friends to buy fish cakes and eat them by the ocean in Aker Brygge, watching the boats pass by. The little boat to Bygdøy. And the Viking ship museum. You can stop by Lille Herbern to eat afterwards.

Renata Barros, designer and creative lead. Brasilian so she has an outsiders view as well.

Music, music, music and drinks and vinyl

When I tour and travel, I like finding small bars and clubs with a laid-back atmosphere and great music on the stereo. Which in my case means old school soul, r&b and rock.
Here in Oslo you can´t go wrong if you go to Robinet next to Rockefeller Music Hall. Oslo´s smallest and best bar for decades. A classic hole in the wall with a wonderful vibe.
Close by, at Youngstorget, Hell´s Kitchen offers good pizza, nice booths and some of my favourite Oslo dj´s. Informal and friendly. 

In the slightly hip Grünerløkka area there are plenty of good places. A new favourite is Perla. A tiny cocktail bar with kind of an Italian touch, cool interior, 70s funk on vinyl.  If you prefer having good coffee, hip beer and buying vinyl at midnight, the nice (but horribly named) Hendrix Ibsen at the Vulkan area might be your thing,

Good music and dj´s is always a bonus, and if you catch Erlend Mokkelbost spinning you are always in good hands. You´ll find him at Peloton, Hell´s Kitchen, Mono, Fisk&Vilt. Great dj, great bars. If you want the best soul, r&b and disco try finding Audun Vinger or the legendary DJ Claes. They also have their own monthly club night together at Blå called Contagious, which is really nice and smooth.

Martin Windstad, musician, Todd Terje & the Olsens

Bygdøy, Frognerseteren and Akerselva

Bygdøy! And you should go to Folkemuseet. A round trip there is great, take bus number 30 and the ferry back to Aker brygge (then you also get to see Oslo from the sea side).

If you want to explore the beautiful nature around Oslo you should rent a bike and start from Frognerseteren. Next stop Ullevaalseter for coffee and buns. If the weather is nice you should walk along Akerselva. Cool streetart and you should end your walk at Mathallen for lunch. 

Veronica Heltne, interaction designer  and nature lover (skiing, running, hiking you name it she does it)

Fortress, burgers and waffles

I love castles and fortresses, so I do recommend checking out our own  Akershus Fortress. Old halls, a dungeon and scenic grassy hills by the fjord, smack in the city center.

Get one of Oslo's best burgers at Illegal Burger at Møllergata 23. It's a short walk from downtown Oslo. Be sure to taste a Norwegian waffle! You can get them at cafés here and there, or go to the true Norwegian eating experience - Kaffistova. Simplicity all the way.

Line Kamhaug Hopmoen, marketing consultant and 4th generation Oslo-inhabitant. Love city weekend trips, hiking, cooking and British TV crime.

French food and raspeball

Start your walk in Torggata, through Markveien and along Akerselva. Eat french food at Le Benjamin or Chez Colin. Drink wine at Territoriet.

Walk up to the castle, one of the very few castles in the world where you can touch the wall even though the king is at home. For real Norwegian food - eat raspeball at Kaffistova.

Ida Jackson, content advisor, author and nerd.

Spend a day at Frogner/Bygdøy

Take a walk in the beautiful streets to view the amazing apartment buildings, take a stroll along the Frognerkilen, feed the ducks, go for a run in Bygdøy´s beautiful nature and pass Bygdøy Sjøbad, Paradisbukta and Huk. On your way out of Bygdøy, say hello/goodbye to the Kings animals: cows, horses and sheep.

If you want to buy flowers, visit MinaMilanda flower shop. Its next to Kolonihagen Frogner, where you should have your lunch.

Choose Restaurant Sawan in the evening (Oslos indisputedly best thai restaurant) and be sure to choose the tasting menu/chefs selection. Sawan is located in a nice old villa, and after 22:00, the lights dims and the music volume rises. Have a beer and/or glass of wine in front of the cozy fireplace at Forest&Brown before you go to sleep.

Hilde Rudi Olsen, web communications manager, runner, eater, loves animals.

Must see sights from an Airbnb host

Welcome to Oslo - after hosting hundreds of travelers via Airbnb my must see Sights are: Vigeland Park, Oslo Opera House, the River Aker, Botanical Garden, Munch Museum and the Fram Museum.

Grønland - multicultural melting point - Oslo Mekaniske for the great selection of beer and great atmosphere. If you are hungry you can bring your own food from the nearby sushi, hamburger, indian, pizza etc to this place. At the Teaterplassen you´ll find Vognmand Nilsen, check out their "After work" offer. 
Elias Mat & Sånt and Fiskeriet serve good Nordic food to a reasonable price. Visit Bare Jazz for your small break in the city center. Great atmosphere in that. 

In the city center you can make your own salat at Kvadrat Salat. Maybe for your picnic at Akershus Fortress? Or your walk along the picturesque River Aker that cuts through Oslo, you can walk for hours or just a little bit. If you start at Grønland and walk upstream you will come to a waterfall after ca 2 km. Turn to the east (right) and walk back to the city via vibrant Grünerløkka.   

There are always something going on in Oslo. Maybe your favorite band will be on stage when you are in town? Your favourite painter have an exhibition? Have a look at What´s on in Oslo. For more info about art in Oslo and Norway, have a look at Listen.  

Open your eyes, be curious, enjoy…if you are lost? Just ask someone, people are more than happy to help you.

Merete Sæther - Airbnb host, work as an Information Analyzer and my biggest hobbies are fine art, technology and traveling.

Hipsters and second hand shopping

If you find hipsters fascinating they can be observed in Grünerløkka, the district of fixies, black-rim glasses and waxed beards. To get there you may start in the city center and take a stroll down by the street Torggata. Apply you fake beard and glasses while crossing the bridge above the river Akerselva and take a left into the main street of Markveien. Your are now in hipster territory. 

Here you may buy second hand Norwegian coffecups in Markveien 59th, locally handcrafted jewelery in 55th and coldpressed fairtrade oliveoil in 35th. Take lunch in the backyard of the cafe Godt brød (“Good bread”) in Torvhald Meyers Gate 49th and remember to wave to the developers crafting opensourced ReactJS applications in the old factory next door. Have a locally brewed IPA at Grünerløkka Brygghus at 37th and end your night testing your boogy-woogy skills at the dancefloor of Ryes in Sofienberggata 8th.

Joakim Bording, universal design missionary and a harmonica player.

Tram, boats and sushi

1. Walk. Choose a neighbourhood (or several), and stroll around with a coffee in hand. My favorite is Grünerløkka, with it’s independent shops and great coffee. 
2. The tram. Get a day travel card, and join the tram as it takes you on an independent tour through Oslo. When I need creative inspiration, I usually get on tram number 19, and take it from end station to end station. 
3. Eat cheap and awesome sushi (number 78 is my favorite)at East Kitchen (Grünerløkka), or indian food at Punjab Tandoori (Grønland). If you’re traveling alone and want to sit in a bar and eat great food and meet good people, latin american restaurant Aymara close to Solli Plass (Vika) is a great choice. 
4. In summertime, take the boats out to the islands. You can use the same ticket as you use on the bus/tram/metro. Choose an island, bring a blanket and some refreshments, and relax. 

Ingvild Moen, Airbnb host in Oslo, social media enthusiast and traveller.

Vintage shopping and statues

A stroll along Akerselva is a must. Every little part of it is a new adventure. Bring a camera! While you’re out walking, make sure to stop by the old factory grounds at Lilleborg. There you’ll find a “secret” dam that takes you to right in the middle of the waterfalls! You’ll also find  Gypsywagon, a new, awesome second hand vintage shop with the loveliest owner in the world. Well worth the trip.

A walk in Vigelandsparken is a must at any time of the year. Marvel at the statues and blend in with the Japanese tourists. When you’re done, go to Majorstua and Rå Sushi for Oslo some awesome creations (make sure to order the Ayaka Maki and Hot Jordbær!).

Nadia Tokerud, Communications Manager. Loves food, roller derby, technology and lots of nerdy and/or quirky stuff.

Icelandic-Norwegian-Korean fusion and interesting drinks

Torggata botaniske - for the best (interesting flavours, not too sweet) drinks in Oslo. Inside the bar there is a small greenhouse with herbs used in the drinks.

Pjoltergeist is a fun restaurant. Very relaxed, not too expensive (but not very cheap either). I don’t know anywhere else you can eat icelandic-norwegian-korean fusion. The people who work there are great to. 

For shopping; the record shop Big dipper and the book store Tronsmo.

Ida Aalen, strategy advisor and interaction designer, author, runner and a nerd

 

That's it, should be enough to fill a few days in Oslo. Any questions, feel free to drop me a line. Enjoy your stay!

 

upload.jpeg

Urke Kaihus - a cafe you just have to visit if you are in the area

The small village Urke in Hjørundfjorden opened it's very first cafe/pub this summer - Urke Kaihus. (Urke Port house). And what a place! In doors the furniture is old fashion with deep couches, a disk built from planks from old barns in the village, pictures on the wall from old times when this was the villages active port house and so on. Perfect when the weather isn't the best outside (and we all know that that tends to happen in this area...). 

But the out door serving is the very best part. At the dock by the fjord, surrounded by the Norwegian alps and the view towards Slogen. Magnificent! 

Ever in the area around Hjørundfjorden, kayaking the fjord or arriving with Hurtigruten - you just have to make a stop. The waffles are also great by the way.

upload.jpeg
upload.jpeg
upload.jpeg
upload.jpeg

Ski touring to Blæja, Sunnmørsalpene (Norway)

The beautiful mountains of Sunnmøre and particular the mountains around the fjord “Hjørundfjord” are called “Sunnmørsalpene”, the Alps of Sunnmøre. There are few other places in Norway that can offer such a dramatic nature as Sunnmøre. Snow clad summits with steep mountainsides that fall into the deep fjords. 

I was lucky enough to grow up in a small village Urke by Hjørundfjorden so going home for easter and skiing is the obvious choice. This easters best tour was to the mountain Blæja (1420 masl). A great tour that is not to difficult and gives great views towards Hjørundfjorden. 

We started from Villa Norangdal and the tour took about 4 hours. Not to steep, but you do get a workout and skiing down in powder from the day before was just amazing. Also a great trip in summer time. 

The view from the top towards Hjørundfjorden.

Ski touring in Romsdalen, Norway

I bought new equipment (Randonee) for ski touring a few weeks ago and the alpine mountains of Romsdalen in Norway was the first place I tested it. I attended a ski touring course there last weekend and it was great.

The mountains of Romsdalen are perfect for all levels. We went to Smørbotntind (1188 masl) and Kjøsen (1130 masl), both great for beginners as I am. I'm pretty good at walking up hills and really really bad at down hill skiing so I must admit it was a bit to scary for me. I should probably have started of at a ski resort.... But I do prefer the mountains :)

The views from the mountains were stunning and the length of the trips was great. There are many many tops in Romsdalen, new mountains to explore day after day.

We stayed at Hotel Grand Bellevue in Åndalsnes, good location. But I would also check out Romsdal Lodge in Isfjorden, run by one of our ski instructors Ida and her husband. They are both guides and from the area so they can both guide you and advice you on where to go. 

Mountains of Romsdalen - I will be back!

Kjøsen ahead.

The view from Smørbotntind!

And through the door came Grappa and Prosciutto - from Rimini to Katnosdammen

Finishing work on Friday me and three other girls jumped on the bus to Stryken. After one hour on the bus we started the walk to Katnosdammen - a cabin owned by the Norwegian Trekking Association.

Oslo is surrounded by forrest and great walking routes and there are many of these cabins. You can rent a bed for just 200-500 NOK (depending on membership and no-service cabins, self-service cabins or staffed lodges). Katnosdammen has no-service, you just book a bed and bring your key (you get it as a member).

Knowing that 11 of the cabins 17 beds were booked it was a surprise for us to only meet two others when we arrived in the dark after a 13 km long walk. But one hour later 6 italian men came out of the dark and in to the cabin. And it was such a random surprise. We were expecting a Norwegian family on their autumn holiday or just another bunch of people escaping Oslo for the weekend.

Because, Katnosdammen is a beautiful spot and a very nice cabin, but the walking trip there is not the most exotic or exciting. Great for people like us living close by, not a route you travel far to take. So the six guys coming through the door took us by surprise. 4 of them flew in from Rimini that day, starting straight on the walk. And they had backbacks filled with Grappa, Prosciutto, sausages, cheese and wine. All brought from Italy the same day. 

The Italian hospitality was very much intact so the whole evening turned in to a great meal and our Chili con Carne was followed by amazing fresh Prosciutto, Grappa and cheese. Around the table in the deep forrest we had the exotic element of people speaking Italian more the Norwegian. It was actually kind of surreal, because it was so unexpected. But such a great evening! 

The next day we walked about 25 km back to Oslo, all tired but happy. The Italian guys spent the weekend at Katnosdammen. I'm glad we helped them get rid of some of the stuff in their backpack as they were also planning to walk the 25 km back to Oslo on the Sunday :)

Walking and walking

Walking and walking

Cabin ahead

Cabin ahead

Prosciutto brought from Rimini to Katnosdammen.

Prosciutto brought from Rimini to Katnosdammen.

Waking up the next morning.

Waking up the next morning.


Marstein light house - a great escape

This week I visited Marstein light house for a strategy seminar with my job. And it was just such a perfect place to be, a great escape from every day work life to a beautiful exciting island in Hordaland, Norway.

And I finally got to ride in a real rib boat. L O V E D it! The waves were huge on the way out there and when we went home it drove us almost straight to the airport.  

The food was great, the surroundings are amazingly beautiful and the conference facilities was good. I really recommend Marstein if you are taking a small group for a seminar or maybe for a weekend with friends. It's good for groups from 8 to 25 people and is run by Panorama hotel

(This post is NOT sponsored by Panorama hotel).

See for yourself:

Champagne with a view

Champagne with a view

How to get more out of your business travels

Work/volunteer work related travels is actually the reason I'm so hooked on travelling. Almost all of my working career I have been doing some kind of workish related travelling. I have visited most of the 30ish countries I have been to because of that.

One of my first travels like this was to Cyprus. I was in Cyprus for three days and only saw the inside of my hotel. That's when I decided this wasn't the way I wanted it. I wanted to see more of the places I was so lucky to go to. I started to plan these travels so that I stayed an extra night or more. Sometimes just an extra evening to see at least a little bit. 

If you travel much for business you might see it as a hassle, but there is so much you can get out of just those short travels. Here's my advice on how to see more on your business travels:

  • If possible - stay for one extra day or more. Maybe your meeting or conference is on a day close to the weekend, stay the weekend if you can. 
  • Don't want to stay away for too long? Family or work waiting back home maybe? Just by taking a flight a few hours before you have to, you can see much of the place you are going to.
  • Find a central hotel (if you get to decide that yourself). Then you can easily see more of wherever you are.
  • Don't stay at the hotel using room service. Go out to eat or have a drink, go for a walk, explore where you are.
  • Go for a run. Skip the hotel gym, go for a run instead. You get pretty far running and can explore much of the city you're in.
  • Walk. If you can walk from where you stay to your meeting, make the time to do that instead of taking a taxi. Again - you see so much more.
  • Work from a cafe. Doing some work beside the meeting or conference you are going to? Find a cafe with wifi and work from there, it gives you more then sitting at your hotel room.
  • Do some research. It doesn't take much research to get to know a little bit more about the sights and other stuff at the place you are going to. And then it's all so much easier when you get there.

And don't forget - you can also explore cities you have been to before. I have been to London many many times, but I love London. So I try to stay in a new area of the city when I go back and I always get to see something I have not seen before.

Even when I travel for work in Norway I try to get some more out of my trip. This week I went to Bergen, the most beautiful city in Norway. I have been to Bergen many times during the last months, but I still try to get more out of each trip. This time I just travelled there a few hours before I had to and then I had the time to walk a nice evening stroll when I got there. And when I needed to get some work done before going to the airport I went to one of my favorite cafes in Bergen Kaffemisjonen and had my breakfast and worked from there. 

These pictures are from Bergen this week. 

 

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Travelling and home sweet home

One of the effects of travelling is the fact that I appreciate so much more what I have back home. I love exploring new countries, understanding other cultures, seeing new things and meeting new people. But it also makes me understand how lucky I am, what I have where I live.

Off course growing up and living in Norway is pretty good because it's a democratic and wealthy country with benefits others can just dream about. But what I appreciate the most is the beautiful nature we have. I live in Oslo and today I have been walking in the nature (Østmarka) for hours and I started just outside my own door. The closeness to the nature is great about Oslo.

But even more I love the place where I grew up (Urke in Ørsta, Sunnmøre), one of the most beautiful places in Norway, between mountains and fjords. I actually had to move away to understand how beautiful it is and I understand it even more after travelling.

I was standing on a mountain top in Peru (4000 meters above the sea, the highest I have ever been), and the local guide proudly asks me; Isn't this the most beautiful view ever? I didn't know what to say, because it was truly beautiful, but I have seen something even more amazing, at home sweet home.

I'm so grateful that I can travel the world, learning about the world and seeing new places the way I do, but I will always love home sweet home the most.

This picture is from the mountain Saksa in Urke, I grew up in the village you see at the foot of the mountain.

My sanctuary

My sanctuary