When I was getting ready for this trip I indulged in many google maps and hostel world sessions trying to find places to go and stay. Normally I would get excited at about half 9 in the evening when I got home from work and then forget to go to bed as I was too busy looking up hostels and cities. When planning the Norwegian leg I knew I wanted to go to the Fjords after I left Lofoten, I didn’t really look into how to get from one to the other I simply set my heart on doing so and then stumbled across a perfect looking hostel, Eplet, in the village of Solvorn a mere 1300km away, 1700km by public transport.
I had given myself a few days to get from Lofoten to the Fjords. I left the farm on the 16th and hitchhiked to the town of Å, the end of the road in Lofoten. (Literally, the road doesn’t go any further.) I camp out overnight by the side of a lake and wake up to watch the clouds pour over the mountains at the other end. I spend a day exploring the town then hitchhike to the ferry terminal only to discover I got my timings wrong and have 5 hours to wait for the boat.
It’s cold and there’s nowhere inside to wait, just some picknick benches and a slowly growing line of cars and campervans. There is a woman with a bike waiting as well and we chat a bit but she leaves to get warm and see if she can find alternative accommodation, I pace up and down in an effort to keep warm, tiredness seeping into me. I want to sleep and be warm, I envy the campervans and the cars the ability to choose whether to be outside or in. It’s too cold to sit down and read or knit but pacing makes the time seem to drag by. Thankful kindness comes to my rescue in the form of a German lady in a camper van offering me coffee, it’s the kindness more than the coffee that makes the difference and the time seems to speed up.
I stay in a hostel overnight. creeping into my room at gone midnight and leaving the next day to board a train to Oslo. From Bodø it is an 18-hour train journey to Oslo. The scenery is amazing so the time moves quite well considering I’m cooped up on a train and I get a little break to stretch my legs at Trondheim where I change trains. I manage to sleep a bit on the overnight stint to Oslo and get into the city at about 7 in the morning.
Oslo doesn’t hold too much appeal for me so I skip it and head to the bus station after breakfast. I almost have a heart attack at the price of the bus ticket, I thought I had got used to Norweigain pricing but this one hit me. I enjoy the trip over the mountains and the bus is comfy enough. At the change point, I choose not to wait for the second bus and instead hitch a lift with a truck driver the rest of the way. By this point, hitchhiking has become my prefered way of getting about partly because it’s free but also it’s more interesting. The truck driver drops me at the end of the road the hostel is on and I got coffee and a chocolate biscuit during the ride.
My overnight stop is in the village of Flåm, the town itself looks like it was once a nice place. small wooden houses and a marina but it’s now a stopping point for cruise ships and as such is flooded with slow-moving tourists and souvenir shops. My hostel is quiet and out of the way, there is only two of us in the dorm and so it’s a perfectly good stopping off point. In the morning I walk to a local waterfall and then find a less busy spot on the marina to read my book and have lunch before getting a boat across the fjord.
The boat is really busy and it seems everyone wants to be out on the small deck to watch the mountains fly by. During the boat trip, I came to the important realization that I had fucked up my planning and had left myself with a night with nowhere to stay. The hostel I choose several months ago looks like paradise and I had wanted to stay longer anyway so I just hope they have room for me for another night.
I’m glad I’m only the boat for an hour before disembarking it’s too busy to enjoy it properly. At the small village, it stops at I debate taking the bus but it feels too expensive so opt to hitchhike instead. I get a left most of the way to the hostel I’m staying in easily and start to walk down the road to the village. I get part way down before getting another lift, this time with the ower of the hostel I’m staying in.
Eplet is a small paradise, there is a climbing wall in the kitchen and a slackline in the garden. The dorm room is small but comfortable and the whole place just feels friendly. After 4 days of traveling, I know the effort has been worthwhile. I’m able to get the extra night and so have 4 full days. On the first one, I sleep late then go to the shop 5km away and buy food for the week and cook. I enjoy having a slow day and I know my body needs it. While I’m stronger than I could have dreamed of being a few years ago I still need to be careful.
The next day I set out for a long bike ride down what is known as the dramatic road. The whole thing is 70km but I don’t go all the way. The road follows along the side of a lake, steep mountains rising up from the water. There are very few people about and for the most part, the only sounds are me and the crashing of water in the distance falling down the mountainside.
It’s a great way to spend the day. The weather is a bit unpredictable but I enjoy it and by the time I get back the sun is making a good effort to push away the clouds. I’m tired but in a way that makes me feel human and happy. For so long tiredness was a constant and now it comes after acceptable things, like 50km on a bike.
It’s hard to believe I’ve spent almost two months in Norway now, or that I will be leaving for Sweden on Wednesday. Time is moving so fast and things going so well it’s almost hard to make sense of. But time keeps marching on and by the end of next week, I will be on a ferry heading across the water to mainland Europe!
Hope you enjoy the pictures!
The girl with the braid in her hair xxx