After Denmark, we found ourselves in this placeï¿½ this world all its own. Surrounded by snow-tipped mountains, mighty fjords, rushing water, cascading waterfalls, lakes still as glass and forests ever so rich and dense, we entered and experienced the country of Norway.
We set up camp outside of Rondane National Park, based on the recommendation of a coffee roaster we met in Hesingor, Denmark. As we set out to find a trail, it was an adjustment not having an "information center" vs the "free to roam" mindset. But, we found ourselves hiking trails that constantly caught our breath. I don't think there is a poor choice when it comes to choosing a hike in that place.
Following a few days in Otta, we made arrangements to catch up with a long time friend of Stick's. It had been 15+ years since they had seen each other, and we were excited to land in Stryn for a wonderful lunch and visit. We learned about Briksdalsbreen, also known as Briksdal Glacier, a glacier from the last Ice Age that rests amongst the mountains of Norway. Upon that hike, we were again face to face with rushing waterfalls, landscapes of wildflowers and of course the might glacier itself. Willow played in the water unphased by the temperature!
We enjoyed a wonderful visit with Agnethe, Alf Reidar and their family and were so thankful for them sharing meals and a bed for a night!
On the road again, we stopped off in Bergen to see the area known as Bryggen. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon.
We then found ourselves in the community called Nedstrand, home of a trail known as Himakï¿½nï¿½, or Little Trolltunga. You have probably seen pictures of her big sister and hot tourist spot - Trolltunga. We have heard the views are like none other. As are the lines to see them. Through some reading, we found out about Hemikana, and knew it was much more for us. The 4+ km hike was uphill and no joke. And that was while we went through three pastures of cows (a bull, several sheepï¿½). I'm not going to lie - when that cow lifted the latch with her nose, Stick and I were both backing up. Butï¿½ we had just been talking about the difference between going around something (avoid it), over something (conquer it) and through something (experience it)ï¿½ We knew, this was a chance to practice "going through" it. And we did. The view at the top was something I cannot expressï¿½
We continued our breathtaking road trip back around through Norway. Each tunnel ending opened to an anticipation of what landscape would lie before us. At times we caught our breath. Sometimes we laughed. Other times, no words were spoken at all. As we made our way out of Norway, we had such a treat when we met Natasha. She works in a community garden (Fornebu Samdyrkelag) that Norway gave for the next 4 years. Several people have invested in the land, currently growing a variety of foods, and then everyone will share together. She was delightful and such a bright spot in our day!
We continued through Oslo, and back across the border to Sweden.