this blog post might be a little bit longer than usual, or I might divide it into two blog posts at the end … we shall see 🙂
Earlier this year when I found out that I’ll be moving to Paris, I started putting together my bucket list for Norway. One of my top items on that list was to visit the Lofoten Islands above the arctic circle and to possibly combine it with a few other stops and turn it into a roadtrip.
The initial planning included a one way roadtrip from Bergen to Lofoten with multiple stops, seven girls and a van. After months of planning though, a few bailed out and it ended up being 4 girls and multiple plane rides and car rentals 🙂
The four girls’ group included me, Valeria (my Italian friend from South Tirol who studies with me in NHH), her childhood friend Lisa who now lives in Salzburg, and Valeria’s friend Julia who just completed med school in Munich. Without really meaning to or planning it, this trip ended up including only the German speakers of the initial seven girls which meant that only German was spoken during the seven days or really bad English with an Italian accent (don’t ask how it even started).
I promised the girls that I’d make this blog post as detailed as possible based on everything I remember out of this trip. We were talking about it yesterday on our way back to return the car and it’s crazy how fast this week has gone by and how somehow all events start to intertwine and all days become one.
Oh well, here we go:
Tuesday, August 18th:
Vale, Lisa and Julia were supposed to arrive in Bergen around 5pm and we were supposed to meet up with a few other friends for a BBQ by school because the weather was so fantastic. The girls did arrive in time, but their bags unfortunately didn’t so they ended up waiting in the airport in the hope that they’d show up on a later flight and arrived closer to 8 to the BBQ. I didn’t know it at the start of the BBQ but my friends were throwing me a surprise early birthday celebration that night because we were leaving the next day. Too cute!
Wednesday, August 19th:
Itinerary: Bergen –> Trondheim
Events: We spent the morning walking around Bergen and enjoying some fantastic weather in town. In the afternoon we hopped onto the airport bus and made it in time for our flight.
Once in Trondheim we had to wait close to 45 minutes for the bus that would bring us to our camping place where we’d spent the next two nights. While waiting at the bus stop, we ended up talking to a guy and a girl who were travelling together (we’re still trying to figure out whether they’re a couple, friends, or siblings) and who we ended up randomly seeing throughout the week in different cities across Norway. So crazy.
A Norwegian friend of mine, Karianne, who I’ve met six years ago in Seattle during a Case Competition and who was one of the first people who introduced me to NHH lives in Trondheim now, and so we were planning to meet up. She and her husband came over to our camping spot and brought some delicious picnic food for us all to enjoy together! It was truly an awesome night.
Highlights: Two moments stick out the most for me: When we arrived at the camping spot and were checking in, we told the super nice guy at the reception that we’d be there for two nights. Somehow though, he ended up mistakenly charging my card only for one night. So we jokingly say: “Ah, but we’re staying here for two nights, but you know we’re students, so if you have a student discount, like maybe 50% off?” expecting him to laugh but still charge us for the second night. To our surprise, he smiles and goes: Okay! We: “Okay?” He: “Okay :)” Those Norwegians know how to surprise you ❤
However, the funniest moment of the day was when we opened the six people tent we borrowed from a friend for the first time and had no idea where to start. We were attempting to put the tent together while a few people were having dinner nearby and watching us. After a moment of complete chaos, I look over to them and go: “I hope you’re enjoying the show.” Thankfully, Karianne’s husband arrived in time to rescue us 😀
Thursday, August 20th:
Itinerary: Trondheim –> Atlantic Road –> Krisitiansund –> Trondheim
Events: We woke up really early on Thursday morning and took the bus back to the airport to pick up our one day car rental. The plan was to drive the 250kms or so towards the Atlantic Road and then drive through Kristiansund back to Trondheim. I have to admit the route from Trondheim to the Atlantic Road is truly gorgeous!!!
The Atlantic Road in itself is nice, but I think it would have been more special if we had the time to hike somewhere nearby and possible sea the road from atop.
Afterwards, we drove through Kristiansund back to Trondheim and spent the evening walking around town and enjoying a delicious burger by the water.
Highlights: Only Julia and I were taking pictures during the trip and were planning to share them with the rest of the group afterwards. Vale was the one driving during the first part of the trip, and Julia constantly wanted to stop and take pictures, and everytime Vale would go: “Here?, Really?”. At some point I had to go: “Vale, you and I have seen the fjords before, but I clearly remember the first time I drove through Norway. I wanted to stop every two seconds to take a picture. Let’s just stop, isn’t that why we rented a car in the first place?” I guess I scared her a little, and soon enough we were literally taking a million photos to make Julia happy 😀
Friday, August 21st:
Itinerary: Trondheim –> Bodo
Events: After waking up super early and packing everything together including the tent, we hopped into our car and made our way back to the airport where we dropped the car off and got onto the plane towards Bodo.
Once we arrived there, the tiny town greeted us with gorgeous weather, and we spent the day walking around and chilling in the sun until 5.45pm when our ferry to Lofoten was scheduled to depart.
The 3 hours ferry ride is indeed gorgeous and definitely recommended. Once in Moskenes, we got our rental car for the next few days and made out way to our camping spot for the night. You should have seen how fast the tent was up this time round! You’d all be proud!
Highlights: One heck of a funny day.
First off, there were no buses between the bus terminal where we locked our bags for the day and the ferry terminal; don’t get me wrong, the distance between both places is like a mile, and none of us would usually complain, but we had been walking all day and the sun was out and we were carrying a big, heavy tent, so it took us a while to make the “hike” to the ferry terminal. We were laughing the entire way at how we looked like though, and once we got to the ferry, we gave each other massages to feel better 😀
At the ferry terminal was the most-German German group you would ever come across. They were so loud and obnoxious and behaved like typical tourists, but they truly kept us entertained, and everytime we remembered them in the following days, we ended up laughing hysterically.
The last highlight of the day was definitely the car rental shop. We decided to rent locally from a random shop on Lofoten instead of a known car rental agency in Bodo to avoid paying for extra days, under 25 years old drivers, and ferry charges. We knew that the local car rental had really old cars based on the website and that the owner was weird (Vale talked to him multiple times on the phone), but we just didn’t expect just how weird he is. At some point during the conversation when we asked him: “Can we add another driver to the rental?” he goes “No no, only one driver. The roads here are extremely dangerous.” None of us still understands the connection 😀 And at some other point he goes: “Don’t worry, trust me, I’m a good guy.” 😀
Ok, I guess I really do need to turn this into two blog posts: coming up: our Lofoten adventures!