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Norway - September 2022

Once we get a taste of one Scandinavian country, you want to see them all! Last year we visited Iceland for the second time, which you can read more about HERE.


So this year, wanted to visit another country Northern European country. If you love the outdoors, nature, adventure and photography, well, Norway was absolutely a no brainer.


We were fortunate to have this trip sponsored by the Norwegian Tourism Board. Certain expenses and accommodations were covered by them, so a big big thank you to them and their support throughout this amazing journey!


DAY 1:

Travel day to Norway! This is our first trip post pandemic where COVID-19 vaccinations and mandatory mask are no longer required. It was a nice return to norm. We flew out of our hometown airport of Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on Delta Airlines. The Check-in process was very smooth as well as security checkpoint. The benefits of TSA precheck and Global Entry are priceless. A more in-depth of our flight to Norway can be read HERE. (coming soon!)


We departed from Atlanta, Georgia and enjoyed a comfortable 8.5 hour flight to Amsterdam. Unfortunately, we did not get a chance to explore Amsterdam Airport because of a quick turnaround layover. We hurried to our next gate as our layover was less than an hour. We boarded our KLM cityhopper flight, but due to inclement weather, we were stuck on the tarmac and delayed for 30 minutes.


A short 1.5 hour flight from Amsterdam gets us the the capital city of Oslo, but our journey wasn’t done there! We transferred from the international terminal to domestic for one more flight. We had about 4 hours to wander Oslo Airport until we boarded our Norwegian Airlines flight to Evenes Airport. We landed around 5pm local time in Evenes and headed straight to our car rental at Hertz.

I wish I could say our journey was over for the day and we were final going to get a chance to rest, but not until after a 4 hour drive to the famous Lofoten Islands! The drive was absolutely breathtaking through the mountains and islands. The drive could have easily been longer due to the breathtaking views! We arrived late in the day to the town of Ballstad, exhausted from our journey but excited. We checked into our first hotel HATTVIKA LODGE and called it a night for the next day.

DAY 2:

Exhausted from our travels the day before, we slept in and it was well needed. We still woke up in time for breakfast. Sat and spoke with the owner of Hattvika Lodge and many of the staff members who are very friendly. We spent the day enjoying the lodge and decided not to venture out too much, still jet-lagged so taking the day to adjust was a good call. Read more about our stay at Hattvika Lodge, HERE.

Heerali decided to be adventures and take a kayak out into the arctic waters of the inner fishermans harbor. She did a great job rowing on her own! We relaxed in our suite for the evening before heading into town for dinner.


We found a local pizza place that was known for its “Chicago Deep Dish” pizza. I wouldn’t say it was true “deep dish” but it was enjoyable none the less. We enjoyed the evening walking about town before heading back to Lodge for the night. Plan was to start exploring starting tomorrow.

DAY 3:

We started our day early but not so early to miss breakfast before we left. After a hardy start, we packed our hiking bags and camera gear and made our way to the town of Reine, which is located about 1.5 hours away from Ballstad. The problem is, the drive there was so beautiful, we kept stopping every 15 minutes to take pictures and taking the drone up.

After many many unexpected yet picturesque stops we finally reached to beautiful little town of Reine. Here, we had planned to hike the Reinebringen Trail to the top of the mountain. From up here, you get an amazing birds eye view of the town of Reine located below the the deep fjords Norway is known for.

Read more about the Reinebringen Hike HERE.

After descending from the mountain. We explored the little town of Reine. Taking pictures, checking out little shops and restaurants. Soon it was time to head back to Ballstad.

On the way back, we noticed a cool bridge that we had missed before. So of course we stopped to take photos of the area. The drone went up to capture some amazing views that we cannot see from ground.

Finally, we made our way back into Ballstad. We planned to keep dinner simple tonight, so we went to a local grocery market to prep an easy dinner at the lodge. We head back home for the night. We enjoyed dinner followed by some time in our semi-private hot-tub. After a nice soak we were ready for bed after a long and active day.

DAY 4:

The next morning, it was hard to get up. Our legs were pretty sore in the morning due to the Reinebringer hike from the day before. We had plans to get up early but slept through our alarm clock.


Once we finally did wake up, we started packing our bags as today was a final stay in Hattvika Lodge and the Lofoten Islands. We had breakfast and said goodbye to the amazing staff.

Originally we had plans to go to Henningsvaer Stadium but had to cancel plans because of our late start. The stadium is 1.5 hours away in the opposite direction of where we needed to be. We headed back in the direction of Reine but passed through to the next port town of Moskenes. From here we loaded our Toyota Rav 4 onto a car ferry and headed for the town of Bodø. Today was the prefect day for a travel day because it was cloudy, cold and wet practically all day.

After a 3.5 hour ferry ride, we reached to town of Bodø. We disembarked from the ferry and headed to our AirBnB for the night.


Read about our fairy ride HERE:

DAY 5:

We only slept for a few hours before our alarms went off at 3:30am. We had a long drive ahead of us. From Bodø to Molde, the drive time was nearly 12 hours! That without stops, delays, naps, etc! The drive is over 900km just for that one day! We did not want to reach Molde so late at night so we started our journey early in the AM.


We drove through the heartlands of Norway and it was absolutely beautiful! We did not expect such alpine surroundings which reminded us much of the Pacific Northwest of the United States. There were a million places we could have stopped along the way but opted not too because we didn’t want to arrive late to Molde.


It was during this drive Heerali and I realized we made a mistake on how we planned Norway. We wished we have stuck to smaller regions of the country instead of trying to see everything at once because we felt as though we missed out on quite a bit.


READ: 5 things I wish I knew before visiting NORWAY HERE:


We were fortunate with the weather this day because we had beautiful sunny weather. It provided spectacular views and prevented travel delays.


Before reaching Molde, we did have a detour stop to the famous Atlantic Ocean Road. An 8.3km country road which jumps through an archipelago. On one side you have a beautiful coastal bay with small town spread throughout the land. On the other side, the open Norwegian Sea. I was so excited to visit this region for the stunning scenery and amazing aerial footage only a drone could capture. But sadly, my excitement slowly turned to anger. The closer we got to the coastline, dark clouds started to role in. When we reached to Atlantic Ocean Road, it was a downpour. No way I was able to take my drone to the sky. We barely got a few photos of the bridge before heading out.

We felt like the whole day was a waste. Spent most of it driving, through beautiful backcountry but we didn’t stop to take in the beauty we had around us, rushing to the Atlantic Ocean Road, which we got washed out in and finally making it to our AirBnB which we were underwhelmed with. We went to bed upset that night but hoped for a better day tomorrow.

DAY 6:

Today didn’t start off any better than how yesterday ended. The AirBnB we stayed at did not live up to the quality noted when we rented it.


We headed out around 6am with plans to see a few sites close to Molde but the rain from last night continued on today with no signs of letting up. Visiting Norway, we had planned for many outdoor adventures, but unfortunately due to the weather we have had to cancel many of them so far. We drove to Mardalsfoss with the hopes that we we arrived to the trailhead, the rain would let up but unfortunately it kept getting worse as the day went on. The hike from the trailhead to the waterfall is 45+ minutes. So we forfeited the hike.

Heerali and I spent some time contemplating what our next move should be. We checked the weather apps and it noted rain in the Fjordlands for the next 4-5 days. We consider changing our travel plans and visiting a different region but with such a massive storm front coming through Norway right now, we didn’t not have much of an alternative option.


Leaving Mardalsfoss we headed to our next town of Greingerford. On our drive over, we drove up the famous Trollstigen mountain road. Known for its serpentine cutbacks. Although it was cloudy and rainy, we enjoyed the scenic drive. We stopped at the visitor center at the top to take a look around and stretch our legs for a bit. There is a scenic overlook of the valley below but again due to the rain and low hanging clouds, the view was obstructed. We continued our journey towards Greingerford and I have to say this scenic drive was absolutely breathtaking. Cutting through the upper fjords we saw dozens of waters cascading down. We took it nice and slow and enjoyed the descent down the backside of the mountain.

Once we reached sea level, a short costal drive led us to our next car ferry crossing Eidsdal-Linge. This was a short crossing 10-15 minutes and we were to the other side. We continued our drive along hwy 63 until we reached the town of Geiranger. We checked into our hotel, Hotel Geiranger. Located in the ideal, most picturesque spot in the Fjord. Our balcony had an amazing view down through the valley.


We finally had a moment of clarity and the rain stopped and the thick black clouds settled. Heerali and I walked the town and enjoyed the scenery of the fjord. I was able to take the drone up for some aerial captures.


Afterwards, we enjoyed diner at the hotel and called it a night. The day might have started sour but ended sweet.

DAY 7:

We honestly didn’t want to wake up this morning, the hotel bed, hot shower and big dinner last night had us wanting to sleep in! The alarm clock went of at 7am and we reluctantly rolled out of bed. After breakfast and packing we loaded up our Toyota Rav 4 and check out of Hotel Geiranger. We journey up Geirgranerfjord and enjoyed the overlook view. Luckily, this morning was overcast but no rain! We made our way to the small town of Stryn and we absolutely fell in love!

If you take any suggestion from this travel blog, please please please take this. If you are in Geiranger and traveling towards the coast to Odda or Bergen, take the road towards the town of Stryn and on from there. Hands down THE MOST BEAUTIFUL drive you will ever experience! Cutting through the grand Fjords of Norway, surrounded by dominating mountains, hundreds of waterfalls, icy blue rivers and lakes as you pass through quant Norwegian towns. Absolutely picturesque and views with every turn. Trust me you will not regret taking the long way to your next destination.

After passing through Stryn, our next destination was the Viking Christian church of Borgund. Again, we were absolutely speechless along the journey, We stopped a countless number of times to try to capture the beauty as much as we could. Along the way we took a ferry crossing between Mannheller and Fodnes. A short but beautiful as always ferry ride across and we were on our way. We continued to pass small town and massive Fjords until we reached Borgund Viking Church.

Once you arrive you will pull up to a welcome center on the left. Inside, you can purchase an entrance ticket for 100NOK which translates to $10 USD (as of September 2022). This ticket grants you access onto the church grounds beyond the rock wall and into the church itself. OR you can walk the area out around the rock wall and see the church and get great photos. Honestly, I was a little underwhelmed by Borgund so we opted to enjoy the view from outside, we were able to get the shots we wanted and we moved on to from there.

Back in our car we journey to our next town of Odda.

DAY 8:

This morning we readied ourselves for one of the hardest hikes we have experienced, the hike to Trolltunga, the Troll’s Tongue.


We booked a 2 day hike with guide from Trolltunga Active. www.trolltungaactive.com


We went with Trolltunga Active because of the positive reviews and the experience of other friends who have recommended them.


A quick overview of our hike. It is a 28km (17.4miles) round trip hike from Parking Lot 2.

We split the hike up into 2 days.

Today we started our hike at 10:30am at the meetup location and started our journey.

To read more about of journey and experience you can read more

HERE: TROLLTUNGA HIKE DAY 1

DAY 9:

This morning, we woke up in our active dome in the mountains. After a hardy breakfast we started our journey down the mountain and back to base camp.

Read about our day 2 experience HERE: TROLLTUNGA HIKE DAY 2


Once we returned back to base camp. We said our goodbyes to our hiking group and guide. We packed up our car and made our way to our last destination for this trip, a 5 hour drive ahead to the capital city of Oslo. We arrived late that night to our hotel, checked in, and headed straight to bed.

DAY 10:

Our last day in Norway, we used it to explore the capital city of Oslo. We explored different areas of the city such as the ocean front area and old town Oslo. Honestly, we were still exhausted from the Trolltunga hike that we took the day easy with no true plans in mind. We wondered the streets and enjoyed the sites and sounds of the city.


We craved some home cooked flavors so we found an Indian restaurant close to our hotel. We enjoyed our last few hours in Norway roaming the city streets around our hotel. Checking out cute little shops along the way and picking up some souvenirs and gifts for the family. Afterwards, we made our way back to our room, packed our bags, and called it an early night.

DAY 11:

And with that, our journey in Norway comes to an end. We check out of our hotel early in the AM and make our way to Oslo Airport. We returned our car at Hertz and made our way through security. We enjoyed a few hours exploring the airport as we waited for the boarding process to being. Soon it was time to board our Delta Flight back to the US. We waved goodbye to Norway as we took off and Heerali and I reminisced on another amazing adventure. But you have to ask yourself, where to next?


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