Norway, homestay Valhalla
We cycled more than 17,000 km through 22 countries so far. After 2 days in Norway we looked to each other and said: “This is the most beautiful country we have seen. Nature in Norway is indescribable. Moreover the Norwegians are very friendly and helpful. This blog about Norway regards these lovely people.
Perhaps it isn’t fair to compare it to the previous 21 countries, but we could sleep at many locals in Norway. Apart from (wild) camping, we had no other choice: Norway is far too expensive. So we knock on people's doors and ask if we can stay for 1 night.
We look for suitable houses where we can stay. A house with a garage, summer house or cottage. Or just a really big house. Sometimes we joke about our “house hunting”. We look like 2 burglars, but in our case we are looking for houses where people are at home.
Knocking on doors
We look happy and innocent on our bicycles. We have a special story to tell and we don’t have high standards. When someone opens the door, they seem to be overwhelmed with our question, but after the first hesitation, we are usually welcomed into their homes.
The Norwegians are happy, positive and open people. They are friendly and generous. Even when they have other guests, we are welcome to stay and they make room for us. It feels like we are being “adopted” for a day. We are two new family members. That feeling is so nice. All these lovely people who give us shelter. It gives us good vibes.
We love meeting different people. That’s what makes our world tour special. People with a different culture, history and each with their own story to tell. We talk about mosquitoes, the Northern Lights, the snow, the darkness in winter and so on. Politics, windmills, salmon. You name it. People always ask us about our world tour. Why we do this. How we afford it. What kind of profession we had before and so on.
We also meet people with similar dreams. We are some kind of inspiration to them. Living the free life. Without all the obligations.
In the newspaper
Sometimes people are so enthusiastic that they use their network to spread our story. That's how we ended up in the local newspaper of Brekstad and Flekkefjord.
Every homestay is different. We appreciate each place where we are welcome to stay. The homestays where we have had some new experiences are special. We went on a fishing trip twice. Once we went fishing with Jörn in Storsandnes (Langefjord). We caught a huge amount of haddock. Later in the south we went crab hunting in Spangereid near Lindesness. Unfortunately the crate was empty, but we did catch 2 mackerel.
In Norway we tasted fried mackerel, stockfish, whale stew, reindeer and moose meat for the first time. We met many people who have their own vegetable garden. Many Norwegians bake their own bread and make their own marmelade. In Sørstraumen we met Louise who is setting up a permaculture farm. She wants to promote this environmentally friendly technique. Through Workaway she is looking for the necessary extra hands to realize her dream.
North vs South
It is often said that there is an essential difference between the people of Northern and Southern Norway. In the south people would be more rigid and distant. However, we don't share this idea at all. Everyone is equally nice and helpful to us.
We will never forget our memories of all the lovely people we met in Norway, their stories and the way they welcomed us into their homes. Tusen takk to Haral and Tuva, Hannu, Beldo and Anne, Jörn and Gunn-Elin, Carl, Oscär and Hanna, Kai, Sara, Cecyle, John and Greta, Ida, Hjalmar, Stein and Erik, Maria, Johan and Anne, Oddgeir, Øivind, Betty, Mary-Jane, Harald and Ingrid, Hallgeir and Hege, Nate and Silje, Jan Erik and Ildri, Anazir and Worod, Bent and Irene, Kristian and Ingeborg, Ole, Gerda, Laila, Jan and Helle, Knut and Astrid, Przemek and Aleksandra, Jan and Hanne, Gunnar and Jennifer, Elise, Sigmund, Harald and Berit, Atle and Brit, Terje and Karen-Marie, Johan and Annette, Thor and Elena, Tor and Gunn, Erlend and Laerke and Einar and Torunn. And everyone we didn't mention by name.
Our next blog about Norway will be about nature. To be continued.