Norway, nature's paradise
In our previous blog we described our experiences with the Norwegian people. This blog is about nature in Norway. After 2 days of cycling in Norway we look to each other and say: “This is the most beautiful country we have seen so far."
Nature in Norway is amazing. Mountains, rocks, snow, fjords, dunes, heather, the sea … everything is unbelievably beautiful.
We cycle from North to South. In the north, the vegetation is very different than in the south. Far above the polar circle there are no trees. You only see small bushes and heather. On the North Cape itself it even seems like you are cycling on another planet. Around us only mountains, rocks, moss, lakes and the sea.
Of course we take a picture at the “globe”. The monument “Children of the Earth” is also very special. It has a beautiful meaning: children can understand each other, work together and have fun regardless of their skin color, religion and cultural background.
We go south slowly because we have to cycle around all the fjords. The views are amazing. In Southern Norway we have to climb the mountains to go around the fjords for the first time. In terms of beauty, it can be compared to the Lofoten. However, there is less traffic in the south.
For a long time, the Hurtigruten was the only means of transport in Norway. Later the roads were built. The tunnels came just a few years ago. Some people ask us if it is scary to cycle through them. With good lights nothing can go wrong. On the North Cape, however, we decided not to go through the 7 km long tunnel twice. The noise of the ventilation and the steep 10% slope at the end were not so pleasant.
Because there are so many fjords, we sometimes take a ferry. Apart from the high-speed ferries, most ferries are free of charge for pedestrians and cyclists. You have to be patient though. Sometimes they only go a few times a day. Waiting times we experience vary between 30 minutes and 4 hours. Fortunately, we are never in a hurry.
The Northern Lights
We have not seen the Northern Lights, but in Alta we did see the Midnight Sun. It is special to see the sun shine so brightly at 2 o'clock in the morning.
Bergen and Stavanger
If the circumstances allow it, we also do some sightseeing on foot. We had a city walk in Bergen. By going up with the Fløibanen you have a nice view over the city. Stavanger is very similar to Bergen, but is slightly smaller which makes it more cozy. We also climbed the Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen). It’s a 2 hours hike through forest, swamp and heather. Halfway through you can have a swim in some lakes. We take the cliff trail up and the mountain trail down. That's less steep down so we can spare our knees and it's less crowded. The mountain plateau 604 meters above the Lysefjord with a breathtaking view is worth the climb.
We take all these highlights with us on the ferry to Sweden. Norway was unforgettable: in terms of people, nature and ... highs.