Trondheim and Bergen: Exploring Two of Norway’s Picture-Perfect Towns

Trondheim and Bergen: Exploring Two of Norway’s Picture-Perfect Towns

This post was last updated on August 17th, 2017 “So what’s your favorite country you’ve ever been to?” It’s that dreaded question I know most travelers hate. How do you narrow down the whole world to one favorite country when everywhere is so uniquely different and beautiful? We still can’t choose just one favorite place. Everywhere we’ve traveled to has left a mark on us, a stamp on our souls so to say. But with that said, we can both easily agree that Norway is the most beautiful country we’ve ever been to. And it’s easy to see why.   It is without a doubt the jarringly dramatic, natural beauty that makes the country such an unforgettable experience. However, Norway also boasts numerous small towns and charming cities that are just as picture-perfect as could be—and certainly warrant a bit of exploration. To get you started, we recommend Trondheim and Bergen.   Trondheim We first decided to stop in Trondheim to break up the journey between the Lofoten Islands and Bergen. Though we had rainy and overcast weather for the majority of our time there, in didn’t take long to fall in love with Norway’s third largest city.   At over 1000 years old, Trondheim was Norway’s first capital, serving as a central trading point during the Viking Ages and later as a religious hub during the Middle Ages. The city’s rich history and culture means that there is plenty to see and discover from throughout the centuries. A few of the most popular attractions are: Bakklandet: This area of town served as working class homes during the 17th...
The Lofoten Islands: Paradise in the Arctic

The Lofoten Islands: Paradise in the Arctic

This post was last updated on February 21st, 2017   The Arctic Circle is known for many things, namely Santa Claus, the Northern Lights, long summer days and endless winter nights. But sitting 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle also lies a surprising island paradise and one of Norway’s most scenic destinations: the Lofoten Islands. The Lofoten Islands are harsh and dramatic, with tumultuous weather conditions and craggy mountaintops that tower above icy water. But despite the archipelago’s rugged nature, there are also plenty of charming details, such as the traditional stark-red fisherman cabins, the rows of codfish hanging out to dry, and the boats that slowly sail through the fjords to deliver mail to the area’s unlikely inhabitants.     We only had one day of good weather during our visit to Lofoten, but that was all it took for us to fall in love with it. Have a glimpse at this spectacular collection of islands and see why: The Lofoten Islands: Paradise in the Arctic     A Few Travel Tips For Visiting The Lofoten Islands   Sleep in a traditional fisherman cabin Rorbuer are the traditional red fisherman cabins that dot the islands. Typically you’ll find them in groups, with one end firmly planted on land, the other end suspended by polls in the water. Some of the rorbuer are still used by fisherman in Lofoten, though now they are primarily used to rent out to tourists.     Eliassen Rorbuer is the oldest fishermen cabin village in Lofoten, located on the teeny tiny island of Hamnøy. This is where we stayed in Lofoten, and...
Hiking Pulpit Rock—An Unforgettable Journey to one of Norway’s Best Views

Hiking Pulpit Rock—An Unforgettable Journey to one of Norway’s Best Views

This post was last updated on August 13th, 2014Rising 600 meters above the Lyesfjord, the views from the top of Pulpit Rock—also known as Preikestolen—are said to be some of the best in all of Norway. After seeing countless pictures of Pulpit Rock ‘repinned’ on Pinterest, we knew this was one adventure in Norway we had to experience for ourselves.     We arrived at the Pulpit Rock car park early in the morning, hoping to beat the crowds of fellow tourists also off to discover the iconic Norwegian landmark. Unfortunately we would have no such luck. Pulpit Rock is an extremely popular day hike—especially when that day falls on a warm and sunny holiday weekend. As we mentioned in our post about traveling Norway on a budget, attempting to see the sights over Easter was not the best planning on our part.     So sharing the hiking path with masses of other people was certainly not ideal. We constantly had to stop to wait for those ahead of us to finish chitchatting in the middle of the trail. And then there were the adolescents that kept bumping into us from behind as they tried to race to the top. Though the hike was beautiful, it was at first difficult for us to appreciate the surrounding landscape with so many other people in it! (Dan’s good at capturing images at the right time. It was actually much more crowded than it looks!)     Had we been prepared for the crowds, perhaps they wouldn’t have bothered us so much. Regardless, we did eventually get into the groove of hiking in a...
Is It Possible to Travel Norway on a Budget?

Is It Possible to Travel Norway on a Budget?

This post was last updated on February 21st, 2017 The response from our most recent post, 35 Photos of Norway That Will Make You Want to Pack Now, was overwhelmingly cohesive. Basically you all said: “Yep-Norway is absolutely stunning. I’d love to go. Too bad it is way out of my travel budget.” It’s true. Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Although we were mentally prepared for the exorbitant prices, sticker shock still set in the moment one teeny tiny black coffee (no refills) set us back $5 USD—and that wasn’t even the worst of the prices that were yet to come. That said it IS possible to travel Norway on a budget, provided you do as we say, not as we did. More specifically, Norway is not exactly a country where you just want to ‘wing’ it (like us). After having regulated travel itineraries in Lapland, we were ready to slow down and see where the Norwegian air blew us. It worked well enough. Having no plans meant we could add a week in the Lofoten Islands, a destination we originally had not planned on visiting but that ultimately proved the highlight of our entire trip. However, we also learned a lot in the process, and it was a bit painful to discover all the ways we could have—and should have—saved money.   So don’t make the same mistakes we did. By following a few of the tips below, you’ll be well on your way to budget travel in Norway.   The Right Season To Travel In Norway        1. Go...
35 Photos of Norway That Will Make You Want To Pack Your Bags Now

35 Photos of Norway That Will Make You Want To Pack Your Bags Now

This post was last updated on February 21st, 2017   After only two and a half weeks, Dan and I came to the same conclusion: Norway is the most beautiful country we have ever visited. Having traveled to thirty-some-odd countries between the two of us, we feel like that’s saying a lot. The scenery in Norway is dramatic, largely in part because it is a land of fjords; the staggering juxtaposition between the snowy mountains and crystal clear water just never gets old. But the beauty isn’t only there for a single snapshot—it envelops you, extending on for as far as the eye can see. In Norway, you’re completely and totally immersed in the magnificence of nature. At times, it can all be a little bit difficult to believe. You can read more about Norway in our other details blog posts, including adventure travel guides to the Lofoten Islands, Bergen Region, and Pulpit Rock. But before you do, we wanted to get you excited with a bit of eye candy. We’re fairly certain it will make you want to get on a plane for Norway today. 35 Photos of Norway That Will Make You Want to Pack Your Bags Now       What do you think of Norway? Are your bags packed yet?...
The Northern Lights — Everything You Need to Know About Seeing the Aurora Borealis

The Northern Lights — Everything You Need to Know About Seeing the Aurora Borealis

This post was last updated on February 21st, 2017 When we first booked our plane tickets to Stockholm, we had no intention of making the journey up north to Lapland. To be completely honest, I don’t think we even knew where Lapland was. But when we learned that the Northern Lights were visible there through the start of April, there was no question about it—we were going to the Arctic. We soon discovered that there was a lot more to Lapland than just Aurora hunting, and we became captivated by the endless ski, snowmobile, dog sled, and snowshoe opportunities waiting for us. Traveling to this region would be a completely new adventure for us in every sense of the word. We were still secretly hoping that the impetus behind the trip—to see the lights—would be possible, but we also had to remind ourselves to be practical. There was a large chance that we wouldn’t see any Northern Lights during our two-week stay. February had been so cloudy that no one saw any lights for the entire month. There was just no way to know for sure.   In the end, we were extremely fortunate. Some nights were better than others, the lights colorfully dancing throughout the sky. Other nights we could only distinguish the lights from the clouds when we looked at the playback on the camera. But there was no question about it—we saw the Northern Lights.   Seeing the Aurora was in many ways a dream come true for us. But throughout the experience we learned a lot about what it’s really like to witness them. And...