Home > Cities traveled > Day 100: Wild strawberries and fjords

Day 100: Wild strawberries and fjords

July 23rd, 2011

I’ve had the second* best road-trip of my life and it was all without any planning on my end. There couldn’t have been a more perfect location and combination of travelers! The Norwegian fjords, my spontaneously bizarre, philosophical, and funny cousin, his patient, thoughtful, brilliant-planner wife, my long-time friend from L.A. with her contagious laughter, and my mom. Between the 5 of us, we spoke 8 different languages on the ride and by the end were starting a conversation in one language and ending it in two and still understanding each other. We traveled 1,500 km in 5 days by car and ferry through some of the most breathtaking and humbling landscapes that I’ve ever seen. We saw hundreds of waterfalls (I’m not exaggerating), drove under, over, and around mountains, walked on cliffs, and took our car on ferries across fjords.

View norway roadtrip in a larger map

We visited 3 fjords – Hardangerfjord, Sognefjorden, and Geirangerfjorden – and took in some touristy as well as off-the-beaten-track sights like the old houses in Bergen, the Fossheim Stone Center, and the Troll’s Trail (Trollstigen). Every evening, we stayed in cabins, conveniently located along all the main roads, with complete bathing and toilet facilities. Most of them even came with a full kitchen and dinette set so we just needed to bring our own bedsheets, towels, and groceries. When split amongst us, the cabin costs were also very reasonable (<$50/person). The cost of groceries in Norway is another story though. [slickr-flickr tag="norge_roadtrip" sort="date"] That was just a sampling. View the rest of the pictures on Flickr, here.

Notice the scattered towns and cottages all throughout the countryside? It’s amazing how many cottages there are in all this nature. Some farms were located on sheer cliffs and only accessible by boat. I’ve been told that young children are sometimes tethered to keep them from literally falling off the property into the water. Norwegian cottages are often simple and eco-friendly, blending in well with their surroundings with their grass roofs and wooden walls. We also passed many old stavekirkes (churches built from wooden staves), some from the 13th century.

I was amazed by the resilience of the backpackers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and mosquitos who roamed the cold, wet, and foggy highlands and the treacherous mountain switchbacks. Well, the damn mosquitos didn’t confine themselves to those areas.

“What about the wild strawberries you talked about in your post title,” you may ask. Regretfully, I ate no wild strawberries during the trip but I did eat handfuls of freshly-picked farm strawberries bought right at the edge of the fields. However, I did have the best strawberries I’ve ever eaten in Norway and they were the wild ones I picked in the forests. They’re also the smallest strawberries I’ve seen, about the size of a marble at best. It goes to show that things can come out best if you let nature do its thing and stop trying to make things bigger and better. The best things come in small doses.

(*) The best road-trip is still when I decided I didn’t want to go to school anymore and I got into my car with a good friend and started driving. I eventually hit the U.S.-Canada border and didn’t have my passport so we turned back.

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  1. August 1st, 2011 at 16:50 | #1

    What an adventure you’re on! Norway is beautiful!

    • August 1st, 2011 at 16:55 | #2

      Hey Jenny! Thank you. It really is beautiful. Did you notice the homemade photo props I made for the people who fell asleep around me in the car? Thanks to you and G for the fun idea!

  2. Jennifer
    August 1st, 2011 at 17:30 | #3

    I had so much fun!! Miss you lots!!

  3. from SD
    August 1st, 2011 at 23:15 | #4

    Hooray! Day 100!
    Thank you for sharing those stunning and beautiful landscape pictures.
    Some of the pictures are very impressive and the coastal scenery is unbelievably attractive.
    The awe-inspiring mountains, water falls, fjords and rivers are so beautiful.
    Image 36 caught my eyes. How did you do that?
    The sky is black and white, but the land is colored. Amazing!
    The clouds seem like they’re being pulled by the earth.
    Can gravity pull on the clouds in the sky? Nah~
    5 people and 8 languages, what a road-trip!
    I enjoyed reading your stories of this fun road-trip with your family and friend.

    • August 2nd, 2011 at 05:40 | #5

      I love my camera. It’s an Olympus XZ-1 and has allowed me to play with my pictures. One of the settings it has is Dramatic Art Tones which lets you turn high contrast parts of a picture into B/W while keeping the color in the rest of the picture. Image 36 and 42 are of the same valley but 36 is showing the clouds in high contrast. Fun!

  4. August 20th, 2011 at 20:25 | #6

    I didn’t notice the photo props! Send me pictures — Gavin would love to see!

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