31-Day Challenge: Day 7

A few short days ago in this space, I wrote that I was not a travel blogger. I still don’t think I am, but today’s 31-day challenge post is especially late for travel-related reasons.

BV and I are currently trying to figure out the best course of action for our summer holiday, which this year will be in Norway. He has worked out a spreadsheet that calculated the cost for us to drive there, versus flying and renting a car on arrival. I had been operating under the assumption that we wanted to drive, and would bring camping equipment along, hopefully enabling us to keep the costs of notoriously expensive Scandinavia down. Turns out, according to his calculations, that for us to fly and rent would be marginally more expensive, but would avoid the headache and possible murders that might occur on a 24-hour drive. Drive, not drives plus breaks.

That led into a debate about what kind of camping gear we could bring along for the cost of an extra suitcase, which led to me googling if we could rent camping equipment (not so much), which led to me learning that most campgrounds have small cabins for rent, with varying levels of comfort.  Open fire seems to be a no-go in a lot of places, so there went my ideas of grilling supermarket sausages over a campfire, which were a childhood camping trip staple.

I reported my findings at that stage to BV, who is taking a well-earned break from spreadsheets, and the next step was to check out what the AirBnb options might be. That’s looking pretty good but as I scrolled across the map, I realized that we really have no idea what we want to do on this excursion.

This confuses me. I’m not the best planner in the world, but I should have an idea of what I want to do there, right?

To clarify, I grew up in a family that is more or less, half Norwegian. My maternal great-grandmother, Olga, was the daughter of Norwegian immigrants. When they arrived in the U.S., they settled on a farm in western Wisconsin, in an area full of Norwegians and other Scandinavians. They spoke Norwegian at home, and she was in touch with cousins and relatives in the “old country” for most of her life. She even went there in the ’70s, making her one of the only members of my family to travel abroad for non-military related reasons. Possibly the only one to do so, now that I think about it.

She lived into her 90s, and we spent lots of time with her when we were kids. I always loved visiting her apartment filled with funny Norwegian trolls, and a mountainous landscape painting on the wall. She had the traditional dress, was a member of the Daughters of Norway in Milwaukee, we had lefse at every holiday meal, and she painted beautiful rosemaling. She even knew my dad was a keeper when my mom brought him to meet her and he happily ate lutefisk. Oddly, I look quite like her, which means I have an idea what I’m going to look like in my old age.

So now I sit here wondering why, when after spending my entire life hearing about this place, these traditions, wanting to go and see it myself, I have no idea what to do there. Apparently I didn’t ask specifics? Uff da, younger Heather, what were you thinking?

I’ll end today’s post with a plea… if anyone has some must-dos (or definitely do not dos!) please drop me a comment!! And though I have done exactly zero sponsored posts in the pasts, I would happily change that if anyone has a sweet place for us to stay and review. Will shill for travel for Scandinavian prices.


Editor’s Note: This is part of a 31-day challenge series for the month of May, in which I aim to spend at least 15 minutes writing about whatever strikes my fancy. Results may vary.


14 thoughts on “31-Day Challenge: Day 7

  1. I’ve never been to Norway so I’m afraid I can’t help. Interesting to read about your Norwegian heritage though!

    My grandad was Ukrainian, but he basically abandoned his entire heritage (plus he died when I was 8) so my uncle (the eldest) is the only one who speaks Ukrainian (self-taught) and I know next to nothing about my Ukrainian childhood, although I am Facebook friends with one of my mum’s cousins.

    • Isn’t it funny how sometimes we know so much and sometimes we know so little? Though I suppose if people left their homes under extreme circumstances, it makes sense that they were okay with leaving those things behind…

      • Yeah, the only thing I know is my grandad always said he would never go home as long as “that man” (i.e. Stalin) was in charge. He also thought Ukrainian was a useless language and his kids didn’t need to learn it. Of course, he also thought his entire family were dead so nobody would ever need to communicate with their relatives in his home country. Turns out we do still have family there and my uncle visits all the time!

  2. You like hiking! Jotunheimen national park (for example) offers some great hikes!
    – Gjendesheim turisthytte (hut): hike over the spektakular Beseggen-ridge and go back by boat to Gjendesheim hut
    – Spiterstulen turisthytte: do a guided glacier walk. “Galdhoppigen”, norways highest mountain is also accessible from the hut
    – two day hike: walk from Glitterheim turisthytte over “Glittertinden” (second highest mountain) to Spiterstulen and back the next day through the valleys Skautflye and Veodalen back. This is strenuous, but very rewarding.
    All huts are accessible directly by car minus Glittertinden, you will need to walk the last part. You will also need good equipment (shoes, rainproof clothing and so on, but no special climbing equipment – for the two day I would personally recommend grampons, because Glittertinden has ice on the top, however: we did not have any)
    – good thing about hiking: spectacular days without paying street toll 🙂
    – the huts are not cheap: around 100 EUR per night per person, including breadfast and dinner. There are always camping sites near the huts, which are a cheaper option.
    – if you use your own car: stock up on beer or wine in Germany, take as much as allowed to import, because a can of beer is around 5 EUR in a supermarket or 10 EUR in a restaurant.
    – bring a sleeping bag (or bed linen): campground cabins do not provide bed linen, you can hire it, but it costs extra (and not too little). If you plan on sleeping in a tent, bring a warm sleeping bag, especially if you plan on going to the mountains.
    – If you decide on visiting Jotunheimen you can go from there to the fiords and Jostedaalbreen National Park (glaciers!).
    – the car ferry from Kaupanger to Gudvangen is spectacular! (also, not cheap but so worth it)
    Have fun, T.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Tormuc! Those are some great tips. 🙂 I’m just hoping the weather cooperates for all the gorgeous hiking suggestions I’m find online! I’m quite interested in at least one night in one of the huts, as that’s something we like to do in the Alps here a lot. Would be interesting to see how they are in Norway. Decisions, decisions. 🙂

  3. Pingback: 31-Day Challenge: Day 24 | Heather Goes to Deutschland

    • We’ve got the last few days in Oslo after we drop off the rental car, so that’s definitely up our alley! 🙂 There will probably be some other city visits too, especially depending what the weather situation ends up being. Thanks for the reminder on your posts, I’ll be checking them out and making some notes…

  4. Pingback: Norway Road Trip 2017: Sæbø on the Hjørundfjorden | Heather Goes to Deutschland

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