Hiking the Worlds Biggest Crater in Mitzpe Ramon

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Driving through the desert from Eilat to Mitzpe Ramon, there was little to see except some lonely farms and lots of military bases. At the end of the ride we drove down into the Ramon Crater and then up from it again into the town of Mitzpe Ramon.
Well settled into my hostel, the Green Backpackers I found a map and planned my next three days of hiking through the crater. The owners and the people at the hostel quickly felt like a family after we all celebrated Hannukah with songs and candles- I love those kind of small and personal hostels.
The first day of hiking I did a short green trail that lead me down to a viewpoint where you could see the borders of the different sand colors. After the short hike I still had time to have a shower, check out the Monday market and then go up to the Camel Mountain for a small sunset picnic.
For my second day of trekking I had planned to walk almost 30 kilometers, so I started right after sunrise around six o clock in the morning. The first part was the same green track as before, then I crossed into a red path leading all across the crater before I went up again to walk along the crater edge. The scenery changed quite a bit along the way, going from red sandstone to brown, green and even sand filled with tiny white crystals.
On the third day I was absolutely too sore and tired to be hiking again, so I hitchhiked my way northwards to Jerusalem.

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Trekking the Tongoriro Crossing

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New Zealand is known for its nature and good hiking possibilities. The most famous of the day hikes being the Tongoriro Crossing that starts and ends outside a small town simply called National Park in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand.
At first I thought I would be okay with my simple traveling clothes, but when I got there I was told that they would not let me go without proper clothes so I ended up renting all clothes possible from top to toe for fourty dollars and then paid another 35 dollars for the shuttle to and from the mountain.
The trek was 20kilometers and was supposed to take anything from five to eight hours, climbing up and down in varied terrain. When we did the crossing it was cloudy, windy and a couple of minusdegrees on the top so we wanted to finish the trek as early as possible without taking much stops on the way. We finished in less than five hours and rewarded ourselves with a a cold beer in the jacuzzi afterwards.
Had it been a clear day we would have been able to see colorful lakes, Mordor and Mount Doom from the Lord of The Rings movies but we did not see any of that. It was still good as an exercise and to get to know the other travelers from my Stray bus that I would talk to throughout the hike.
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Day Trip From Stavanger to Kjerag

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Kjeragbolten is a bouder that is wedged between a mountain crevice in the en of Lysefjorden in Forsand Municipality. The trip to Kjeragbolten is easily doable as a day trip from Stavanger either with bus, with boat or by self drive. I decided to go for the latter.

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Hiking the Seven Hills Around Trondheim

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Picture taken from the official webpage www.topp7.no showing the heights of the seven peaks

Every summer thousands of people go on the so called “top 7” race, happening in the mountainous outskirts of Trondheim.

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Hiking in Norway

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Norway is best explored on foot, because what makes Norway so great is its endless wild mountains and the beautiful fjords. I have gotten to do a couple of the most famous hikes and would like to share my experiences:

Trolltunga (literally translated “the Tongue of the Troll”):
Getting There: Take a bus from Bergen to Odda, and hitchhike through the tunnel, turn right and walk up towards Tyssedal until you reach the parking lot where the trail starts
Length and duration: 11kms taking 3 hours uphill and 2,5hrs downhill
Comment: The hike up to Trolltunga starts with some tough 4 kilometers, but after that it is all a nice hike in beautiful surroundings. It is smart to start early (8am) in order to get the magnificent viewpoint at top to yourself. If you get there too late, you would have to wait in line to get your picture taken on the rock. Anyway, the view on top is well worth all the sweat and the blisters you might get from the hike!

 

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Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock):

Getting there: Boat from Stavanger to Tau, and then a bus from there

Length and duration: 4kms, taking 40 minutes for the quick one

Comment: Preikestolen is a hike with a couple of steep hills, but except for that it is a hike that even your granny could do. Just make sure to go there on a sunny day, as the view on top is the whole reason that you go there. Just expect to see a lot of tourists, and soon there might even be a cable car going up.

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Besseggen:

Getting there: Bus from Oslo (Valdresekspressen) to Gjendesheim, and boat to Gjendebu

Length and duration: 16 kms, taking approximately 8 hours (it’s a one way trip!)

Comment: Make sure to get up early and grab a queue ticket for the 10.15 boat since it is a long hike and you want to get back before the evening. The first hill is by far the toughest and once you have climbed over the first top, its a nice hike with a good view of the fjord along the way. Your feet are going to feel like jelly after the hike is over so make sure you have a friend with a cold beer and maybe a tub waiting for you when you get back to your cabin.

 

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Geirangerfjorden (the Geiranger Fjord):

Getting there: It is a 2,5 hour drive from Ålesund, and once in the city of Geiranger you will find plenty of buses that will take you to the best views

Length and duration: It depends which trails you take! There are plenty to chose from and good signs on most of them.

Comment: This is the most beautiful place in Norway and probably the whole World! Make sure to get up early to get the most of the day or spend a night at Hotel Union which has a great spa and a great view of the fjord. Ola Bua /Café Ola also has some great tapas such as smoked goat, blood sausage and deer.

 

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 August 2015 I also went to Kjeragbolten, which is a boulder situated between two mountains. Read about it here

Other good tips for hiking trips in the Norwegian nature can be found on the webpage http://ut.no/ .