It all started with hosting a Swiss couchsurfer who was longboarding Norway from North to South and had told me about a travel show called “Long decks, Long Treks” where people were traveling long ditstances with just their longboards. I had previously longboarded quite a few kilometers between Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan, and had looked for similar trips close to where I live, and longboarding the country East to West was the obvious answer.
I had taken Friday off work, thinking that it would take a full two or three days to longboard the 80 kilometers from the Swedish border to a town called Hell on the coast of Norway, but in fact I managed to push through the journey across Norway in just one day.
The trip started off with a bus ride from Trondheim to Storlien shopping center, a free bus that runs every day for anyone wanting to buy cheaper beer, cigarettes and bacon in our neighboring country Sweden. The first 25 kilometers from there were a bliss, with long hills downward to a town called Meråker. The local newspaper also heard about what I was doing and sent a cameraman over to make a video report. From Meråker it was over a 50 kilometer push on flat ground, which was quite tough and on rough terrain, but traveling on eye level I got to see a lot of ducks, mice and rabbits and stopped frequently to talk to people and look at the surrounding nature.
Although my legs and back was quite sore the next few days it was a great trip that did not cost me a single cent. Some newspapers have made articles about the trip which you can check out on these links (in Norwegian):
Longboarding Across Norway – Stavanger Aftenblad/Byas July 27th 2015
Longboarding Across Norway- Øyposten July 31st
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.
I am not sure if the guy I met in Brazil was telling me this or asking me this, but it was true. During this and last summer I have gotten to try out some of the many tracks you will find in Scandinavia, but with a littlebit of creativity you can also find tracks pretty much anywhere. The many long stairways in Bergen city center is one that I found pretty cool, and I have also seen people cycling down from the summit of Dalsnibben to the sea of the Geirangerfjord.
The summer ski resorts with dedicated tracks for downhill biking that I have tried are the following:
Oppdal Bike Park
Open: From May to October it is open on weekends, thursdays to sundays 11.00-17.00
Number of lifts: One gondola, Hovden, serving 7 slopes. There used to be a chairlift as well, Vangslia, but this was closed last year as new owners took over the resort
Getting there: From Trondheim by bus with “Nettbuss Nordfjord” takes two hours and costs 188kr for a student and 125kr for a bike. From Trondheim by train with “NSB” takes two hours and costs 152kr for a student and 101kr for a bike.
Lift pass costs: 100kr for one ride with the gondola, 210kr for one day pass, 360 for a two day pass
Comment: Oppdal is a quiet little town where it is easy to pitch a tent where you want in the woods. The lifts are within biking distance of the city center, and are pretty quiet with just a few bikers, some sheeps and some tourists walking the trails. There is also a nice viewpoint on top with a restaurant and luggage storage. The slopes are varied, but some are a bit hard to reach now when the chairlift is not open, then you need to push your bike across to the other side of the mountain. The slope called “Superflytløypa” was definitely my favorite, going through the woods, with a few good jumps.
Mount Ulriken, Bergen:
Open: Open every day, but hours are depending on season: May-Oct 09.00-21.00 and Oct-Apr 09.00-21.00
Number of lifts: One gondola, “Perle&Bruse“.
Getting there: Just ride your bike fifteen minutes from Bergen City Center!
Lift pass costs: 90kr for one ride with the gondola, 150kr for round trip or two separate trips
Comment: There is one dedicated downhill bike track, with quite unexpected jumps that can be hard to spot. I quite liked riding down the walking trail to Landås/Nattland, but there were no other cyclists in the tracks and places where carrying the bike was necessary.
Open: From June 7st to August 24th, it is open every day from 12.00-16.00
Number of lifts: One gondola, “Dinglo & Danglo/Hangursbanen“, and the chairlift in Bavallen for selected weekends.
Getting there: From Bergen by train with NSB takes 1h 10 mins and costs 138kr for a student
Lift pass costs: 100kr for one ride with the gondola, 210kr for one day pass
Comment: Voss is a town known for its extreme sports, and the slopes are well used by people who know their stuff! You can easily bike from the city center to the gondola or even pitch your tent on top of the lift.
Åre Bike Park
Open: From June 6th until some time in the late summer
Number of lifts: Up to seven lifts can be open for the summer season. Most of them are open from 10.00-17.00
Getting there: From Trondheim by train with NSB/SJ takes 2h 40 mins and costs 166kr for a student
Lift pass costs: 275kr for one day pass (45,- for the card itself)
Comment: It is Scandinavias biggest and best. The red slopes have lots of jumps, especially “Uffes” and “Shimano” That go from the top. The red trail of “Finbanan” followed by “Kanonrøret” fun park can be run from the lower lifts and have some great jumps, drops and wall rides.
My next downhill adventure will go to..
Oslo Sommerpark Tryvann
Open: August 19th to October 13th, Wednesdays-Thursdays (15-20) / Saturdays and Sundays(10-18)
Number of lifts: 1 chairlift serving 6 slopes
Getting there: Take the number 1 tram from Oslo City Center, get off at Voksenkollen Station (second to last) and walk for ten minutes from there to Tryvann Tower. Ticket price is 20kr if you by it on beforehand or 30kr on board the tram.
Lift pass costs: 65kr for one ride and the day passes costs 235kr on weekdays and 260kr on weekends
Comment: I’ll definately bring my bike to Oslo next time I go, as the tracks here look fun!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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/ .