Norway… Beautiful Women, Beautiful Scenery, Outrageous Prices

I am just now realizing that I’ve been traveling for more than a month without an update to the blog. I was in Spain, Ireland and back in London. I’ve done trip reports on Spain already and while Ireland was EXCELLENT, I just didn’t have the motivation to blog. It’s tough to set aside a few hours to update the blog when there is so much awesome shit happening away from the computer. I know you’ve all missed my posts so I am BACK with some info for you from Norway.

selfie in norway's handangerfjord road trip

The plan for Norway was to meet up with some friends from NY who would be doing a 5 country tour for work. They work in the youtube space and are hosting (along with some youtube personalities) a “Tour De Prank”. They have a couple of youtube ‘pranksters’ and they are being sponsored to tour Europe and create videos. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. There would be Keith and Paige who are from Long Island and DJ, their business partner, from Nebraska. Then they had about 5 pranksters and 2 of their wives.

I arrived to Norway Thursday night and grabbed a hotel close to the airport where I would meet keith, paige and dj the next day. I picked up a sim card and took the 5 minute, $5 shuttle to the hotel. That $5 shuttle would be the ONLY thing I found reasonably priced during my Norway trip. People told me this place was expensive. However, in the past, when people have told me that I’ve found whatever place I was in to not be that much more expensive (if at all) than NY. Well, I’ve found it. My dinner at the hotel was over $30 for a beer and a chicken dish. Beer in a local pub was between $10-$17 for a half pint and, after picking up 2 bottles of water for $10, I felt safe giving Norway my “MOST EXPENSIVE place I’ve ever been” award.

I met the team at the airport on Friday and we where going to head to the Airbnb that paige had secured. She ended up booking the place starting on Saturday (oops) so we had to get a quick hotel for the night. We ended up at the Best Western right in central Oslo which worked out great and at about $260 for 4 people in a room, was a reasonable price. We explored around for the day and I helped Keith get some sim cards as well. After a pair of $15 salads and 2 packs of gum ($4 for an orbit pack), I decided I’d have to be really careful about my spending here. In spain I could go to a bar and grab 6 or 7 beers a pay 15-20 euros… that would not be the case here.

We got a couple of airbnb’s for the next few nights. One in Lysaker (shown below) and one about a 10 minute bus ride to the north of Oslo city center.

a norwegian sunset from our airbnb in lysaker

Norway as a city was quite beautiful. Bustling with tourists and in typical European style, the city had a good vibe. It didn’t hurt that the people here are beautiful. Like “am I in a movie?” beautiful. The other great thing about Norway is that everyone seems to speak English. There was not one person I ran into that didn’t speak it so it made getting around and conversing much easier.

Sunday we went to the airport to pick up the rest of the crew. We also picked up some weekly metro passes which would help us save some money while taking the bus and train vs buying them each time we boarded. The funny thing is that the train has a set of cars where the conductor doesn’t visit. Not sure exactly the purpose of this but I never ONCE had someone check my ticket while riding the train. Even back and forth to the airport a couple of times. I’m not sure what the penalty (if there even is one) would be if the conductor did ask you for a ticket and you didn’t have one, but it might be worth it to just take the risk.

In an effort to save some money, the whole group had a family dinner on Sunday night. It was a good way to get to know everyone and certainly was less expensive than all of us going out for a meal at a restaurant.

Getting around Norway city is pretty easy as there are tons of train and bus options. The public transportation is clean, quite, and easy to use. The stations are well stocked with English language signage and I would have to problem suggesting Norway to people who haven’t traveled much as I would be confident they could get around.

For Monday night and Tuesday nights I decided to split from the group and explore the Norwegian countryside a bit. I’d heard some good things about the Hardangerfjord so did some research and decided to head to Odda. It is about 6 hours by car to Odda and then the plan was to drive along the fjord (I guess you can translate this as river valley). I drove up to Unte, then down to Jondal and then to Rosendal and back to Odda. The whole drive (after spending the night in Odda) was about 4.5 hours.

on the way to odda from oslo in norway

a house with a grass roof in norway

There are lots of streams and waterfalls all over the place which you can see coming from high in the mountains. I stopped at one and got a drink of cool mountain water.

taking a drink from a mountain stream. oslo to odda roadtrip

The drive to Odda and the subsequent drive around the fjord has to be one of the best drives I’ve ever taken. The time of the year is perfect as the leaves are changing so there is plenty of color on the foliage and the weather is just right.  It has seems to be just after the end of the busy tourist season so the roads were really clear (which is great because most of the 2 way roads really can only fit one car at a time).

Arriving into Odda.

odda from above during my roadtrip through norway another shot of odda from above during my norwegian road trip

All of the little villages that I passed by and the waterfalls and mountainous views made the drive spectacular.odda bay during my norway roadtrip

The actual stops were not that exciting though. As mentioned previously, Norway is a bit expensive. The restaurant options in Odda were EXTREMELY lacking and included a Thai, Chinese and Pizza place. All of them with extremely exaggerated prices and after going to the thai place for lunch and reading reviews on the other two, the food quality was subpar. Im not sure if there are more places to eat if you were to visit during the season, but it seems like most people around here must just eat at home. There was also only one bar that I found and I stayed away, opting to save my money to spend on gas (also very expensive).

After leaving odda on my way back to Oslo airport I took a different, more northern route, than on the way out. I didn’t know what to expect, but i figured different scenery would be nice. I had no idea how different it would be. The first hour or so was basically more of the same (albeit beautiful), but eventually I made it up to the top of some sort of mountain range and for the next hour and a half or so I felt like I was on the surface of a different planet. All of the beautiful foliage and vegetation was basically gone and was replaced by wide open spaces, rock formations and mountain lakes. the roads were nearly empty and life was very spread out with houses scattered here and there. I imagine this area is even more beautiful in winter covered in snow.

I made it back to the airport a few hours later then I was supposed to for returning the car, but the hertz rep was really cool about it and let me off the hook. I was, however, 5 hours early for my flight so I had to kill the time at a coffee shop where I was lucky enough to find a power outlet.

And now, off to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Can’t wait to make up for the lack of beer intake the past few days.

handangerfjord norway house on the riverside in handangerfjord norway more mountains and lakes in handangerfjord in norway during my roadtrip handangerfjord norway norwegian road trip handangerfjord norway roadtrip hdr a mountain with lake in the handangerfjord in norway more from jondal in norway jondal in norway. shot during my norway road trip norway-roadtrip-to-odda-red-house-mountain

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