Munkebu hike in Lofoten

Glorious Munkebu. 2 years after hiking to the scenic and popular Munkebu, I was finally back again.  The views are as lovely as ever, and this time I shared this beautiful hike together with my dear puppy. This summer we live pretty close to the trail’s starting point, so it was a natural thing to trek it again.

On our way upwards passing the drinking water lake Studalsvatnet, a very nice trail most of the time (except that mucky “mud bath” area I knew we would have to pass further up…Munkebu hiking trail Lofoten Moskenes lapphund

On our way up we came close up to a grouse momma running around protecting her little kids, so I am really glad I kept my puppy on a leash during the hike, keeping in mind that in certain periods lots of birds are hatching. The only time I let puppy free was up at the Munkebu cabins, where we met a supercute Husky puppy my Jenta was running around and playing with by the pond.

View over lake Studalsvatnet. We can almost see our tiny lil’ cabin down there not far from the starting point of Munkebu trailmunkebu trail studalsvatnet sørvågen

Hike for whoAll in all this is a great hike with really nice views where you pass the lakes at various stages upwards. Perhaps a bit long for some depending on fitness (2-2,5 hours one way), but still an easy/moderate dog- and family-friendly trail most people can do, don’t let the chained section scare you as it is safe and not too steep – the chains are there to make it easier for you.

Alternatives: From Munkebu you can also continue up to Munken mountain peak nearby for extra views. You can also pitch your tent around Munkebu (or around Sørvågen lake) and do the hike to Hermandalstinden ….or why not pay Merraflestinden a visit on the return, (my favorite as you can hike along the steep edge upwards (offers a more gentle descend joining the main trail again).

About 50-100m passing Munkebu cabin we sat down and enjoyed this scenery for a while – a great view towards Hermandalstinden. Far back to the right we could also catch a glimpse of Helvetestinden ridgemunkebu panoramic tennesvatnet

Trail quality: Nice, well-worn and marked. The only thing I don’t like is that darn “mud bath” area you will have to cross along the trail, especially during a moist summer … an trail-cluster over-developed by thousands of hiking shoes and moist).

It was there 2 years ago, and it is still there… my bright long haired dog turned into a dark grey mudball.. but the salvage operation was to wade with her into the chilling river after returning (note! choose the river that runs into the Sørvågvatnet lake and not the river running to the drinking water lake) and rinse here fur as clean as possible – pretty refreshing for sweaty hiking feet too 😉

View to Djupfjord. Why not do a lil’ detour along the supercool edge up to Merraflestinden (to the right). A more gentle trail lead you down again to join the main trail at Klokkafemskaret (see the green trail on my map)Merraflestinden

We also met several super nice hikers on this hike (on most hikes we do actually) that we also meet again later .. the Norwegian landscapes are for sure a natural people connector – if you are open for it.

Returning to Studalsvatnet – soon time for a cold wade in the riverMunkebu hiking trail Lofoten Moskenes Studalsvatnet lapphund

Stay overnight: If you plan to stay at Munkebu cabin (or any DNT-cabin in Lofoten) you will need to ask for a “special key“.  Personally I still don’t understand why the ordinary DNT-key is not good enough (as a paying member) – the allround-key is suppose to make hikes easier! Not all of us have our a car here to get around picking up special keyes here and there.

So most people instead pitch a tent around Sørvågvatnet lake or around the area of Munkebu. In good weather it is a blessing for sure, in bad weather a curse.

Water filling:  I usually fill my and puppys bottle in Studalsvatnet lake or by the ascent at the smaller  streams coming from the little pond Kjølavatna (further below Klokkafemskaret).

Where to park: When you have passed both the food shops in Sørvågen (coming from Reine/Moskenes ferry) you turn right at the hiking sign/mailboxes, the road will lead you to the parking area with an information board at trail start.

travel blog Moskenesøya Norway

Solbjornvatnet and Okstinden hike in Lofoten

Have you ever wondered how it looks at the other side of Reine‘s famous spectacular mountain views? Well, wonder no more my dear readers .. curious or not, in just a short and easy hike you can see for yourself these wonderful views hiding behind Rein’s looming front peaks.

Ever wondered what’s it looks like behind these spectacular mountains views in Reine? Olstinden Reine Lofoten travel landscape lapphund

Me and my puppy Jenta took the bus from Tind/Å at the end of Lofoten  (where I am based for the moment) via Reine – and got off the bus directly after the Fjøsdaltunnelen (ask the bus driver kindly if he/she can drop you off at the first pocket at Fjøsdalen after the tunnel (not so far from Soløya bus stop)).

The easy trail starts from the little recycling plant in Fjøsdalen. About 35 minutes later you will be up at the pass and already see parts of lake Solbjørnvatnet. If you follow the trail to the right you will shortly get on top of Okstinden with super nice views over the lakes, mountains and fjords, among this the little beautiful lake Svartvatnet to the left surrounded by steep mountain peaks.

A short and easy hike and you will find this hidden treasure behind Reine’s looming peaks  I did not meet a single soul here, so a great hiking area for those who seek some peace and quiet.behind-reine-panoramic-view-solbjornvatnet-mountains-landscape-okstind-travel.

From the top of Okstinden I could see the trails continue around both sides of Solbjørnvatnet lake, so hopefully next time will be a longer hike around here to discover more in this area, and of course – bring my fishing rod along as this lake is full of trouts!

View from Okstind towards Svartvatnet and some of the “Reine” mountains, but from the other side that is.Lofoten hike lake mountains panorama easy trail trout

 

Simple map of hiking trail to Okstinden and Solbjørnvatnethike solbjornvatnet okstinden flakstad moskenes lofoten map kart

hiking Lofoten easy hike Solbjørnvatnet Svartvatnet travel blog fishing trout family vandring fjelltur Flakstad Moskenes Reine mountains 

Helvetestinden ridge hike in Lofoten

So, here I am back home in Norway again to work through the summer, but this time I choose to work in Lofoten to enjoy the magic landscape together with my puppy Jenta. 10 days biking and hiking in Lofoten two years ago only worked as a teaser for me, as there is soooo much more to see and do here …when the weather is ok alright.

After reaching Bunes Beach we continued turned to the right on the trail leading us up to Helvetestind, as you can see a part of on the photoBunes beach bunesstranda reine

So my dear readers, we have already done several easy hikes, and last week the sun actually showed up between cloudy stormy days, and I and puppy was one of many eagerly waiting for the second extra-trip with the line boat out to the little village Vinstad from Reine. I met some wonderful people while waiting at the pier and we became a nice little group on this excursion.

Hiking Helvetestinden ridge between Kirkefjord and Reinefjorden/Vinstad. This hike reminds me quite a bit about the awesome ridge hike over Romsdalseggen a few years ago.Helvetestinden Hells peak ridge Reine Kirkefjorden Vinstad Moskenes Lofoten Reinefjorden

So, after enjoying the spectacular 15 min boat trip onReinefjorden surrounded by looming mountain peaks, we disembarked the boat and hiked through a very small and cosy little village. A nice and easy trail lead us over to the beautiful Bunes beach (45-60 min) with its white sands and turquoise water.

We decided to hike up to Helvetestind and see how far we would walk out on the ridge, and I can promise you we all was really thankful for that decision when we reached the mountain pass. Oh my God such stunning views!   

 One side of the ridge offer spectacular views over Kirkefjord.. I know you fully understand why we blissfully walked around smiling on the ridgeHelvetestinden ridge Reine Moskenes Lofoten hells peak ridge kirkefjorden hiking vandring fjelltur

 

I think we all agreed that hike from Bunes beach up to the mountain pass was a relatively quick and easy hike up and not so steep, if you stick to the trails of course (someone got a bit stuck on some slippery slabs). You will have wonderful views already reaching the pass, and many are satisfied with this and have their lunch with a view there.

Helvetestinden fjellrygg Hells peak ridge Reine Lofoten

Some of us went curiously further out on the ridge (the trail actually goes in both ridge directions) to have a look, here and there it is pretty narrow, but the last peak (summit) we desisted from as the fog was already covering parts of the peaks.

On the other side of the ridge where you hike up you will look down on Reinefjororden and Vinstad where the boat arrives – and on your way up tha trail you will probable understand what I mean by a “tiny cosy cemetery”.Helvetestinden ridge Reine Moskenes Lofoten hells peak ridge kirkefjorden hiking vandring fjelltur

The boat company did an extra trip just to get us all back to Reine again, so we didn’t have to wait for hours on the next scheduled boat, so creds to them for that, but be sure to your bring warm/water- and wind resistent clothes just in case .. it can be cold to wait. In high season lots of people want to visit this beautiful area, so be prepared to line up early or wait for an extra boat trip across the fjord… but it will be SO WORTH IT!  😀

The boat can also disembark you in Kjerkfjorden (Kirkefjord) where you can hike to Horseid beach
Helvetestinden Kirkefjorden finsk lapphund hiking vandring fjelltur lofoten Reine Moskenes

 

It is so easy to forget the smaller details when surrounded by such scenic views, like these small little beauties that are strong enough to survive in this tough environments: Alpine Azalea (Kalmia procumbens).Alpine Azalea trailing azalea greplyng fjellblomst

Lofoten is fairly famous for it’s absolutely spectacular mountains,  but this archipelago have much more to offer, and I will try to show you some of this too, so you just stay calm and behaved until next incoming post  😉

My puppy Jenta did really good on this hike, she is learning to cooperate with me while hiking, and so am I?? ..this adorable “little” Finnish lapphund-girl charmes about everyone she meets…Helvetestind mountain ridge panoramic view Kirkefjord Reine

 

How to get here – Travel information:

Boat schedule from Reine to Vinstad / Kirkefjord: Reinefjorden.com

Bus timetable between Å, Reine, Moskenes ferry harbour and Leknes

Bus timetable between Å, Reine, Moskenes, Svolvær and Narvik

 

Map for boat and hike: Reine > Reinefjorden > Vinstad > Bunes beach > Helvetestindenmap kart Reine Moskenes Vinstad Bunes beach Helvetestinden

[Click to view detailed map at http://www.ut.no]

Biking, Hiking and Fishing Tour from Norway to Sweden

For the third time I was ready to start my lil’ solo bicycle tour after finishing my seasonal summer work in Tafjord, Norway. This year I planned to bicycle from Tafjord to Östersund in Sweden. I had a final date to keep to be home, but to avoid stressing  (after all this was my little vacation this year) I started wheeling with an open mind and no rigid plan to follow.

On the road I think my personal highlights was once again to be back in lovely Åndalsnes (where my father came from), downhill Trollstigen and climbing the new Romsdalsstigen Via Ferrata , I also had the pleasure to try the new Dovre bicycle route over Dovre mountain range (someone later called it Tour De Dovre ), tested out my good fortune in fishing in Vålåsjøen lake and hiking Mehøe. An evening in beautiful Røros museum area and then somehow ended up in a very nice fish-camp in Storsjön, Sweden. 

I met a lot of nice people, got lots of good memories, and would like to share my map and photos for travel inspiration to others who want to do a similar route. And, don’t be afraid to ask if you have a question regarding this.

I have created this map on Google including my travel photos and some travel information/advice:

 

You can view all the map photos above in a collection right here:

 

 

Top 5 outdoor activities along Tafjorden, Norway

The list could be so much longer of course, but I have shortened it down to my 5 favourite adventures from last summer while working at the power- and avalanche center.  There are still stuff I want to do here, but time will tell. Let’s take a look at some relatively easy/moderate activities  – all of them situated along the beautiful Tafjorden.

My very first morning back in Tafjord on my way to work. My visit in Rondane had come to an end – and the return bicycle trip went by Langvatnet, Djupvasshytta, Geiranger, up Ørnevegen Eagle Road, Eidsdal,  ferry to Valldal and then the tunnels to Tafjord) …a cold, wet and windy bicycle ride, but so nice to get back to the place I feel is like a second home! Tafjord Tafjordfjella Tafjorden

 Tafjorden and Valldalen is a great outdoor area where people come to experience climbing, skiing, hiking, rafting, kayaking etc in spectacular fjord and mountain surroundings. Situated between the famous Trollstigen and Geiranger you can be sure this area will give you great adventure memories!

I ex. why not challenge yourself by rappelling down the 95 meter high dam wall Zackariasdammen, enjoy various water sports in the wild river Valldøla or just recharge your batteries with some easier and traditional hiking activities – everything with lots of fresh air and absolutely magnificent views!

SO LET’S GO – I GIVE YOU MY TOP-5 TO-DO OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES FROM LAST SUMMER:

Tafjordsætra and Muldalsfossen waterfall– (2 in 1 hike)

Trail to Muldalsfossen viewpointmuldalen trail sti steep bratt utsikt viewpoint muldalsfossen

 

On this hike you will see a lot if you decide to go both places in one day. Shortly after the tunnel Heggurtunnelen you will find a parking and information borders to the left. Hike up the 13 hair pin bends (30 -40 minutes?) on a nice trail from the road.

At the bridge at Muldalen farm you can choose to do a shorter detour to see Muldalsfossen waterfall from its viewpoint – it’s one of the highest single drop waterfalls in Norway. You have to cross the bridge and walk straight through the farm to find the marked path. Note! It has pretty exposed sections, mostly fenced, but just be careful. Last year a second foreign visitor tragic fell to his death at the top area of the waterfall, but if you keep to the trails you will be fine!!

Tafjordsetratafjordsetra trails muldalssetra muldalen landscape hiking seter cabins easy hike

 

From the bridge (don’t forget to sign your autograph in the visitor book in the box here) you can also continue for about 40 minutes into Tafjordsætra/Muldalsætra. A very peaceful and beautiful mountain pasture I often hike to, climb up on one of the large stone blocks there and just chill! From here it is possible to choose several marked DNT-trails into the mountain world of Tafjordfjella

 

Klovsetsætra

Picturesque views indeed….tafjordfjella fjords utsikt paniramic view mountain pasture seter klovset valldalen landscape

Drive or bicycle up the serpentine road from the center of Valldalen. From the parking lot there are a short way to walk to get to the mountain pasture. The place is still in use (there is also an outhouse along the short trail from the parking area).

Take a stroll around to enjoy the adorable fjord- and mountain views, or continue on several marked trails further upwards. I took my visiting friends up here, and I think they adore it as much as I do.

 

Mefjellet and Hegguraksla (2 in 1 hike)

Sheep with a view from Nysetranysetra nysaetra hiking fjords mountains valldal tafjorden cabins seter mountain pasture visit norway travel

Starting point from Fjøra. Drive up the serpentine road (or bicycle up, I can promise you a calm and cosy road upwards) until you get to a farm and a marked parking area. From here you will first hike up to beautiful Nysætra on a nice forest road.

If you choose the trail to Mefjellet you will have a moderate hike up to the peak (1 088 masl) with really awesome views at the top. It is possible to continue on marked trails further into the mountains if you are looking for a longer hike.

Hiking over Hegguraksla

If you choose the trail towards Heggurdalen you will mostly get an easy but interesting hike. Up here you can also hike along the edge with a vertical rock face diving straight into Tafjorden. (it is possible to avoid this exposed part by keeping to the inner trail). You will also see the control equipment monitoring the unstable massif Hegguraksla. I think this is very interesting since it’s also connected to my work place.

 

Fishing in Tafjorden

Fishing dinner – such a calming way to get some fresh food… love ittafjord fishing mackarel

My favourite peaceful activity after a day at work, just jump on my bicycle and bike 10 minutes to the bay (Situated below Muldalen). Sitting there on the bare rock in the afternoon sun with these wonderful views are absolutely thrilling. Sometimes the bay is just bubbling with porpoises, mackerel and herring.

I usually get a couple of mackerel, fat healthy fish totally for free!  It was a pleasure to invite my visiting friends from Sweden on fresh fish dinner directly from the sea. Several places near the road along Tafjorden are good for fishing, it is also possible to rent a rowing boat (incl outboard motor) from the camping site and float around on the fjord.

 

Sea kayaking along Tafjorden

tafjorden kayak kayaking paddling sea kajakk outdoor activity valldal

A good friend working for an outdoor company invited me on a kayak trip on Tafjorden. I have been kayaking in Sweden and Slovenia earlier, but this was just something special. In a beautiful fjord, surrounded by mountains.. for a raised islander like me I guess nothing really beats the smell of fresh seawater! Why not  do a kayak trip across the fjord and visit a mountain pasture or cabin?  If this is a bit to peaceful , you can instead join the rafting in Valldøla.

 

Missing something? Try some of my earlier outdoor activities around this area 

Any questions? You are welcome to ask 🙂

Rondvassbu to Veslesmeden climb (2015 masl)

After an early wakeup call from the passing baryton sheep at 5 o’clock in the morning, I enjoyed a sunny outdoor breakfast and prepared a daypack for a hike. The day before I had discovered a bicycle that belonged to the mountain pasture, and decided to borrow it since it had tires that was more fitted than my bike for the pebbled gravel road I would follow in to Rondane National Park.

Such a welcoming and promising view…Rondane rondvassbu bike tour trip travel landscape rondvatnet

The goal was Rondvassbu, and from there I would decide where to hike. From Mysusæter the road went upwards (of course) in the beginning, but then it mostly flattens out – and wow what a gorgeous painting  to bike in all the way (10 km) to Rondvassbu. 

During the summer season you can rent a bicycle at Spranget situated 6 km from Rondvassbu (it is not allowed to drive further in) to reach Rondvassbu a bit faster . It’s also possible to choose from several other hiking routes back again. (Open the detailed Rondvassbu-map further below).

Rondvassbu – the starting point for lots of great hikes and 2000-meter-peak climbs. Every morning during the summer season the boat -MS Rondejenta -will transport you to the other end of lake Rondvatnet( 1168 masl).rondvassbu dnt cabin dnt mountain hike

 

First part of the trail leading up to Veslesmeden, here you have a spectacular view towards Rondvassbu and Rondvatnet…Rondvassbu DNT hytte cabin norway rondane nasjonalpark hik trails

The beautiful situated DNT-hut Rondvassbu was yet not open for visitors this day (it opened the day after I was there ..alrighty), but I could borrow the lady’s room and had a lefse-meal by the crystal clear lake Rondvatnet.

Rondvassbu is a great starting point for many of the 2000-meter peaks surrounding the place … so I picked Veslesmeden (2015 masl) as a possible “topptur” target that day, and followed the well-marked trail upwards.

Yes, I DO like the thought that I got myself up here at 2 015 meters above sea level all the way from Otta just by biking and hiking up … no motor driven = no carbon dioxide emissions to get up here. (Most people drive all the way up to Spranget and park there) before hiking.  veslesmeden rondane

No, I didn’t fall asleep alright… I guess I’m just a StoneHugger 😀Veslesmeden topptur hike climb Rondane landscape Najonalpark Park Norge mountains panoramic Norway

It was still early in the season, so I didn’t meet many hikers that day. A nice chat with a german couple returning from another trail.. and a guy far ahead of me with the same peak in mind was all. Higher up it was still soft snow layers here and there to pass, but not a problem really.

I finally reached a “plateau” (1871 masl), and from here I could see the wide “ridge” to follow and the final steeper ascend to the very top.  Just watch your steps the last part, and you will be fine.

Peaceful moment..just sitting there to take it all in.. no sounds..just the wind.. 

Some seconds of peaceful live-view from Veslesmeden

 

 

USEFUL TRAVEL INFO LINKS

 

Trail map from Mysusæter to Rondvassbu (click to se large interactive map with info)map kart rondvassbu veslesmeden topptur

 

Trail map from Rondvassbu to Veslesmeden (click to se large interactive map with info)

map kart rondvassbu Veslesmeden

Rondane National Park area

When Plan A is down, Plan B is on. A very good Plan B I may say indeed.

Plan A was to bike from Stryn over the old and famous mountain road Gamle Strynefjellsvegen to my next job in Tafjord – but, as many travellers also wondered about early that summer; when would the old mountain road open for summer?? (Actually – not before the day after I had to leave ..ha..ha)

So, aware of this I made a Plan B: to take the bus through the mountain tunnels, continue to Otta and from there “bicycle” up to Mysusæter (a cabin and mountain farm cluster area) at the foot of Rondane National Park. And that is what I did. I only had 3 whole days for disposal before next job startup, so there was really no time to lose…

From Otta and up the serpentine road towards Mysusæter and Rondane mountain range – the weather is great and the view is getting better and better for every “tornante” upwardsotta uphill serpentine road bicycle trip travel rondane national park

Otta. I remember standing in front of that mountain wall looking up on its serpentine roads that was waiting for me and my fully packet bicycle. Oh my … I could just feel the sweat and pain already… but the weather was nice, so good to go!

My lil “carrot” was an old saeter cottage I had rented at a mountain pasture for a very nice price, so I knew I would arrive to a very cosy place to relax.. eh..did I say relax? well..yay and nay.

The road up was a sweat alrighty, I bicycled whenever I could, and pushed when needed. I met curious people to talk to and get some information about the area. After xx?? hours (who cares) upwards (and some downhills I finally reached the gravel road leading to the mountain pasture…whohaa, absolutely lovely to arrive!

My little saeter cottage to the left – how about these beautiful surroundings? Some sheep and lambs was lurching around here and made the whole area just magnificent… just watch out for sheep cake droppings, as I didn’t! rondane national park mountain pasture tradition

Oh, what a lovely place to arrive in the afternoon. When the cottage owners heard I was arriving on a bicycle, they had made the fireplace ready, filled up several water cans and made up the bed for me. That is just how wonderful people can be ❤ I parked the bike on the newly renovated porch, packed up my stuff and made a warm meal and coffee on the propane burner.

Lake Furusjøen in the eveningRondane National Park Norway mountains lake Mysusaeter Furusjoen sunset landscape fjelltur

View from my bedroom window… but the old window glass and thick lumber walls could not protect my ears against the bleating baryton sheep passing at 5 o’clock in the morning… 😀window view rondane rondablikk mysusæter rondane

I kept the dairy products chilled in the old cellar hatch in the floor. Right across the gravel road there was a big old sheep barn with an outhouse privy, and if I wanted a shower I could go down to the lake for a refreshing bath. PC and phone was recharged by a small solar cell panel.

mysuseter mountain pasture cabin window view furusjoen rondablikk rondane national park seter hyttetur landscape

The evening was still young, so I decided to explore the trails in the area around my cabin… always curious where all the trail signs would take me… and oh what an amazing evening hike that was! It is fully possible to hike from this place all the way into Rondvassbu and the national park as the trails seems to be well-connected to each other (take a closer look at the map below).

This was worth every bead of sweat that day…no-one around.. only peaceful nature at it’s best with panoramic view towards Rondane National Park and it’s 10 peaks rising above 2000 meters. So which one to choose? rondane nasjonalpark national park landscape photography selfie fjelltur nysysæter

Cosy evening in the mountain pasture cottage by the open fireplace – loading for a longer and higher hike next morning. I absolutely adore this old and peaceful place ❤ hyttetur rondane koselig cosy open fireplace mountain pasture seter mysysæter

The very next day was going to be even more amazing (was that possible?)… entering the national park and hiking a bit higher up… so just stay calm and tuned my dear readers 🙂

 

TRAVEL INFORMATION

Klick on the map below for a larger interactive map and hiking trails information at UT.NO

Map kart Rondane National Park Mysusaeter Veslesmeden Rondablikk Furusjoen Rondvassbu Rondvatnet

Some useful travel links for you:

Norways’ National Day – Gratulerer med dagen

What a beautiful sunny day to celebrate the Norwegian National Day, I really wish I was home to celebrate with friends and family, but not this year. I will of course miss my mothers delicious sour cream porridge, but I will make something tasty traditional food when my son comes home this evening.

From last years celebration I have lovely memories when I was home working at Jostedalsbreen National Park center on May 17th, the visitors really appreciated that my boss and I decided to dress up in our national costumes at work, we had to pose on photos all day! 😀 That same evening I wanted to have my own photos from our National Day – and the very best place around was to hike up to beautiful Segestad to get them ❤

🇧🇻️ Gratulerer med dagen Norge!  🇧🇻

17 mai nasjonaldag national day Norway costume bunad festdrakt segestad

 

Hiking Sunndalen mountain valley

At first I thought this mountain valley hike would become the most dull and grey one, but it turned out absolutely magnificent! It would also be my very last hike in the spectacular Jostedalsbreen National Park and Stryn area before I leaving for next work and new outdoor adventures . I only met 2 hikers on this trail, so it’s a perfect hike for those who want to feel nearness to nature in peaceful, beautiful environments.

The weather started out grey with some rain drops now and then, and I admit – it was bit tempting to stay in the cosy cabin to do some extra work on my laptop, but it was a day off so I wanted to just get out..and up!

It started as usual with a bicycle trip from the farm cabin in Oppstryn and around the end of Oppstrynsvatnet lake towards Hjelledalen, where I at Folva took off to Sunndalen mountain valley on a gravel road leading through a goat farm..

 

After a couple of km I parked my bicycle by a tree to hike the rest of the road and then on the marked trail. The goal was the mountain pasture Sunndalssætra, and all the way up I would be accompanied by the beautiful river Sunndøla all the way up to the magnificent waterfall Tverrelvfossen.

Tverrelvfossen it a very photogenic waterfall, especially during the melting period – looks like a bridal veil fluttering in the wind. Tverrelvfossen waterfall foss stryn sunndalssetra sunndalen landscape turjenter hike

It is mostly an easy trail, so this is a nice hike for families too. You will pass a bit of history (PineGuri-steinen), beautiful lush nature, the magnificent waterfall Tverrelvfossen …and of course enjoy your packed lunch at the old mountain pasture Sunndalssetra (depopulated due to frequent rock slides in the older days). There is an available outhouse there too, and also an abandoned lodge house.

Travel info:

  • If you are up to longer and tougher hikes for days this old (but restored) trail continues and will take you over the mountain passing Kamperhamrane, Skridulaupbu to Skjåk or Grotli on the other side, old routes often used by drovers, shepherdess and traders back in the old days. (See this link for more information).
  • I found this informative pdf-file online at Turbok.no including guiding trail photos: Map, info and trail photos for hiking Sunndalen and Sunndalssætra (pdf-file)

Map ( Opens up in http://www.ut.no)map kart sunndalen sunndalssetra hike trail tur stryn

Any questions about this hike? Just ask 🙂

 

Mount Skåla summit hike

A fjord to summit hike doesn’t get better than this – here you will hike (or run) the longest uphill in Norway! From a sunny, hot and blue-green fjord landscape up to ice-cold wind, deep snow, fog and spectacular views over peaks and glaciers.

Hiking up to 1 848 meters altitude early in June sure is both varied and a challenge in deep soft snow and wind! Just be well prepared and don’t underestimate this hike – and you will do fine!

And such a lovely reward to stay over in the new and modern Skålabu top cabin spaceship, gathering together with other hikers by that warming wood burning stove, play Yatzy and have a cup of hot chocolate ..or two.. or three.. while the wind howling outside the cabin walls…

This would also be my last bicycle trip into Loen from Oppstryn. After a night in my tiny tent I packet my backpack next morning and left the tent and bicycle at the camp site to hike up to Skåla for an overnight stop in the top hut. This famous mountain hike has been on my really-want-to-do list for a while, so I was now looking forward to a steeper hike this time.

NOTE! I knew it would be a steep and tough hike in snow further up as it was still early in June., but not everyone had checked the weather conditions and summit in sneakers and thin clothing! …soaked, frozen feet and a somehow spoiled hike for somebody that is! So do your self a favour and check the conditions before you go!  

Having a moment. I could see a little glimpse of Lovatnet down there between the mountains, and that very evening I would go fishing trouts for supper in it.skåla summit hike randonne fjelltur skålatårnet

Up to about 1 000 meters the trail was pretty easy to hike along Fosdøla river, it was hot and the bugs was biting.. but after crossing the bridge the snow cover gradually increased. I passed two resting women when I started on the snow part, and from here I looked upwards at the steep snow-covered mountain sides and could sense that ice-cold wind, and I just knew that I if I wanted to get up all the way I had to just continue without any sit-down breaks,  if else I would quickly go from sweating to start freezing as the chilly wind came straight down the mountain sides further up.

The view is super – I have absolutely no complaint! 😀

So, I found some tracks from a big guy’s hiking shoes that I tried to step into and use as “stairs” as I really didn’t want to sink in that deep soft snow, that would make the ascent so much harder.

About half way up in the snow hills I only stopped to eat a cinnamon-lefse while standing, and continued the last part over a couple of “luretopper” (when you think you are almost there, but oh so far away) ..ha..ha.

The old and fashionable Skålatårnet built in 1891 (Kloumanstårnet), still in use, and still surrounded by some snow as you can see … in this two-storey tower hut you will sleep in a semicircular bed system, well protected from mountain blizzards inside a more than 1 meter thick brick wallskålatårnet kloumanstårnet hiking randonee topptur summit hike DNT skålafjellet

Finally I reached the top plateau. The fog was starting to thicken so it was a welcoming sight to finally see the old and beautiful Skålatårnet and DNT’s brand new mountain cabin spaceship Skålabu (see link further down for info). Both the cabins offer self-service, and you can pay later for both lodge and supplies. (As a DNT-member you pay less.)

At the edge outside Skålatårnet cabin tower.. .don’t go to close to the edge here, the hanging snowdrifts are melting and not at all to be trusted. Beneath them there is a vertical rock face faaaaar down.topptur summit hike skala stryn skålatårnet fjord mountain norway travel landscape view on the edge

The new top cabin Skålabu is comfortable and modern with “inhouse toilets” (you don’t have to go outdoor in shitty weather) but still very cosy with large panoramic windows towards magnificent views, but just not this evening when the weather turned in to grey, foggy and windy blur. But guess what, that very next morning the wind was silent and the sun shining!

 

I met som very nice people in the cabin, we fired up the wood burning stove so we could hang up our wet’n sweaty stuff to dry, and the assorted supplies room was visited frequent that cosy evening – more hot chocolate for me please!

We where only 6 people sleeping over that night, so I got that whole upper floor to myself!  Oh how I just looove to just lie there in the dark listening to the whining wind outside. Didn’t want to fall asleep, but sure did.

Skålabu views – like a spaceship has landed on the summit :)We all steamed out the get some sunny picture that morning – just in case the weather gods changed their minds – oh such a beautiful refreshing morning on snow crust! I had a looong cosy breakfast with great views before leaving the cabin, no hurry!

Going down – fun and easy! Bring your randonee skis or sledding board for more speed… but I was happy with a running descend instead…skåla summit hike fjelltur topptur randonee fjord skålabu skålatårnet vandring hiking

The hike downwards again became fun indeed. I discovered that it was easier for me to just run down the mountain side in that deep snow, so I tightened my backpack a bit more and ran from about 1 800 to 1 000 meters in no time ..only interrupted by a quick chat with som happy randonee-guys on their way up for a ride down

I still had the evening disposal before bicycling back to Oppstryn next morning, so I grabbed my  lil’  simple telescope fishing rod and went fishing in the Lovatnet lake. It is free to fish in this lake, with lots of fish in it (lots of small ones too), . so you don’t need to buy any fishing licence at all for this lake. This is possible thank’s to a “Dutch treat” by the local accommodation providers in the are.

I got a little trout for supper, and lost one.. .. but the tenting-guy further away from me didn’t get anything at all with his advanced fishing equipment .. me – veryvery – bad – smiling 😉

Travel info:

map kart skaala hike skalatarnet skalabu loen

Via Ferrata Loen

Shortly before the second bicycle tour from Oppstryn to Loen I found my bicycle punctured by a push-pin, and I had no mending-kit available at that time. But the very kind cabin landlord saved my sorry ass by lending me her own bicycle – as she knew I had booked a climb up the famous Loen Via Ferrata route. My panniers fitted nicely, so off I went!

Arriving Loen camp site I first put up my little tent, and decided to include a bike and hike into Bødalsbreen glacier that very same evening…. most probable because I longed for a bicycle ride along that beautiful Lovatnet again. The weather was shifting, and the last part of the road ascending up to Bødalssetra trail was tough so I had to push the bike up.

From Bødasseter it takes about 30-45 minutes to hike into the foot of Bødalsbreen glacier. Expect some snow and slush along the trail early in season, (I was here at the end of May 2017). If you want to see a beautiful photo of how far down this glacier arm once reached (among green grass and flowery meadows) many years ago – then do pay a visit to Loenvatn Feriesenter 

 

 

Via ferrata Loen. Next morning I woke up in a hot sunbathing tent! Luckily in weather again! I biked down to the Loen Active center to join the fully booked groups, as first time on this route I didn’t want to climb it alone. We would actually climb up to Hoven (1011 masl) and take the Loen Skylift down again. Everything is located in central Loen and easily accessible, we just choose to take the long way up ..ha..ha.

A magic bicycling ride along the Lovatnet lake once again – the sun is shining and life is good!Lovatnet bike trip Lodalen bødalen

 

It turned out to be an absolutely spectacular day with fun and awesome people in my climb group, a super hot and sweaty rock face to force… and breathtaking views!  The only bad thing was my GoPro who decided to die right before the climb (battery),  oh so annoying – but in my group we used each other’s phones to still get some photos of a memorable day.

 

 

Gjølmunnebrua suspension bridge (below) wasn’t that scary actually, a bit shaky perhaps… my lil’ group decided to skip the wire bridge further up as it was clogging/queuing with people that day, instead we continued straight to the top and grabbed an ice-cold beer before the bar closed at HovenLoen skylift took us all the way down again in just minutes. 

 

Travel information:

Finally, just personal via ferrata-advice from me: in the peak season it is smart rent the necessary equipment and climb the route without a guide (if you know how to climb via ferrata of course) – to avoid waiting a long time every time a crux is clogging with less experienced climbers.  But I don’t regret joining that guided group first time here as it was extra fun and social, and not so “desolated” as it felt when I later climbed the via ferrata Skuleberget on my own.

 

Map from Loen to Bødalsseter mountain pasture and Bødalsbreen glacier

Having a break with an awesome view towards Lovatnet.Loen via ferrata norway climb

 

 

Outdoor spring workout

Friends and family chuckle warmly of me, they say I for sure live pretty rural on my little farm, it’s just made for boredom.. but no! there is just too much stuff occurring and happening in me and my son’s life, almost continuously, I feel like a rugby player always on the field. I would actually love to be bored for just a day or two..but no.

So the very last incident I really could be without, and I am still a bit shaky from it. My dear son had an indefinite and acute incident and ended up in the hospital for a week, I actually thought he died while I held him in my arms… (sure sounds like a cliché, but a true cliché then) ..it takes time to recover from an overwhelming experience like that, both for my son and me… thank god I have my family in Norway for support, my furry animals, and even some of the health personnel here that are so wonderful in what they do – wich also included handling a dazzled mom – ha..ha, so god bless them!  More about this when I’m ready to sit down an take it all from the beginning...

I say it again and again…a very helpful and effective way to cope with whatever worry’s your/my mind is of course to get out in nature or to workout outdoor. Don’t immure! So for today’s adventure I and my lovely puppy Jenta went for a sunny run in icy, muddy and slushy forest roads.. yippii..the spring melting is on .. but slooowly as you also can see below…workout outdoor gym mindfullness weight lift running barn squats deadlift

After the run we went to my little barn where I have stashed some very simple workout equipment, and did some basic squats and deadlifts.. it’s been a while since last time I weight trained (just didn’t feel for it in minus 30 degrees), so it is such a nice spring act to start-up again lightly and gradually after a run ..sticking to the basics of course. .. I simply don’t want a skinny ass flapping in the summer breeze!

Oh, and you guys, I still have a lot to recommend and write about for those who are planning to visit Norway this summer... the posts will be on their way – just a lil’ bit overdue as I had to reload first…  ❤

Take care , see you soon back here 😀

Kjenndalsbreen glacier of Norway

One of my favourite alternative suggestions for visitors when I worked at the Jostedalsbreen Visitor Center was to visit Kjenndalsbreen glacier instead of Briksdalsbreen glacier. Briksdalsbreen is the most well-known and easy accessible glacier in the area, but Kjenndalsbreen is far more beautiful and much less crowded than Briksdalsbreen… and the narrow pictorial road along lake Lovatnet – leading you into the Kjenndalen glacier – will give you a godsmacking experience for sure!

The magnificent Kjenndalsbreen is a glacier spur of the main glacier Jostedalsbreen – I didn’t have a zoom lens, so this is one of the closest photo I could getKjenndalsbreen glacier

And I would not claim this if I hadn’t visited them both, Briksdalsbreen many years ago when I was attending tourism and travel-school has retreated a lot, and Kjenndalsbreen last spring/summer have retreated again too, but are still looking good – it was an absolutely breathtaking moment when the weather gods finally let the sun break through that magic evening – simply a “bellissimo viaggio”.

This was the first of 3 bicycle trips I did to Loen area when I was working in Oppstryn for a month. The weather was a bit dull & grey when I decided to pack my stuff and bicycle 35 km into the beginning of Lovatnet and stay over night.

Steep and narrow roads with great views – it is not boring I can promise you. And wow what a job to build these roads in the old days! Steep Norwegian roads Lovatnet

I intended to sleep in my tent, but when I had a “dinner-break” at Loenvatn Feriesenter I ended up getting a discount on a cabin since it was early season and I was solo. The friendly chef had a lot of knowledge about the glaciers in the area and also about the tragic history regarding the accidents at Ramnefjellet.

He also lended me a book about this, so if you want first hand information regarding these subjects, make a stop at this place! Combined with great food (their traditional “kjøttkakemiddag” is delicious – try it!), smiling faces and awesome views I had a very very nice and informative stay.

Back at the lodge that evening I went down to this little pier right below my cabin – and managed to take this nice photo of Lovatnet before the sun disappeared and the wind and rain took over during the night. Lovatn Feriesenter view

So, when I had packed up I decided to bike the remaining 17 km into Kjendalsbreen that same evening, as the weather seemed to lighten up even more. The bike trip into the glacier was a real thrill, and before the last km of gravel road starts you will have to move along some narrow steep road hammered in the mountain side…with a first class view to the rock slide wounds of the famous Ramnefjellet – wow what a magic evening!

On my way back to the cabin with the base of Ramnefjellet mountain in the background. Along this narrow road you will find information and a memorial tablet for the 74 people who died (41 never found) due to the 2 rock slides/flood waves caused by RamnefjelletLovatnet bicyel trip kjenndalen

There is a little parking lot and a outhouse at the end of the gravel road leading to Kjenndalsbreen glacier. You can fill your water bottle in the glacial river with clear conscience, just don’t fall into it. You have to walk 10-15 minutes on a trail if you want to get closer. There will be warning signs to stop you from going to close, mostly because of the falling rocks you will hear now and then from the mountain sides. It is a steep valley alright.

I found a big rock to sit on and just try to take in the magnificent views of the glacier and it’s surroundings – the glacier looks like ice candy and sugar fluff (I guess I was a lil’ bit hungry) 

At first I was totally alone there, but as the evening sun gradually broke through, 4 or 5 other persons popped up here and there to view this magnificent sight. The glacier has retired quite a bit alright, but is still an impressive sight up there with its white and blue ice. This valley will surround you with its many never-ending waterfalls, some greenery and the river flowing from the glacier in the middle – it is just one of the steepest and most beautiful valleys i have ever been to – ice-cold paradise! 

Back in the cabin for a meal and an evening sofa relax – with a view towards Lovatnet and Kjenndalsbreen at the far end of the lake. Well, good night then!loen lodge cabin view lovatnet feriesenter

Travel information/advice:

  • Stay in a cabin with great view, restaurant and bar, or hire a kayak at Loenvatn Feriesenter 
  • At the camping site Sande Camping nearby you can also rent a fishing rod
  • Before the last km gravel road you can take a break at Kjenndalstova café
  • You can also get to the cafe with the cruise boat MS Kjenndal
  • Bring a warm jacket and cap – the wind in the glacier valley can be rough

Click on the map to view it in detail live on Google MapMap Oppstryn Stryn Loen Kjenndalsbreen bicycle trip

Crochet glamorous purse on budget

This easy crochet purse are all made of yarn, fabric, button and handles from second-hand shop. It is absolutely possible to crochet on real budget from time to time, and can, in addition to contribute to textile recycling, also result in a more fun crochet approach.

I tried to cover up my messy kitchen with some clumsy photo dissolve, just wanted to show you the purse size, function and look…

I will not pretend that I am an angel when it comes to yarn, I too love to colour botanize, mix&match and plan ahead for crochet projects. But I also actively try to hinder my self from filling my home with yarn I actually don’t need only because it looks like eye candy.. some people seems to go totally bananas when it comes to yarn.. not sure if I should laugh or cry..

If there is anything we have plenty of in our world today, that is textiles.. so without being too fanatic I don’t mind trying to contribute a little to conscience re-use of textiles in this way too.

Nice yarn, fabrics, buttons, handles, zippers, storage, baskets etc I get from second-hand and cost next to nothing compared to ordinary shops. I ex the best dish-cloth you can ever get are handmade one’s of cotton, so I made these two rags of that second-hand yarn, and I now clean my kitchen with pleasure.. well, almost.. 

So yes, when the opportunity occurs I absolutely LOVE to bargain fabrics, yarn, buttons etc in second-hand shops.. the best find I usually do in smaller second-hand shops/flea market, not the big crowded ones.  I must admit, I do have slightly germophobia, but are learning myself to just give a crap in that! (having bug-loving animals inhouse helps too..ha..ha)  And, some of the second-hand stuff I find is even brand new!

Fun and glamorous budget purse with a golden tassel ala Montozami

As an extra nice side effect I also discovered I get more impulsive, creative and have more fun crocheting when I don’t have to feel so “darn serious” handling treasures expensive yarn, heck.. even crocheting those dish clothes was fun!

Don’t tell anyone, but I was actually thinking about them and planning the colour matching in the car on my way home from the second-hand shop, I think I was driving a bit faster just to get home and get started – I mean, how sick it that!  ha.. ha 😀

 

So, what do you think? Would you use it in public, or would you rather die than be seen with it?? I can only answer for myself; I am old enough to not care what people would think as long as I like it myself – that’s freedom right there my friends!  :D

Erdalsetra – Vetledalseter hike and lodge

Well, who the heck can resist a quick refreshing dip in crystal clear glacial river after a hot hike? Only Strynekåpa was watching.. I think 😀

Oppstryn. This pearl of a hike through glacial valleys and precipitous mountain sides is as long or as short as you want it to be, do a morning speed hike, a day trip with your family or stay overnight. I did one of the “longer” versions since I had to bicycle upwards the part most people drive up, and as my “roommate” had her boyfriend coming for visit – it was a win/win opportunity to spend a night in one of DNT’s* mountain cabins. (you can too! – se more information at the end of this post).

Along this trail you will here and there have a glimpse of Jostedalsbreen parts among the mountain peaks, wich is the largest glacier on the European mainland.

Having a break from bicycling upwards.. the view is awesome..down there is Oppstrynsvatnet, but this time I will take you away from the lake for a day and into glacial valleyserdalen bicycle oppstrynsvatnet oppstryn stryn hiking vandring fjelltur nature landscape view travel blogger

It was a wonderful morning with the very best weather to wish for.. after biking a while on the main road 15 to the end of the lake, I took off upwards and into Erdalen.. it was an absolute thrill bicycling along this mountain road while the mist was still covering the mountain peaks..

Now and then I could hear or see the rumble and roar when spring avalanches came sliding downwards along the mountain side..Erdalen Jostedalsbreen mountain hike view

Finally I reached the parking area Loppeset where also the trail starts, and left my bicycle lashed to a tree. The first part of the trail into Erdalsetra/Storesætra is nice and easy. still slightly covered with a little bit soft snow here and there in the spring.

Arriving at Erdalsetra a cute dog came running to welcome me. I started to talk to a woman who was cleaning and preparing her old mountain hut for the summer, and she invited me in to see the old hut inside. Oh so very cosy and charming. Nnd now and then mountain teams sleep over in the cabins before they start crossing the Jostedalsbreen glacier.

A very welcoming sight indeed, a happy welcoming dog, scenic views and gorgeous old mountain farm huts – I am in heaven for a while…Erdalsetra ERdalen hiking seter mountain farm Strynekåpa

While we sat there talking at that old awesome carved wood table she showed, me we heard that rumble again, she shouted that it was a big part of Skadefonna (avalanche) that was coming down the mountain side, so we ran out to see it.. and got it on tape too.. wohaa what a sight! .. it can be a bit scary if you don’t know what is happening, but as long as you are in a safe distance it is a really cool experience, and happens most often during spring time…

After saying goodbye I continued on the last part to Vetledalssetra, with a bit more snow along the trail, but fully possible to handle. I had the DNT-key* to access the cabin (in case it was locket), and packet up my stuff indoor and took an extra afternoon hike uphill and could not resist a quick wash in the crystal clear glacial river. You can also continue to the right of Strynekåpa for a shorter hike up to the emergency hut Infimus to get a closer view of the glacier. 

Strynekåpa is for sure a guiding monument through this hike, and the peak are looming about 1530 m.a.s.l. over the valleys.. trails both to the right and left side of it leads up to enter the glacier itself.. where you will need a guide if you are not experienced!hiking strynekåpa stryn erdalen vetledalen trail vandrin turg

I can tell you right away that nothing extraordinary or too exiting stuff happened on this hike, I was just enjoying the peaceful solitude with no internet connections..(yeas I tried alright), and taking care of the need to reload after being super-social… give my head a rest and fill up with energy.

Surroundings like this is of a very healing nature, and it is absolutely wonderful that doctors finally have started to prescribe it as medicine for mental health!

At Vetledalssetra there are a few but very beautiful and well maintained huts still in use… this one is my favourite!Vetledalsseter hytte cabin traditional Strynekåpa mountain Jos

The only “happenings” here was me getting the wood-burning stove going (the gas stove was empty) to cook a simple supper and a gigantic cup of coffee on it, enjoying the beautiful sunset outdoor, accompanied by rumbling glacier avalanches now and then …and a glass of white wine on top of it all (someone left it in the cabin for someone like me..ha..ha). A lovely day and just what I needed to reset and reload.

Who needs TV or Internet here? Nobody!!vetledalsetra DNT hytte cabin fjelltur cosy lodging firewood nature mountains natural jostedalsbreen vandring vetledalen hiking trail stryn oppstryn travel blog

Since no other hikers came along that evening, I decided to  stay in the living room near the wooden stove and sleep on a old wooden sofa  – oh it was so nice to just lie there looking out on the snow-covered mountain peaks and listen to the crackling fire-place…. guess who slept like a stone!

A wonderful day is turning into night, and even if I am alone I feel so safe up here and wish everyone in this world could feel the same… the old gneiss hut to the right is almost as beautiful and steady as the mountain itself, built to last… more of that please..Vetledalsetra sunset mountain farm glacial valley

 

Map and information:

This route is an old road/cattle track used to get up on and crossing the glacier (the glacier reached further into the valley those days) to the other side, bringing their livestock all the way over the glacier to provide people on the eastern side of Norway with fresh meat. Just imagine the sight of this procession – wow!

Map and some further information at UT.NO

kart map oppstryn erdalsetra storesæter vetledalsetra trail sti jostedalsbreen

 

DNT: As a member of DNT (The Norwegian Trekking Association) you will also get a discount on lodging and food/supplies at most of DNT’s huts and cabins all over Norway, and also access to a key that will work on most cabin locks. It sure is lovely when you don’t need to carry a too heavy backpack when hiking in the Norwegian mountains. Read more at DNT’s homepage.

If you have any questions regarding this post, please ask, I am sure there are plenty of stuff I forgot to write about ! 🙂