Enchanted forest

Everything has its charm. Even the moist, slushy and gray days. We just had a period with this weather, and, even if it can crash your mood, it can also result in some cool nature experiences when the sun is trying to break through it all..

As usual me and puppy are out discovering new trails, and this day we ended up in an older forest near a little half-frozen tarn. The fog made it all a bit elf-struck, and my mobile phone managed to snap some nice moments from the hike.

My supermodel dog princess – posing so naturally by the little beautiful tarn. We discovered this place by following a tiny trail the wild animals use. Misty fog enchanted nature landscape old forest tarn finsk lapphund dog

 

Fresh traces of moose and deer was gossiping about their ramble along the forest road ( sometimes we also get a glimpse of them). Here and there game birds took a sudden flight when we where passing,  so we where absolutely not alone in the forest.

Misty fog enchanted nature landscape old forest tarn finsk lapphund dog

 

I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of walking on swampy ground, especially not on a wet day, but so glad me and puppy decided to do just that this day.

 

The sun is trying hard to break through the thick fog…  a beautiful battle… trollsk natur tjärn tjern lake forest skogstur mist tåke dimma

 

Now we are waiting for the frost to come… please… 😀

Travel highlights and hidden gems of Norway

Are you already planning and ponder where to go this summer in Norway? Oh yes, there is SO MUCH to choose from – I know! So keep on reading and have a look to be inspired!

Talking about hidden gems. If you pay attention (and hopefully don’t just speed hike only to brag “Been there, Done that”) – then you will find small pearls like this.fugleegg i Loen birds nest eggs Nordfjord

Last summer I was going back home to work at my usual job at the Power and Avalanche Center in Norway for the summer, when I unexpectedly was offered a 2. job I really could not resist, so the first month would be at a new place in absolutely awesome surroundings – I’m sooo excited to show you!

I had also brought my laptop to work and be available for my usual clients – so no wonder I cherished every minute I had a couple of hours or a day off, I was out there hiking and bicycling to explore well-known and unknown gems and treasures in the area I was living, including several traditional mountain pastures that I absolutely adore to read the history of and to visit. You can too!

So, after packing my bicycle panniers and traveling to south of Sweden by train to leave my son at his father’s house and my two cats at a friend’s house for the summer (the puppy came to us later) – I finally found myself on the plain from Stockholm on my way home to Norway.

I often miss my family, especially during hard times – and it was a true pleasure, with tearful eyes, to fly over the beautiful mountains surrounding the city of Bergen and the island I grew up on. HOME!Norwegian flight Bergen view Norway travel

I only got 2 hectic days together with my family, we had to get stuff and a reasonable trek bike my mother wanted to give my son in Sweden, so I would use it in Norway to get around and bicycle it back to Sweden after my work season (my own trek bike I had to leave in Lofoten) – so this would be the 3rd summer I would do a solo bicycle tour – wich also would be my vacation and time for peace of mind. 

2 days off duty and I was on my bike that very morning on my way up to spend a night in the mountains. Let me show you more of this beautiful gem and where to stay ..soon to follow…

Now, if you would like my personal advice, photos and experiences of where to go for both well-known and hidden gems in spectacular Stryn, Loen, Rondane National park, Valldalen, Åndalsnes, Dovre bikeway, Røros .. etc ..(and only God knows where else I was at certain moments) – including where to bicycle, hike, go fishing, climb Via Ferrata or stay for a night in cabin or tent – then don’t miss out my upcoming post’s!

Here I am exactly where I wanted to be for a “reset” in between two jobs. On this panoramic and peaceful evening hike I’m looking towards Rondane mountain massif where I would bike and climb up the very next day… Rondane National Park mountains

Now, only a small delightful problem awaits, the decision agony when choosing among all the awesome photos I want to show you… can’t post them all can I ..ha..ha … but I have added some samples preview here for you – I hope you will stay tuned for more!

Looking towards my first place of work for the summer on the other side of the lake. I discovered some awesome gems to visit in this area, and here I am up at one of them. I will tell you guys more soon..Norway nature lake hiking mountain pastures Nordfjord panorama mountains

Warning! Now and then the Norway-posts will probable be interrupted with my newbie crochet creations (just cant’ resist) – and of course our every day life up here in Northern Sweden – but I’m pretty sure you can handle that too 😀

My cosy little farm in Northern Sweden

So I finally did it. I have moved… (ahem ..yes, again).. but this time to the northern part of Sweden. People have various reasons why they move, but for me it was a combination of too expensive living costs in town, the increasing criminality and of course…an old dream of having my very own little farm/croft on the country side.

Glittering morning-glory in our yard after a light blizzard night

So I sold my caravan home and worked my ass off in Norway so I could afford to buy a new home for me and my son who needs extra care. It had to be in the northern parts of Sweden on the rural country side where properties can be pretty cheap. It is of course sad to move from friends and family once again – but it also feels good not to “reside myself to death” as many do living in towns like hamsters in shoe boxes at big expenses.

Having the fortune to bring my work with me, not being afraid of changes/challenges and a hope that my dear son would recover better being closer to nature and outdoor activities made our move possible. We both needed a “new start”, and are now in place at the farm. Time will tell for how long we will stay here. My biggest wish is still to move closer to the Norwegian border since I work seasonal there, but also to feel closer to ..home… (yes, I’m always longing for Norway, my homeland), but our current cosy lil’ farm will certainly do for now.

I don’t need to go to a shooting range – now I can practice on my own property.. 

You can’t be lazy when you have an old farm. There is always something to do, to fix, to prevent, to install, to plan, to learn, to renovate – but one thing at a time, that’s for sure. To keep warm is important, so for winter we have piled big loads of wood, and now I run up and down the basement stairs all the time to keep the wood pan (and myself) hot ..ha..ha. I also had a pro to install a heat pump to supplement the wood heating system. Another “heating source” is a lot of manual snow shoveling, that also keeps us warm and sweaty…great exercise!

It is beautiful here during winter when the newly fallen snow fluffs up the landscape views – this is my chicken housesweden north old farm land chicken house torp gard photo liss myraas

Count on trouble now and then. When the cloak pipes clogged (and unidentified objects popped up in my basement) I had to call in a professional to camera check the pipes and to do a flush out ..in times like that you sure appreciate simple things as a well working pipe system more than anything! And also the chimney needs to be checked frequently for safe wood burning …  so I have learned to always hire a professional, they do the job on time and they do it well! Small things you can learn to solve your self, but leave the serious stuff to serious people..

We all like beautiful and colorful sunsets, up here they can be real gorgeous, and aurora borealis shows up now and then here too.. I can see it from my kitchen window 

In addition to the main house the farm also have an old turkey(chicken?) house, a horse shelter and a garage/stable, so it is fully possible to have horses, chickens etc here. I have spotted some red foxes snooping around my property at night .. so the settings for a classic chicken house drama is perfect wouldn’t you say? 😉

The property have more than 2 hectares of farm land to exploit, but for now I’m just playing with ideas of what to do with the land and the farm buildings … if you may have some ideas/suggestions too – let me know!!

Looking very much forward to write more about me and my son’s life up here in northern Sweden – so stay tuned folks!

FARM HOUSE STUGA TORPNORTHERN SWEDEN WINTER NIGHT PHOTO LISS

 

Madeira travel and hike

Yet another solo budget travel is recently done! Spectacular landscapes are affordable for all to joint if you use your head just a lil’ bit before booking your travel. I will very soon get back to you with some of my own advice for inspiration when you want to save money when travelling… cuz most of us want to go – but think we can’t afford!

I had a relatively impulsive visit to beautiful Madeira in Portugal, and of course it was the spectacular nature and outdoor activities that allured me to choose this green, mountainous and steep island… but in the end I think that also all the people you meet on your travels sum up at least half of the total travel experiencesolo that is.

portugal-pico-arieiro-madeira-sunset-photo-liss

 

Hike/vereda from Pico do Areeiro to Pico Ruivo (Madeira’s highest point at 1862 masl.) and back. I often read the advice to start early, but if you want this awesome sunset above the clouds, have the whole hiking trail return from Pico Ruivo for yourself (didn’t meet a single soul on my way back) and enjoy the marvellous afternoon light – I can suggest you start a lil’ bit later! This hike is absolutely awesome!!

Have a look at magic moments in my Madeira shortie:

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The magnificent hike around Ponta de São Lourenço  – I did twice – it was so beautiful and powerful to both feel and see the nature forces and cool geological formations. Make sure you have a chat with one of the park rangers if you want interesting information about this area.

Madeira travel landscape nature
Ponta de São Lourenço – the hike that will seduce you to come back several times during your stay

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There are plenty of awesome and scenic hiking trails/levadas, mtb/downhill/road biking and other outdoor activities to do here… so for me just 1 week was not enough to carry out all I wanted to do… it is easy to forget that you WILL need a resting day or two if you hike/bike/move a lot around on this  island – the steep hills are not for the faint of heart!  ..  or am I just looking for another reasons to go back?! ;D

When you hike around the island observing all the peculiar formations and weird plants – you probably can’t avoid thinking (if you are of the curious type like me) how all of this came into being. Tick off a day/half day, and take the bus (takes several hours one way) to visit São Vicente with it’s volcanic Caves and Volcanism Center to learn more about the island. And also enjoy breathtaking views when the bus are zigzagging up/down the roads passing Encumeda.

madeira-sao-vicente-caves-and-volcanism-liss
Volcanic caves in São Vicente –  I just love this shit!

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When leaving this island I was filled with new energy, got my inner strength back again…and best of all – happy as a lark! Much thank’s to the wonderful nature experiences – but also all the wonderful people I met – you really made my travel awesome! Obrigado(a)!

If you want to see more of my photos from this wonderful trip (and lots of other hikes, bicycle tours, climbs, expeditions and travels I do..  then don’t be shy – follow me on Instagram!

Lofoten

Sitting here in Narvik this evening with stars in my eyes looking back at the last weeks adventure along Lofoten. I almost can’t believe how wonderful these days have been stuffed with lovely people, hard work, relax, wild camping and biking/hiking in absolutely godsmacking scenarios.

Selfie: From yesterday’s wild camping spot with a view    Lofoten svolvaer wild camping landscape bicycle tour visit norway photo liss myras

 

The only down thing was the damn time limit – again – but reality is waiting impatient around the corner.

Next time I would need to spend at least several more weeks to really explore this landscape treasure the way it deserve. I will absolutely love to show you why with more photos and info as soon as I can…

Seen from my bicycle – you may recognize this magic scenery?Lofoten visit Norway hiking bicycling roadtrip landscape nature photo liss myraas

Rowing Workout Outdoor

So how to “keep in shape” while there’s no access to a gym out here in the end of a fjord arm? I think I’m pretty happy about no gym here … these days I actually find them pretty boring!) Instead it’s hiking, uphill running, climbing and bicycling that are most interesting ..and available  … and now also varied with some rowing for the upper body too.

rotur tafjorden liss norwegian fjords landscape tafjord heggur

Since last year I wanted to “see this fjord from the fjord” – not just from land, and a couple of days ago I invited my housemate to come along for a rowing trip… the weather was absolutely perfect, the sea was smooth as a mirror and of course, as you can see, awesome views to waterfalls and surrounding mountainsides. I just can’t think of a better outdoor training session for the upper body – we did not touch the outboard motor at all out there during our 3 hours row trip.

Views like this function like a “carrot” to lure us out for awesome and healthy rowing trips. tafjorden rowing norwegian fjords workout landscape

 

But sure… rowing workout in a row-boat dont’ activate as many muscles as a rowing machine where using your legs more can activate more than 80 % of your body muscles – but then again, would you gladly row for several hours indoor with a big smile like I did outdoor in a row-boat?

It is possible that the rowing trip gave us even more energy for the rest of the summer evening  – my happy-go-lucky roommate looks pretty pepped up alright  🙂 Tafjord andersen summer evening visit rural norway photo liss myraas

 

Norway Bike Hike (Part 1): Geiranger and Norddal

The goal was neither to go highest, deepest, fastest, furthest or toughest – I would bike, hike and rest whenever and wherever I wanted – no stress – just be!  Finally the time had come for my very own “10-day-moment” and my trek bike was packed and ready to roll on a roadtrip. The Norwegian highway was waiting with its amazing mountains, fjords and solid people – once again I would curiously explore my own country.

Selfie: My very last mountain trek in Trafjordfjella before hitting the road, where I discovered this beautiful panoramic pearl that very day. Well, what a view to be leaving, but new one’s where waitingnorwegian mountain tafjordfjella fjelltur natur panorama liss myrås 

The bike trip plan had been yeasting somewhere in the back of my head all summer when I worked at the  power and avalance center in Tafjord, but it was not before I got my hands on a very cheap but solid Polish trek bike that I knew I would be biking home to visit my momma before heading back to Sweden where I live now.

A panoramic break at Eidsvatnet (Norddal) to enjoy this awesome mountain ridge named Skorene – it’s hhest point is Søre Skora wich is 1829 meters a.s.l Norway Skorene Norddal mountain ridge foto Liss Myrås

 

I collected the most essential bicycle equipment a little bit from here and there, something new, old and borrowed, and briefly planned possible bicycle routes and tent camps online … the rest would probably solve itself gradually on-the-road. I would say: Plan your trip to death = stress and disappointments! But one thing is important to plan when you bike in Norway – know where your tunnels are! (see link below)

So, what could be seen, done or enjoyd these 10 days I had for my very own disposal before going back to daily routines, duties and tasks piling in the horizon? Nature, nature and nature… and awesome wonderful people!! ♥

Looking back to Geiranger somewhere between those mountains – you will never get tired of the view!Norway bicycle ride Geiranger road landscape photo liss myrås

I did’t have a clue that my total bike luggage weighed well over 25 kilos! I had two filled waterproof sidebags, a handlebar bag and my tent roped on the handlebars, a waterproof stuff sack containing my sleeping bag on the luggage carrier, and finally a backpack containing my laptop and camera etc Not to forget new led lights, reflections in many forms… and of course my nice cool reflex pennant! 😉 It’s so goddamn important to be seen on the roads and in tunnels!

First aimed stopover was the famous Geiranger, so that day in August I finally rolled on my bike down the first hill away from my hired summer residence – a bit worried that the bike would violently puncture or collapse after a few meters, but it worked like a charm – all the way actually!

First through the scary Heggurdtunnelen for the very last time that summer …. passing Valldal and then taking the ferry across the fjord to Eidsdal and started the mild ascent up to Eagle Road (Ørnevegen).

From Ørnevegen everything went downwards the awesome serpentine roads only interrupted by a short obligatory photo shoot break at the famous Ørnesvingen. The nice thing about biking is that you also can stop on tricky places where cars can’t to get a great shot!

Shot on my way down Eagle Road (Ørnevegen) towards GeirangerNorway Geiranger Ørnevegen bike trip photo liss myrås

 

I did not feel for stopping when I passed the little town in Geiranger because it was just packed with lots of tourists, noicy aggressive buses and cars – this is not how I remember Geiranger from my younger days. I talked to a local that was pretty tired of this circus, tourists come into thei’r private garden and stare at them through the windows while they are having breakfast…  ha..ha ..so visitors, please behave! 😀

Geiranger tent camping bike tour sunset photo liss myrås

 

So, I continued up the narrow and steeper sperpentine road that eventually would lead me to Djupvasshytta the day after. Halfway ascending I decided to spend the night at a cosy and peaceful camping. After a beautifulsunsetit rained all night, but my very cheap and light tent actually did not leak! Greatful for that indeed I am! The sun finally showed up at noon next day so I could dry my tent in the wind at no-time and continue up the panoramic road ascent up to Djupvasshytta where gale wind was waiting.

Welcomed by gale wind and rain when I finally reached the plateau close to Djupvasshytta (where I enjoyed a massive waffle-dinner.) From now the roads would slightly incline downwards – very nice after two ascents.  

Oppe på fjellet mot Djupvasshytta

 

The tunnel map for bikers below was indeed very helpful – in this way I could see when, where and how to prepare for every tunnel and readabout other bikers experiences. Especially useful when you bicycle along the Norwegian coast (I will find time to contribute the map with my own experience since one of the byroads was a bit dangeours):

Norwegian tunnel map

 

To be continued… 😉