Norway – Guided through the night by the moon and stars

Another adventure for Peter Lintner, his family and family friend Hannes begins this time with a view of Norway. And this time they are not just traveling with one HYMER - no, even with two. With the HYMER ML-T 570 all-wheel drive and HYMER ML-T CrossOver, they set off on their journey to the cold north.

Larissa Lintner

Author

Travel Destination
Norway
Models
HYMER ML-T 570 and HYMER ML-T CrossOver

20 ½ hours travel time and 2 hours sleep

As is so often the case, our departure doesn't quite go according to schedule: instead of leaving at 10 a.m. at the latest to make the long journey to Hirtshals with as much buffer space as possible for our ferry departure, we start 3 hours late. We just wanted to make good use of the large storage space in our two HYMERs... Originally, 14 hours were planned for the 1,355 km. Due to several traffic jams and a detour through the wonderful Thuringian countryside, it quickly became more than 16 hours. So our dinner takes place in the form of a nightly stop at just before 1 a.m. just outside of Flensburg (where, by the way, there is a cheap Shell gas station right next to it).

During the remaining drive to Hirtshals we are always accompanied by a bright full moon, which offers a promising start to our 3-week journey. After 2 hours of sleep, a short distance from the ferry port, our ship leaves for Langesund at 9 a.m. With a brilliant view and a fantastic all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, we wake up quickly and 4 ½ hours later are greeted by Norway's well-known little red house in the bright sunlight.

The search for a place to sleep

Atrå, 2 ½ hours away from Langesund, is our first destination for the day. On the way there we make short stops to wash campers and exchange money at an ATM that is not so easy to find. In Atrå, the search for a suitable place to sleep begins, which we will eventually find after crossing two narrow bridges on a stream in the forest, which will become a habit for us over the next few weeks.

Once there, we discover some porcini mushrooms and boletus. At the end of two strenuous days with little sleep and countless kilometers covered, we immediately include the mushrooms in our dinner plan - accompanied by a glass of imported red wine. After that we go to bed "relatively" early by our standards, so that we can start the next morning with new energy and completely fresh.

Short excursion: Our three vehicle highlights

Off-road suitability: all-wheel drive and optimum lighting

The permanent all-wheel drive also enabled us to move forward safely and reliably off the beaten track. In addition, the LED light bar above the driver's cab in conjunction with the LED performance headlights provided better visibility and optimal illumination of the terrain.

Generous storage options: roof rails and rear garage

In the large rear garage of the HYMER ML-T CrossOver we were able to perfectly accommodate our extensive equipment. The large aluminum boxes could be securely fastened to the lashing eyes with tension belts. Kayaks and stand-up boards found the perfect place to transport them on the roof rails. The rear access ladder allowed easy loading and securing.

Self-sufficiency: solar panels and HYMER smart battery system

Thanks to the solar panels in combination with the powerful HYMER smart battery system, we were completely independent of shore power throughout the trip. Even in bad weather, we always had enough battery capacity to operate and recharge the devices we brought with us, such as cameras, laptops and drones.

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Off-road

After a delicious breakfast in our forest clearing, we leave Atrå and today only cover a shorter distance of 34 km via an off-road road to Kalhovd; not before we top up at a local garage (which is easy to get if you ask politely and have a few cans of beer with you). For the upcoming adventurous off-road drive, you have to pay 50 Norwegian kroner (about 5 €) on the mountain roads to Steinsbøle, Kalhovd, Synken, Grotte and Gvepseborg.

It's definitely worth the €5. Kalhovd is surrounded by a beautiful landscape made up of rocks, greenery and the Grytefjorden. And precisely because we like it there so much, we spend a large part of the day driving and hiking along the lake that lies on the borders of Hardangervidda - a plateau jell in Norway. In the evening we are treated to a wonderful view of the last rays of sunshine reflected in the lake.

Geilo - the Norwegian Ischgl

The next day in the afternoon we leave this beautiful and quiet place and drive to Ustaoset via Geilo. Besides the amusing name, Geilo is known for its ski resorts and mountain hiking trails - and is practically the Norwegian Ischgl. At Ustaoset we manage to find a place to sleep right on the water. This is even somewhat sheltered from the wind, which suits us very well after we were surprised by a few gusts of wind in Kalhovd the night before.

In Norway it can get quite cold at this time of year and we feel that quite clearly the next morning. The result: We are looking for the warm and salty things on the Eidfjord. On the 1 ½ hour drive there we pass Hardangerjøkulen glacier, the sixth largest of its kind in Norway, some waterfalls and a few sheep. After we reach the Eidfjord, we first enjoy the warming sun to the full before we look for a suitable campsite.

Ringøy Gard Camping, which belongs to Ringøy Camping but is a bit smaller and cozier, offers everything we have been hoping for for 4 days: an excellent location, very friendly owners, clean facilities with fixed toilets and plenty of warm water for a long shower and a jetty for fishing, where we manage to fish out the first mackerel.

In der großen Heckgarage des HYMER ML-T CrossOver konnten wir unser doch sehr umfangreiches Equipment perfekt unterbringen.
Autorin und begeisterter Camping-Fan Larissa Lintner

Candle-Light-Dinner

Today it's off to Voss or Vossevangen. It is well known for its spring with the refreshing Voss water, which is about 20 minutes away. The town itself is not very big, but with its location by Lake Vangsvatnet it is well worth a detour.
We spend the night in a parking lot behind Spar in Bjørkheim. And as little as a parking lot may sound compared to our last sleeping places, the more you can be wrong. With the round tables directly on the water, in which the lights are wonderfully reflected, the mountain landscapes in the background, the small red houses on the mini islands in front of us and the brisk boat traffic in between, the entire scenery almost seems like a glass of white wine and a Candle lit dinner from a romance film. The next morning we even have the opportunity to SUP there.

Bergen - Norwegian small town full of charm and urban flair

Bergen is known for its colorful wooden houses with pointed gables and the famous fish market right on the harbor, a dream that we can experience on our next stage destination. We have been to Bergen twice before, but today was the first time in bright sunshine. So we spend a wonderfully relaxed afternoon shopping in Bergen.

On the way with the ferry

We continue across the water with the ferry. Our first ferry of the day departs from Leirvåg, just a few kilometers from our overnight accommodation in Vardetangen. After arriving in Sløvåg we can enjoy Norway's idyllic landscape on a trip to Rutledal and from there continue by boat to Rysjedalsvika.

A little bit of information:

In modern Norway, money is no longer collected on the ferry, but, just like on the motorway, the license plate number is automatically scanned. The bill will come home later in the mail. Unfortunately, this doesn't always tell you the cost... On the toll roads that we drive on, however, costs are written on them. Payment by credit card is always possible. 

 

After an impressive day in a wonderfully varied landscape, we end the evening comfortably at Lake Harefossen. There we find a great place on a disused part of road 57, which now runs parallel through a tunnel.
The next morning it goes via Dale along the coast to Førde and from there to Klakegg. A little bit above Klakegg there is a dreamlike mountain valley, which is surrounded by a small stream and is ideal for hiking.

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Natural Spectacle

The weather does not disappoint us and so we enjoy the blue sky in the early afternoon on a short hike before continuing on our way. Through the mountains, along lakes and streams, it goes to Mindresunde Camping. A recommended campsite that has a lot to offer, such as a free gazebo with a heater and an open fireplace. The campsite is located directly on a lake where you can fish with a 5 euro fishing license that can be purchased on site. In addition, there is a starry sky this evening. It is great to watch nature's play of lights with the Milky Way reflected in the lake and the foothills of the Jostedalsbreen glacier slowly disappearing in the twilight. We prepare a princely menu with both camper kitchen stoves and an additional Enders grill.

A little bit of shopping

We are now just over half of our available time in Norway and the initial summery weather is slowly getting cooler. We decide to travel a little further north towards Ålesund. On the way there we come across a great Devold and Helly Hansen outlet in Langevåg, which gives us the chance to prepare ourselves a little better for the northern cold. Arriving in Ålesund, we decide to go SUP and stroll through the inviting port city on the west coast. After very tasty fish 'n' chips, we drive to Åndalsnes in the late afternoon, where our two anglers catch more mackerel in the last rays of the sun.

Animal Neighbors 

It's back up into the Highlands and back onto the gravel roads. But before that we look at the great stave church in Lesja with its wonderfully laid out cemetery. In consultation with the local museum, there is a guided tour that is even free for under 16s. Shortly after Lesja, you leave the Fv496 towards Dombås on Slådalsvegen. As we quickly discover, we are not the only road users on the unpaved route. Because, comparable to Wales, the streets here are teeming with sheep, which also block traffic from time to time. Our end point of the day, to dine again in a dreamlike setting, is in the middle of nowhere with three horses as neighbors.

0 Degrees

The Highlands are simply our place to be when the weather is sunny again. With the sun's rays shining on the steppe-like bushes, the entire scenery almost no longer looks like typical Norway, but like "Out of Africa" - only a few degrees cooler. Hannes, our cook, is preparing beef fillet with tagliatelle and red cabbage that evening, which we enjoy with delicious Italian red wine while the sun disappears behind the mountains in the sweeping view. But as nice and even warm as it may be during the day, the cold sets in at the beginning of the evening. We reach almost 0 degrees here in the starry night. But we know how to help ourselves, and with a campfire to warm you up, you almost don't feel the cold anymore.

Needle in a haystack

A campsite is what we look for the next day. This turns out to be a much more difficult task than finding the usual parking space. We left the plateau again in the morning and headed to the next supermarket just before Otta. The plan was to go to the campsite in Dale. However, shortly afterwards we found out that it was already closed at the beginning of September. Unfortunately, this problem is not unique in the area. So we continue towards Lillehammer. On the way there we try to avoid the expensive motorway as much as possible. However, our attempts fail when the road we use as a bypass ends at two fat blocks of concrete. So it's back to the motorway for us... At the end of the day we actually find an open, beautiful campsite below Ringebu directly on the Gudbrandsdalslågen river.

Fresher than fresh

After some discussion about our further route, we decide to plan our return trip via Sweden. So, after a short stop in Lillehammer, we continue in the direction of Oslo, where we find an ideal car park for us in the outskirts of Oslo, in Bogenbukta Bay. Luckily for us, we once again have a view of a show of red, purple and pink tones reflected in the water while we enjoy our "after-work beer".

The next day, in bright sunshine, we venture back into the water of the Bunnefjorden and, to our astonishment, encounter numerous mussels. And since we have a chef with us, he immediately knows what to do with it. So our last night in Norway ends with a bit of melancholy and lots of great impressions over a plate of pasta with delicious mussels, fresher than from the fish market.

Sweden

The brief touch of melancholy is suppressed by equally breathtaking impressions on our two remaining days in Sweden. There we make stops at lakes such as the Ned Faeringen and in Gothenburg, among other places, before we head home overland. In our thoughts, however, we would like to stay a little longer in the magical, legendary north.

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