|DAY 1: Journey to Brussels (20th May 2015)
– Flight Oporto to Brussels Zaventem (Ryanair): 24.50€
|DAY 2: Arrival in Oslo (21st May 2015)|
– Flight Brussels Charleroi to Oslo Rygge (Ryanair): 8.15€
– Oslo Rygge Airport to Oslo (bus – Ekspressen): 150 NOK (18.20€)
– Oslo train station – Bygdøy – Oslo train station (bus): 60 NOK (7.30€)
|DAY 3: Oslo to Rjukan (22nd May 2015)|
– Car Rental (Hertz): 437.62€ (4 days, delivery in a different location)
|DAY 4: Rjukan to Bergen (23rd May 2015)|
– Jondal – Torvikbygd: 192 NOK (23.3€/car + 3 adults)
|DAY 5: Bergen to Sandnes (24th May 2015)|
– Arsvagen – Mortavika: 247 NOK (30€/car + 3 adults)
– Halhjem – Sandvikvag: 396 NOK (48€/car + 3 adults)
|DAY 6: Hike to Preikestolen (25th May 2015)|
– Lauvvik – Oanes: 157 NOK (19€/car + 3 adults)
– Tau – Stavanger: 295 NOK (35.8€/car + 3 adults)
Transport and Accommodation:
|DAY 7: Oslo – Beauvais – Home (26th May 2015)|
– Oslo Bus Terminal to Oslo Rygge Airport (bus – Ekspressen): 150 NOK (18.20€)
– Flight Oslo Rygge to Paris Beauvais (Ryanair): 16.92€
– Flight Paris Beauvais to Oporto (Ryanair): 22.84€
It is 22nd May 2015, our second day in Norway.
To avoid wasting too much time, we divided ourselves in two groups. JB and BG went together to pick up the rented car at the Hertz office located in the train station, while ES and I packed our things and prepared the sandwiches for our lunch.
The plan for that day was to visit “Heddal stavkirke” (Heddal stave church) and then to hike to Gaustatoppen, the highest mountain in Telemark region. However, we had to change our plans…We left Oslo at about 10:30 and we arrived in Heddal two hours later. Heddal is a village in Notodden municipality, and it’s in there that one finds the Norway’s largest stave church. Heddal stave church, constructed in the beginning of the 13th century, is the largest one of the 28 remaining stave churches in Norway.
Right next to the parking lot there are a few picnic tables. We seated at one of them to eat our food. As it was blowing a freezing wind, we didn’t take too much time to have lunch.
Then, we visited the stave church. Well, we didn’t really go inside, just walked around the church by its outside aisle. We also wandered in the cemetery. I noticed that there are several gravestones that have sculpted birds on them. That was a novelty for me. I learned later that birds symbolize eternal life, peace and spirituality.We went to Kafé Olea, which is located next to the church. Kafé Olea is the place where the tickets for the church are sold as well as souvenirs and they serve cold and warm meals. We went in there to drink coffee and to see the exhibition that explains the history of the stave church.
Our next destination was the parking lot at Stavro, between Rjukan and Tuddal, which is the starting point of the hike to Gaustatoppen. However, we were not expecting that there still were so much snow in the mountain. The height of snow exceeded my height! Moreover, the weather was terrible. We had to give up on the hike to Gaustatoppen. But we didn’t gave up on hiking.We drove to Rjukan, where the weather was much better, it was only drizzling, and it stopped a few minutes after we had parked the car. We discovered a trail that starts in Rjukan and goes to Gaustatoppen. There’s a signboard indicating the starting point of that trail.
BG and ES had bought a baby carrier to carry MG, who was only 2 years old. That was the first time that they used the baby carrier.
I have no idea how much we walked, I only know that we spent there about 3 hours. The trail is very steep and, as we were going higher and higher, it was becoming more treacherous. There was water flowing down the trail and the rocks were slippery. Because of that, ES decided to stay with MG, while the three of us (JB, BG and I) walked a bit more.During the hike we saw the three large mirrors that were installed on the mountain above the town of Rjukan. Rjukan is located in a narrow valley, thus, during the day, from late September to mid-March, the town lies in the shadow of the mountains and does not get sunlight. Since 2013, those mirrors track the movement of the sun and reflect its rays down on to the town square.
We went to Rimi supermarket to buy provisions and, after that, we drove to Gaustatoppen Hostel, which is about 15 minutes drive from Rjukan town centre.
The hostel’s reception was already closed, but they have a method to delivery the key to everybody who arrives late.
The apartment where we stayed was very cozy and it offered a fabulous view over Gaustatoppen mountain from its window.
We went to the shared kitchen, which is very organized and well equipped. For dinner, we prepared salmon with couscous salad. The salmon was so juicy and tasty! Hmm…delicious! We also had bought an ice cream pie for dessert.