Oh, how I amuse myself with my word play...
But we are going to Norway. In just a few short weeks. Our main reason for going is to hike Trolltunga, a challenging hike that will see us climb over 1,000m and travel 23km round-trip, culminating at the troll's tongue, a rock that juts out over a lake for the most stunning of views. But that's not all that we're doing. This trip is going to be a nice mix of time in Norway's beautiful cities of Oslo & Bergen along with a couple of days of hiking up in the mountains & fjords. As always, I've packed our itinerary to the brim:
- EDP and I will meet in Norway, with me flying in from Toronto and him flying in from San Francisco. I haven't flown this far on my own in a long time so I'm packing even more books than usual.
- We spend our first couple of days in Oslo, taking a food tour, visiting numerous museums (the Munch Museum, the Viking Ship Museum, the Koi-Tiki Museum, the National Gallery), and checking out the Akershus Fortress
- Then it's time to rent a car and head out into Southwestern Fjords, driving towards Lysebotn where we'll hike 10km round-trip to Kerjagbolten - a boulder wedged between two cliffs. I suspect EDP will venture onto the rock, and I strongly suspect I'll simply photograph EDP on the rock.
- The following day, we're heading to Preikestolen (or Pulpit Rock) for a relatively short 6km round-trip hike that will lead us to a rock formation with cliffs on three sides, overlooking the fjord. It's also where they just screened the new Mission Impossible movie because Tom Cruise scales the cliffs in the movie.
- Then, we hike Trolltunga - the aforementioned 23km round-trip hike that is one of more challenging hikes in Norway and perhaps the hardest one EDP and I have done. We'll be ascending over 800m in just over a km and nearly 1200m total in the first 4km. We're opting not to use a guide, which may be a dumb decision, but we want to be able to set our own pace and not feel like we're held back or pushed too hard to stay with a group.
- Then we're back to the city life. We'll head up to Bergen, stopping just outside to see Gamlehaugen (one of the King's residences) and Fantoft Stave Church before having a couple of days in the city to take a walking tour, see the Bryggens and Hanseatic museums, explore the Bergenhus fortress and head up the funicular to Mt Floyen.
- Then, we're taking a variety of trains and ferries back to Oslo, heading through the mountains and fjords, passing orchards & glaciers and generally just stunning us with the beauty of the scenery.
- Finally, it's time for one last day in Oslo to tour the Opera House and check out the sculpture park before EDP and I part ways.
We've been busy getting new gear for Trolltunga - the weather is unpredictable and we're told to expect snow and rain so it was time to upgrade our hiking shoes for hiking boots, get some waterproof pants, replace the old tattered pink backpack that's been with me since Thailand with something lighter & waterproof, and invest in some hiking poles. We're also taste-testing numerous proteins bars to keep our energy up while hiking and I've been trying to get to the gym three times a week to prepare for the initial ascent with some quality time on a Stairmaster (I made it 800m in about 1.5 hours yesterday and have lived to tell the tale so I'm getting there...)
The itinerary is all planned out, almost everything is booked and the suitcase is open for me with my passport and Ativan already inside. Bring on the travel adventure!