There's something about spending time out of the city which makes you come alive. City breaks are one thing, but being in nature is another kettle of fish. When told about thousand year old glaciers cutting through mountains, being surrounded by thousand metre cliff tops and being disconnected from the world - my ears prick up.
We heard about a tour run in Norway - 3 days and 2 nights of kayaking and hiking through the Norwegian fjords. Sabz and I thought we were up for the challenge, after all we aren't just city slickers.
We started out with the tour company, Nordic Ventures in Voss, a small town just outside of the Bergen, the second most populated city in Norway. We suspect that Voss water originated from this small town in Norway (but couldn't actually find it lol). We spent the first hour packing our kit into waterproof bags and planning (or being informed) the route for the next couple of days.
Once everything was packed and tucked into the storage compartments of the kayaks we had a quick lunch and we were off! We hadn't even set sail and the scenery was enough to take your breath away.
It was very different to be out on the water... literally 10cm above it rather than being taken around on a boat. Everywhere we looked we were captivated by the wild, whether it be wildlife in the water, rushing waterfalls or just the realisation of how small I felt compared to the towering cliffs above - it was just so amazing.
It took us a couple of hours to reach the site in which we would set up camp for the next 3 days. Perched on a small clearing we pitched our tents, made a fire and settled in for the night. Dinner just tasted so good after a day of paddling.
The next day we rose to find a fine mist covering the fjords. Not the best weather to start our hike in but i guess it gave it that mystic, unknown quality signalling that we were going to embark on a different type of adventure.
The hike took us past many waterfalls, sheep, farms, abandoned looking houses, more sheep and beautiful valleys. 5 hours later we reached the top only to be greeted by mizzle (short for misty drizzle). As you can see below it blocked the majority of what would be beautiful scenery but we made the most of what we could see! Another 5 hours later we were back at camp. My feet never felt so relieved to take off my shoes.
I think all of us were so tired we knocked out early after spending some quality time around the camp fire sharing stories, jokes and questioning why we signed up for this experience in the first place. However i was woken up early that morning to find i had a tick on my inner thigh! 30 minutes later using a kitchen knife to dig it out (tip: tweezers are generally easier to pull these ticks out!), i finally was tick free and slept soundly after that.
The following morning we packed up camp, took down the tents, packed the kayaks and we were off again on the fjords back to Voss. The return trip was equally as beautiful. Low clouds hung around the cliff tops and the sun finally showed it's face!
We were so glad to get back to a hot shower and comfortable bed. But if you would ask me if i would do it all again... I would, in a heartbeat!
Sabrina and I stayed the last night in Voss itself in a nice little boutique type hotel called the Store Ringheim hotel. It's about a 10-15 minute walk from the station but the folks at Nordic Ventures were kind enough to give us a lift there after we finished up the kayaking. Did i mention how nice a hot shower was?
Our last day in Norway was spent in Bergen itself. We treated ourselves to some Norwegian King Crab (which doesn't come cheap! circa 30 GBP per kg), suffice to say we didn't treat ourselves to that much! But definitely recommended trying if you're there! So juicy and tasty!
Once there you should also check out the outdoor markets which are just around the corner from the fish markets - they give a lot of free samples of caviar, salmon and even whale! Just around the corner from this you'll be able to walk to the Hanseatic Wharf, a quaint little old town just by the harbour.
We took the funicular up the top of Mount Floyen. It costs 85 NOK return for an adult - details found on the website. It revealed a beautiful view of Bergen city itself and much of its surrounds.
Unfortunately we didn't have much time to venture around as our flight was early afternoon, otherwise we would have spend more time doing a walk or two around Mount Floyen itself.
We Flew: Norwegian Airlines, We Stayed: Nordic Ventures camping & Store Ringheim Hotel in Voss