To celebrate our high school graduation, me, Jesper and Jan decided to bike in Norway for one month. We wanted to pick and bike some of the very finest parts of Norway. Since we only had four weeks, we bought Scanrail passes, allowing us to travel by train in Denmark and Norway. This way, we could skip some parts that were either less interesting to bike or more interesting to travel by train.
From The Netherlands, my parents drove us to Denmark, where we took the train to Frederikshavn in the north. From this port, we took the ferry to Oslo for some sightseeing, including Vigelandsparken and the open-air museum on Bygdøy. From the capital of Norway, we traveled all the way up to Åndalsnes by train, except for the stretch between the 1994 Olympic cities of Hamar and Lillehammer.
We needed the extra time. Out of Åndalsnes, we headed into the mountains and biked some of the country’s most spectacular passes: Trollstigen, Geirangervegen, Sognefjellsvegen, and Gamle Aurlandsvegen. Back at sea level, at the Aurlandsfjord, we took Norway’s most breathtaking train journey – Flåmsbana – up to Myrdal, and the interregional train further to Bergen.
In Bergen, we stayed at two local families from which we had met the mothers back in Åndalsnes. They and their daughters hosted us for two unforgettable days, with sightseeing tours in the city and long cozy homemade dinners. Our time here may well have influenced my life-changing decision to study outdoor life at Hardanger Folk High School, three years later.
From Bergen and all the way south to Kristiansand, we followed the North Sea Cycle Route. In Stavanger, we made a detour to hike the world-famous Preikestolen at the Lysefjord. Little did I know that I would hike it more than 250 times more in my life and that I would start my own guided tour company here, 11 years later.
Of all my bike adventures, this one surely is the most memorable. It started a series of bike adventures, strengthened my love of Norway, and influenced me and my course of life on many levels, far into the future.