As I sat on a train to Frankfurt Airport, bound for a plane that would take me to my next unvisited country, the United Kingdom, I thought about the trip I took after I finished school last year. My travels around Europe had taken me to Spain, Italy, and Austria before leading a few friends and I northward to experience the magic of a country in Scandinavia.
Norway. The one country I’ve always wanted to see.
It took us about one night to drive from the middle of Germany to Northern Denmark. From there, we took a ferry to Langesund, Norway. After a three-hour ride we finally arrived and, although we had not a minute of sleep, we were excited to explore as soon as we arrived. Our first stop was the beautiful Lake Norsje. We immediately found the perfect spot to sleep — an old fishing house. This little yellow abandoned house offered us a beautiful view of the lake and also housed a big rusty grill we used to make dinner.
In the following days, we quickly realized our tent wasn’t waterproof, so we started to chase the sun instead. We spent half of each day in the car, driving to different places, always searching for better weather. We noticed it was so easy to see incredible landscapes. You can drive every road and find at least one huge waterfall, mountainous lakes, and, of course, meet a lot of friendly Norwegians and fellow travelers.
On our way from Oslo to Lillehammer, we drove through a little village to take a break and snap some photos. We parked in front of a big red house where we met Arild, a Norwegian man who is in love with old cars. He offered to show us his 1972 Volkswagen and invited us to sleep in his garden for the night. Unfortunately we had a long journey in front of us that day, so we thanked him for the nice little talk and drove further to Lillehammer. We were all really impressed by how kind he was, even when we parked and walked around his property to take photos.
While driving from Oslo to Bergen, seeing our first huge mountains and fjords, we fell in love with Norway. We couldn’t get enough of the sunsets, daily ferry rides, or little fishing villages. I never wanted to leave Norway, and imagined staying indefinitely.
For the last three days, we decided to drive the E39 from Bergen all the way down to Kristiansand. A local told us we had to drive this route because of its beautiful and winding roads.
In those two and a half weeks in Norway, I realized that roadtrips are my favorite way to travel. For me, experiencing a place via car is the definition of freedom. There are no deadlines, you can drive all day, and sleep wherever you want. You see so many places in such a little amount of time which is not possible with any other means of travel. I found myself photographing the roads, as they were so integral to the trip.
Over 5,500 photos later, the trip was over. I’m still impressed when I look at the photos of everywhere we visited. When I look at my photos, I remember that, while in Norway, we didn’t care about anything —we lived our life to the fullest.
We’ve already made plans to travel north in Norway to visit the Lofoten Islands and the North Cape next summer. I cannot wait to be back.