I have never felt so still in time as I did driving through the fjords in the western regions of Norway.
It was overcast, making it impossible to tell where the snowy mountain tops ended and the clouds began. And all of that blending of snow, clouds and dark forestry was reflected in the little parts of lakes that were unfrozen and crystal clear.
I could see the bottom of the streams from mountainside roads. The riverbanks surrounded by snow were so peaceful.
With my husband and two best friends, we would pull over our rental car at any majestic waterfall we found, incredible views of mountains, and in small, sleepy towns.
There was no shortage of these things.
We had flown into Oslo on our first day abroad, and traveled to Bergen by train the following day. I swear I didn’t blink for seven hours so that I wouldn’t miss a moment of swelling mountains and scenery changing right outside of our window.
Our third day in Norway was spent driving through the fjords and eating meats and cheeses (an original attempt at sandwiches but they really just crumbled all over our laps, so this wasn’t the fancy kind of eating meats and cheeses) in our ride while we aimlessly drove up and down what appeared to be shards of the west Norwegian region.
Oslo is a neat city, and Bergen is more along the lines of how I pictured Norway with plenty of Nordic history sites and fresh seafood. But this day of exploration sold me on Norway.
Here’s why Norway should be on your travel list:
It’s the most beautiful, scenic place I have ever seen.
Rounding every corner, you see things like this waterfall. We were just driving through the mountains and all of a sudden this was on our left. There was no question about pulling over to check it out and get as close as we could.
You can strategically devise routes that wrap you around the fjords and surprise you with pure, untouched nature and delights. Or just wander around aimlessly. You’ll still find the most beautiful scenes you can imagine.
The diversity in this country ranges from big cities to untouched nature.
To fly into Oslo and then head to Bergen the next day was like going from one planet to another. Having been to cities before, of course, Oslo felt familiar in some ways and new in others. But waterfalls, fjords, snow-capped mountains, and frozen-over lakes were new to me.
How cool that you can be in a city and next to a waterfall the next day?
It feels like you’re the only one in the world who knows about Norway when you’re there.
People live in Norway. I saw plenty of residential areas and drove through countless towns and suburbs. But when we stopped at a lookout spot like this one, the world felt so still and like no one has yet to discover where in the world we were.
I don’t think I’ve ever breathed such clean and crisp winter air. Norway is a best kept secret, undoubtedly.
Seeing the fjords needs to be on your bucket list.
Before planning to go to Norway, I hadn’t really heard very much about fjords. But let me tell you, they are special.
Even after visiting the Chilean Andes and the mountains of China lined with the Great Wall, the fjords are still by far the most breathe taking. They stretch so high, and are twice as impressive as their reflection looms over great bodies of water that look so clean you could drink from them.
For the lover of nature and for someone who wants to experience a destination that’s a little more off the beaten path, Norway is for you.