Our trips to Norway, 2010 Gaupne trip
Many of my landscape paintings portray Norway. Why this one? I don´t know, it started in my childhood. Many years ago, as a child, I went on a holiday with my parents to Norway. Actually, there were probably four trips if I remember correctly. After one of these holidays, I decided to take a brush and paint something from my mind and memories. There was something in these places that took my child breath away and my heart actually built it´s nest in that place. Norway gave me a feeling of tranquility, of something so pristine, clear, peaceful, spacious and full of magic, that makes me feel inspired and alive. I think that when you´re a child, it is easy for things to write themselves into your heart and stay there forever as something very special. When you´re a child, you don´t have many worries and there is a lot of space for experiencing feelings of joy, hapiness and perceiving beauty where everything is a new adventure and we keep looking forward to the future ones. I believe we can still feel these feelings, if we let ourselves and clear the worries out a little bit and follow our feelings.
I have a few places to show you from our trips to Norway – mountains, lakes, towns and glaciers too. There have been several trips, in years 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Gaupne is the village where we had our camping. I really liked this town. I liked that there was a small fjord right near it. There were some peaceful small streets with lots of cute houses and trees, and it was really quiet. There were forests above it, with lots of blueberries and strawberries, it was like a berry heaven for me.
We stayed in a tent that had three parts. It was much more comfortable to tent in a camping than in the wild, like the first night in Norway. The ground was flat, not so bumpy there was less wind, a better temperature and we could use the kitchen and bathrooms, even a trampoline and the kid´s playground beneath beautiful trees.
Something about Gaupne
The village is located near the Gaupnefjorden, which is an arm of the Lustrafjorden. The Sognefjellsvegen road goes through this place on its way to the village of Skjolden.
Gaupne sits at the southern end of the Jostedalen valley, with the river Jostedøla’s mouth. It is located southwest of the Jostedalsbreen glacier, between Jostedalsbreen National Park and Breheimen National Park. The village is about 40 kilometres south of the Nigardsbreen glacier, and the Breheimsenteret museum, about 25 kilometres to the north of Gaupne in the village Jostedal.
The Nigardsbreen glacier
The Nigardsbreen tour was a pretty light one. There was not a lot of altitude or length to it. The path led through a rocky terriain with lots of small bridges and sometimes some chains to help tourists comfortably cross it. We could see the view of the glacier lake Nigardsbrevatnet as we walked and at the end we saw a majestic blue glacier with a strong force river flowing out of it, as the cold air met our skins. We also saw some groups of tourists on a glacier tour. They walked directly on the glacier, with safety equipment of course.
Nigardsbreen is one of the most accessible glaciers. It is a part of a larger glacier, Jostedalsbreen. At the river delta you can see some of the processes that formed the landscape. This landscape has also inspired artists to paint some of the significant works of art in the Norwegian national-romantic era.
Not so far from the glacier, there is the Breheimsenteret building with an interesting architecture which compliments all the surrounding nature. It has a café restaurant which is very pleasant too, and a souvenir shop with many different things.
This was another significant stop. This waterfall is the fourth highest waterfall in Norway with it´s total height of 218 metres. To review it, the hike was not so difficult, but I fussed a bit when we came close to the waterfall and the water was spraying to a quite long distance, sometimes even lightly raining. It was a powerful waterfall. If you ever want to come close, definitely take a raincoat.
A cold fjord bath
When you look at the blue water from the fjord, it looks so beautiful. And as a child you would definitely want to take a swim. Until you actually try swimming in it. The water is very cold, especially if you are near a glacial river. There were all kinds of screams while we were forcing ourselves to swim in it, to not waste any experience. But after all, i think it was very fun. And we even came back for another one.
Huts with open doors
Another thing that I found mgical were the little huts you could find in the mountains. They were not locked, they were open for tourists who would maybe need to stay overnight or need a little roof cause they got stuck in mountains in a storm.
There was always a Money box, and they basically relied on you to put the money in there. Sometimes there were even cans of soda or some food, and it was expensive, as it had to be carried to a high altitude.
I found this to be very nice and kind, that someone leaves a cabin waiting for you if you need it.
Austerdalsbreen, the heart shaped glacier
This magnificent glacier is connected to the three steep glaciers Odinbreen, Torbreen and Lokebreen.
This was a bit of a longer hike with a much different landscape than Nigardsbreen. We hiked along the Austerdal river. The valley was a lot broader, larger, and quite epic. The glacier itself created a heart shape on it´s wall. I remember the walls of the mountains near the glacier cast a shadow, even in the middle of a sunny day. This is also where we found the perfect egg shaped stones. They were carefully wittled by the glacier for thousands of years, it´s incredible.
On the beginning of this tour we also saw a lot of animals like sheep and cows which were beautiful.
Flatbrehytta mountain cabin, Flatbreen glacier hike
Flatbrehytta is a 7.7 kilometer trail near Fjærland, Vestland.
This tour was one of the most beautiful ones, even that it was a bit challenging. The hike path was very picturesque and at the top there was a magnificent glacier view awaiting us together with the Flabrehytta cabin. That was the one with the Money box and food. We took a great rest in there, sitting there maybe for an hour. The view from the window reminded me of an airplane view because of the steep walls of the mountain.
An unknown cabin above an unknown dam
This place I couldn´t find the name of. It must be something that is not so well-known or famous among tourists. Personally, I think these are the best places that hold the most secrets. This particular place also inspired an artwork of mine.
The berry heaven
I loved moments like this.
In 2013 we returned back to the beautiful area of Gjende and visited the nearby places, this time with our inflatable kayak boats. We kayaked mostly in the glacier lakes which was quite an experience, with some ice cubes almost turning our kayak around completely. I unfortunately coild not find the names of the remote glacier lakes we visited.