We flew into a small city called Ålesund. The west coast of Norway is pretty much just composed of islands, mountains, fjord, water, and more mountains.
The airport was in Vigra, and our Airbnb was in Sykkylven.
We picked up our keys to the rental car from the airport, put in all our stuff in the trunk, and got ready to start the car. This was about the time that we realized that the car was a manual. Being noobs from North America who didn’t know how to drive this car, we went back to the rental office and asked for an automatic.
On Tripadvisor, the top thing to do in Ålesund is Fjellstua Viewpoint. I read the reviews and it said that it was 400 steps of stairs up to the top. We put ‘Fjellstua’ into our GPS, and the navigation actually took us to the top of the viewpoint. We saw the amazing view, but we had missed the hike up the stairs! So, we decided to walk down the stairs and then climb back up, as this gives us the same net exercise as if we had started from the bottom.
We booked an Airbnb in a town called Sykkylven, which Google Maps informed us was an hour drive from Ålesund. We put in our address into our car’s GPS, and it told us that it would take nine hours to get there! We were really confused and started messing around with the settings on the GPS. It turned out that the ‘No Ferries’ setting turned on. When we unchecked that setting, the trip length came down to an hour.
We had no idea that we had to take a ferry to get to our Airbnb. Could this ferry hold our car? How often did it run? How much would it cost? So many questions, but so little answers (as we were too lazy to look it up).
We went with the GPS, and it turned out that it was very easy to get on the ferry. It came every 20-30 minutes, and cars would line up in a lane to wait. When the ferry came, we drove into it, stopped our car, and waited around 10 minutes for the boat to take us across. During this time, a guy came around to each car and took payments (around 20 CAD for the four of us).
It turns out that taking ferries to get across land is extremely common in that area. During our stay in Norway, we ended up taking almost a dozen ferries in total.
I would highly recommend the Airbnb we stayed at. It was a huge, luxurious house with an amazing view from the wide patio.
On our second day, we drove out to see one of the most famous attractions in Norway: Geirangerfjord. If you search ‘Norway’ on Google images, you will see some pictures of the fjord. It was a two hour drive from our place to Geiranger, which included two ferries. Thank god there weren’t many cars on the road, because some of the mountains had crazy roads.
The high season for Geirangerfjord is April to September. During this season, there are ferries run along the fjord for tourists to take. We were two weeks too late for this; however, we were more than happy with the views that we got without the ferry.
Geiranger itself is a small tourist town, and most places weren’t open since wasn’t tourist season. From Geiranger, we planned to drive to Dalsnibba mountain, which is a 40 minute drive from town. 15 minutes into the drive, we ended up just stopping by this lake and doing a short hike along some hills.
We slept in this day and started our day at 11am. We went on two hikes.
The first one was one that our Airbnb host recommended to us. It was hiking up a mountain that was right behind our house. I don’t go on hikes very often, so the constant uphill that we walked was quite tiring!
The second hike we did was one we found on Tripadvisor, hike Sukkertoppen. This one was easier than the first hike, and also really fun!
We drove back to our house, bought some meat from the grocery store, and barbecued it for dinner. It was a satisfying meal after a day of hiking.
The views that we saw from this trip were breathtaking. 10/10 would go again.