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Norway by RV: Day Three and Four – Røros, Oppdal & Trondheim

January 26, 2017
Norway RV Oppdal Trondheim Røros Touring Cars

We recently returned from the most amazing week touring Norway in an RV and whilst on the road, I documented our travels, diary style.  We highly recommend travelling Norway by RV – not only was it a fantastic way to see the country but it provided us with tremendous flexibility and would easily be the most cost effective way of travelling the country independently.

If you’ve not read our first two posts, be sure to read about picking up our RV and our day spent in Lillehammer (where we had the best fun tobogganing!) before starting on this one…

Getting a Few Kilometres Under our Belts

These past two days have been fairly uneventful – lots of driving and plenty of time to admire the spectacular scenery.

We’ve covered a fair few miles as we decided to take the long way around to Røros rather than risk another road closure up in the mountains. There’s no doubt that getting around in Norway would be faster in the summer time but the beauty of the snow all around us, the glow of Christmas lights and the low numbers of cars on the road just can’t be beaten, even if it does mean we have to avoid the smaller roads due to snow.

Heading to Røros

Most of yesterday was spent driving the roundabout way to Røros with on beautiful stop at Oppdal, a little skiing town not far out of Trondheim. It reminded me very much of Queenstown back home in New Zealand but has two ski-fields sitting right there on the mountain beside the village. It was a beautiful spot and one that in retrospect we’d love to have spent more time at.

Instead we continued though to Røros, a traditional little mining town. By the time we arrived at 8pm, everything but a few restaurants were closed for the day. The town itself was beautifully lit and decorated for Christmas and with snow spilling over awnings and icicles dropping from rooftops, it was the epitome of what I’ve always imagined when I think of a ‘white Christmas’.

It may have just been the time of year but we did find the town to be incredibly sleepy; I imagine in summer when the days are longer and the national parks at their glorious best, it would be quite a different story.

Regardless we enjoyed a wander through town before heading off and parking in a quiet spot in the forest, just out of town – our fingers firmly crossed for a moose sighting. We had no such luck but the road signs keep telling us that they’re around so we live in hope!

Snuggled up nice and warm in our RV we drifted off to sleep and awoke to the gorgeous sunrises to which we’re becoming accustomed.

A New Day and the Hope of Dog Sledding

We contacted a number of dog sledding operations a few months back and never got a reply. Though we knew it was a long shot, we fired off one last email to each company and unfortunately for us, they were either fully booked or no longer running day trips.

If you’re keen to go dog sledding in this part of Norway, we’d definitely recommend locking your tour in before you arrive in Røros. If you’re not intending on sledding in winter, we’d probably recommend saving yourself the driving time and foregoing Røros, opting instead to stay in Oppdal.

Instead of sledding, we packed up the RV and backtracked through Trondheim to Oppdal (on the E6), before turning off on highway 70 headed for Stryn.

The scenery though this part of the country is absolutely spectacular – massive fjords and mountains, punctuated by rapids and river are all covered to varying degrees in snow. Today it’s been raining when has made driving a bit easier, melting the ice and snow off of the road, though our RV seems to be able to handle whatever conditions are thrown at it with ease.

Onto Stryn tomorrow – the adventure capital of Norway we’ve been told – bring it on!

What Would we Have Done Differently?

Knowing what we know now, we would have changed one of two things.

  1. Realising how much we actually wanted to go dog sledding (sometimes you just don’t know how badly you want something until it’s ruled out!) we would have pushed to lock in a booking, ensuring a spot with one of the few providers.
  2. Had we not been able to make the booking, we would have left Røros and Trondheim out altogether, instead opting to stay in Oppdal where we would have enjoyed the ski-resort vibe, gone swimming in the hot pools and headed up the mountain for some snowboarding.  It was such a gorgeous little town and as it directly services the ski-fields, would stay awake much longer into the evening.

As it turned out, we spent the best part of each day getting to and from Røros without gaining much from the experience.  With that said though, half the fun of Norway for us was the journey itself and every step of the way was absolutely gorgeous!

An RV-ing Tip

Though we saw others driving RVs there weren’t many of us on the road – because of the relative lack of RVs (and obvious lack of people camping in tents) there were very few campsites open.  Though this wasn’t a worry (free camping, yes!) it did mean that filling up with fresh water and dumping our grey and black water became quite the event.

The excitement we experienced the first time we found a dump station was far beyond anything I’d anticipated.  Driving around with full grey & black water tanks and empty white water tanks was starting to become a little bit of a worry but just outside of Oppdal we struck gold!  Oppdalsporten Rasteplass ended up having the best dump station that we found anywhere in Norway – having fresh water and a place to rid the RV of our waste water (all for free) meant we could continue on our journey, absolutely stress free.  It’s hard to believe now, but if you’d seen the look on our faces as we drove away, you’d have thought we’d won the lottery!

Feeling inspired?  Grab an RV and head to Norway this winter for an adventure!  Oh and don’t forget to pin this post…

Røros, Oppdal & Trondheim, Norway in an RV

Thank you to Touring Cars Norway for providing us with a fantastic RV for the purpose of a review.  All thoughts are always our own.

Europe Norway

Norway by RV: Day Two – Tobogganing in Lillehammer

January 6, 2017
Toboggan Lillehammer Touring Cars Norway

We recently returned from a fabulous week exploring Norway in a Touring Cars RV and decided to document our experience for others looking to travel this beautiful country in an RV or camper.  If you’ve not read our first post, you may like to do so first.  Otherwise, read on to find out about our incredible day in Lillehammer.

After waking up to this amazing view on our first morning in Norway, any sadness we felt about moving on from Iceland was well and truely gone!

Without even needing to leave our RV we got ourselves ready for the day ahead and made a move for the supermarket.  After stocking up on supplies we relaxed in the carpark and made ourselves lunch – the freedom we have in the RV is amazing!  Whenever we’re hungry, wet from the snow or need a toilet stop, everything’s right there.  I can only imagine how convenient it would be for a family with young kids!

Watching the Ski-Jumpers

Lillehammer was used for two Olympic games and because of this is incredibly well set up for snow-sports which were to be the focus of our visit.  We’d hoped to catch some ski-jumpers practicing on the massive jumps but due to high winds, it wasn’t to be.  Standing beside them I have a whole new respect for those athletes – the jumps looked terrifying!

From just below the ski-jumps I spotted what looked like toboggans and with time on our side, we decided to walk up for a look.  What we found proved to be, by far, the highlight of our day.

Tobogganing Fun

For only 180 krones each (approx NZD30 or USD20) we were given helmets, googles and free reign to race down the mountainside for an hour.  It was hard to comprehend just how much speed we picked up on the big drops (or just how much damage you could do to yourself if you came off the toboggan on one!) but it sure was a lot of fun!

The T-bar would hooks onto the handlebars and pulls both the toboggan and rider up to the top of the hill, ready for another race down to the bottom.  If you timed your speed properly, you could scoot all the way into the T-bar station, completing a full loop without having to get off the toboggan – too easy!

Flying over the bumps and around the turns, I don’t remember the last time we experienced such pure joy.  If you do nothing else in Norway, make sure you go tobogganing!

Initially we didn’t think we’d hang around for the full hour but it proved to be so much fun that we easily filled the time and would have continued if it wasn’t for our aching muscles (those T-Bars were hard work but entirely worth it).

Back Tracking

Though two nights in Lillehammer were suggested, we decided to move onto our next destination – that’s the beauty of being able to park anywhere to sleep of course.  With our sites set on Røros and the hope of going dog sledding, we plugged our destination in and followed the instructions up into the mountains.  

Late December gets dark by 4 or so and I must admit, we had reservations about heading up with looked like a fairly minor road with snow underfoot, but we trusted our navigation system and charged on… that is, until 45 minutes later when we hit a barrier signalling that the road was closed! 

Fortunately there were a couple of locals who explained that that particular road is always closed in winter and though we may have made it through an alternative mountain road the following day, we wouldn’t that evening.

Feeling a little less confident in our navigation abilities, we eventually managed to reverse down the road and find a spot to turn around (honestly, the number of turns required to turn this beauty around on a narrow snowy road is beyond belief) and made our way back down the mountain.

Finding a Place to Sleep

We searched for a rest stop on the TomTom (this time a little more hesitant in blindly following its instructions) and made our way to ‘rasteplass ringedu’ for the night, not too far out of Otta.

It was a great little spot, quieter than the night before (aside from the odd train) – the airplugs that we picked up in Iceland easily fixed that though.  When we were faced with longdrops that weren’t in the best of condition though, realised what a godsend it was to be self-contained with our own bathroom!

Our day was tremendous fun but also a learning curve for us.  If you’re travelling Norway in the winter time, learn from our mistake and don’t trust that roads will always be open or that closures will be marked in advance – it’s not a problem but having a flexible itinerary and a positive attitude will help ensure you have an awesome trip.

We had an incredible time on the toboggan at Lillehammer too – if you’re passing through this part of Norway, allow yourself time to stop there and head up the mountain.  It’s an absolute blast!

Accommodation Europe Mid-Range Norway Reviews Travel

Hello Norway – Hiring a RV and Hitting the Road

December 29, 2016
RV Hire in Norway Touring Cars

After the most amazing week in Iceland it was time to begrudgingly pack up our things and make a move.  Of course we didn’t have anything to complain about as we were off to a new destination for us both – beautiful Norway.

After an uneventful flight (which is exactly what you want in a flight!) we arrived in Oslo and were promptly picked up by Touring Cars.

For the next eight days we’ve been entrusted with an absolute beauty of an RV.  Before hitting the road, there was a fair bit to learn though and Touring Cars did an amazing job of ensuring we understood the ins and outs of both driving and camping in Norway.  After watching an introductory video, having everything demonstrated to us and trying our hand at the tricky parts, we felt relatively secure in our ability to keep her ticking over the next week.

Fortunately for us, Kris at Touring Cars Norway put together a suggested itinerary and differing to his expertise, we made a move for our first stop.

After a quick snack at a service station we continued on for about an hour and a half until we reached the gorgeous hill-side town of Lillehammer.  This quant spot was home to the Winter Olympics in 1994 and more recently the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics and thanks to its sporting heritage, there are plenty of wintery activities on offer, including ski-jumping, tobogganing, bobsledding, skiing and snowboarding.

Though we had plans to camp under the ski-jump, we decided to head back down to the lake and in the morning awoke to this spectacular view.

Does it get any better?

In Norway, you’re allowed to camp pretty much anywhere – there are rest stops just to the side of the road all over the country and you’re welcome to park on public land as long as you’re not preventing access.  

As we’re self-contained in our RV, we can just pull into one of these rest stops for the evening, cook our dinner and wake up to the most spectacular views in Norway, all at no extra cost!  I think we’re well and truely being converted to #vanlife.

Are you considering a trip to Norway?  Stay tuned for information about the cost of visiting this beautiful country.  You can check out the fun we had in Lillehammer here too!

Thank you to Touring Cars for loaning us our gorgeous RV for the week so we can experience camping in Norway’s winter.  As always, all thoughts are our own.

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