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norway - sweden - finland - denmark - ?germany ?netherlands

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1. Posted by wannafly (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

hi, me and my boyfriend are thinking of getting a ferry from newcastle to bergen, norway, probably the last half of august 2008 for about 3 weeks to a month. We are not sure how much to fit in. We were thinking we could drive from bergen to oslo, cross over to sweden, drive around the gulf of bothnia into finland then drive down to helsinki. From this point we would like to possibly get the ferry from heldinki to stockholm - and drive through to denmark. From denmark we could either get a ferry back to england or drive through denmark, germany and netherlands and ferry to uk. Has anyone any experience of driving in these countries and any advice on whether we would be taking on too much?

Also we would like to see the northern lights but not sure we would be high enough up or whether it is late enough in the year to see them. Our problem is that because we are trying to budget we want to camp as much as possible, so we dont want to leave it until it is too cold. Has anyone got any advice about camping in these countries? We will be taking our own tent.

Look forward to your responses, thanks. ;)

2. Posted by lagosmm (Budding Member 50 posts) 9y

I currently live in Bergen, and my boyfriend lives in Lillestrøm, a city close to Oslo. Driving from Bergen to Oslo can take approximately 6 to 7 hours, depending on traffic and your driving skills. If you are going to be driving across the country, and if time is not an issue. I would suggest checking out Preikestolen, its about a 1.5 hour hike to get there, but it is quite breathtaking. Preikestolen is in Stavanger. From what Ive heard, its about a 6 hour drive from bergen to stavanger because you must drive around the fjords.

http://k53.pbase.com/u37/henkbinnendijk/upload/32131360.Noorwegen20040708Preikestolen21.jpg

3. Posted by jaxstar (Full Member 74 posts) 9y

we drove from copenhagen to skagen in 2 days and it was about a 3 hour drive both times (im taking out the HUUUUUUUUGE traffic jam by aahus which was apparently not normal) but that was not seeing anything really. its not a hard drive at all, esp if you have a GPS and a map. you can do it in a week or so if you wnna stop n see things all the time. we took the ferry to varberg in sweden and drove down to copenhagen via malmo which took us another couple of days. you dont need stacks of time really... n its not hard driving in denmark n southern sweden, its flat n the highways are good.

4. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Norway is a really nice country to drive in if you have the time. Distances quickly add up but the scenery is stunning. I'll second the 'Preikestolen' suggestion by the way! I don't think you'd be able to see the Northern lights, at least not in these parts of Norway I've never seen them (Oslo).

I've never done any camping, but there seem to be plenty. I guess a few would shut down for the winter, but august is far from that and still relatively peak season for some of these locations (Norwegians take holiday en mass in July, so you're more likely to be bumping into other europeans than Norwegians that late in August).

5. Posted by wannafly (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

Thanks, that's all really helpful. So it sounds like you are all saying that drving is a reasonable way to get round the countries. I love the look of preistolen so we definately fancy that suggestion. I heard on the tv this morning that Norway is the most expensive place to shop after england - so Im guessing the prices will be high for everything.

If anyone has any other suggestions for beautiful places of interest / hikes along the way I will be grateful.

Also why is it that Norwegians take their holiday in July, is that just culture / work schedules or is that because the weather is bad. We've read that it rains a lot - IM wondering if it puts people off?
Thanks

6. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

The July holiday thing has always baffled me too, since August usually has better weather! It's a cultural thing though known as 'felles ferien' (common holiday). Everyone is just gone that month. The cities end up being only half full as most Norwegians have a family cottage/house in the mountains/by the sea that they head to. It's kind of self reinforcing too because if you rely on any other business that month you won't be able to get anything done since they'll be on holiday. So businesses close down because their suppliers are on holiday and so on and so on. That chain effect is somewhat hard to break although it is slowly getting less.

Contrary to what you might read, the weather is not THAT bad in Norway. It rains a lot in Bergen, but here in Oslo it's not bad at all. Personally I find it a much more pleasant climate than say the Dutch one. There it tends to rain a lot in the winter, whereas here that is snow. And July and August have an average temp of somewhere around 25-28 down here in the south of Norway, so certainly not bad. We had a pretty lousy summer this year though, but last years one was fantastic. Same story in most countries I believe-you never really know for sure

7. Posted by wannafly (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

oh good sounds better than we had heard. Think we read somewhere that rains about 250 days a year but it sounds better from your description. Cant wait to see it for myself!

8. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Might be the case in Bergen, but it's known within Norway for being the place with the most rain, so it's not representative for the rest of the country :)

9. Posted by KineAgathe (Full Member 21 posts) 9y

Heres a link to Norways camping guide
http://www.camping.no/index_eng.html
Might be helpful ;)

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 13, 2007, at 8:09 PM by KineAgathe ]

10. Posted by lagosmm (Budding Member 50 posts) 9y

Bergen is know for the amount of rain it has, but in my opinion its not that bad. I am living in Bergen at the moment and I have also lived in Seattle and thought this to be certainly colder, but not rainier. In fact, we just had a week of snow (rather than rain!) Perhaps the global warming?