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

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11. Posted by lagosmm (Budding Member 50 posts) 8y

To get a good view of the Northern lights in Norway, a good chance to see the lights IMO is to see them at Tromsø (you still have to take into consideration solar winds and sky conditions.) to get to tromsø from bergen, you must drive 27 hours one way. gas costs would cost at least $350 (usd) one way, not to mention the devaluation of the car to ge there. it is much better to fly if you want to see the northern lights. If you are planning on budgeting, I would definitely look into costs in the Nordic countries. It is generally expensive here, especially dining out.

12. Posted by wannafly (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

Thanks again, this is all really helpful. Does anyone know whether the lakes in finland are worth a visit? And also we are toying with the idea of driving from finland to st petersburg, russia, has anyone ever done this? We havnt looked into visas etc yet and we know we will need them but we were thinking it may be worth a visit then perhaps driving through estonia and latvia before catching a ferry to poland or germany. Has anyone ever got the ferry from stockholm to helsinki? From reading up on it, it sounds like its a good experience. Thanks

13. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 8y

I drove around all these countries about 5 years back on a 10.000 k trip in about 5 weeks. Absolutely the perfect countries for driving around, but make sure you don't speed as this will cost you a lot of money, especially in Norway. Now, about the route: I would skip a country or so when you have 3-4 weeks only. I guess it is best to skip Finland as compared to the other countries (especially Norway) it can be a bit boring, with flat landscapes, lakes lakes lakes and trees trees trees. My opinion to travel north from Bergen and see more of Norway, for example add the Lofoten Islands which were my Norwegian favorite by far! From there head east via a ferry to the island of Senya and then further towards northern Sweden and travel down the interior where you have lakes and trees as well, but in a more spectacular landscape compared to Finland. For some city experience, I guess your best bet would be Stockholm, followed by Copenhagen.
Also I would do a loop and skip the rest of Denmark and Germany and the Netherlands as well, as this might be kinda disappointment after Scandinavia and really rushing it too much. So take the ferry back to the UK from Norway again (or Denmark if that is possible).
About camping: as long as the wether is fine, camping is fine as well....but that applies everywhere I guess. I camped when the wether was fine and the other nights I spend in the typical hytter (huts) in Norway, which are great value and more romantic. Camping facilities and infrastructure are great and especially in Sweden surprisingly cheap.
A last tip: see Alesund on the coast of Norway, very nice and different.
O, and I doubt there will be northern lights in late August already....

Have fun! Michael.

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 18, 2007, at 11:07 AM by Utrecht ]

14. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4811 posts) 8y

Quoting Utrecht

A last tip: see Alesund on the coast of Norway, very nice and different.

Wow, did you really think that? In what way? What was it that me and the two friends whom I travelled there with didn't see? (Serious question. We found it a city utterly devoid of interest (saw the architecture, climbed the hill, wandered everywhere that seemed to invite wandering, looking for something to catch our interest), and drove on barely four hours later again, so I'm wondering what made it a city you would recommend particularly over, say, Trondheim.)

O, and I doubt there will be northern lights in late August already....

Agreed with this. There'll barely be true darkness by late August (it stays noticeably light up to mid August), at least at those higher latitudes where you have most chance of catching the aurora.

15. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 8y

Quoting Sander

Quoting Utrecht

A last tip: see Alesund on the coast of Norway, very nice and different.

Wow, did you really think that? In what way? What was it that me and the two friends whom I travelled there with didn't see? (Serious question. We found it a city utterly devoid of interest (saw the architecture, climbed the hill, wandered everywhere that seemed to invite wandering, looking for something to catch our interest), and drove on barely four hours later again, so I'm wondering what made it a city you would recommend particularly over, say, Trondheim.).

Uhm, do I really have to explain this Sander...I just liked it. But of course people can think otherwise about a city. Travelling is not (always) about seeing the major things in a city in my opinion, just liked the place as I liked Trondheim by the way as well.

16. Posted by wannafly (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

hi, thanks for these responses, they are particularly helpful. We Have heard other reports thats Finland might be a bit disappointing so that has just confirmed it for me, and I also wondered whether i would regret booking other countries after norway and sweden. So if we change our plans so that we go for about 4 weeks starting mid august, perhaps starting in the south then circling up to the north of sweden/norway in about mid september do you think there would be any chance of us seeing northern lights then? I think we might just stick to norway and sweden and maybe just skim into copenhagen and northern finland at some point too.

Also with regards to copenhagen do you think its worth making the effort to go there if its not part of our journey? We will check out those places you mentioned on the net.

Has anyone ever camped in norway in mid september, im not sure if we are being too ambitious with the weather, especially if we are now going to the north and not just the southern bit.

Thanks

17. Posted by Shucks (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4y

Hi, did you make your trip? My boyfriend and I are thinking of doing a similar trip this summer and I would love to hear how you got on. Which places did you visit? How much did it cost?
Really hope to hear from you!
Shucks

18. Posted by wannafly (Budding Member 6 posts) 4y

Hi yes, the trip was amazing. I think we took £4000 but came back with at least a £1000. We had paid for the ferries out of that too. Norway was amazing, the person who reccommended Preikestolen gave us a fantastic tip, its was breathtaking up there. The camping was good although we got a little sick of it at times and paid to stay in wooden huts. We found that filling the car up with food from england saved us money so we hardly spent anything in norway. We changed our plans when we hit Sweden and got a ferry to Estonia, Tallin, then drove through Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany then Holland. It was slightly too much to do with only a month and meant that we drove through Lithuania without even really stopping. We stayed in hotels a lot more from Estonia as it was cold and cheaper.
If you choose to drive through Norway and want to go north from Bergen as we did, just be warned that it is very slow as you need to catch at least one boat each day. But it is well worth it! Norway and sweden were my favourites.
Hope that helps, its nice to be reminded of such happy memories! So feel free to ask anymore questions. Good luck with it!

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