when ian proposed that we live out of a motor home (first it was a camper van, but we decided to go a bit bigger) for five days around the fjords, i was definitely up for a wild adventure. i was also aware that things could be pretty miserable along the way – lots of driving on crazy mountain roads with two small kids and somehow all sleeping together inside our vehicle. all things considered, it went really well! there were a few times when ian said something like, “this is terrible!” and i was like, “well, yeah! what did you expect?!” – haha. but overall we had a really memorable and fun time. a wild adventure for sure.
usually we are pretty careful with planning out where we go and what we do each day on trips. but with the motor home we didn’t need to be at any reserved accommodations each night, so we decided to just lean in to that flexibility and pretty much winged it, deciding where to go as we went … and especially following the weather. we hoped to get further up north to an amazing place called geiranger but our weather app showed ten days in a row of snow there! so we googled and found other interesting places to visit. we were able to see sooo much beauty, and it was awesome.
here’s some photos from our time motor-homing around the fjord region!
we were amazed by norway’s road system. we went through sooo many tunnels (including the longest road tunnel in the world! and tunnels with roundabouts inside them!) and we drove on to lots of ferries! we were always grateful for how ferries broke up the trip a little. we could get out of the car, walk around a bit and grab a snack, all while still continuing towards our destination.
our second night with the motor home, we pulled over on the side of the road to sleep. we happened to find a perfect little pull-off that was right on a lake. moses loved taking the path down to the water and throwing rocks in. in the morning, ian woke up and jumped right in the lake! a refreshing morning shower 🙂
we saw literally hundreds of waterfalls in our driving. some were really big and powerful and close, like this one!
little islands with red houses, wildflowers, glaciers … there was always something gorgeous to see out the window. after a while we kind of stopped trying to capture the beauty. it’s endless and awesome.
we learned about stave churches, medieval wooden churches that are usually elaborately carved and were once present all around northwest europe but now exist almost exclusively in norway. there used to be about 2,000 stave churches in norway and now there are just 28! we got to see two, and i loved them. the viking handicraft is amazing to see.
we stopped by røldal stave church one misty morning. moses loved exploring the surrounding cemetery and spotting animals on gravestones.
the painted interior of røldal stave church is so beautiful!
one more view of the church, and then back in the motor home to eat some pasta for lunch as it rained outside 🙂
trying to take pictures of the grandeur from a moving vehicle…
sooo many waterfalls outside our windows…!
these days in our travels, we are always on the lookout for a playground. we’ve found a lot of great ones in different countries in europe! // these purple flowers were everywhere on our drives.
a little village we stopped in one afternoon for lunch:
ian was a champ maneuvering that big vehicle around some pretty crazy roads.
the views were pretty cloudy from stalheim, a spot several people had told us to check out … but still pretty amazing!
we drove up to the stegastein viewpoint above flåm with fingers crossed that the clouds would break up rather than break into rain. we got our wish and were blown away by the stunning beauty!!
stuggles to get a family selfie…hahaha!
we were quite the motley crew by this point, after sleeping in a motor home for a few nights and adventuring around nature for a few days. gabriel had a fall right on his face at some point and so was looking particularly not-his-best. i think in these pictures we are all wearing the same thing we slept in the night before…
one of my very most favourite parts of our trip was the five minutes we spent at this little pull-off on our way down from the stegastein viewpoint. both boys were engaged with something in their carseats and so ian and i had a tiny sliver of glorious kid-free peace taking this in together.
one drizzly evening we went to see vøringfossen, where several waterfalls meet and then the water rushes down a narrow valley. at first we couldn’t see anything because it was so cloudy but we waited a few minutes and the mist drifted. pretty spectacular.
here’s where we pulled off to sleep another night:
and the view from the back window there (the picture certainly doesn’t do it justice!):
the second stave church we visited was borgund stave church. i was kind of obsessed with it. isn’t it so cool?!
on our last full day, we drove up into the hardangervidda mountain plateau. the scenery was totally different than the scenery right along the fjords, gorgeous in a whole different way.
we even got to play in some snow … on july 1st!
back down by the fjords we saw rainbows…
and tiny villages that make you wonder how the heck people up there…!
we spent a good chunk of time in norway in souvenir shops. they are pretty much moses’s favourite thing ever. he got really into vikings and trolls on this trip.
at the very tail end of our time in norway, we visited storseterfossen, a gushing waterfall you can walk right behind!
this picture shows a bit of our setup in the motor home. there were two beds that moved down from the ceiling. moses and ian slept on on and gabriel and i slept on the other.
saying goodbye to the motor home (which mo for some reason often called “the cable car,” and which he adored) at the bergen airport as we headed back to london:
we waved farewell to norway from the plane and immediately started planning our trip back in the next few years (we’d love to do lofoten islands). we loooooove norway!
and that’s a wrap! our norway-by-cruise-boat-and-motor-home trip was a dream come true, a little bit crazy, full to the brim of mindblowing natural beauty, exhausting and exhilarating, and just all around incredible.