As you might have noticed, Norway works like a magnet for us. And as you might know, it’s not the cheapest place on earth. Because all good things are supposed to be shared, I want to let you know what we have found useful when we travel to Norway by car. Some things you might found self-evident, but so they are (and if we get philosophical here, aren’t the simplest things always the best ones? )
Like this one: Take benefit from the last gas station in Finland before crossing the border. Fill up your car even if you just did it 100 kilometres ago. If you cross the border from Lapland, for example in Kilpisjärvi the last place to save money is Neste Kilpisjärvi, and if you pass the boarder from Utsjoki, the last gas station is surprisingly quite near the border in Utsjoki. You get the point. Also, check the details in your car’s insurance and be aware who pays the bill if your car breaks.
In addition, if you’re planning to stay in Airbnb or if you’ll be camping somewhere, bring your food from Finland. Same reason: Prizes in Norwegian supermarkets are far beyond Finnish prizes. Last Easter I paid 2,5 euros for one lemon. Make a food plan for your whole trip and include some extra in it, because the country is charming, and you might end up staying there longer than planned.
At the beginning of August, when we’re in Tromso, we paid almost as much for parking our car in the city centre than what we paid of our stay in Smart Hotel. Funny thing: I think it was the first time in a hotel in Norway for both of us. We normally stay somewhere outside the cities. Yet again, city life increases you expenses, but city life is not the one we’re looking for in Norway, right?
With alcohol we encourage you to obey the classic four letter rule: BYOB, bring your own bottles. Especially if you like to enjoy a beer after a long day (outdoors) like we do. Norway has regulated its alcohol selling more than its neighbours. With wine and spirits it’s the same as Finland and Sweden – you can buy wine and spirits only from a special store called Vinmonopolet and for spirits you must be 20 years old. Beer you can find from most shops, but it’s only sold before 8 pm on weekdays and 6 pm on Saturdays. On Sundays you cannot buy beer (nor wine) from shops.
We use different forecasts in different places. According to our experience, Norway’s broadcasting companies Yr.no-application is the most trustworthy in Norway. Weather changes rapidly around mountains and sea, therefore don’t panic if the morning seems to be rainy. It can be anything else at the end of the day.
Finnish map application called Karttaselain is also approved. You can download maps for trails and wild areas for free and create your own adventure, yay! Another useful application is Trailforks, that we have already mentioned before. Then there is oldie but goldie Wikiloc to share and find outdoor trails for hiking, cycling and other outdoor activities. Insta-stars Samuel and Daniel Taipale have launched their Norway outdoor-application called Outt. I downloaded it, ran out of batteries, and wasn't able to test it. My first experience was that it's a bit complicated, but maybe I'm just too simple-minded. However, Norway's entire route planner ut.no gives you trail maps and levels.
Norwegians we have met have been happy-looking and helpful – and when you meet them on mountains, they smile and say hi. I think people who live near the mountains just are like that. I’d be. Cultural generalisations are always a risky business, but I think us Finns could learn from Norwegian outdoor happiness! Heja!
Suom: Norjan-reissu on onnistunut, jos sen aikana ei tarvitse käydä kertaakaan paikallisessa kaupassa tai edes tankilla. Niin ei ole käynyt meille vielä kertaakaan. Viimeksi piti hakea kirpeitä karkkeja.