Day 7: Trolltunga

We woke up at 4ish am to get ready and also to pack our things as we’ll be heading to Voss after the hike. We reserved a parking pass for the P3 parking lot, which was the highest peak where you could start the hike. The other spots that you could’ve Park was P2 and P1 but that would mean starting further down. Instead of the 8 hours we allocated to hike it would’ve probably been 10-16.

The drive up wasn’t too bad in the dark. The pictures made it look scarier that it actually was. At 6am, the gate to P3 was open and once we got up to park. It was time to start the hike.

The weather wasn’t too bad when we started and we pretty much warmed up 20 minutes in. The hike itself wasn’t too bad, I think the most strenuous part was hiking up from the very bottom near P1 parking.

There was a lot to take in on the hike!

3ish hours in, we made it to the famous view.

We were one of the first groups to make it. Unfortunately, 10 minutes after…. the clouds started to come in and we couldn’t get pictures with the view anymore.

This was when it started to get really cold and it started pouring when we started to hike back. It was freezing and it even hailed a bit!

We started to see more and more people hiking on the trail as we were going back. Thankfully we started early or else there would’ve been a lot of foot traffic. It’s always a good idea to start a popular hike as soon as it’s possible. That also means no lines for pictures!

It took was 6.5 hours to finish the hike which was a lot quicker than the expected 8 hours. It was nice to finally get back, freshen up a bit before we start driving to Voss. It was the last hike that we are doing in Norway.

It was a nice scenic drive towards Voss. There were a lot of fruit stands along the way. We really wanted to try some plums but we didn’t have change.

The drive to Voss was around 3 hours. We were starving after our hike so we stopped by a town along the way called Lofthus and got food at a small diner like restaurant – Kompaen.

The food was amazing for what it was. We had amazing dirty fries and I got a chicken burger that hit the spot.

After lunch, we got to Voss and did a little shopping around the town since we wanted to get gloves for our day long kayak trip the next day. We didn’t find anything we want but we were surprised at how many stores there were!

There was also a cute cafe that we found where I got a nice iced latte for the walk.

Our Airbnb was 30 minutes away near Gudvangen. There wasn’t much food around there so we ordered Thai food from a take stand to bring back and it was surprisingly really good. We learned that the lady who worked the truck was in fact Thai and that she met a Norwegian man, married him here and moved to Norway!

We spent the rest of the night chilling at our Airbnb and just relaxing since we had a full day of kayaking. Nothing like a relaxing night after a long hike.

Day 6: A rainy day in Bergen

Unfortunately for us, our full day at Bergen was full of rain. Instead of driving into the city, we walked a good 20 minutes from our Airbnb and started our day with breakfast at Kaffemisgonen. It was a nice cozy cafe with amazing coffee and great sandwiches. I had the best iced americano ever.

After breakfast, we went to Bryggen – a historical block with colorful houses by the pier with a bunch of shops.

We went souvenir shopping and found a great photogenic alleyway with a bunch of great boutique stores.

Afterwards we went to a cafe called Vagal for a quick caffeine fix and to dry off a bit.

The cafe has a great ambiance and pretty cool glasses for iced coffee!

For a quick snack, like every other country I have been – I love trying the local exclusive menu from McDonalds. There was one nearby and we were all craving a snack so we went and got a bunch of things to share.

We got a vegan McSpicy, sweet potato fries, vegan McNuggets and chili cheese pops. The vegan McNuggets was so gooood and it tasted like falafel. I really like the McSpicy too, it didn’t even taste like it wasn’t meat. It was a satisfying snack.

We went to the outdoor fish market afterwards where they were selling meat, cheeses and of course a bunch of seafood.

We couldn’t go to the fish market without trying anything…. so we got shrimp and scallops.

And then for the grand feast, blue fin tuna steak and king crab legs.

To my surprise, I prefer blue fin tuna raw but the king crab legs were amazing.

To walk off the big meal, we went shopping around Bergen specifically looking for a Helly Hansen store or jackets but didn’t find much. I ended up buying a HH beanie though!

We didn’t have much time in Bergen since we had to drive 2 hours to Odda for our Trolltunga hike the next day. We went to get early dinner at Munken Bistro, which was a popular Peruvian restaurant. To our surprise (since it was Peruvian food) it was one of the best meals we had in Norway so far. We got the lamb shank, sashimi of white fish, marinated with lime, spicy fillet of white fish and braised leg duck.

We pretty much ate all day in Bergen. But hey, we have to store energy for tomorrow’s long hike! Our ride to our next Airbnb was 2 hours long and there was a quick 15 minute ferry ride too. We drove passed by Odda which was a bigger town that I thought. Too bad everything was closed by the time we got there.

We’re ready for our 8 hour Trolltunga hike tomorrow! We went to sleep early since we had to wake up at 4am.

Day 5: Rough start but we made it to Bergen

We woke up at 5am to catch our ferry to Bodø. We were all ready to take a nice nap on the boat but instead all we got was bad news. The ferry was cancelled because of the weather. Now this was frustrating because we had a flight to catch to Bergen.

We were googling different ways to get to Bodø to make our flight. The closest airport was the Svolvaer airport and we saw that there were available flights but not enough for the 6 of us. We took a taxi over to ask anyway since it was only 8 minutes away.

Unfortunately there was no room left but there was a flight at 11:40am at another airport that was 2 hours away. The guy who worked at the airport was able to help us check for a flight that would allow us to make our connecting flight. 2 hours on a taxi wasn’t cheap but it was our only option to make our itinerary.

Fortunately for us, we made it, got the flight, was able to fly to Bodø to catch our flight to Bergen. We had another connecting flight to actually get to Bergen but we were lucky enough to make all of them. We were grateful that everything worked out for us even though we had a few setbacks. (We also had some issue with the car we rented that took us over a hour but it was nothing big!)

The drive itself to the city wasn’t bad and our Airbnb was located north of Bergen, which was around a 20 min walk to the city center.

Our first activity was seeing the city at the top of Mount Ulriken. We took a tram up and got an amazing view at the top. There were two great view points of the city.

We just sat there for almost a hour watching the sunset and seeing people jump off the cliff to paraglide. It was kind of nice to just sit down, relax and enjoy the view.

We were starving afterwards and went to a famous restaurant called Enhjorningen for dinner (unicorn fish for a translation). It dates back to the Middle Ages which was crazy how much history there was to this place. The restaurant had a couple of old master paintings on its red and green walls.

We got majority of the menu (not the tasting menu) to share and the food was decent but we didn’t get enough to satisfy our hunger. It was a great atmosphere as we were able to hear a live performance from the pub downstairs and the floor shaking from the music.

To end our night we grabbed two hotdogs from a famous spot called Trekroneren. They served so many different types of hotdogs from reindeer to lamb. We got the cheesy hotdog and the reindeer hotdog with lingonberry sauce and fried onions.

Honestly one of the best hotdogs I ever had. And I know I’ll be craving this hotdog every time I think back to this moment. We ended the day pretty early since we were exhausted from all the traveling.

Tomorrow we’ll be exploring Bergen by foot! I’m honestly excited since this was the first place we have been with so many people!

Day 4: Last full day in Lofoten!

It was our last full day in Lofoten and we took it a bit easier. We went to get breakfast in Svolvær at a bakery called Kringla As. I got a chicken sandwich that had a curry-like kick to it which was delicious and we shared a pancake/crepe-like sandwich with butter/cheese filling in the middle.

It was a rainy morning and since two of us weren’t able to hike – they dropped off the trail entrance for Djevelporten (Devil’s Gate). The four of us hiked up with our sore legs and it wasn’t too bad since it was a bit more fun. The hike involved us using a rope to pull ourselves up from a steep rock, and climbing rocks. All these different things we had to do, kept the mind off the soreness.

The views that we had when going up wasn’t too bad either!

It took us a hour and a half to get to the Devil’s Gate… and it was super windy up there. The wind was so strong, we were nervous to try getting the famous picture. Luckily, someone else gave it a go first and told us that the wind wasn’t so bad. It looked harder than it seemed. The pictures we had came out great and I was happy to cross one thing off my bucket list since this was one of the spots that captured my interest in Norway initially back when I was in high school!

The hike back down was bad. We got lost and ended up taking a completely different wrong path down. It was much steeper which made it hard for our calves and it was just so darn muddy. The path took us to a lake which put us all the way east from where we originally started. Good thing two of us didn’t hike and was able to pick us up for late lunch.

We got late lunch at Bacalao – a bar-ish type of restaurant. I was craving a burger so I got that. Didn’t even get to take a pic since I was so hungry.

It was going to be a light day since we had to wake up at 5am to catch our ferry back to Bodø to fly to Bergen – so we explored Svolvær a bit and went back to our Airbnb to rest. We made a quick and easy light dinner with ramen and veggies, packed and relaxed a bit. It’s going to be another day full of traveling!

Day 3: Off to Kabelvåg, but first we hike!

We all woke up with sore legs – we felt it our calves and quads which was insane for me since I never had this feeling after hiking before! We were leaving our Airbnb at Tind, as we wanted to be closer to Svolvær as we’ll be catching the 6am ferry back to Bodø on day 5.

We made breakfast before saying goodbye to our cozy home.

We were making a couple of stops before our Airbnb at Kabelvåg – starting our morning with a hike.

Offersoykammen was the one and it was no easy feat. It was nothing but steep incline which would’ve been tiring even if we weren’t sore. The incline + the how warm the weather was was a double whammy.

I didn’t get too many pictures but here’s a couple from my IG story.

It took us a hour+ to get up there which was average. We did see a lot of native hikers who were doing the hike like it was nothing! Jealous of how easy they were doing it.

Not surprising but the view at the top was amazing. Windy but beautiful. We took in the view, rested and took some time to take photos but we had to trek back down.

Usually I’m more of a decline type of guy since I felt that going down was way easier than going up. With all the soreness, I felt that incline was less painful than decline. I did not enjoy going down at all especially if it’s steep. At one point I was thinking to myself that if there was a safe and foolproof way to roll down the hill it would be the option I would take.

After that exhausted hike, our next stop was Leknes. A small town where almost everything was closed since it was 5pm on a Sunday. We stopped by a cafe called Huset Kaffebar for some caffeine and snacks before we continued our drive north.

45 minutes or so later, we ended up in Henningsvær to grab dinner at a restaurant called Lofomat. This was the best meal I had so far and I definitely recommend it for dinner if you’re even in town.

We got mussels, both specials of the day which was pan fried fish, king crab soup, seafood pasta, beer tenderloin, lamb shank and the risotto. The risotto was my favorite but their mussels were one of the best I ever had.

After that big meal, we had to walk it off and there was no better way to do so than exploring the town a bit. To my surprised, despite a lot of stores and shops being closed because it was a Sunday evening, I haven’t seen this many people walking around since the Oslo airport. The town was cute too!

We were heading to our Kabelvåg Airbnb but we couldn’t help but to make two more stops to see the sunset. The first was along the highway of E10 which had an okay view but we saw this beach Rorvikstranda and just had to stop there.

The colors were beautiful and those clouds completed the whole view. It was a great last activity before getting to our Airbnb.

Day 2 – Back to back Hikes in Lofoten

We woke up early to a rainy morning and a beautiful view from our Airbnb.

The smell of eggs in the morning, the sound of rain, the view and the homeliness of the home gives you that warm fuzzy feeling of coziness.

Despite the rain, we were determined to hike. Judging from the weather reports we should the rain should stop and all the clouds would be gone by the time we reached the peak.

We drove north to Reine and parked in the town before we began our trek to the trail. I was so glad I got my new hiking boots and trekking pants – I was completely dry even with the down pour!

It probably took us 15 mins to get to the Reinebringen trail and from there it felt like there was an endless amount of stairs to the viewpoint.

It took us a little our a hour and more than 1500+ steps. The rain stopped when we were close to the peak and the clouds were clearing. It couldn’t be more perfectly timed – when we reached the top.. we had an amazing view. Pictures couldn’t do it justice.

It was a breathtaking view of Reine. Worth all the stairs and rain that we endured. Going back down was actually the hard part especially with all the mud. It took a lot of time to get down slowly without slipping. By the time we got down, all of our legs couldn’t stop shaking when we stood still. It was that exhausting!

We trekked back to Reine to grab lunch and rest a bit. There was only two restaurants in town and we picked Gammelbua because of the reviews.

We enjoyed our feast outside with the view.

We got the Hjemmelaget fiskesuppe (homemade fish soup), grillet torrfisk (grilled stockfish), grillet lammepolse (grilled lamb sausage), elgbiffsnadder (moose chopped steak) and vegansk sjoplante burger (vegan seaweed burger).

It was a satisfying meal after a long hike. Kinda wished we had more food since we were off to the next hike!

The next hike was Ryten mountain and getting the view of Kvalvika Beach. It was way more scenic than our first hike and distracted us from our sore legs.

It took us over a hour but we made it to the beach!

Originally we were going to do the longer hike that was past the beach but due to timing we decided to just relax at the beach before heading back.

The hike back was pretty rough. More incline does not help the calves. We are definite feeling it in the morning.

Before we head back to rest, dinner was next. We stopped by a small town called Å to eat at a restaurant called Brygga.

A great dinner to end the day of back to back hikes!

Day 1:

7 hours later we made it to Oslo and we had to kill 3 hours before catching our next flight to Bodø. It was lunch time when we landed and there weren’t many options at our terminal so we all got different things from the airport stores.

There was a sale going on at Salmon house so we picked up some smoked salmon and bread. A pretty decent meal to start our day .

We were catching a flight to Bodø to take a ferry to Lofoten Islands. It only took a hour to get there and a 5 minute cab ride to the ferry terminal. We were excited to get some fresh air and see how beautiful Norway was.

It was one of the best ferry rides I ever been on. There was so much beauty to see and I couldn’t help but snap as many pictures as I can. I spent 2 of the 3 hours above deck because I didn’t wanna miss a view and I only went back down because it was getting dark and cold.

We arrived to a breathtaking view of Svolvær and went to pick up our car and do some shopping at the supermarket before we drive for 2 hours.

Unfortunately majority of the restaurants were closed so we had to settle by grabbing something quick at a local pub. It wasn’t too satisfying but we got to try whale jerky!

We were staying at Tind and that was a 2 hour drive in the dark. We were so glad when we got to our Airbnb as we were exhausted from traveling all day. It was 1am and we had to get up early to hike the next day. I had no trouble sleeping.

Norway Bound!

It’s been awhile! 6 months to be exact since my last trip. I’m sitting in an Uber right now headed to the airport as I’ll be flying to Norway in 3 hours!

I hope I still have a few folks here who are interested in reading about my trip. I know it’s been awhile but I’m crossing my fingers that I didn’t lose anyone!

A little sneak peek to what’s to come:

  • Lots of hiking
  • A 9 hour kayaking tour
  • Oslo, Lofoten, Bergen and a lot of other cities/towns
  • Road tripping!

I can’t wait to share my adventures with you all!

Day 11: Last Day in Colombia

The crazy thing about this trip was that it felt like we were in Colombia longer than we actually were. Our first day in Bogota felt like we were there for a couple of days and when we got to Medellin, it felt like it has been over week. It’s probably because we have been doing so much with our day packed with activities.

I couldn’t believe it was actually our last day in the country and we were going to spend it in Cartagena. We woke up pretty late, showered, packed and left our bags with our Airbnb hosts who lived downstairs since check out was at 11am.

Our flight back was originally at 11pm and it was direct one. Something happened and our flight got pushed to 8:45pm with a hour layover at Medellin. It sucked because it would’ve been nice to have a nice dinner before we fly out and also not having to go through process of leaving the plane and “transferring”.

We got breakfast at Se Volvió Prisprí Coffee Shop and then walked around the city afterwards. It was a beautiful hot day and there was a lot of tourist and locals out. The city was bustling for a Tuesday and it felt more alive than the previous two days we were at Cartagena. We did a lot of walking, soaking in the beauty of city during our last few hours in Colombia.

For most of the day, we spent walking around buying souvenirs and taking pictures. We took a coffee break at Abaco Libros y Cafe, which was a coffee shop within a book store.

Our last meal was at Alma, which was a restaurant where we couldn’t get dinner reservations for. It was by far one of the best meals we had and also the most expensive meal we had. We got drinks, two appetizers, a main entree each and dessert to share. Alma makes it to the list of restaurants you have to try in Cartagena. It was my favorite out of all the places we ate at in the city.

Lunch took about 2ish hours and we had to rush back to our Airbnb before heading to the airport. Heads up for anyone planning to get last minute souvenirs in Cartagena’s (domestic) or Medellin’s (international) airport – it’s not worth it. There’s not much you can get and of course overpriced. I can’t speak for Bogotá’s airport, but I’m assuming that there’s much more variety there.

It was a bittersweet moment leaving Colombia as it felt like we been there forever but at the same time there’s so much we didn’t get to do. Colombia makes it to my top 5 favorite places that I travelled to and I highly recommend it as your next vacation destination.

Thanks for following me on my trip to Colombia and for reading my posts full of grammatical errors! Hope you enjoyed it and stay tune for future trips & more posts!

PS if there’s any questions you have regarding Colombia, leave a comment!

Day 10: A Full Day in the Beautiful Cartagena

We weren’t going to do anything too crazy on our last full day. It was mainly going to be eating and exploring the Cartagena. If we had more time, we would’ve probably visited more of the historical landmarks and maybe even done a walking tour.

We got into the main city around 11am and ate breakfast at Mila Postres.

After breakfast we walked around the city, admiring the beautiful streets of Cartagena. It was scorching hot, probably the hottest we ever felt in Colombia.

We stopped by a couple of shops to check out souvenirs and stopped by La Paleteria for some popsicles. A great way to stay cool was getting cold drinks which we got a lot of.

We had coffee at Cafe San Alberto and then went to Maria (restaurant) to get reservations for dinner since Alma was fully booked.

I loved seeing all the colorful buildings and streets everywhere we went. We took a nice long walk along the wall by the beach to get the nice cool breeze,

Afterwards we walked back up and got a refreshing juice at Marzola Parilla, which was a rock and roll themed Argentinian restaurant. We pretty much walked, drank and ate all day.

For lunch, we ate at Vera’s which was inside a hotel. The restaurant had a great ambiance and since it was very instagramable, we kept seeing tourists come in just to take pictures. I got the mushroom risotto, which was really good.

We took our time eating and talking since our dinner was pretty late, at 9:45pm. We went to get cocktails at El Baron again and then went to Cafe Del Mar, which was a bar on top of the wall. It was supposed to be a good spot to watch the sunset, but it was too late when we arrived.

We got another round of drinks and just chatted for a couple of hours before dinner. It was very chilly sitting there because of the wind and it was mostly electronic music playing.

When the time came, we went back to Maria for dinner and honestly we were pretty stuffed from all drinks and food we had throughout the day. It was probably the most food we had in a day on our trip.

The food was amazing, we ordered two appetizers – lobster ravioli and fish tacos, one entree each – the ribeye, pork chop and tenderloin. Stuffed and exhausted, it was a good end to the day. We still have a majority of the next day in Cartagena as we are flying back to NY at 8pm.