Scandinavia (2021): From Thuringia to the North Cape and back

Better campsites, more nature and unlimited coffee

Our next destination was supposed to be Trondheim, but when we realized that the city’s only campsite is just as horrible a pitch with bad reviews as it was in Oslo, we decided to adjust our plans a bit. Since the drive was quite long and we couldn’t have done anything else in Trondheim on the day of arrival anyway, we didn’t drive through to Trondheim, but decided to spend the night at a campsite in a small village an hour before Trondheim, which Støren was called. During the drive to Støren I made what is probably my most important purchase in Norway: At a gas station operated by Circle K (there are other gas station chains that offer this, however), I bought a coffee mug with an annual coffee flat rate for around €20 . I could fill this coffee mug with coffee, cappuccino, hot chocolate, tea or other hot drinks at any Circle K gas station nationwide for free. If you consider that a gas station coffee in Norway costs 4-5 €, this mug is worth it from the 5th coffee and you also have a cool souvenir. We got this tip in a YouTube video about Norway and would recommend it to anyone planning to travel to Norway. Especially when you are traveling by car, you have to keep stopping at gas stations anyway, so you only have to see which chain occurs most frequently along the chosen route. In addition, there are some gas stations that are actually beautifully located. So when we changed drivers, we took a short lunch break at a petrol station branch with a picnic area right next to a beautiful lake. We sat on the grass, unpacked our sandwitches and enjoyed the view and the really nice weather that day. It sounds almost ironic, but this petrol station picnic area somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Norway was our first point of contact with the beautiful nature of this country. During the drive, we noticed colorful moose antlers attached to trees along the road. After some research, we found out that they should serve to keep drivers from getting bored and keeping them constantly focused on the road. Admittedly, I’m not sure if the antlers really achieved this effect, or were just a nice roadside decoration.


In Støren we stopped at a small campsite, where we had to wait a bit because the owner wasn’t there yet. We used the time to look around. It was clear at first glance that we were now more in the country: the place was quite manageable, but very green. It was right on a river where the best places were apparently right next to it, all of which were occupied by long-term campers with small front gardens in front of their parked trailers. The campsite reception consisted of a small wooden hut with a wooden troll figure next to it. The troll held up a fish in triumph and laughed. In front of the hut there was a kind of bulletin board with a whiteboard with high scores for the biggest salmon caught in the river. A gentleman named Kenneth Moen has been the undefeated champion since June 1st with a 16.5kg salmon.

After a short time, the owner of the campsite, a friendly lady in her 50s, appeared and we were able to go to our pitch. Since the showers here cost 10 crowns and we needed coins, we left shortly afterwards to visit a small shopping complex, where, among other things, there was an ATM where we could withdraw cash. Next to it was a nice shop with local souvenirs, but as we entered the shop assistant told us that they were closing in 2 minutes so we had to leave straight away. There was also a supermarket where we did our shopping and a large junk shop where I got an extra pair of thick socks and a fleece blanket, since it was getting really cold, especially at night. In a small hut on the campsite there was a kitchen where we prepared our evening meal: a vegetable soup with Fiskeboller, Norwegian fish balls. These were actually very tasty and didn’t taste great fishy at all but more like normal small dumplings. The soup warmed us up again from the inside before the cold night in the car set in.

The next morning we packed everything up again and left. Before we continued, we made a brief stop at Støren’s only real attraction, an old wooden church. This was surrounded by a small graveyard, and across from the church, for some reason, the building could still be admired in adult-sized miniature. After a few obligatory photos we went to Trondheim.


The day before we left for Poland a few weeks earlier, Kevin had twisted his ankle while playing volleyball, as described in the accompanying post. In the meantime, his foot wasn’t completely healed, but it was good enough for us to dare to go on our first little hike after a short stop at a pharmacy, where Kevin bought a new support stocking for his ankle. We planned to walk the Ladestien Trail, marked as easy, which ran along the north shore of town and wasn’t too long either.

The trail started off beautifully with great views of the coast and water, but towards the end it got a bit monotonous and our stomachs started to growl. Somehow, after a certain point, we both just didn’t feel like going any further. Looking at the map, we found a small shopping complex with a burger restaurant and quickly changed our destination. The restaurant initially overwhelmed us in several ways. On the one hand, the prices were decent, most burgers started at the equivalent of 20€ and these were rather the simpler models. On the other hand, the burger restaurant had adjusted the ordering process due to Corona in order to avoid unnecessary contact between customers and staff. So we were instructed to sit at a table and order by cell phone and pay directly online. There was a QR code on each table, which was pretty difficult to scan. It was only after several iterations that the code was recognized, only for us to realize that the full order page was only available in Norwegian. However, after an odyssey of copying and pasting in our translation apps, we were finally able to place our orders. Kevin chose a pizza with Köttbullar and I chose a chili burger. The food was okay but nothing earth shattering. No wonder, because in Norway this served the lower price range while we could have eaten in the best restaurant in Weimar for the same money. Right next to the restaurant was a fairly large pet store. Of course, since we also needed souvenirs for our cats, we went to explore the shop after the meal. In fact, we found what we were looking for. In our shopping cart ended up a small feeder that had to be fixed to a table with a ball that the cats had to play with to get food out and a toy from the Grumpy Cat franchise. However, the latter was apparently not yet listed in the checkout system because it had arrived brand new and so the saleswoman was unfortunately unable to sell it to us.

Next we went to what is probably Trondheim’s biggest attraction: Bakklandet. Bakklandet is a picturesque district full of characteristic colorful houses, narrow streets and the Nidelva River crossed by an iconic old wooden bridge. The streets were made of cobblestones and there were hip cafes and small designer shops everywhere. Since we didn’t know our way around here at all, we simply typed the name of the district into our sat nav and drove off. The GPS then did exactly what we asked of it, it took us right into the middle of the district until we suddenly stood in front of a sign that pointed out that the pedestrian zone starts from there. Turning was unthinkable and the only street you could turn into led up an extremely steep hill (I would say that it felt like a 75° angle). Only later did we realize that the mountain was also closed to cars, probably due to the fact that it was so extremely steep. However, we simply overlooked the sign at that moment. I hit the gas and miraculously made it up without stalling. Otherwise we would probably have rolled backwards straight down again, because unfortunately the handbrake of Borussia was already past its prime. At the top it was more of an urban area with residential buildings. We parked the car at the side of the road, hoping it was legal to park there, and walked back down the hill.

At the foot of this mountain there was a very cool attraction: a bicycle lift, which carried people up the mountain with their bicycles. (By now all readers will hopefully believe me that this mountain was really damn steep.) Some people tried to get up, but no one could figure out how it really worked. But every time someone wanted to ride their bike up, a crowd of people pulled out their smartphones and pointed the cameras at the person and their failure. It’s a shame that this lift doesn’t seem to be that practical after all, but it’s definitely a cool idea. We walked around the area and took our obligatory photos on the old city bridge before heading back to the car.

For camping, we drove to a campsite about 20km away, which brought quite a surprise: Although the campsite was in the middle of nowhere, it was really huge. Since we had a relatively small car and didn’t need a power connection, we were given a parking space right on the fjord. There was a small beach here and a long jetty with seating at the end. After setting everything up, we gathered our courage and put our feet into the freezing cold fjord. As cold as the water was, it was refreshing, especially since the water in the fjords is incredibly clear and clean anyway. For dinner we sat out on the jetty and enjoyed the view and the clean air. I decided in advance to make my dinner typically Norwegian and so I sat there by the fjord, saw the beautiful mountains on the horizon and ate crispbread with smoked salmon while the last rays of the evening sun shone down on me. Yes, that was really one of the good moments when you are completely at peace with yourself and just enjoy the moment. At some point Kevin went back to the car to call home while I stayed on the jetty. In addition to me, two other anglers, a man of Asian descent and a Norwegian, made themselves comfortable on the jetty and cast out their fishing rods. Unfortunately, the Norwegian was not very successful. The only thing that bit him was a starfish, which he disappointedly threw back into the water while his wife stood by and laughed at him. The Asian had more success. A fish actually bit him. He skilfully pushed him onto the jetty and broke his neck. Then he called two little girls, presumably his daughters, to bring the fish to the mother. Since the fish was still wriggling a little, they obviously had a hard time with it. They shrieked and backed away again and again. Meanwhile, Kevin was back on the jetty and followed the spectacle with me. We stayed together on the jetty for quite a while and watched the picturesque sunset. So we could really enjoy the evening again before the rain should catch up with us the next morning.

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