Country Hiking in Norheimsund

In the Hardanger region of Western Norway – made up of the Hardangerfjord branching off into other fjords, gushing waterfalls, beautiful bridges leading to a chain of hills, and therefore a profusion of tunnels drilled into these tall green beacons of beauty – is the small village of Norheimsund. During Nazi occupation of Norway, during WWII, the village was the location of a training camp for the Germans and there would have been fortifications along the bay once upon a time. But now it has a clutch of houses built the local way with wooden panels and slate roofs, painted in cheery colours, small windows looking out from their facades.

Old cottages belonging to fishermen still stand in isolation at places close to the fjord, there are a few stores in the village and a beautiful harbour that makes you want to sit on the pier for a long, long time. Chuck in a few cafes, a church and a school too and there you have the core of the quiet village which was our residence for four days.

Now I have a confession to make. We started on a hike in the countryside around and above the village and *whispers* then we abandoned it after a fair bit of plodding along up steep hills. Why, you might wonder? Is she that big a wuss? Well, I am a big one but more when it comes to water. I am willing to take on hiking challenges of any nature unless you ask me to climb up paths made up of tiny rocks which I abhor with all my heart because of late we have ended up on such hikes.

The skies had opened up the day before and let loose their wrath upon the earth. The path was immensely boggy. My shoes kept sinking in and I felt all slimy and cold. It did not help that my darling husband kept warning me about the leeches that were creeping up my leg and getting fatter by the minute. Now try as I may I cannot develop a fondness for reptiles and creepy crawlies that are our fellow creatures too.

So I kept shrieking like an annoying girl – I do not scream anymore but when I was living with my flatmates in Delhi I used to specialise in it. Every time one of my flatmates’ boyfriend turned up at the door, I used to open the door, scrunch up my face and instantly scream without even thinking. We had no keyhole. Yet was it a valid excuse? Or was it a subconscious urge given that he would finish all the food in the fridge? I wonder.

Adi and I huffed and puffed as we climbed up while an old man in his training shoes ran up the hill we were climbing. Did he just run past us with youthful vigour? Overcome by incredulity, we quickened our pace and examined pretty mushrooms as we made our way through the woods. After a while we found ourselves walking along a water pipeline and found some sheep sitting on top of the hill, chewing and meditating. Eating and contemplating is such a noble combination, don’t you think? I often wonder what sheep think for hours as they graze or sit and reach out to eat more grass (have you noticed how they do it – ’tis an art).

If you remember I had mentioned in my last post about the Norwegian sheep. I sat near them and wondered if the sheep would scuttle like the English breeds. But no they sat there, appearing to be of a rather stoic nature. They looked at me, I looked at them. It was a silent communion that was broken only by the sniggers of the husband.

It was after this point, when we had a spectacular view of the village of Norheimsund below us and islets sticking out from the mysterious blue waters of the fjord, that we decided to turn around. It was a most dissatisfying feeling. You would know it if you have ever abandoned a hike after climbing a fair bit into the bargain. Do you have any such stories of abandoning one? It would make me feel better.

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Woody endeavours
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Mushrooms in the woods
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The hiking path along the water pipeline
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A communion of sorts
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Hardangerfjord
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Houses of Norheimsund
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Norheimsund
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Norheimsund’s harbour
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Play of sunlight and clouds above the harbour
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Tunnels and green hills maketh a lovely marriage
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Steinsdalsfossen
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Up and close with my favourite bridge in the region

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The bridge on a day wreathed in mists. I could live in a house overlooking this stretch of beauty.

67 thoughts on “Country Hiking in Norheimsund

    1. Thanks 🙂 See now that makes me feel a bit heartened. Waist-deep crossings, yikes. I would have turned around too. It takes less to make me abandon such ventures though this is the only one so far. I hate that gnawing feeling that comes after.

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    1. That is a wise decision to turn around when your mum was not feeling up to it. I doubt you would have had. Adi teases me by commenting that I want perfect conditions for climbing and hiking. Unfortunately it is a big yes for me! And I cannot stand the thought of leeches :O

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    1. The county of your origin sounds exciting. It apparently has 8 of the 10 highest mountains in Norway which makes me want to go hiking there. I had to look it up. I love Norway too, Patricia. Nature is just spectacular in the country and the Norwegians know how to not mess around with it.

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  1. That walk looks gorgeous and serene, I especially love the photos with water, its so calming. Also, leeches sound terrifying. I would not blame you for screaming, I would be right there with you.

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    1. Mostly it was Adi doing his best to freak me out. But he did show me fat leeches lying around! That just did the job of making me scoot. Can anyone be okay with leeches you think?! 😉 But the countryside views were worth it. Even though we abandoned it during the course of the morning, we did land up with a bit of the gorgeous landscape.

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  2. Wow, the photos have breathtaking views. Sorry about abandoning a hike. We have done that. But we were not able to enter into a rainforest area in Australia passed Cape Tribulation, because it required 4-wheel drive. We only rented a small car, the size of a Mini Cooper! So we had to turn around!

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    1. Miriam it was a most wonderful dream. By the sound of your story, it does sound like a wise decision. Sometimes we have to switch on our common sense and let the adventurous streak in us take a back seat. Btw I just looked up Cape Tribulation and the rainforests – they are fantastic!! I shall remember it them and make a note straightaway.

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  3. You would never catch me hiking so no, I would not give up on a hike. I can imagine you being a little girl and going all “oopsie, bad rock” and the fit, muscular old man just running up past you. Were you really being eaten by leeches?? I would be way gone after the first one had touched me.

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    1. HAHAHA. Trust you to make me guffaw in such an unladylike manner. I did a fair bit of that and Adi was stealthily recording all of it. I realised much later what he was up to. He has recorded such embarrassing videos of me sliding down the rocks there :-/ I was not touched by a leech, eeks, no! I was shown very sweetly by my husband though, a fat few bad boys lying around.

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      1. Ufff, I was scared there for a minute!! Your husband must be so much fun to be around. “Let’s go hiking honey, so I can make you look bad” hahaha

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      2. He says in a goofy voice, “She got me!” 😛 Silly Billy is sitting next to me, chugging on his e-cig and being his usual self. I confess he is fun 99 per cent of the time, unless he is grouchy. Then I just leave him to sulk and stride ahead 😉

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      3. Rui is so much fun. Unless his in his bastard mood. Then he’s like a bee, keeps stinging me with his unkind words until I get mad and tell him to F-off

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  4. Beautiful pictures! I love Norway!! These pictures reminds me my days in cruise ships which we used to travel in between these valleys😍. Thanks for all these beautiful shares. Looking forward for more amazing posts.

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    1. Hello there Sumith, we are kindred spirits then. Norway is one of my favourite countries and my travel there has always been rewarding. You are fortunate to have sailed between those valleys. Thank you for the lovely words. Cheers.

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