Take a gander at this! One of the many rewards for driving in Norway!
We recently loaded up the Jeep and took a road trip to southern Norway to visit friends and see as much of the country as possible in a short week. Driving your own vehicle through a country is usually the best way to get around provided you don’t mind some of the associated difficulties. But in Norway, any of those problems are far outweighed by the beautiful scenery awaiting you at nearly every turn. The beautiful mountain lake pictured here is just one of hundreds we encountered along our route. Along the coast, we came upon quaint fishing villages and beautiful beaches.
We arrived in country as most motorized tourist will, via ferry. Our ferry of choice for this trip was the Colorline out of Hirtschals, Denmark, in to Kristiansand. We drove off the ferry and headed west to Lyngdal amidst the daily “rush hour.”
Traffic consisted of a few dozen cars, motor homes, and motorcycles heading off the ferry in our direction. Luckily, the driving conditions are easy and peaceful. No high-speed autobahn here. In fact, we never got over 100 kph and 70 or 80 was much more the common speed.
One thing we learned aboard the ferry was that all toll roads in Norway have recently gone to an electronic collection system. We were able to register and set it up aboard the ferry at autopass.no so we had no fear driving through that first toll collection gate. I must admit, it is convenient not paying; but since our tolls haven’t hit the online collection system yet, I’m still not convinced it worked. Time will tell. If you don’t register and set up the collection ahead of time, the toll collectors will send a bill through the European Toll Collection agency. But as the website points out, the process of picking out license plates from photos of vehicles passing under the electronic gates is a manual, by hand process and can take a few days.
Roads are well signed and connect most of the countryside easily and comfortably. With your own vehicle you can find amazing off-the-beaten-track sites like the Nordberg in Lista or any number of picturesque light houses. Choose a beautiful mountain lake for a picnic or a quiet cafe in a charming seaside fishing village. And in Norway, you are required to slow down and enjoy the ride, so I recommend you do just that.
What have been your driving experiences while traveling? Any places that are super easy or those that are quite challenging?