A Great Escape to the Norwegian Fjords

Rachel Maria Taylor and Jody Daunton journeyed to Norway for the latest issue of their outdoor lifestyle magazine Another Escape.

This is the view from the Skagfla farm, which rests on a small mountain shelf 250 meters above the waters below. Across the fjord you can see the spectacular Seven Sisters Waterfalls. The boat gliding through the water is a ferry that can hold up to 50 cars, which puts in perspective the great expanse of the fjord.

Deep fjords, tall mountains, and thick forests were just the beginning of what they discovered — Norwegians have a close relationship with their natural surroundings (the concept is known as friluftsliv), truly embracing nature and enjoying the outdoors as a way of life.

Water rushes down the mountains and over the cliffs into the fjords.

You can see outtakes from the adventure here, along with an excerpt from the published story. Look out for Another Escape Issue Five this fall.

A scenic ride from Hellesylt to the village of Geiranger.

NORWAY – Bordering Sweden, Finland, and Russia, with a ragged flank that disappears into the pitted bed of the Norwegian sea,

Mountain refuge hut at the top of Romsdalseggen. A much-appreciated respite when hiking in wind, rain, and snow on the Romsdalseggen Ridge.

Norway is a slender spool of craggy peaks, vaulting waterfalls, mirrored lakes and fjords, and woolly forests.

Co-founder Rachel Taylor stands on a precipice overlooking the village of Geiranger and the fjord.

To the west, the landscape is carved out by glaciers, with the abrupt slopes of the Scandinavian mountains towards the North Sea.

Many buildings in Norway traditionally have turfed roofs. Sheep and goats are often put on the rooftops to eat down the grass, which is exactly what this cheeky chappy is doing.

Numerous corridors of valley connect this raw, imposing topography to the spruce-carpeted hills of the east.

In the remarkable Vellesæterdalen valley, the Velleseter Cabin rests on an exposed hilltop at an altitude of 418 meters.

And while the north is characterized by fjords, mountains, vast snowfields and some of Europe’s largest glaciers, the south is a gradation of urban living, agricultural lowlands, fells, and docile coastal living.

DNT padlock and key. The DNT has an elaborate networks of trails and cabins across the whole of Norway that are open access for all to use. The keys are available from local tourist and DNT offices.

At every point of the compass, Norway’s landscape is arresting; a lush, undulating conduit forfriluftsliv that craves no less than pure abandonment to its mysteries.

A selection of cold meats including muskox and reindeer, which are native to the region; locally caught smoked salmon; klippfisk, a Norwegian dried and salted cod; locally made jams from the abundance of local berries; and the quintessential sweet brown cheese that tastes almost like fudge.

Literally (and inadequately) translated as ‘free air life,’ the phrase is, at its most fundamental, a deep appreciation for and interaction with nature.

The view from Kaldhuseter cabin, looking out across the lake towards the Tafjordfjella Mountains.

This entry is excerpted with permission from Another Escape, where the article originally appeared. Read more about the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv in Another Escape Volume Five.

A traditional little cabin tucked away in misty mountainside.
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