It’s been one week since I returned from a 2500 mile road trip to and from Norway. A group of us packed our bags and set off for a ‘back to basics’ adventure at a friend’s holiday home. Camping tents, chairs and BBQs were compulsory and trips to the toilet in the dark became the norm. Once we arrived off the ferry in Dunkirk on Saturday morning, we drove through the night, only stopping to sleep and eat. Of course, this was all part of the experience and we embraced every second, not knowing where we’d end up sleeping that night.
We drove through various countries – France, Germany and Denmark and to my excitement, I managed to find a schnitzel sandwich in a local bakery. Finding local supermarkets were at the best of times challenging but after spending one night camping in Kiel, Germany and two ferry trips later, we finally arrived in Norway and set up camp next to the beach. We spent some time near the water near Hollen after being cooped up in the car travelling for the best part of two days. It was a relief to breathe in some fresh Norwegian air.
Just before we arrived at our final destination, we did a mass group shop and stopped off for eggs at a local farm. We stumbled upon this abandoned coach named the ‘Ghoost Rider’ and a few of us stuck inside to look around. It looked like a prop from an apocalypse film. How spooky does this coach look?
The scenery in Norway is breathtaking and after arriving in our final destination on the island, Kraksoya , we had to ferry our suitcases, alcohol and Pepsi dog across to the island we were staying on. You can only get to the house by boat – which was an experience in itself! We packed our luggage onto the little boat and Kirsten ferried us in two trips to the island. To get to the actual cabin, we had to climb up the rock face which was quite difficult and not expected, but once at the top, you can see it was definitely worth the hike.
The only way to wash on the island is jumping into the Fjord, which is also home to a bucketload of jellyfish. How often can you say you have washed in a Fjord? We loved going for group swims and the majority of us ending up cutting ourself on the sharp rocks. That didn’t stop from jumping in though!
How beautiful is this cabin? Josh and I were kindly given here as a place to sleep – just 20 steps away from the main house. The cabin overlooks the forest landscape and has 3 huge glass windows. We loved waking up in natural sunlight and in the middle of a forest, it was so surreal and I miss sleeping in this beautiful place.
Different meals were cooked each night (ranging from BBQS, Spaghetti Bolognese, Fish, Fajitas) which seemed challenging at the best of times, since electricity and power is limited at the house. After tea time, Kirsten introduced us to melting chocolate gooey smores on the open fire that Josh liked to build and keep alight after sunset. It felt so good to switch my phone off for the week and embrace the island holiday. Going back to basics is something everyone should do at least once a year – it’ll certainly refresh your mind.
One of the days, our tribe took a stroll across the island, walking through woodland areas, over rocky pathways and down by the water. The pouring rain didn’t stop me pulling out my camera and taking some snapshots. Of course, Pepsi dog followed us across the island and led us all the way back to the house. Both Holly and Kirsten wore flipflops on the walking adventure – They’re both crazy girls!
On Wednesday, groups took it in turn to go out and do a spot of lunch time fishing. By nature, Kirsten was great at it (I swear if the Hunger Games were real, that girl would win hands down!). A couple of us unfortunately got our lines tangled, but I was so happy to catch a gigantic haddock on my own. I couldn’t bring myself to chop its head off though – I also left that to Kirsten. The gang caught various fish over the course of the day and the BBQ fish supper that night was most delicious! The food tasted even better knowing we had worked for it. We ate the fish with a portion of rice and some slow cooked sweet corn.
Lunch times usually meant feasting on the selection of different cheeses with various breads, crackers, fish and ham. If I ever find myself back in Norway, I’m taking a suitcase to bring back several kilos of cheese.
On the penultimate day on the island, the lads and Keeks did wakeboarding and waterskiing. Josh also taught me how to make a fire from scratch… (I know, catching fish, making fire… I think I left the island as a new woman) and I also helped to cook dinner for that night – Fajitas! During the day we took a trip off the island for ice cream and some casual sightseeing. It’s easy to say I never wanted to leave the island.
The trip back to Birmingham was long and although I was craving my bed on the 12am ferry back to the UK, I’m so happy and grateful to have experienced this wonderful, challenging and unique trip. Thanks so much to our wonderful host, Kirsten who looked after us on the island and made us all feel welcome. Would you ever consider doing a ‘back to basics’ holiday like we did? Please do let me know in the comments…