The tough gets going
TEXT: LISA MARIA BERG | PHOTOS © MAGNUS R FURSET
For some, visiting the west coast of Norway means stepping off a cruise ship, taking a photo of a crab or its ilk, slurping on some fish soup and gazing at picturesque, old wooden houses. For others, however, that just won’t do: travelling to one of the most epic coastal landscapes in the world means experiencing more than just lobster in a bowl of cream.
If you happen to visit Bergen or Balestrand in Sognefjorden this year, and you have the mentality and physicality of a bold explorer, Gone Paddling will greet you with open arms. With them, you can do just that: go! Why just look at the fjord when you can kayak through it? And why just stare at a mountain when you can climb it?
The breath-taking nature in the west of Norway represents a whole set of opportunities for the thrill-seeking visitor. Here, you are faced with battling your own fears, pushing your own limits, and reaching for that horizon.And then, the summit brings with it its own, inimitable form of zen, to balance out all of that adrenaline you’ve just sought-out.
If the thought of climbing the walls of Sognefjorden seems somewhat daunting to you, fear not. There is a team – the best team – and they’ve got kayaks. Yes, that is correct: you don’t have to bring your own. In fact, you can pretty much walk right in and pick up a ready-packed rucksack, a climbing rope and a tent to go, which makes going big a little easier, logistically speaking – because the west coast is big, and its fierceness should not be taken lightly. It takes knowledge to safely manoeuvre your way around it, whether it’s on the fjord itself, climbing up a mountain side or biking on the winding rounds around it. Local guides can always hand-hold you whenever the bridge goes over too troubling a water.
Whether you are looking for a romantic two-night stay in a tent next to the fire (yes please: what a place to propose!), or a different take on a birthday party, Gone Paddling tailor-makes your trip in any fashion you’d like. If your colleagues are sick of the yearly golfing excursion with matching canapés, perhaps a specially-made team-building experience could help kickstart the year. Nothing boosts the team spirit like chucking everyone in matching climbing gear and heading for the top.