HARDANGERVIDDA / Solstein hike

This post could be easily called, another hike but let’s give it an official name, shall we?

Our main goal for the mid August weekend was to do the Gaustatoppen hike. I was thinking we could do that on the day of the arrival or the next day in the morning (Sunday). The main guiding factor was the weather that so we were flexible in adjusting the plans.
Since the main goal was full filled and there was a morning left for us, after a good night sleep and a home made breakfast in Rjukan hytteby cabins (note to yourself if you ever come this way; the restaurant where we had lunch and dinner does not open until 11 am, and they don’t serve breakfast which is the silliest thing ever, so we brought our own food from Oslo. It was Sunday, and all the grocery stores in Norway are closed on Sunday).

Being an outdoor country with people spending their free days out in the nature it wasn’t difficult to plan our Sunday activity.
There’s plenty of web sites and maps with descriptions of the pathways and necessary details like duration, difficulty level, type of terrain etc.
Having in mind a toddler in company, our general physical condition and around 3 hours on disposal, I decided on the easy Solstein path with the possibility to ride the Krossobanen from the foothill.

The Northern Europe’s first dual carriageway, Krossobanen, takes you up to the foot of Hardangervidda

Krossobanen was built in 1928 as a gift from Norsk Hydro in order for the locals to climb the mountain and enjoy a bit of so needed sun that does not come to the valley during the winter months.


The five minute ride from the parking lot in one of the carriages named after forest berries found in the area; Tyttebæret & Blåbæret takes you to a height of 886 m above sea level, at Gvepseborg.

At the upper station, there is a café with the magnificent view, and a start for several trails.

The Solstein is a very popular family pathway that takes you around Hardangervidda; the largest mountain plateau of its kind in Europe with one of Norway’s largest glaciers, Hardangerjøkulen, situated right there.

The Sherpas from Nepal built the stone steps in summer of 2010

We didn’t reach the glacier, as we took the 4 kilometers round hike through the forest. The most of the pathway was just plain sighted gravel road, easy to walk and rest.

Halfway through, we made a stop at the remains of a German air defense position from WW2. The position was never completed as the fire on the Krossobane upper station in November 1944 prevented the transport of construction material.

The two-hour walk on the plateau was gorgeous. Not at all demanding, it was basically a casual stroll with beautiful views of the nature and a proud mountain of Gaustatoppen.

Our little one decided to walk the whole way, but since he was not the fastest walker at the time, D helped him so I ended carrying the babycarrier for no reason. Oh, well….

But, no regrets; it was a fantastic day; the sun was shining, there was peace and quiet, just cracking of the gravel under my feet. What else can one wish for! Maybe more food options at the end of the route, as we ended our walk only with an ice cream 🙂

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