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Tales from Norway: Captain Nero’s hike to Europe’s largest glacier

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Ice, ice baby!
Norway is a Haven for adventure lovers. You see everyone in the outdoors here. People cycling, people camping, barbecuing near their caravans. It is not uncommon to even see a seventy five year old trekking up a mountain or cycling up a mountain. It does help that the weather is great, and the oxygen so pure.
We had already been in Norway for a week and had done the Flam train ride, done a fjord tour, and been to a fishing village. We wanted to up the adventure now so the plan was to go on a glacial hike.
Where?  To Europe’s largest glacier – Jostedalsbreen Glacier.
best time to visit norway

Because of how massive Jostedalsbreen is, it’s actually better known by its two most prominent and accessible arms: Nigardsbreen and Briksdalsbreen. Nigardsbreen is a glacier arm of the large Jostedalsbreen glacier in Norway. It lie in the north of the Gaupne village in the Jostedalen valley.

A stunning glacier, it’s deep blue crevasses and high ice towers make it look as if you are in some polar region when you are hiking through. This incredible deep blue color is the result of the glacier exposing a huge deposit of underwater sapphire stones.

flam to nigardsbreen glacier
We took a bus into the mountains from the town of Sogndal. A stunning emerald green, blue lake greeted us at the entrance of the glacier from where it’s a ten minute boat ride to the base. Once we reached, we walked for some distance through hill and ice. I was excited to cross an icy stream via a rickety rope bridge.
how to get to nigardsbreen glacier
Sometime later,  all of us were asked to strap on a pair of crampons to our shoes, and were roped together by our excellent Nepali Sherpa. He showed us how to walk with crampons and taught us how to use an ice axe for walking and shovelling snow wherever needed.
glacier hikes in europe
It’s hard for me to follow in a line and not run ahead by myself when on a mountain. And this was an icy mountain with deep blue caves and passages. Every bit of me was straining to go jump deep down. A man must do what a man must do, eh! I felt like a happy kid left awestruck in this blue blue world.
The whole thing lasted about four hours. There were a number of people who kept slipping and falling, but it was all good fun. At one point we even walked into this stunning beautiful bluest blue ice burrow.
places to see in norway
Do a glacial hike someday if you can. And you must must visit Norway 🙂
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Neeraj Narayanan

Neeraj Narayanan, a.k.a Captain Nero, is the founder of OHOT. In the summer of 2013, he quit his corporate job and went backpacking around the world. In a year full of (mis)adventures, he ended up being chased by a bear in a Croatian forest, being held at gunpoint by a mafia gang lord in Turkey, running with the bulls in Spain, and dancing in the clubs of Spain and Italy. A year later, he started leading group trips for people.

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