Hi folks, I have been a little pre-occupied over the last few weeks so posts on the blog have been few and far between. However, I don’t have long before my Camino from Santiago to Finistere in September. I’m really looking forward to this. It is new ground and I have heard so many good things about watching the sun fall over the horizon in Finistere and Muxia. Another three months before I board a flight to Santiago!
However, I have been thinking a lot about what to do afterwards; when I return to Dublin and the dust settles. Do I return to Spain and walk another part of the Camino Frances like I have done year-on-year? Or choose another route within Spain? Or maybe about France or further afield? All of these options have whizzed through my mind for a while now. There are so many different walking routes around Europe, including Spain. One such route is in Norway – the St. Olav’s Way. It is under the radar at the moment compared to the routes in Spain, but is being actively promoted by the government in Norway. I believe it will be the “next-big-thing” after the Caminos de Santiago within the next ten years. At present, if you walked alone on one of the Ways in Norway, you will be lucky to meet other pilgrims for days. It is for that reason I have chosen to park it to one side..until now.
I received news from a pilgrim friend that she intended to walk it in May 2018 with some of her friends. When asked if I would like to join them, naturally I jumped at the chance. While it is a pilgrimage, there are so many differences between walking in Spain and in Norway:
So what is St. Olav’s Way? – St. Olav’s Way is a pilgrimage route to the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, the site of the tomb of St. Olav. The main route is approximately 640 kilometres (400 mi) long. It starts in Oslo and heads north up the Gudbrandsdal valley, over the Dovrefjell mountains, and down the Oppdall valleys to end at the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.
What about accommodation? – I have a lot to read up on this. All I know is accommodation at present is MUCH different to Spain. Spain offers cheap and plentiful albergues in most towns. There is no guarantee that there will be somewhere to lay your head in Norway so planning and booking ahead will be required. I have also purchased a sleeping mat and bivvy bag as there is a good chance we will be sleeping under the stars. I actually hope we do!
Will my packing list be different? – At present, I am hoping to walking the final 10 days to Trondheim but that may change. My Lowe Alpine 35-45l bag should be fine for this trip however I will need to take sleeping outdoors into account. The temperatures will be colder than in Spain so warm clothes and raingear will be a priority. Also, I will need to take account that I will be carrying food with me. Here is a good example: http://pilegrimsleden.no/en/plan/pakkeliste
I have ordered Alison Raju’s Pilgrim Road to Trondheim guide book which is well recommended. I have a good few months to read up on the walk once I return from Spain in September, but I have already started the planning well in advance!
Some good links:
- http://pilegrimsleden.no/en/ – Download maps and create your own plan of your walk
- A couple of great YouTube videos – here and here.
- A great section dedicated to the St. Olav’s Way on the Camino forum – https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/forums/st-olav%C2%B4s-way-to-trondheim.133/
- Photos of the St. Olav’s Way from Instagram