For a lot of people, backpacking has been a way of life, way of how they discover all the new places and explore the world around. It’s an cheap, easy way of traveling recommanded by everyone who tried it once. It gives you a chance to see who you really are, complete freedom to do whatever you want.
Give yourself a mission finding the best local to eat or discovering everything you can about a local arts, keep a journal, meditate in beautiful places, get lost in cities on your own.
Norway is one of the best countries in the world for backpackers. Not only for its amazing nature, but also because it offers many possibilities for cheap accommodation. One of the things most apreciated by the people who travel alone is the hostel. All across Norway there are more than 50 hostels, most of them placed in beautiful nature surrondings which gives you spectacular nature experiences.
In HI hostels you can get a overnight in highseason for under 50€. Backpackers don’t let this chance slip through their fingers. This is the case of Maria, from Germany. She decided to spend this summer traveling through Europe with the Interrail programme. Interrail programme is designed for youth and it offers the possibility of travelling across the continent by train, for aproximatelly 83€.
Maria has so far been in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. “Oslo is the best city I saw in my trip. I like the people and the natural heritage is amazing”. That is why next weeks she is going to visit part of the norwegian coast-line and the Lofoten Islands. Most of her stay Maria has been accommodated in HI hostels. We met her in Oslo Haraldsheim . “I like to stay in hostels because it gives me the chance to meet new people. And it is really cheap. Here everything is included, as breakfast and laundry”.
But not everything is about money. For many years, hostels have been the first option for those who just want a place to sleep and continue their journey the day after. Although, hostels today are more than just a place to sleep, most of them offer a rich list of activities for the guests. And that is something that makes the difference between a HI hostel and any other accommodation. Nowadays, families and elderly people also find hostels the best option to spend their vacation. HI Hostels have a long and proud history. The first HI hostel was opened in 1930. Today, some of the hostels are owned by families passed down for generations. Norwegians have a long experience hosting people from over the world and people of all ages.
A hostel gives you the perfect enviroment to meet people from different countries and makes your trip an international adventure. Maria met Christine in a HI Hostel, another backpacker from Germany who has been visiting Norway practically every year. In fact, she has been to Haraldsheim several times, the first time was 20 years ago. Christine has come here to run the Midnight Sun Marathon in Tromsø. “I really like the nature in Norway. Norwegian people are very easy-going and I really appreciate the hospitallity here. To me, Haraldsheim is like my house and everytime I am here I meet new people. There is no price for that”.
In fact Maria and Christina met, and got to know each other in one of our planned activities in hostels. They came for a hike to Grefsenkollen and they took the chance to contemplate one of the many beautiful views of Oslo city. This hike is organized every Friday in a way so we can bring guests together and maybe help them in process of knowing each other. Other HI hostels offer to their guests the opportunity to enrole in rafting, riding horses or even the chance to participate in the gardening.
Last Sunday, Maria and Christine went together to visit the towers of the City Hall building and spent the day in the streets of Oslo. They had breakfast together on Monday and then came the time to say goodbye. Maria continued her adventure across Norway and Christine had to end her vacation because of the job. During the journey Maria is going to see where life takes her. She has a decision to make whether to start University or take a chance on the job market. Maybe, next time they meet, in Germany, the decision has been made. And rest assured they will remember the beautiful weekend they spent in Norway.
article written by Gordana Bulić
Photo top: TIMOve