Norway E2.12 - Oslo Urban Soundscape by Tom Glendinning

When we walked around Oslo for one day I didn't take a camera, only a recorder.

Taking toddler steps into the world of microphones and audio editing, being such a lover of superbly crafted audio, is daunting. The resultant audio track is my most complex creation so far, a long way from the ambient nature soundscape I mostly made during our travels.

See my soundcloud account for the rest of my soundscapes so far.

A few photos from Bobbie's phone to accompany below...

More photos from Sweden soon.

Astrup Fearnley Museum

Astrup Fearnley Museum

Norway E2.10 Skydje Fossen at Eidfjord by Tom Glendinning

Far up the gulley North East of Eidfjord, tucked just away from the Westering gales driving inland up the Fjords, there is a waterfall.

It's marked on the tourist's guides as a good one, which is saying something. 

Norway has more waterfalls than it knows what to do with. It perplexes most arrivals however, who take the rutted gravel track through the woods to find it, as it lacks a carpark.

           "Sorry... Sky.. die? Fossen - We are looking for Skydjefossen... is it here?"

This all standing under the omnipresent, grumbling roar of glacier melt pouring from the mountain plateau over a lip, 400m or so directly above us, pounding a tattoo on your eardrums.

We found it by accident, using our ears and eyes.

To listen to the soundscape at the camp we made in the gulley beneath the waterfall, follow the Soundcloud link below. You can also find my other ambient recordings from this travel there, on Time&Space Audio Journal (TSAJ).

There are plenty more to come, with some designed as background nature soundscapes for meditating or relaxing to.

We made a half-day hike up the gulley wall and over the rocky moor tops - to explore the glacier, which fed the river, feeding the lake, which spilled over into Skydjefossen.

iPhone only so lower your quality standards.

High river valley above Skydje Fossen

View of the gulley to the campsite (just out of site downwards)

View of the gulley to the campsite (just out of site downwards)


Norway's nearly over, just Oslo left.

On the way there, further South East over the mountains, we found some timber, sod and grass roof huts built in traditional Scandinavian style, some over 60 years old.

Norway E2.9 Hordaland by Tom Glendinning

Skirting the coastline, (fjordline? "...lovely, crinkly edges") North of Odda into Hordaland and onto the Hardangerfjorden. Rounding the northern point then west we meet the west coast weather that is held back from the valleys by the coastal mountains. The central valleys (Setesdal especially but also at Odda due to Fonglefonna to the West) maintain a relatively mild climate unexposed to the wind and rain whipped by the chaotic northern extension of the gulf stream, which warms the area by many degrees but delivers also incessant wind and rain.

If Fonglefonna has the highest precipitation in Europe then Bergen is it's capital. There are no photos from Bergen. The tourist board photographers are evidently Earthsea-esque weather sorcerers.

Despite the windy weather we had this area is known as the 'Orchard of Norway' - we drove through village after coastal village of plums, cherries and apples right up to the cliffs.

After more wonderful seaside camping with Uli and Eva and a ferry crossing we go our separate ways.

L-R: 4x4 popup, Vin Diesel, Fire #???, Uli, Bobbie, Eva

L-R: 4x4 popup, Vin Diesel, Fire #???, Uli, Bobbie, Eva

Here the dramatic coastline suits the wind and rain

The Hardangerfjorden near Eidfjord


Norway E2.8 Folgefonna Glacier by Tom Glendinning

This is the first glacier I have ever come close to. This National Park info sums it up; in short the glacier is central to the incredible landscape and ecosystem that we were exploring at this point.

The landscape in this part of Hardanger is so beautiful it bears comparison with the most outstanding places in Europe. Folgefonna is the third largest ice cap in Norway, all of 168 km2 . It probably reaches a maximum thickness of 300-400 m. If we take 150 m as an average, Folgefonna has about 30 km3 of ice. Its highest point (1662 m a.s.l.) is believed to be one of the wettest places in Norway, receiving an estimated annual precipitation of around 5500 mm. The natural environment surrounding Folgefonna is dominated by the proximity of a large ice cap. There are numerous rushing rivers, and many lakes and rivers have the characteristic opaque emeraldgreen colour of glacial meltwater. The park includes the next largest area lacking major infrastructure in the county of Hordaland.

The gulley the glacier melt torrents down carries with it a freezing wind falling from the glacier. Sinking down the bottom of the valley it is a stark and palpable layer flowing over the watery tumult. 

If that looks cold it's because it is... of course I got in!

If that looks cold it's because it is... of course I got in!

No problem finding a shower in Norway's campsites

The pristine environment here is so inspiring and enriching - this is perhaps one of my favourite hikes I have ever taken and left me totally rejuvenated.


Norway E2.7 Tjørnadalsfossen & hike to Rodekot by Tom Glendinning


Our precariously balanced camp near Odda, overlooking the Sandvevatnet fjorden had a permanent sound backdrop of falling water from the Strondsfossen above and Tjørnadalsfossen across the green waters. This is the land of water and stone. 

Tjørnadalsfossen (far) & Strondsfossen

Two excellent Austrians made camp with us and shared the things travellers shared. We hiked above the fjord, through the tangled birch woods to the lakes and high meadow pastures. 

Uli, Eva, Bobbie

This type of woodland seems ubiquitous at a certain altitude here and is my favourite environment, full of gentle light and sound textures broken by mossy granite boulders and clanking sheep bells.

The Fonglefonna glacier spat a cold wind across the community of sheep and ponies very happy to make immediate and very close acquaintances.

Fonglefonna glacier overlooking summer meadow cabins

There are some more photos from this set - if you want to see more idyllic scenes including a portrait of the lovely Uli & Eva go to:

Norway E2.6 Telemark & Låtefossen by Tom Glendinning

En route to Odda from the Setesdal valley we passed through many long tunnels. We came out of one at altitude to a stunning mountain landscape in the West of the Telemark region.

Leaving the mountains down a steep gorge we stopped at the most touristic place we had seen so far. Låtefossen falls just above the road and tourists clogged the highway to have their photo on the narrow bridge... It seems that the renown dramatic waterfalls is due more to their accessibility than rarity however.


Norway E2.5 Setesdal - Valle by Tom Glendinning

Eventually the rain, winds and cold 5º nights sent us back to sunny Setesdal valley. East of the mountain range that catches all the weather coming over the North Atlantic.

Just North of Byglandfjorden, near Valle we found one of our favourite wildcamps to date. A rocky river bed that must be an incredible sight running rapid with the spring thaw.

Still there were clouds, but importantly we weren't in them for a change.

Norway E2.3 Setesdal - Tjørhom by Tom Glendinning

Up out of the Setesdal valley and West over the mountains, reserved for reindeer (Elk also? We won't see them until later, just sheeps for now).

Water, water everywhere, and all of it good to drink.

All elements of the mountain roads here shown in roughly representational proportions.

Most of these photos come from the mid-level around 700-950m altitude, where I find my favourite landscape so far - the bushy, scrub, low birch woods with moss & lichen barely covering the granite. Overflowing with wild berries and fresh wind. 

Most mountains reach a tumbled, broken and boggy granite plateau at 900-1000m and peak not much higher than 1500m here. Up on these 

A lonely lakeside wildcamp... Until the 12 Poles, 2 Swiss, 6 German, 7(?) French and 4 canines nationality unknown turned up in the rain.


Norway E2.1 Kristiansand & E2.2 Setesdal- Byglandfjorden by Tom Glendinning


Lakeside home on Byglandfjorden, Setesdal region, opposite Lauvdal

A long standing dream to explore here. The campervan, willingness to camp wild anywhere and the amazing accessibility of this sparsely populated natural wonder of a country makes travelling here remarkably affordable for us. These posts are not to tell our whole long story but only are snapshots, so I will let them speak for themselves. Already we miss this wonderful part of the world and felt instantly at home and welcomed here by the marvellous people and pristine nature.

Trout, Granite & Pine

Islands by the port of Kristiansand, from Odderøya island Nature Reserve

Åraksbo, Byglandfjorden

(where we meet Jenni and Alex, in the endless stream of happy German travellers who go everywhere)

Agriculture is cut from the forest on the low sloping sides of valleys.