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[reply to lost post, 20/04/2012]

Hey, Dougfitz, what a grand experience you are about to have. The St Olav Way, Norway is a superb, well-signed trail passing through areas of outstanding natural beauty. I followed the St Olav Way (in reverse) Aug-Oct, 2010 continuing on via Tønsberg to Larvik. Here are the resources which I used along the way -many Thanks to all who created them. Happy planning :) .

God Tur!
- Lovingkindness.

Pilegrim organisations
http://www.pilegrim.no/ CSJ Norway
http://pilegrimsleden.no/en/ Pilegrimsleden -maps (PDF)

Guide book Raju, Alison. Pilgrim Road to Nidaros, The: St Olav's Way - Oslo to Trondheim (A Cicerone Guide). 2002. ISBN: 1-85284314-2. [Revised edition due in 2013]

Wild camping in Norway:‘The law stipulates that you have to be at least 150m from the nearest house or outbuilding….Camping at roadside picnic areas in Norway is prohibited. They are meant for short stays only…In the period from 15th April to 15th September bonfires are illegal.’

There are two Pilegrim’s organisations in Norway, with offices and contacts in Oslo. May I suggest that you introduce yourself to both groups in Oslo before setting off. You will receive a fine welcome and all the help required.

Pilegrimssenter Oslo:
Pilgrims Pastor

CSJ Norway, Oslo:
As a pilgrim you are very welcome in Norway. At our office in Oslo we will give you free credentials and good help in planning your pilgrimage northwards. If you would like a blessing before setting off, we will help organise that. We appreciate it if you contact us well before you intend to begin walking. Our email address is:
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Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
Thank you for reposting that. I had found these and have been using them to do my planning. I have also been re-reading your Trondheim to Oslo posts. I plan to walk on the eastern route out of Oslo, so I won't join up with your trail for a little while. All going well, I plan to be walking for 30 days with a couple of rest days, and arrive around the 27th or 28th of Jul.
Hi there dougfitz and others!
Im going to study in Trondheim next semester and thought it would be nice to walk from Oslo to Trondheim. I did both the Camino del Norte and the Camino Frances a couple of years ago. Right now im still very busy with some deadlines from my university. So dont really have time to research anything about this route untill next monday and next friday, the 6th of july im leaving!
Im planning to take my own tent, cooking gear etc. so i can rely on myself and cut some costs.
Does anyone have some advice on which guide/ maps to buy?
I'll have to be in Trondheim at the latest on july the 26th. Would it be possible to walk the whole route in less than 20 days? I guess days are quite long in Norway so you can walk a lot, cant you?
Does anyone have any advice?

@dougfitz are you alreay on your way?
Hello, Samiam.

download pdf maps from http://www.pilegrim.info These are excellent.

The St Olafs Way in 20?
Here are a couple of blogs and an interview of pilgrims who hiked the St Olaf Way. Mark N. took 27 days, Sigurd K. & Torkil F. hiked it in 34 days. I haven't heard of anyone doing it in under four weeks.


This is a strenous hike. You might experience rain for days or even weeks on end . On occassion it is necesary to carry two to three days food supplies. Even in July/August it can get very cold so you will need base layers.

I'm pushed for time. If I think of anything else that is helpful I'll add it later.
Happy planning.

Guide Books: St Olaf's Way

Hi there, Samiam.
Here are some guide books currently available for hiking the St Olaf Way. They are listed on both the CSJ Norway website and the Pilegrimssenter, Norway website. I recommend that you introduce yourself to both organisations and explain your situation. They are very friendly :D


CSJ Norway


Luthen, Eivind. Pilegrimsguiden Tønsberg-Oslo-Hamar.Verbum. 2003. ISBN 82-543-0952-3 .

‘This book takes you along the pilgrim route from Tønsberg to Oslo and on to Hamar. Each stretch offers many local pilgrimage and sacred sources. This is a practical guide with maps and tips.’( Bing translator.)

Luthen, E. & Berger, T. Pilegrimsguiden Hamar-Nidaros. Verbum. 2005. ISBN 9788254309025.

…’this is a continuation of the Guidebook from Tønsberg-Oslo-Hamar that came out in 2003, which received good reviews. The new guide book is richly equipped with good maps and interesting Pilgrim stories…’ (Bing translator)

Pilegrimssenter, Norway


Raju, Alison. Pilgrim Road to Nidaros, The: St Olav's Way - Oslo to Trondheim (A Cicerone Guide). 2002. ISBN: 1-85284314-2. [Revised edition due in 2013]

‘A walker's guide to the 643km medieval pilgrim road from Oslo to Nidaros (Trondheim) cathedral, where Saint Olav (king of Norway, and responsible for much of the conversion of the country to christianity) was buried. His shrine was the focus not only of many miracles but also of the fourth most important pilgrim route in Europe after Rome, Jerusalem and Santiago de Compestela, and from the tenth century until the Reformation it attracted pilgrims not only from Norway and the rest of Scandinavia but from Russia, the Baltic countries, Germany and Britain as well. Cleared and waymarked in 1997 The route has been 'rediscovered', and is being actively promoted as a walking pilgrim path.This is the only guide to the route in English. As well as giving directions for walking the route, the book also provides information on places of interest along the way and the history of the pilgrimage, a list of suggestions for further reading and a glossary of geographical and useful terms.’ (Book description, Amazon.com)

Thue, Stein.On the Pilgrim Way to Trondheim. Tapir Academic Press; 2 edition (November 1, 2008) ISBN-10: 8251923034 ISBN-13: 978-8251923033

‘After Norway's patron saint, Olav Haraldsson, fell at the battle of Stiklestad in 1030, Nidaros (now Trondheim) and the grave of Saint Olav became a destination for people seeking salvation. Today's pilgrim paths give the contemporary wanderer a sense of what pilgrims in the Middle Ages went through on their way to the shrine in Trondheim. All today's paths will take you to sites and historical monuments that relate to the life and works of Saint Olay. This booklet is a guide for modern pilgrims who want to follow in the footsteps of those earlier wanderers. All the paths and routes to Trondheim are described with accompanying pictures and maps. You will find brief texts about Saint Olav, Stiklestad, Nidaros Cathedral and the medieval landscape, as well as useful information about today's Trondheim and its many attractions.’ [Book description, Amazon.com]
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
I have reached Hamar from Oslo on the eastern path. It has taken me seven days. I don't think 20 days is practicable. It is a completely different proposition to the Camino Frances, particularly with the long steep climbs and descents each day so far.
I chose not to camp, and that has been expensive, but kept the weight down.
Lovingkindness' assessment of the issues are spot on.
Alison Raju's guide is well out of date, but useful nonetheless if you can get a copy.
Why are we pilgrims?

Here is a link to a personal summary of pilgrim experiences published by Norwegian pyschologist Einar Lunga. Illustrated with paintings, photographs and a variety of covers from books quoted and explored, the article spans a decade of Lunga’s engagement with pilgrimage.


Have fun with the translation!

ps To translate, highlight a paragraph then right click on Bing translator or equivalent
Dear lovingkindness and dougfizt,
Thank you for your helpful information, even from the camino itself!
I changed my plans after reading a bit more about the possible alternatives. Right now im planning to skip the first part completely. I will hitchhike my way up the E6 to about Hundorp. From there I will walk into the mountains. First I'll traverse Rondane nationalpark and resupply at Dombas. After that I'll probably traverse Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella nasjonalspark and again after supplying inbetween Once more I 'll Trollheimen nationalpark. From where, if ill have enough time left, I'll walk only the last part of the camino till Nidaros.

I bought all the maps for these parks so I can find out the exact route along the way.
One more question. Do you know if it is possible to buy Campingaz bottles at petrol stations at the E6 or else at Hundorp?

Thanks a lot! And buen camino (I'll start my Norwegian language course the 26 of july so I dont know yet how to say it in norwegian)
Hey, Samiam.
Your plans sound exciting. I’ve just done a quick Google search on Rondane National Park and found the official site for this park. I didn’t carry a campingaz bottle so can’t help you with info re purchasing supplies. Perhaps the people on this website can answer your questions.

Rondane National Park official website


One of the attractions listed in the Rondane Nat. Park is Jørundgard, a reconstruction of a medieval farm, built for the filming in 1994 of "Kransen" . I slept out nearby as I headed southward on the St Olaf Way. Jørundgard is well worth a visit, particularly if you have read the book which the movie is based on – ‘Kristin Lavransdatter’ by Nobel Laureate Sigrid Undset.

As you traverse Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park you may find yourself near Fokstugu Fjellstue, a farm at the highest altitude in Norway with pilgrims chapel and accommodation. There is a pilgrims shelter at Ryphusan also (no food provided). Dovrefjell is a powerfully beautiful expanse. Being at high altitude, however, the weather can be cold and unstable at any time of the year. Contacts in this region are:

Fokstugu Fjellstue

Hans–Jacob Dahl, director and pilgrim pastor
Pilegrimssenter Dovrefjell
2661 Hjerkinn
E–post: hajada@online.no
Tel: +47 924 83 147

All the best and good success with your studies, Samiam.



Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
Re: Norway - a quick update

Now at Lillehammer after 10 days walking and will take a rest day tomorrow. 226km from Oslo has taken 269km - very little is 'on-track' and it doesn't take long for things to add up. I also suspect some route changes to the way marked over time haven't helped.
Total climb now over 6000m with about 5800m of descents. That has been really telling, effectively adding 60km so far just on ascents.
Getting decent rest is difficult. I have not adapted well to the long daylight hours. Even at midnight it is still light enough to walk!
So far have met only two other pilgrims walking - both Spaniards, and a group of about 14 Germans about to start in Hamar a few days ago that I haven't seen since.
Hi there, Dougfitz, my last reply was a bit too frivolous and not respectful enough of your effort. So....I decided to delete it. You are now walking up the Gudbrandsdal Valley, a beautiful place indeed with fascinating history dating as far back as the Stone Age. When I passed through in autumn 2010 wild blue berries, rasberries and ripps were growing rampant. July may be a bit early for you to experience these but I hope not.

God tur....

Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
lk, you shouldn't have, I loved those peaks. Only someone who had been there could know how apt they were.

I am coming up to the halfway point later today somewhere between Sygard Grytting and Hvam. I also expect my accumulated climb to crack 10000m as well.

The last three days have been rainy, and the forecast is this will continue for another week.

Someone I passed yesterday walking in the forest apologised for the poor tourist weather. I told him it is a pilgrim's lot to walk in the weather that is provided. That doesn't stop one from wishing it would stop!
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
Yes, I did stay in the loft, and eat the evening meal there.
It's full of such delightful surprises-like the hand wrought staples where thet have added the shower/WC.
One more bump on those door jambs and I think I would have had concussion.

Walked from there to Hvam yesterday, mostly in the cloud in the morning but that had cleared by Vinstra. One big climb after lunch then a smaller one. Over 1000m accumulated gain all up in about 22km.
Hiya Doug, you've finally reached Hjerkinn, Yes!!! Where did you stay? Such a beauuuuutiful well-appointed railway station… I was able to shower and eat at a former army hostel just above. In Hjerkinn I met a pilegrim family who said, come and stay with us when you reach Oslo. Then in Oslo they said, here’s the key to our beach house on The North Sea. Just walk the beach from Hirtshals and after a few days you’ll find it… so that's how I found myself in Denmark....

…and at Fokstugu Fjellstue I had a great surprise...I'm pretty sure you will have stayed there, too. Most pilegrims do....A Norwegian peregrino whom I'd met on the VdlP had phoned ahead and paid for me to sleep in a bed! Tusen Takk, amigo! The horse at Fokstugu Fjellstue is legendary, more human than a human. He welcomes all the guests and will even open the kitchen door and come in…

…Doug, did you meet the master restorers at Oppdal Kirke? They said it would take about three years to complete the work. Perhaps it is done by now. Such a beautiful interior… they fed me workmen’s sandwiches and plied coffee…Tusen Takk!

I'm trying to visualise your journey northward but keep getting stuck. I walked the route in reverse and got lost in this region every day. On the descent to Kongsvoll I turned right along the Vårstigen instead of left and wound up 10 km down the valley. It was the end of a very cold day and I howled all the way to my hideyhole.... I ate breakfast the next day at the Kongsvoll pilegrims palace :)

I am really enjoying your blog, Doug and your entries on this Forum. They're giving me a chance to wallow and indulge in some fabulous memories......Thanks.



Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
I walked past Fokstugu onto Furuhaugli and have just spent the night at Kongsvold in the Trollheim - my children thought that appropriate. Tonight Rhypusan (?sp) then Oppdal.
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Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
Stayed in the unattended hut at Rhypusan two nights ago. Emiliaro (I don't recall his forum name) was there having walked from Hjerkinn - a big effort crossing some difficult country but his schedule is based on about 30K a day where he can accommodation to match.

Both of us had to share the road coming into Rhypusan with a herd of mares and their foals. They rushed past me at a trot or canter, clearly of the view that the road was theirs a I should allow them through unhindered. They did this two more times before going well ahead and terrorising some sheep. Shortly after, the 'cowboy' came up the road looking for the herd. He had a long walk ahead of him, as he hadn't found them before I turned onto the road downhill.

Visited Oppdal kirke yesterday on way into town. It was a long steep climb at the end of the day. Restoration work still in progress, but only people around were a group performing in the church last night.
…foals and mares charging by, how electric, how beautiful. I can’t recall seeing anything like that. When I climbed over from Oppdal to the Ryphusan refugium it was a very long day indeed. By the end sleet was angling in and temperatures had plummeted to near zero. I got lost following farm tracks and trails somewhere up above a motel on the E6 (closed, no food). Thankfully a farmhand from Colorado, a seasoned mountaineer materialised to guide me down. He told me all about a yellow berry, the molter, which is hugely prized by Norwegians. Have you eaten any of these yet, Doug? Apparently, the locals guard the location of their berry patches, perhaps even fighting feuds.

You seem to have had a cosy time in the hut. I didn’t. I couldn’t figure out how to use the gas cooker in spite of there being written and pictorial instructions. No one’s fault but mine...Things tend to bust before I figure out how they function. It was lovely, though sitting in the candle light, eating Leverposte, reading past entries in the Pilegrims book. I think there may even have been a stray Aussie passing through about 5 or so years ealier…

I wonder if the songsters you heard were the same ones practicing upstairs in the Oppdal 5 Star Railway Station [musk ox stuffed, internet, pristine loos & padded lounge] where I passed a pleasant extended while, a sweetly tuned male voice choir whose harmonies drifted overhead to foot-stomping and guitar?
...well, I've gone and done it again. There's too much here about me and not enough space for others. Ok, Doug you're the one out there conquering the trail this very minute, not me, it's time I went silent.......


…well, I’ve never been much good at practicing silence….so here I am again, filling in time. One of the things I love about long distance hiking and pilgrimages is the opportunity it affords to learn about local myths and legends and In Norway that means trolls and mountain kings and Pilegrim Pete aka Peer Gynt, a hunter from Kvam in the Gudbrandsdal. Norwegians Heinrik Ibsen and Edvard Grieg were greatly inspired by Peer Gynt crafting some very fine works. Here is a synopsis of Ibsen’s play and an exquisite must-see video clip accompanied by ‘Morning’ from Greig’s Peer Gynt Suite, No. 1 op 46 [which I first heard aged 12 in highschool music class].

http://askville.amazon.com/plot-synopsis-Peer-Gynt/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=8204670 a synopsis, Ibsen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv6-Jc5De_w Edvard Greig: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 op 46, 'Morning'
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
I have not had Internet access since Oppdal, five days ago! Clearly still alive and now at Sundet gard, with a day's walk to go.

Oppdal to Haeverstolen - rained and bitter wind at end but herberge just delightful.

Haeverstolen to Meslo gard - path took me past series of abandoned crofts. Quite sad, but ekeing out a living must have been pretty difficult.

Meslo gard to Segard Hoel - went to the pilgrim mass at Rennebu - the parish put on a great spread for the group walk and a couple of us tagged along. Long, wet walk after, mostly on gravel road, but nice interlude on forest path.

Segard hoel to Svorkmo - long day, and quite a lot of pavement. Stayed at the local shooting clubhouse with two priests, one from the US, the other Austrian.

Svorkmo to Skaun - wet and boggy upland marshes. I thought I was in the middle of nowhere, then two young Norwegian women come jogging through the swamp!

Skaun to Sundet gard - descended to sea-level, but had 700+m of climb to do it. Ferry across the river to the herberge - fantastic.

Tomorrow - Nidaros, and in a couple of days the St Olav Festival and pilgrim mass at the cathedral.
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
Arrived at Nidaros 26/7. The Pilgrim Office is checking to see if how many other Australians have walked all the way from Oslo, but it appears to be a select group.
The St Olav way is 643 km, but that appears more convention than current fact. With all the extra walking to herberge, shops off the path, etc, I walked a total of 720 km, and did the equivalent of climbing and descending from Mt Everest twice (less the altitude effects).
A couple of people took a bit less than my 30 walking days, but not that many as far as I can tell. In the end, I passed many more than passed me. That included passing Ole Gjjedrum, who appears to be a walking legend here for long pilgrimages.
I will stay a few days till the pilgrim mass on the eve of St Olav's feastday, then start back home.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
I have been following your camino with great interest!
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
Thx Ivar. The Spanish group is much anticipated here at the Pilgrim Centre, along with another group I stayed with who are also arriving today.

It looks pretty certain that this will be the first time on record that an Australian has walked all the way from Oslo to Nidaros. Others who have completed the pilgrimage from Oslo struck misfortune, and found it necessary to use the train or bus for a part of the journey. If anyone knows of an Australian who has done it all the way on foot, I would appreciate knowing. I wouldn't want my pilgrimage to have this credit if it doesn't deserve it.

29 July, 2012 St Olaf Fest

Today's the big day! It's the feast day of St Olaf and Dougfitz, you're right there in the thick of it. Trondheim must be thronging with pilegrims and musicians. Tell us what you're experiencing! What's happening in the historical market ? Will there be an all night vigil in the cathedral???? Have you managed to find somewhere excellent to stay or are you sleeping down by the river...And the food, how about the food ???

Avidly awaiting,
Camino(s) past & future
1999 Burgos-SDC, 2003 Leon-SDC, 2007-2012 Le Puy-SDC, 2014 Burgos-Covarrubias, Camino Ingles 3 times
First a congratulation to dougfitz on his walking from Oslo to Trondheim! Perhaps you now understand why it is easier for an elderly lady to walk in Spain than in Norway.. I hope you have a nice time in Trondheim celebrating St Olav on his day today. We are going to celebrate his day with an outdoor service this afternoon. In a way St. Olav is also connected with the small town of Covarrubias south of Burgos, and recently a camino was inaugurated to commemorate this. Read about this on http://www.caminodesanolav.es.
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
I am about to leave Trondheim and return home via London.

Thank you all
  • for your help and support in preparing for this pilgrimage,
  • for your kind thoughts along the way and at the end, and
  • giving me food for thought and reflection to help me understand what this pilgrimage meant to me.

I continue to be in awe of the achievements of forum members like lovingkindness. The physical, mental and emotional demands of this pilgrimage were quite different to the Camino Frances, and she achieved both and a whole lot in between.

When I get the chance, I will publish some of my photos. That bit completely defeated me along the way, and I hope I have some interesting images to share to make up for the sparse text I was able to provide from time to time.



Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
Beautiful photos! I enjoyed your blog also!
Hi there, Dougfitz, what great photos. I particularly liked the ones showing the inside of Budsjord Gard which I didn't get to stay in. It looked interesting as I passed by and I'd wondered what it was like inside. Also, seeing the Pilegrim Herberge at Meslo Gard reminded me of Ingrid's wonderful aunty, who lives just down the road from there. By the time I discovered Meslo Herberge I'd been sleeping rough for a week and was in dire need of food and a shower. Ingrid was out and about but her aunty was at the herberge and she made me a fantastic breakfast, let me use the shower room (Norwegian bathrooms are centrally heated all year round!!!! Yes!) then drove me 10 kms there and back to the nearest supermarket for supplies. Tusen Takk! Your photos of the St Olaf festival and vigil are interesting, too, Doug. Thanks for sharing them.

The other day I came across a 3D animation of the evolving construction of Nidaros Domkirke, from wooden church circa 1035 to present days. Perhaps you have seen this? I think its fantastic.

Hope your re-entry went smoothly...

Hypothesis 3D animation, Nidaros Domkirke by Architecture2Brain
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018

thank you for sharing the link - it was a wonderful animation.

Day to day life has taken over to some extent. I am doing a presentation to a local Camino group this Sunday on my pilgrimage, and have started thinking about what walks to do next year in preparation for a long pilgrimage in 2014. Where? Not sure yet, but Spain, Sweden and Italy are all candidates, as is a winter walk. So I am back lurking here reading about those options.



Active Member
Camino(s) past & future

Day to day life has taken over to some extent. I am doing a presentation to a local Camino group this Sunday on my pilgrimage, and have started thinking about what walks to do next year in preparation for a long pilgrimage in 2014. Where? Not sure yet, but Spain, Sweden and Italy are all candidates, as is a winter walk. So I am back lurking here reading about those options.

Now, January 2015. I have spent the last hour reading your account and checking your links. Many, many thanks, Doug. Huge respect to you. I am debating between Oslo- Trondheim or Camino del Norte this year. Decisions, decisions! Thanks again, I hope to meet you in my journeys some day, kind sir.

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