All posts filed under “Travel

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Hiking the Fjordruta in Norway

The Fjordruta is a great multi-day hike in the west of Norway. It has a little bit of everything: fjords, forests, mountains. The whole trail can take about two weeks but you can do as little as a couple of days.

The best time is summer. I did 3 days in late September: the conditions weren’t perfect but not too bad either. I had two overcast days with some rain and one sunny day. The ground is very wet so waterproof hiking boots will really be worthwhile.

The trail is well marked and there are unmanned, fully stocked cabins along the way. What the cabins have: food, gas, cooking gear, fireplace, beds with pillows and blankets, shower, toilet, water. This means that you don’t need to carry anything with you.

You need a special key to open the cabins. You can buy this key from the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) and from some tourist information offices. I don’t know how much it costs because I got mine from a friend. The price of the key is just a deposit so you can return it and get your money back.

You pay for the stay in the cabin and for the food you consumed by filling out a form and leaving it in a box in the cabin. They charge your credit card. A night costs 290NOK for non-members of DNT and 190NOK for members. It may be worthwhile signing up for DNT if you plan on spending more than a few nights, I didn’t check.

Getting there

From Oslo, you need to get to Kristiansund. You can either take a bus via Molde or a flight to Molde, then a bus to Kristiansund. Norwegian has some cheap flights and often a morning flight to Molde will be cheaper than the bus. The bus costs 690NOK from Oslo to Molde and when I went there I found a morning flight for 500NOK from Oslo to Molde. The flight is about 40 minutes, the bus is about 8 hours. The Oslo-Molde bus goes twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.

The bus from Molde to Kristiansund costs 140NOK and takes about an hour and a half. It also stops at the Molde airport and leaves every hour.
After getting to Kristiansund you need to get to Tommervag to start the trail. You do this by taking a bus from the Kristiansund bus station (Traffikterminal) to Tommervag. This bus uses a fairy to get to Tommerweg and also leaves about once an hour. It takes about 1 hour to get to Tommervag.

The trail

I used a trail map for the Fjordruta that you can get at the DNT offices. It’s from 2004 and it doesn’t have some newly built cabins which I will describe here. The whole trail is pretty strenuous in my view so take this into consideration.

The first cabin is Trollstua. It takes about 2 hours to reach from Tommervag. I didn’t stay there and continued directly to the next cabin, Gullsteinvollen. This took about 5 hours of very fast and hard hiking from Trollstua, so take this into consideration. Both Trollstua and Gullsteinvolen were built in 2006 and do not appear on the 2004 map.

On the second day I continued from Gullsteinvolen to Imarbu. This also took about 5 hours of fast and strenuous walking. Imarbu is right on the fjord and it’s really pretty. This was my favorite cabin.

On the third way I hiked from Imarbu to Nersetra. This also took about 5 hours. Nersetra is not as nice but it has hot water for shower because it’s next to some administrative building of the KNT (Kristiansund trekking association) that has electricity.

From Nersetra you can hike to Aure in about 2 hours and then take the bus back to Kristiansund. I didn’t do this because I was lucky to get a ride from Nersetra back to Kristiansund with a KNT employee that happened to also spend the night at Nersetra.

Don’t worry about getting back at any point between Tommervag and Aure because there are bus stops in many places where the hiking trail crosses a road. I don’t know about the rest of the trail, from Aure and on, but I assume it’s similar.

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San Francisco

People are zombies

Everybody’s on their iPhone, all the time. I find it kind of troubling. We’re soooo headed at The Matrix. And when it happens, 5-10 years from now, it won’t be all violent skynet-style-war-with-the-machines-kind-of-thing. When Steve Jobs comes up with the iThing that plugs via USB directly into your brain – people will just line up to get that $499 piece of crap.

People on their iPhones

Bubble

This place is a bubble. And I don’t mean “startups are being funded too easily” bubble. Which is also true. I mean that people are just so into everything internet, that any kind of stupid idea flies. Which is pretty dangerous because the rest of the world just don’ work dat way ™.

I mean, homeless people ask you for help with Twitter API here…

Dress

I mean I knew about the (fake) Mark Twain quote and everything, and still I came dressed as if this is Israel. Please remember: San Francisco is cold. So get your warm (a.k.a. in Israel “winter”) clothes, even in the summer.

On the other (better) hand: South Bay is warm.

Getting around

The San Francisco bus/tram system is really useful. You should get yourself a “clipper” which is a rechargeable card to save the trouble of trying to find change and all. Clippers are sold at Walgreens. I don’t know why. I guess it’s because they’re everywhere. But then again so are Starbucks. I guess Starbucks said “fuck off”.
Get yourself a monthly one for $62 which is the best deal for anywhere from 2 weeks and up.

Getting down to the South Bay (Palo Alto, Mountain View and the such) is trickier. You can take the Caltrain but then you’re most likely need a cab too. I really recommend signing up for Zipcar. They have cars everywhere and is the best-value option for when you need a car for a few hours. If you have an Israeli driver’s license you’ll need to produce some papers from the Ministry of Transport. I am in the process of doing it, will update…

Use a coupon for some free hours too.

Getaround sadly don’t work with Israeli licenses at this point.

Update (July 22nd): Getting to meetings specifically in Palo Alto is doable with a Caltrain as the station is within 10 minutes walking of most locations on University Ave (this is where your meeting is going to be). Pro tip: schedule for half-past as Southbound trains get to Palo Alto at :03 past every hour between 10am and 4pm which gives you a good 30 minutes to walk there, then if you manage to end your meeting in 50 minutes you have 20 minutes to walk back to the train back that leaves at :41 past every hour (tip by @rutipo).

Hitting the meetups

Finding geeks/founders/investors/hackers in a social environment is super easy. Check out Meetup.com and Startup Digest for a ton of events. After a week you’ll start recognizing faces…

Working space

The city is full of coworking spaces. I am working out of Next Space which is great – nice people, great location and good facilities. Lots of activities (kind of like The Junction back home :)). I didn’t do any extensive research but some people I talked to did and they settled on Next Space so I guess it’s fine. Reasonably priced too, at $285/month.