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An adventure along the Dovre line

Get on the train with us and experience Norway from the inside! This year it is 101 years since the train tracks over the mountain passage Dovre was completed in its entirety, and we could take the train between Oslo and Trondheim in one stretch. Most people take the train to get from A to B, but on this trip, it is the journey itself that is the experience. We have the time to stop at selected stations to really experience and explore the distinctive, local and unique about these places. Historic farm hotels, sausage making, musk ox safari and food walk, just to name a few things on the itinerary. Everything is arranged with train tickets, meals, sightseeing, accommodation and transport, so all you need to do is sign up for our train adventure and pack your luggage. We can guarantee an eventful trip!

Pictures: SJ



  • Day 1

    Departure from Oslo Central Station, and the journey has begun! After just a little over an hour on the train, we make our first stop in Hamar, where we are greeted with coffee and something to eat at the tourist office, and we meet our local guide who will be with us in the next hours. We start with a stroll on the beautiful promenade along Lake Mjøsa, to the ruins of the old cathedral at Domkirkeodden (about two kilometres). Those who during the Middle Ages went to Mass in the cathedral were greeted by Gregorian chants, and we get to convey the history and stories from the Middle Ages through the same songs. There are much more than ruins to explore, however and we will also visit what is probably Norway's largest public cookbook collection with well over 5,500 cookbooks. Not only do they teach us how to cook, they are also an important cultural-historical source about the time they were written. Here we also find one of the country's largest herb gardens, with around 400 plants, many of which were grown in the monastery's time. The herbs were the pharmacy of the time, and the monks had great knowledge of the various plants. Well back in the centre of Hamar, we stop by one of the country's best fish stores. The owner’s simple philosophy is "to give customers the best food experiences". This means providing the highest quality, not only of the seafood they sell, but also customer service and guidance. After lunch, we pick up our luggage and return to the train station. Now the train takes us along Lake Mjøsa and further north into Gudbrandsdalen, to our next stop Ringebu.

    Ringebu was founded as a trade centre in 1899 and is often called Norway's smallest city. We drive to Sygard Grytting, one of Norway's most beautiful and best preserved farm hotels, and this is where we will spend the night. The hosts Stig and Hilde are the 16th generation that call this their home, and they are proud to continue the farm hotel's 700 year history. The food we are served has roots in local traditions and specialties, and is of course made from short-travelled ingredients. It will be a memorable evening.

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  • Day 2

    We start with a delicious country breakfast, before Stig gives us an introduction to the farm's many centuries of history, which includes everything from royals and pilgrims, the architecture and farm life, and not to mention a rich family history. Then we head off to Ringebu for today’s sausage making course. The butcher shop is located in the centre of Ringebu and is the only specialised butcher shop in Gudbrandsdalen. They offer everything in meats, cold cuts and cured meats that they themselves produce with ingredients from local farmers. In addition, they have a wide selection of locally produced jams, honey, cheese, flatbreads and much more. But we are here for the sausages, which we will stuff and season ourselves; this will be fun. So today's lunch speaks for itself, it's sausage!

    It’s easy to feel tired and lazy after the self made lunch, so to fight this off, we simply get on a bike and cycle along Panoramaveien to Ringebu Stave Church and Prestegard. (We arrange transport for those who do not want to bike). Ringebu Stave Church was built around 1220 and is the largest of Norway's 28 wooden stave churches. Right next door we find Ringebu Prestegard, a cultural gem with 12 acres of well-kept garden, consisting of various areas, plateaus and flower beds, where it abounds with historic plants. This is really an experience for the senses; which one of the 150 rose varieties smells the best? And do we know the name of the 18 berry bushes they have here? A small shop sells products made from the garden, and there is an art gallery in the old, restored buildings. In 2020, a separate exhibition based on Lars Mytting's novel "Søsterklokkene" opened, the book digs into the legend around Ringebu and the stave church.

    We drive back to the farm hotel where we can relax and have some time on our own. If you want to explore the area, you will find that the field below the farm is not inhabited by a flock of grazing sheep as expected, but 21 elongated, graceful bodies cast in bronze, which look out over river Gudbrandsdalslågen. This is the artwork "Flock" by Gitte Dæhlin.

    Tonight there will be dinner at a pleasant, local restaurant in the centre of Ringebu.

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  • Day 3

    We enjoy another hearty breakfast, before we say goodbye to the hosts and drive to Vinstra station. The train takes us further, past Otta and Dombås, to Dovrefjell. First station at Dovre is Hjerkinn, which at 1,245 masl is the highest point along the Dovre line, but we will get off at the next station, Kongsvoll. This will be the starting point for a unique nature experience in Dovrefjell National Park: Musk ox safari. We walk in relatively light terrain (a bit steep the first part up «Svettlia») and enjoy nature and the view towards Norway’s national mountain Snøhetta, and other peaks like Knutshø. Maybe we're so lucky to see the shy musk oxen? Dovre is home to the only Norwegian musk ox tribe. Our experienced guide tells us about the history of the big, furry ox, and other wild animals that live in the area, such as wild reindeer, foxes and small rodents. We enjoy our packed lunch while hiking.

    We return to the historic Kongsvold Fjeldstue, where we will spend the night. As early as the 12th century, Sælehusene, better known to us as self-service cabins, were established on the mountain passes, to make the trip over the mountain safer for travellers. The simple cabins later came with more service and Kongsvold was given the status of a mountain lodge in 1670. The name Kongsvold was given by King Fredrik lV in 1704 when he visited the place on his coronation journey towards Nidaros. We get to hear more about the rest of the place's history before we sit down at the table and enjoy a delicious three-course dinner.

    For those who do not want to join the musk ox safari, it is possible to spend time around Kongsvold Fjeldstue. There are many great hiking opportunities in the area – or you can enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine outdoors or in one of the cosy, historical lounges. Maybe you brought a good book?

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  • Day 4

    After breakfast we get a guided tour of the botanical mountain garden located right next to the lodge. Ever since the 18th century, the garden has been a favourite place for botanists to visit. The garden is the only one of its kind in Scandinavia and here we find the most common plants from the mountains in southern Norway. In addition, there are a number of less common plants and some that are particularly characteristic of the rich flora on Dovrefjell. In total, there are approximately 300 species in the garden, as well as many types of moss and lichen. It is the calcareous and mineral-rich soil in this area that makes plant life so unique right here.

    The train then goes on to Trondheim. On arrival it is only a short walk to the hotel. Check in and the rest of the afternoon and evening on your own. The tour guide organises dinner in Trondheim for those who wish (at an additional cost).