Simon Zimmermann’s summer holiday: “I had no idea how beautiful Western Norway really is”
This summer, Simon Zimmermann, the German behind the satisfyingly cool Instagram profile @smnstr_, took a break from the city with his friends and went to stay in a Landfolk cabin surrounded by mountains and lakes in the breathtakingly beautiful Western Norway. Get all of his best tips for the unique location.
Simon Zimmermann, 34, lives in Darmstadt, Germany. Enjoys coffee, cycling, spending time outside, design & aesthetics and streetwear. Find him at @smnstr_.
How did you get from your home in Germany to the cabin in Western Norway?
I live close to Frankfurt Airport, so in Germany, it was pretty simple. We took a direct plane to Stavanger, which is north of the cabin. From there, we rented a car and drove around two hours. Although public transport was limited to the cabin, the drive was very beautiful because the road took us right along the coast.
I’d never been to Norway before, so I had no idea how beautiful the landscape really is. The sounds of nature and especially the light is amazing.
What was your first impression of the location?
I’d never been to Norway before, so I had no idea how beautiful the landscape really is. The sounds of nature and especially the light is amazing! When we first arrived, I was also surprised by how big the cabin actually is. It’s huge! It fits super nicely into the epic landscape that surrounds it. Driving up to the cabin, you drive along a small lake on a gravel road, there’s sheep everywhere and you often have to stop to let them cross the road. You’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s super peaceful and calm.
You drive along a small lake on a gravel road, there’s sheep everywhere and you often have to stop to let them cross the road. You’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s super peaceful and calm.
What does being in nature mean to you?
When I’m outside, I can forget all the stress and noise that surrounds me in my hometown. Living in a city, there’s always traffic sounds, there’s always people rushing from A to B. Being outside in nature makes me forget all that, I can let loose and just enjoy the moment.
What were some experiences you enjoyed on your trip?
From the first day on, we established this kind of ritual of having a cold swim in the lake nearby as the first thing in the morning. It was pretty challenging, but the feeling afterwards was so good that we decided to do it every day. The coffee afterwards tasted even better.
On the second day, we did a small hike to a Giant’s Kettle (‘Jettegryte’ in Norwegian, a kind of pothole in the ground created by swirling water) close to the sea – a recommendation we got from our hosts.
We thought it would just be a little walk from the parking lot, but it quickly turned out to be a proper hike. We were climbing over rocks, continually searching for the next marker that would get us to the final location. Reaching the final point, the view from that pothole was amazing. It always surprises me to see what nature and time can achieve.
Living in a city, there’s always traffic sounds, there’s always people rushing from A to B. Being outside in nature makes me forget all that, I can let loose and just enjoy the moment.
What really surprised me was how long the days were. Coming from Germany where the sun sets at half past nine and it’s dark at ten, I just couldn’t believe that it still seemed like 3 pm when it was eleven already. To be honest, that also kind of confused my body and my sleep, but it was a great experience. I might come back with my bike one day because I think that these super long days are perfect for long trips on the bike.
What’s important to you when you’re looking for a place to spend your holiday?
It has to feel welcoming, and of course the aesthetics are super important to me. But in general it’s not one certain feature, it’s more an overall feel and experience. I don’t want it to be hectic, I like quiet and calm areas where my holidays feel like pauses from daily life.
My top priorities are always coffee spots and being close to the sea or in nature.
What really surprised me was how long the days were. Coming from Germany where the sun sets at half past nine and it’s dark at ten, I just couldn’t believe that it still seemed like 3 pm when it was eleven already.
What was your Landfolk cabin like?
The coffee set up in the cabin was amazing. We had everything we needed for our daily filter coffee. Being four coffee nerds, every one of us brought some, and in total we had way too much.
Also, since the cabin is super big, all of us had our own room, which was super nice if we needed time for a quick nap. The big living room was also perfect for cooking together, hanging out and of course, having a direct sea view while being in the middle of nowhere was just perfect.
Cooking together, hanging out and of course, having a direct sea view while being in the middle of nowhere was just perfect.
What were your favourite spots in the cabin?
That’s a hard choice! The big living room is probably the highlight of the cabin. It has a huge window front with a direct sea view, an open kitchen and a big dining table. It’s just perfect for a group. Another big highlight was the outside wilderness bath. You could heat it up by making a fire. Jumping into a warm hot tub at 11 pm before going to bed is super relaxing, so that was a big highlight as well. We also loved to spend time on the rocks surrounding the cabin.
Describe a day from your trip in Western Norway
We usually woke up around 8 am. When all of us were awake, we walked down to the lake nearby to take a dip. It was just a five minute walk, so it was super close. After our morning dip, we had a long breakfast and coffee. When the sun was shining, we ate outside, but sometimes it was quite foggy. Then we usually went for a little run to check out what was in the area. We found some super nice viewpoints!
Thanks to our host, we had a list of super nice activities that were definitely worth doing.
After our run, we usually had another snack and then decided on what we wanted to do that day. Thanks to our host, we had a list of super nice activities that were definitely worth doing! In the evenings we cooked together, listened to music and just enjoyed hanging around with each other.
The cabin has an outside pizza oven, a fireplace and a swinging grill. We loved cooking dinner together and used all of the possibilities the cabin offered. After dinner, we heated up the wilderness bath outside and took a warm bath before going to bed.
Did you find a great bakery, coffee shop, restaurant or other kind of spot in the area you think is worth a visit?
We mostly enjoyed our time in nature and tried to avoid cities as much as possible, wanting to be away from our everyday life. But one of the days we had to go to the supermarket to buy food and drinks, and we discovered a super small café run by a very, very friendly and welcoming host. It’s a small place in Hauge called Kaffidyret. They had handmade pastries, everyone of us had one and they were truly amazing!
Even though it might not be in your travel itinerary, you should definitely check out the small villages along the coast. They are super beautiful.
Any other cool things people should know about the area?
Even though it might not be in your travel guide, you should definitely check out the small villages along the coast. They are super beautiful and you can experience really nice havens, roads, bridges and viewpoints to watch the sea from.