German Simon Michalowicz totally fell in love with Scandinavia, and especially Norway, right after his first trip there crossing Hardangervidda during summer. He loves being outdoors, and combines his regular job with long trekking trips. "Turglede" and "friluftsliv" fascinated him since his first visit in Norway, and so he comes back as often as possible.
Back in 2013 Simon finally decided to quit his job, gave up "everyday life" and went all in. The adventure of his life appeared on the horizon as he was starting to walk "Norge på langs" (NPL) from Lindesnes in May. Within 140 days, he walked to the far North and headed for Nordkapp. He discovered the country we all love so much from south to north lengthwise and accepted successfully all the challenges which such a tour has to offer. After reaching his big goal he came back to Norway again and again for new long tours besides his normal job working as an online-editor and freelance blogger, author and journalist. Simon tried walking NPL in winter 2015 but failed because of the bad snow and ice conditions, nevertheless that tour was a big challenge and a true adventure. But the whole NPL-thing didn’t let him go and so he came back in 2018 and walked together with his girlfriend Anni again from Lindesnes to Nordkapp. Yes, you can say that he is maybe a little crazy about NPL, but he truly loves long distance hiking in Norway at any time of the year!
Simon enjoys being outdoors the classic "langtur"-style with a big trekking backpack, tent and primus. Walking for a couple of days or weeks is his favorite, either alone or together with friends or his girlfriend Anni. The season is not so important; he loves both, summer and winter.
A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
- Do you have a couple of trips you'll never forget?
Absolutely! Norge på langs summer 2018 together with my girlfriend Anni, where we walked from Lindesnes to Nordkapp. For us as a couple it was the biggest thing we have done together so far and it was worth all the effort! We had the time of our lives, even if it was at times exhausting. A trip like this is not just pure fun and joy but a lot of hard work. However, to keep going together, working together and finally to reach our goal together was the best experience you can imagine!
The second must be my attempt at Norge på langs winter 2015. My friend Ulrich and me wanted to walk the whole length of Norway quick and fast within 90 days of time. Right from the beginning, it was just a struggle, the conditions in the mountains were bad and we put too much pressure on our shoulders because of the short time frame we had for our trip. The weather was also not on our side so we had to quit after maybe 800 kilometers. Nevertheless, it was a great and important experience for me with lots of important lessons. Not every plan turns out to work very well and nature is always the scale, you cannot fight Mother Nature!
Last, I must say discovering Narvik-Fjell in 2017. Just strolling around in these beautiful mountains in autumn was one of the best trips I have ever had! We chose a great mixture of cabins and nights in the tent, and the colors of the mountains were mind-blowing. It was honestly pure joy to be there on tour with good food and even better morning coffee. "Friluftsliv" and "turglede" as I love it!
FELL IN LOVE WITH NARVIK-FJELL!
- Do you have a favorite destination?
I truly fell in love with Narvik-Fjell! It’s so cool there! For me, the mountains there have the right combination of pure roughness and wider areas with beautiful views on the horizon. The autumn there with all the colors is just mind blowing and if then northern lights appear above your tent on a clear ice-cold evening, what could be better?
- Hiking for such distances you must meet a lot of people and experience some amusing situations. Does any cool story come to mind?
One funny moment was once in Jotunheimen. Together with my girlfriend Anni we wanted to show a good friend from Germany how it is to hike in the Norwegian mountains. Therefore, we walked to Olavsbu for an overnight-stay and wanted to head over the other day to Gjendebu and the Fjellfilmfestival in Gjendesheim. Our friend was really impressed by our heavy backpacks and the tough terrain; she did not know these kind of
conditions from the Alps were she is walking usually. So we came to the cabin and we were sitting down in the main room next to two guys from Germany who both were reading something on their e-book readers. She said: “Simon, that you were walking the whole of Norway for 140 days with such a big backpack – unbelievable!” The two guys looked up totally confused and it turned out that both were reading in that moment my book about my first Norge på langs trip! We all were laughing really much, what a cool surprise!
- What is your proudest moment?
Definitely reaching Nordkapp for the second time after walking there from Lindesnes - what a moment! Together with my girlfriend Anni we reached that place and our goal that we had for more than one and a half year. We were talking so much about walking there, planned so much, gave up our jobs and flat and put so much effort in it, that it was just pure proudness when we finally reached Nordkapp! I was so proud of us that we managed the entire distance without any major problems or struggles. What an achievement!
- Any ambitions for the coming years? Planned trips?
My bucket list is really overflowing with ideas and places I want to go. However, a longer winter trip is definitely on top of the list! Crossing Spitsbergen lengthwise would be a dream, but also following the whole Nordkalottruta during winter is one of my future dreams.
For the coming years my biggest plan is to get closer to Norway and its nature. That means moving to Norway and finding a job there is the biggest ambition for the coming years. Meanwhile I will try to come over as often as possible to discover all the places we were just passing by in a hurry on our NPL-trip like Børgefjell or Finnmark. There is still so much to discover and we were just running through it without having the time to look left or right, so this definitely a big goal for future trips!
- What is your best hiking/outdoor tip or trick?
The best tip or trick is definitely to enjoy what you are doing! It’s not about doing the biggest or coolest adventures, but rather to have a good time. Stop talking about plans, and start doing it instead! You can talk and discuss a lot about big cool tours and plans, but to stop talking and to start doing is my best tip. Nobody experiences outdoors and nature from sitting at home. Open the door, take the first step and go out. Simple as that!
SIMON IS A TRUE ALFA FAN
- Why do you choose ALFA?
It was a blast when I first discovered Alfa shoes, which are actually not so easy to get here in Germany (so far). The first realization with Alfa boots where how well they fit my feet. Combined with state of the art materials and the amazing heritage, they are the first choice for me! I have tried many different shoes for longer trips, but at last, Alfa shoes offer the best comfort and fit to my feet. In addition, if you see who trusts in the quality and design of Alfa shoes, there is no question that they are the leading manufacture when it comes to the conditions in the mountains of Norway – and so in total they are perfect for my demands and me!
- Do you have any favorite products from Alfa?
Definitely the Orre boot. I simply love the low weight and stability of this shoe! The outer sole offers so much grip even on wet rocky surfaces and due to the microfiber material, the shoe dries so quickly when it is wet. I had the chance to use the shoe for months and it fit so well to my feet, no major problems with blisters. It felt like a sneaker but gave me the feeling of a true partner in crime when it was getting rough.
10 QUICK QUESTIONS
- Drytech/«turmat» or a juicy burger?
Turmat with pulled pork barbecue taste
- Leather boots or textile boots?
- Sleep in or get up early?
Get up early
- North pole or Equator?
- A great book or a good movie?
- Lofoten or Jotunheimen?
- Tent or sleeping under an open sky?
- One long expedition, or many short trips?
One long expedition
- Hiking alone or together with someone?
Together with someone
- Facebook or instagram?
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