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Lodging Review | 29|2 Aurland

Lodging Review | 29|2 Aurland

Dreamy and cozy, 29|2 Aurland lies a short distance from the tourist town of Flam.

WHAT: 29|2 AURLAND

WHEN: MAY - SEPTEMBER

WHERE: AURLAND, NORWAY

PRICE: $360 USD INCLUDING TAXES & FEES

Our taxi driver sped along a thin, wet-with-rain road that snaked from the port to our hotel.  He made small talk as he zipped the van around corners and we held our breath, hoping the van wouldn’t lose its grip on the slippery road and send us tumbling into icy water of the fjord, or perhaps worse, oncoming traffic.  We had just come from Oslo via rail and needed to travel from Flam, a busy tourist stop on the Norway in a Nutshell tour, to Aurland, a small town that Google sometimes had trouble locating during our research for the trip 8km away.

Towards the end of our short, but exhilarating, taxi ride, we passed a row of small red fishing cabins along the Aurland river.  Outside one cabin, a parked Audi station wagon sported a fishing rod rack running from front to back, streamlined to prevent drag while driving.  A pair of gray haired men sat talking outside another.

After crossing the Aurland river, we arrived at our destination: 29|2 Aurland.  I listened to the crunch of gravel beneath our tires and looked around at the property. There were a handful of buildings – some modern, some traditional.  There was a big barn and landscaped gardens. When I exchanged emails with Tone, one half of the husband/wife duo that owns and runs 29|2 Aurland, Tone said, “The farm looked very different from what it does today when we started out. It was important to me that the first spring in Aurland had to be beautiful - and we started reshaping the garden, planted fruit trees, perennials, roses and built the drystone walls."

Her work paid off - the property is beautiful.  Beyond the buildings gushed a giant waterfall we’d come to learn is named Turlifossen.  We’d be able to admire its beauty from the comfort of our cozy living room and hike by it later.  A Sherpa (yes, a real life Sherpa - they work at 29|2 Aurland during their off season) welcomed us and set us up in our cabin.  A few hours later we’d meet our other host, who happened to be out for an 8 hour hike when we arrived.

Beyond the buildings gushed a giant waterfall we’d come to learn is named Turlifossen. We’d be able to admire its beauty from the comfort of our cozy living room and hike by it later.

29|2 Aurland delivers on small town charm without sacrificing style.  Walking into one of their rooms is like walking into an Anthropologie catalog.  We rented the entire Fisherman's Cabin for our family for two nights and it felt like what you'd imagine a movie set themed "cabin in the woods" would feel like.  Tone has collected pieces old and new from all over the world to decorate the space and we so appreciated the intricacy, yet accessibility of the design.  

When asked where she gathered her pieces, Tone replied, "We found a lot in the barn, but we've also travelled around - in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the UK. Many of the textiles are a mix of inherited handcraft (hardanger embroidery) - and fancy french textiles - and fabric we've bought on our travels to Iran and India."

    Tone and Bjorn are former city dwellers, current world travelers, and simpler life seekers.  They live a life so many of us serial travelers long for: running a boutique hotel set in a gorgeous location.  Yet I admire and appreciate Tone's honesty about their choice to leave the corporate life and start a hotel, "Moving here was a mixture of the urge to break up and start a sustainable business - based on the love for the beautiful nature we have here.  {But} the picture is not always this rosy - especially not in November when we literally live in the shadows - and sometimes I find it hard to be the newcomer in the village with all these new ideas.  Puh! In short: without idealism we would never have done this. We have restored, built, hosted, guided, cooked - and reared three small children at the same time. And we have Bjorn's mother who moved back to the farm she once grew up on to take care of. Sometimes I really wonder if it's worth it. We moved here to live a happy life on the countryside - and sometimes it costs more than it tastes."

    We moved here to live a happy life on the countryside.
    — Tone Rønning Vike, Co-founder of 29|2 Aurland

    We are honored to have had the chance to stay at Tone and Bjorn's beautiful property and highly recommend to anyone who wants to travel slightly off the beaten path, be enveloped in nature, and support two people who are "living the dream".

    50/50 stars <3

    Book your own charming fjord getaway directly through 29|2 Aurland's website here:

    http://www.292aurland.com/

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