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In Ibsen’s footsteps - The Peer Gynt festival

Henrik Johan Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. Two of his major works are Peer Gynt and A Doll's House. He is the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare, and by the early 20th century A Doll's House became the world's most performed play. 

Ibsen’s journey in 1862
Henrik Ibsen travelled through Norway to collect myths and folktales in 1862 and the Gudbrandsdalen valley inspired him to write the play, ‘Peer Gynt’.
Ibsen’s journey through Norway and the Gudbrandsdalen valley was the inspirational source for several of his most famous pieces. Based on literature studies from Henrik Ibsen himself, the notes he made and the articles he wrote, as well as literature written by the people he met on his way, you will be able to follow Ibsen’s inspirational journey day by day.

You can follow Ibsen’s footprints and travel most of this route with your own vehicle.

Parts of the tour follows the Norwegian Scenic Routes Sognefjellet and Aurlandsfjellet.

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Day by day

Individual travellers with vehicle.
Season: Summer (June - August)

Day 1, Arrive in Oslo
Visit the Ibsen museum and Henrik Ibsen's home in Oslo, where he lived the last 11 years of his life. Visit the legendary Grand Café on Karl Johan Street, where Henrik Ibsen would eat his daily lunch and Edvard Munch once offered to swap the painting ‘Sick Girl’ in return for 100 steak dinners.
Accommodation in Oslo 

Day 2, Oslo - Lillehammer 
Drive to Lillehammer. Go on a daytrip with the Historic paddle steamer, Skibladner from Eidsvoll, Hamar, Moelv or Lillehammer. (If you have a rental car, you can consider to travel by train and paddle steamer from Oslo to Lillehammer and get your rental car in Lillehammer.)
Accommodation in Lillehammer

Day 3, Lillehammer - Hundorp
Start the day with visiting the Lillehammer Art Museum and Maihaugen open-air-museum.
Be a part of the Peer Gynt guided tour at Maihaugen and learn what Ibsen saw on his inspirational journeys through Gudbrandsdalen in 1862. See the Peer Gynt loft where the historical Peer Gynt gang lived. Drive the Peer Gynt Road, into Peer Gynt’s territory. At Sygard Grytting farm you will stay overnight in one of the majestic buildings dating from 1650-1860.

2 -11 August 2019: Transfer to the Peer Gynt festival at Gålå. By a lake and between a forest and steep mountain in Gudbrandsdalen you can experience the Peer Gynt play in a spectacular outdoor theatre setting. The performance is adapted to international guests, by English and German introductions, summary leaflets and audio guides.
Accommodation in Hundorp, Gudbrandsdalen Valley

Day 4, Hundorp - Gudbrandsdalen valley - Lom
The journey continues towards the high mountains at Songnefjellet. On your way to Lom, you can visit Vågå Stave Church. In Lom, there is the Stave Church and an Open-air-museum. You can also visit the Norwegian Mountain Center, a visitor center for the surrounding national parks.
Accommodation in Lom

Extra: You can add an extra day on this lap and make a detour to hike the Besseggen ridge. This is where Peer Gynt lied about jumping up onto the back of a reindeer buck and flew right along the Gendin-Edge!

Day 5, Lom - Jotunheimen - Luster 
To get from east to west in Norway, you must cross the mountains.
Ibsen walked through Jotunheimen, across the Sognefjellet mountain plateaux. You can drive the same route along the Norwegian Scenic route, Sognefjellet. This is the highest mountain pass in Northern Europe. Along the way, there are several viewpoints where you can stop and appreciate the landscapes and the fresh mountain air. 
Accommodation in Luster

Day 6, Luster - Voss 
After visiting Lærdal, Ibsen went in and out the fjords with the steamboats and walk the valleys and mountains. It’s impossible to follow this route without adding another week, so we’ll take you on a shorter route to Bergen, where our journey ends.
From Kaupanger you can choose to continue towards Lærdal and visit the historical city Lærdal. Between Lærdal and Flåm, you can drive the Norwegian scenic route, Aurlandsfjellet. Spend some time in the Flåm Valley, and maybe take a trip with the famous Flåm Railway or go on a Fjord cruise. 
From Kaupanger you can also choose to go by a classic car ferry to Gudvangen. 
Accommodation in Voss

Day 7, Voss - Bergen
Go on E16 down the valley, along the river. Then along the fjord almost all the way to Bergen.
Ibsen moved to Bergen in 1851, where he was hired as a drama author of Det Norwegian Theatre. 
In Bergen, you can visit The Edvard Grieg museum, Troldhaugen. In 1875 Edvard Grieg wrote Peer Gynt, Op. 23, the famous music to Henrik Ibsen's play of the same name. It premiered along with the play on 24 February 1876 in Christiania (now Oslo). 
Accommodation in Bergen