Norway is abundant in rivers and lakes, but what you probably didn’t know that just an hour and a half drive from Oslo there’s one of the largest lakes in the country.
Lake Mjøsa is also one of the deepest lakes, both in Norway and Europe but with an average depth of 153 meters most of the lake’s volume is under the sea level.
From its southernmost point at Minnesund in Eidsvoll to its northernmost point in Lillehammer it is 117 km long. At its widest, near Hamar, it’s 15 km wide.
Just there in Hamar, the small town in Hedmark county, you can catch a ride with the world’s oldest paddle steamer still in timetabled service.
Skibladner paddle steamer had her maiden voyage on 2 August 1856.
Back in those days, the steamer was used to transport passengers between major towns on the lake, but today the majority of the passengers are tourists, both foreign and domestic ones.
The ride from Hamar to Eidsvoll took around 3 hours, and you will pass by some beautiful scenery that includes a strawberry farm that used to deliver the strawberries directly to the boat.
The strawberries were used for dessert on the boat menu that hasn’t been changed in the past 163 years, since the beginning of the operating of the ship. Pretty impressive, right?
If you have an extra day in Oslo and you’re wondering to do, this is a perfect one day trip. Just make sure to bring a good wind jacket, because it can get chilly on board.