Between 2014 and 2016, Andrea Opielka from Germany hiked St. Olavsleden in three stages. She’s now hiking the trail for a second time, this time with a view to documenting her hike for a German guide book due to be released in spring 2020.
Andrea received a tip about St. Olavsleden after hiking from Oslo to Trondheim. She became curious, and from 2014 to 2016 she walked all the way from Selånger to Trondheim in three separate stages.
– I liked the trail, and since it is still relatively unknown in Germany, I spotted an opportunity to help more people discover it by writing a guide book, explains Andrea Opielka.
This time around she has chosen to hike the trail with other people and once again, she has divided it into different stages.
– In the beginning I was a little reluctant to walk the entire trail again, but once I was back, I remembered why I like it so much. It’s also fun to experience a different season along the trail. The last time I was here it was all springtime and apple blossom, this year we’re further into summertime, says Andrea Opielka.
Walking with the guidebook in mind
Andrea believes that people often choose to hike a pilgrim trail like St. Olavsleden to escape the fast pace and stress of everyday life. They want to feel calm and be out in nature, shielded from daily realities. For Andrea though, it hasn’t been possible to relax completely this time.
– I always need to keep the guide book in mind and make sure I take notes, write down GPS coordinates and take photos. That makes it a different kind of hike compared to the last time.
The guide book will be complete in spring 2020, in good time to help German-speaking pilgrims plan and walk their hike.
– My top tip is to relax and not worry about things. It’s a good idea to start with just one section of the trail, to get a feel for whether you like it and whether you enjoy this type of hiking before taking on the entire route, concludes Andrea Opielka.