August 9, 2012
There is more to Norway than fjords. There are cities and towns and industry and farms and ski fields and glaciers.
But the fjords and the soaring mountains that define them will be the reason we return. They are stunning, and exciting and relaxing.
The change in landscape is evident almost as soon as we cross the border from Sweden. The road has been climbing and we pass ski fields, devoid of snow now, and towns that remind us of Thredbo.
Then, as if a line is drawn in the forest, the skyline becomes more jagged, the rocks become more craggy, even the trees look more spiky.
We descend into Trondheim, just another city, a stopover. It’s not why we’re here. It’s the gateway to Norway’s ragged coast …
It is hard to describe the beauty. But at almost every turn, at the end of every tunnel, Graham and I exclaim “wow” and stop to take another photo.
We sleep by a peaceful fjord where the fishing is plentiful and the children well-behaved; cook a bbq tea half way up a cliff overlooking a tiny fjord town dominated by a huge cruise ship; listen to a Knights game over the internet at the head of a fjord between two glacier tongues; and go in search of goats by a waterfall that tumbles its way into a fjord that serves a farming community famous for its brown cheese.
We ride through tunnels that spiral up, turn left and bear straight through granite mountains. They make me think of Gimli in the Lord of the Rings books.
And eat pancakes cooked fresh on ferries as they ply the peaceful waterways between villages.
We tackle the world’s longest tunnel, 24.5km, and one of Norway’s highest lookouts, the Dalsnibba, at 1450m.
And take on the Trollstigen, a road that twists and turns and climbs through a high mountain pass. Who were the first people to carve this route? The views, again, are breathtaking.
We would return to put our feet up for a week in any of the little fjord villages, read a book, wet a line, watch for more sightings of “niser”, Norway’s small dolphin.
We would also like to travel further north, to the Lofoten islands and Nordcap. We have heard these places are even more beautiful that the western fjords we have travelled, between Trondheim and Flam.
This is an expensive country. We stay in campground cabins that cost $100-140 a night. Hotels are well over $200. But with views like this they can charge what they like. We will gladly pay.