Written 11th August
Somehow, yesterday was our last full day in Norway - how did that happen so quick?? - but we couldn't have asked for a better one.
But against all the odds, yesterday more than made up for it.
This old 'road' is apparently the only way the farmers used to have of getting from the bottom of the valley to their summer farms way up above, where they grew the hay required to keep their cattle fed over the winter. It was still regularly used up until the 1960s when it fell out of use and into disrepair.
The full trail is 17km across to a settlement on the other side of the crest, reaching a dizzying height of 1,300m above sea level and branching into a couple of hilltop trails along the ridge of the fjord walls. Well, we obviously had no hope of getting that far but as the view from the bottom had been ok but nothing spectacular, we decided give it a go 'just until we found a good view'. So we packed up our remaining hiking rations - a packet of rich tea biscuits - and headed on up.
But we did get to a point just at the top of the tree line with a view in both directions and another opportunity to play with the photo stitcher. I am loving this! Even though it makes the fjord strangely curvy.
But this was quite fabulous enough for me.
And just when we'd agreed enough was definitely enough, we did meet the australians on their way back down again, and they did indeed confirm that the flat expanse we had reached the edge of was marshy and largely uninteresting so no point continuing anyway. Hurrah!
So we slipped and skidded our way back down again - stopping by the raspberries again of course - all the way back to fjord level and our patiently waiting little van.
Fjord Perfect, some might say :)
So here we are, our last morning in Norway, in Bergen, in the ferry queue.
From a walk this morning and our late night drive around town last night in an attempt to find the ferry - done deliberately at midnight when there was no traffic but still a complete nightmare, compounded by the fact that there are two ports in Bergen with no distinguishing labels on the road signs and confusingly the southbound ferries go from the northside port and the northbound ferries go from the southern port... - it seems very pleasant, especially round the old harbour area which is full of restaurants and pavement cafes. Just as a warning though, Bergen has a reputation for being wet, very wet. 275 days of rain a year wet in fact. Our Swiss van dwelling friend Meli wants to come to Bergen just because she has a waterproof jacket which claims to be 'Bergen Proof' and she wants to test this out :)
So here we are. Leaving on a jetboat. Well, big fat ferry boat anyway. The start of the long trip home....