Sunday, 8 August 2010
Written 8th August
You know when you get that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that everything is just about perfect but you're just missing one thing. Well after the roads we've driven on over the last two days, it is clear, that thing is the Midget. And even I'm feeling it.
Don't get me wrong I love my little van and wouldn't replace it for the world, but just when we thought that Norway couldn't get any better, it suddenly did, and all that was needed was the midget as a little red cherry atop the glacial icing of the mountainous cake.
Yesterday dawned bright and clear (not that we saw dawn of course but you get the idea) as we set off the find the so-called Trollstigan (Troll's Path), route 63 between Andalsnes and Valldal.
Heading southwards, the just-slightly-wider-than-single carriage way road clings to the side of the mountain, zig zagging ever upwards, alongside and then across the 180m drop of the Stigfossen waterfall.
The road at the top is currently a messy snarl of building work and unclear parking places where they are building a shiny new visitor centre but the viewing platform is already in place, a glass-fenced, grating-floored, vertigo-sufferers nightmare, suspended over the vertiginous drop. It's fabulous.
And packed full of people. The whole place reminded us enormously of Stelvio Pass in the very north of Italy - you remember, Top Gear's last top driving road before the Transfagarsan. Have I already told you about that? Forgive me if I have but I will again anyway.
Anyway, it was not quite the 'powering up the hill' experience in Jules and I don't think Top Gear have been here - presumably the cost of petrol for the types of cars they would want to drive would be more than the license payer could bear! - but it was no less impressive.
- where we stopped for a walk
and still upwards
to the mirror-still lakes and endless reflection of the glacier which is higher still
and alongside the rushing turqoise torrent of meltwater
No mountain tramping today, lots of ground to cover, so onwards across the plateau to Lom and then along the Sognefjellsvegen, route 55 to Sogndal, which, against all expectations, was even better still.
A full panorama stretching out before us, complete with barren granite mountain top, rolling blue glaciers and startlingly green hillocks scattered with crystal clear lakes, all under a vast expanse of cerulean sky. Glorious.
Will has found a new photo stitching tool so this might just give you an idea....
And on and down - another switchback road - back to sea level where we are parked up on the shores of the Lustrafjorden with our fourth and final fresh fish supper.
The perfect end to a perfect day.
With love for now from Becky, Will and Jules on Sunday, August 08, 2010