We are parked at the top of Trollstigen, a hop & jump from last night’s stop in Åndalsnes, and what a trip this has been. Seriously – when you think you’ve seen beautiful, and then it gets better!!!
Following our overnight stop after our musk ox walk (let’s hold on ‘safari’ please) at the carpark we made our way, at a sedate 70km/h, down to Åndalsnes, breaking away from the major E6 route. We headed into what looked like grim weather, but apart from some light drizzle and low cloud, oh and a 75km/h crosswind, we weren’t too badly off. Very light traffic made things easier, now that Norwegian schools have started. We had no idea of what to expect along the route, so imagine our surprise as the road descended, the cliffs ascended, and we found ourselves at the base of the Trolls Wall, Europe’s highest vertical cliff! I think this was made even more spectacular by the low, broken cloud, which gave glimpses of sheer walls, leftover snow, tremendous waterfalls and gigantic bowls carved out by glaciers. Hidden peaks and the grey cloud & rock simply added to our sense of awe. We took some time out to stop at waterfalls along the way, came across this stunning church, and generally had the best 2 hour drive of our lives. Who knew it was going to get better? The Romsdal Valley has just completely blown us away with beauty on a scale that I’m not sure we’ll see again. Knowing Norway, I’m bound to be wrong.
Åndalsnes has a bit of a history, being central to Norway’s efforts in 1940 to keep their gold reserves out of German (and British) hands, with a tale of falling bombs, sinking ships, a Norwegian royal family and various derring-do, all quite inspiring. The town itself is worth its place in the Norwegian picture card icon, although there is little to do in the town itself. Having a newly discovered fear of heights, both Niki and I avoided the key current activity, mountain climbing … the real thing. The beautifully designed climbing centre/info has a fantastic indoor climbing wall – paid for entry only, so I’m going on the oodles of pictures on the wall. A very quiet night spent in a free car park next to the railway station (love Norway!!), and then, next day, off to Trollstigen.
I’m going to post a short video of tunnels and passes to give some idea of what this looks like while driving – Navigator’s view of course – I’m not even taking a hand off the wheel for the obligatory wave at oncoming campervans. In any case – a few photos of the Trollstigen should explain why this road is iconic.
So we are parked on a bit of a slope – water won’t drain out the shower too well, and both Niki and I are fighting gravity (not old age wrinkle slumping stuff, but the real thing), but on the up side I get a cuddle when Niki rolls downhill tonight…
Oh, and bumped into Dave K at the top of the mountain!