I know, I know … I’ve really got to stop doing this!
After a really interesting drive over what turned out to be the flat part of Trollstigen, we swept over the plateau, all 150 meters of it, before commencing our descent down the winding reverse side, towards Geiranger. If there’s a fjord that seem to be the archetype, Geiranger has to be it. The roads across this section are so winding as to be a bit of a headspinner. Add to that the fact that you don’t know whether you are at sea level (fjord), lake (somewhere above sea level … maybe), heading towards the coast, or not. I’ve a couple of friends who would, no doubt, point unerringly in some direction and state, without hesitation, ‘Of course that’s North-East’ … Aaron T! Not me. (Hover cursor for captions).
Coming down towards Geiranger – what a view – we found a carpark with a large section marked No Parking, and 3 spots with a ‘P’ sign. We had a chat with a lovely guy from Argentina who has been travelling since May (Where do these guys get the money?) who vacated the P area, and we moved in. So happy to have a room with a view across the fjord, and dry and warm as the drizzle started again. Our two companion vans – not so lucky, clearly lacking an onboard loo, and necessitating numerous walks across the road to some track in the bush. So instead of heading off to our intended spot at Dalsnibba we, of course, settle back and enjoyed another taped episode of ‘The Terror’ (Great book!!). Woke in the morning to find the No Parking area filled two deep, and enterprising bivvy set up on the central grass of the turning circle, cars with tarpaulins stretching from door to grassed area – sagging under the weight of the night’s rainfall. We just have to get better at ‘reading’ the no parking signs, but at €60 a parking ticket these are expensive lessons.
Another day, another Trollstigen, up to Dalsnibba – and this really was up!!, and then down to Stryn, before climbing again to our present campsite at Mekevoll Bretun. Hmmm, how to put this … Camping at Geiranger (€0) what just outstanding. Camping at the base of the Jostedalsbreen glacier is a different order of magnitude. Glaciers ahead and to the right, waterfalls to the left, our van is parked meters away from the terminal moraine – WOW!
I took advantage of the sauna, which is on for 2 hours every evening, and then bowed to peer pressure from a full sauna to exit and have a swim in a glacial pool right at the door. I think this is why some Scandinavian countries have a vodka issue – you have to have a couple to get the heart going again. In fact, enjoyed the cure so much I’m intending to replicate the process tonight. Followed that this morning with an easy hike up through the forest (avoid the main hiking trail!!) to the glacier itself and spent a couple of hours just drinking in the scenery. We are also surrounded by interesting and nice neighbours – A couple with a 2 yr old child, older Belgium couple etc etc – had some great chats and guided campervan tours!
On a sour note – I think the various Trollstigens have caused our SatNav to self-destruct. We’ve tried re-setting, updating, disconnecting… No go. We do have an atlas, with Norway covered in4 pages, so not exactly high definition (I know I’m confusing epochs), but there’s really only one road from here to there, and I’ve tracked down an audio shop in Bergen, 4 days away (depending on the Navigator), so let’s see if we can get this thing sorted or replaced. Been less than impressed with some of the routing options! But until then, we’ll end up somewhere beautiful, without a doubt.