We have overnighted at the quay in Sand, a lovely little village on the Sandsfjorden, as we return to our intended destination of Stavanger. The town lost its car ferry service in 2016 and is definitely showing the effects, with empty shop windows through the main street. Chief claim to fame is the ‘Sandsfossen’ an enormously powerful waterfall/rapid which empties the Sand river into the fjord. We spent a couple of hours watching salmon head upstream while hopeful fishermen cast their lines in the calm area below the falls. The strength of anything to move upstream through this weight of water, the turbulence, is simply awesome. When a huge salmon leaps clear of the water and you see its body torpedo up through the white cascades – wow!
We have done a 200km meander, a consequence of a bit of indecision on our part. We have a bit of time on our hands, so after leaving Bergen we decided to stick to the coastal road as we head south. I know it’s all coastal, but I mean the road running most coastal, over the islands rather than around the fjords. That took us over a completely different landscape, where glaciers have ground the hills flat, and the bedrock shows the earth’s skeleton. Stunning. So we overnighted at a lovely spot, level and protected from the wind, just off the beach at Rommetveit, then headed inland to Odda.
Along the way we stopped at Langfossen – I’m sorry that any photo we took simply couldn’t do justice. The falls are huge, 612m, and we could only manage to capture sections of it, given the road crosses the lower section. We continued up to Odda, one-time carbide capital of the world, and overnighted at the Trolltunga Hotel. Following the pattern we set in the UK, we had a beer, made use of the internet, and had a great night looking over the lake to our left, waterfalls right next to us, and the Hardangerfiord to our right. Norway just pops up these amazing overnight opportunities almost on a daily basis.
The drive down from Odda to Sand has been breath-taking. The road itself is generally good, albeit single lane width in many areas, but very light in traffic. Tunnel after tunnel, snow poles lining some sections – the poles are 3m high, and indicate just how much snow Norway’s premier ski region gets, steep climbs & descents – particularly in the tunnels (including a complete 360° drop) … We exited onto the road branching off towards Sand and things got even better! Lakes, cliffs, waterfalls … it just didn’t stop! Add to this that we were only doing 50km/h at best, and you end up with 2 hours of the most stunning scenery.
Our overnight, on the quay at Sand, has bettered expectation. There is a small beach not 50 meters away, our spot looks out over the harbour, we have an authentic old time sailboat as a neighbour, the sun is shining and there’s not a breathe of wind. We did wake up to a new neighbour this morning, though, and she certainly was noisy. Niki not happy at being up before sunrise.
Oh yes, we are back to sunsets and sunrises! I’m writing this as the morning sun streams into our lounge – and it actually rose far from where it set! We again have an East and West. We have seen the moon twice in Norway in over 2 months – who would have thought that my star app would be so absolutely useless?