Clearly it’s not possible for our Norwegian weather app to be accurate all the time. It has been right on the button – if rain is predicted at 4:00pm, it rains. Clear morning coming up? Don your shades. Except for today.
So, firstly a great big ‘Thanks’ to friends who donated a fantastic bottle of gin at the start of our trip. Don’t know the degree of sacrilege involved here, but it’s made a momentous hot toddy. Showered, clean, dry, very strong hot toddy in hand – who can remember belting rain and gusts that bent what little vegetation there was out of shape? A great morning’s cycle followed on from a good walk yesterday up to the Blåfjell (Blue Mountain) mines (closed) past Norway’s first protected geologic item (1923), the Rocking Stone (millimetres, but it does weigh 74 tons) …
The landscape has just continued to captivate us. The skyline is dominated by exposed domes, very little vegetation, and interspersed with a myriad of lakes fed by waterfalls coming in from every direction. The scale is immense, the sides sheer, and topping so many of the domes are erratics, there to remind you of the immense glaciation that has occurred.
And to follow on from the Geography of it all, today we drove past Jøssingfjord, which had a cameo role in WWII. It was here that the German support vessel, the Altmark, was boarded by a British destroyer in 1940, freeing a large number of captured British sailors, but also violating Norway’s neutral status. Norway was invaded by Germany shortly afterwards. To bookend this, Jøssingfjiord was also the scene of a somewhat unsuccessful air attack by an international assortment of British, New Zealand, Australian and Polish pilots in 1945. A wreath is laid in annual remembrance of 4 Kiwis who died in the raid.
A final bit for the day was stopping at Helleren, which has the meaning of an overhang providing protection. The area has been inhabited for thousands of years, and for the past few hundred years, until recently, by crofters who kept sheep, a few cows, and supplemented this by fishing.
I was told by a friend to do something useful today – I hope this is it!
We have now left the Magma Geopark, heading towards Kristiansand, Norway’s tropical beach paradise, or at least the most southerly part of the country. We travelled through the Geopark on a bit of a whim, urged by having a few extra days on hand. What a fantastic decision – everything has been just jaw-dropping beautiful, and I cannot overstate how many times each day we just stopped, and stared, and made weird noises – adjectives were not going to do! In part, I’m sure, this is made possible by having the time to just take the time … Contented campers indeed.