Sølvgarden Hotel - Rysstad
Even the bus stops have turfed roofs
Above the snowline
Lunch in Røldal
Snowmelt causes high water
Cross country skiers make the most of the end of season snow
Descending towards Odda
Whitewater at Låtefoss
Hardanger hotel Odda
Fruit trees in blossom
Display of bodice insets
Another stunning waterfall
Lunch at Alvik
View from the Stalheimskleiva
Part of the tunnel spirals
Kjosfossen, 305ft free fall
View of the valley from the train
|Arctic Adventure - 10 to 31 May 2018|
Story by Margaret Campbell
a casual conversation last winter a plan was hatched that would see
three cars and six CCHMSC members take on a memorable trip beyond the
Dave and Maureen Spence, Donald and Margaret
Campbell and Ranald Bruce and Louise Wall made their way to Tananger,
near Stavanger, Norway to start their journey on Thursday 10th May 2018.
had excelled himself as usual by producing an excellent route book and
maps which were loosely based on a road trip he had done in the
‘70s and two scout trips some years before.
We were not to be disappointed as you will see in the following report.
already spent a week in Tananger with our daughter and family we met up
with Dave and Maureen Spence in their BMW 325Ci Sport, and Ranald Bruce
and Louise Wall in their Skoda Octavia Scout on Thursday morning in the
The first day was one of two days that we had to
change our route because of snow. The road from the end of the
Lysefjord was still closed and we had to miss out the hairpins above
Lysebotn and find an alternative route to Rysstad. This turned out to
be a good alternative as we would not have seen anything on the
original road due to mist but the alternative had fantastic scenery
once the rain cleared at lunchtime.
route and overnight stops had been planned so that we would have plenty
of time for stops to take photographs and admire the views.
snow was melting fast and as there had been heavy rain all morning the
rivers were in full spate and the waterfalls were very impressive.
After a lovely day we arrived in Rysstad for a well earned meal and
sleep. Next morning we awoke to bright sunshine but it was very cold
and looked as if there could have been a touch of frost earlier.
After a lovely breakfast we set off almost due north and were immediately back into the stunning scenery.
were running alongside mostly frozen lakes, lively rivers and on higher
ground the snow was still very deep and being used by the locals for
the last of the seasons cross country ski-ing. We stopped for a picnic
lunch in Røldal and visited a very old traditional Stave church
built between 1200 and 1250.
on we rounded a corner and were met with the fantastic roar and sight
of the Låtefoss which , of course, we had to stop and photograph.
We arrived in Odda in mid afternoon, our overnight stop was at
the Hardanger hotel where we had magnificent views over the fjord.
did contemplate travelling up to see the Folgefonn Glacier but were
advised against it by the hotel manager as it would have taken us well
into the evening to get to the carpark and back and unless we walked a
great distance we would not see very much of the glacier.
breakfast the next day we headed north again on the west side of the
Sorfjorden and were amazed to find a large industrial plant. After
consulting Google we discovered that this was a major zinc and zinc
alloy producer and there is also a large bedrock repository there for
the disposal of jarosite, stable mercury and sulphur.
on we discovered large areas of fruit trees which were in full blossom
and looked stunning in the morning sunshine. We eventually came to the
village of Utne where we stopped to visit the folk museum and learn all
about the Hardanger fiddle and the bodices of the national dress, the
a leisurely wander all round the museum, inside and out, we caught the
ferry, first of many, and crossed the Samlafjorden to Kvanndal and
headed to Bergen for the first of our stays in the modern Magic Hotel.
The hotel was next door to a small supermarket so juices, fruit, biscuits and crisps were topped up.
and Louise went off to explore and found the tram system and a very
nice fish restaurant and the rest of us ate in the hotel and had a
reasonably early night.
morning as we headed out of Bergen we were pulled into a large layby by
the local constabularly. Documents and licences were checked and the
drivers all breathalysed. Apparently it is quite common in Norway
especially on a Sunday morning or after a big event.
All clear we headed off north east and followed a lovely little road to Voss, back on the main road for a few
miles then another little detour to drive on the Stalheimskleiva. This
is a 1.5km long road that winds its way from Stalheim at the top
through 13 hairpin bends to the end of the Næroydalen
valley. It is said to be one of the steepest roads in Europe (1:5 or
20% at its steepest) and has magnificent views of two cascading
waterfalls that can both be seen from the road.
our journey a short while later we arrived at Flåm. We were
hoping to be able to travel on the famous Flåm railway and as
luck would have it we were able to get a ticket and board the next
The railway has been described as one of the most
beautiful train journeys in the world and is one of Norway’s
leading tourist attractions. It runs from the end of the Aurlandsfjord
up to the high mountains at Myrdal Station where you can join the Bergen/Oslo railway.
20Km line has a height difference of 866 metres making an average
gradient of 1 in 18, the horseshoe tunnel spirals in and out of the
mountain and it is the steepest standard-gauge railway in the world.
the scenery is spectacular with rivers slicing their way through deep
gorges and waterfalls tumbling down the steep mountainsides.
even saw a Huldra, one of the ladies of the mountain who’s song
will draw you deep into the mountain. Look closely at this picture.
|Published 21 June 2018|
Updated 4 July 2018