Norway is ridiculous!
Ridiculous in a good way, no, actually, in a great way. It is ridiculous in it’s magnificence!
Yesterday, I was obviously eased in to the country with it’s road works, queues, and Automatic Tolls. It didn’t want to show off too early, it was being a bit coy, maybe a bit shy, just saying modestly ‘I’m not really all that’. Last night however, it showed a little of what it could do; it found me a pretty rest stop to park in, with a large river running down the valley, sun shining on the mountains in the distance, and then a loud and rolling thunderstorm, just to make sure I didn’t get too cosy!
Today; Norway put on a show, and it was one hell of a performance!
Imagine, Cirque Du Soleil; the performers are all over the stage, everywhere you look something is happening, on one side of the stage you have a group balancing on each other shoulders, on the other side of the stage there are dancers, in the centre someone is unfurling from the ceiling on ribbons, it goes on, you don’t know where to look, and, it all fits together beautifully.
Imagine, the balancing act are forests and valleys, the dancers are a river with white water torrents that rush though the valley or beside the road, and imagine that the person unfurling is a mountain range topped with snow…..Well that was Norway for me today.
Norway has spent a lot of time and a lot of Krone to upgrade, and build some startling architectural attractions along 18 routes of particular splendour. These are the Nasjonale Turistveger. Part of my journey is to visit a few of these, I won’t get to all of them as some are too far North for me to reach, and some just don’t fit with the route I’m taking.
As I mentioned yesterday, I was fortunate that my friend SatNav had directed me along ‘3’ rather than route E6. This turned out to be even more fortuitous today, as a few miles after setting off this morning, I had an opportunity to travel along one of the National Tourist routes. This was a route that I was dubious about taking as it would have been a weird detour off the E6, along the route and back on the E6. However, from ‘3’, along the tourist route and back to E6 was straight forward and a great bit of luck!
Nasjonale Turistveger Rodane, takes you up into the Rodane National Park. The road, named ‘29’ starts out from ‘3’ as a fairly non descript single carriage way with minimal road markings. I set off on a very misty morning, thinking how unlikey it would be to see anything particularly nice in the mist and fog let alone take any decent photo’s. (That being said, I still found myself pulling to the side of the road every few miles to grab a quick shot of one thing and another.)
The road started to climb. After about 30 minutes of undulating, but generally uphill travel, I was out of the mist and Fog, in bright sunshine and amongst some amazing scenery The road peaked at about 3600ft and shortly I came to the first of two Architectural attractions; The Sohlbergplassen Lookout Point.
It’s a pretty funky viewing platform;
With a pretty awesome view;
I can understand why they wanted to make a feature of this place.
The second attraction a few miles along the road, was a rest place, like no other…!
I think you can see what I mean by Norway being ridiculous, in a great way.
After the Tourist route ‘Dried up’, (and I’d had a chance to rest my eyes from trying to see everything!) Trondheim became the destination. The views continued to be spectacular, there hasn’t really been any let up of roadside rivers and waterfalls, mountains, forests, valleys, winding open roads etc etc etc. I could stop around every corner and take photos of a new sight. I think Google had it right when it was developing ‘Streetview’, you could just drive around with the camera on the roof of the car constantly taking photos. Norway just doesn’t stop.
So Trondheim; I got there, It’s a nice town, I drove through, I left…..Don’t get me wrong, it looks pretty, looks like a lot to do and see, for couples, but for me, I had no interest. (note: Auto Toll count of 6 through Trondheim. I’m now up to 12 to be invoiced for, when I’m home).
So I set the next destination; Mo I Rana. The last stop before I reach the Arctic Circle.
Yes, I’m ahead of schedule by nearly a day, I’ve stopped now for the night, by a lake, typing this on a picnic bench, surrounded of course by snow topped mountains slightly south of Mo I Rana, just 150 miles from the Arctic Circle; about 3 hours driving. I could have pushed on this evening, but I’ll let it appear on my horizon tomorrow. I was planning to be in the Arctic Circle on day 7, Thursday, for my Birthday. Maybe my Birthday is going to be a little early this year!
On another note, I was hoping to see the starlight without any of the light pollution we have at home. Only issue is, as I found last night at about 10:15pm and it was still dusk. It’s not getting dark here…!