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  • Day18

    Sognefjord

    July 16, 2018 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    We drove from Oslo to Kaupanger on the 14th of July. We were right at the car rental place in downtown Oslo at 9 am to pick up the car. The process was painfully slow. I had gotten a very good deal on the car rental. 1200 Cdn for 13 days. They had told us the day before that a walk in rental for two days with drop off in Bergen would have cost the same amount. I think they wanted to scrutinize everything extra carefully as they could have rented our car to a walkin for much more. Finally after 30 minutes we got the car but not after realizing that Cheryl's license had expired in March. By then there was a massive line up out the door. I wonder now that the government isn't sending out notifications how many Albertans are driving with expired licenses.By the time we were done there was this very long line up of people behind me. We got back to the hostel by 10 and the kids were all ready for us. We packed and headed out of town and within 30 minutes we were at a standstill in traffic. After this our trip was punctuated by a long stop for groceries and an unsuccessful grocery stop. We drove over a mountain range with an elevation of 1200 metres before descending to the fjord. Travel time was an astounding 7 hours. My highlight of the trip was stopping at a gas station with some old Volvos one which looked like it was from the early 70s and it reminded me a lot of the Volvo my parents had bought in 1968. My parents 1968 Volvo looked good but was a terrible car always breaking down when on holidays and rusted out very quickly. This early experience with Volvos scarred me for life. I don't think that I could ever own a Volvo.

    Our boathouse in Kaupanger is right on the fjord with a million dollar view. As soon as we arrived Videl the brother in law of the owner who has two children took my two youngest out on a boat with his kids fishing in their little motor boat out into the centre of the fjord. It is a little rustic by Muskoka standards but for us it is perfect. Kaupanger is very quiet and there are few tourists here. I have had two great sleeps here. The fjords are quite spectacular. The sides in areas rise quite sharply up from the water. It reminds me of BC but it is different. Cheryl keeps saying that it reminds her of Saskatchewan but I am not sure how and I don't think she is being a smart alek when she says this. The water has a lot less salinity than seawater so It doesn't taste very salty nor does one's skin feel salty after swimming in it. It really doesn't even smell like the ocean. Yesterday we drove to a very picturesque town on an even prettier fjord called Solvorn home of the Walaker hotel a historic expensive looking hotel. We took a ferry across a fjord to Urnes home of the world's oldest wooden church. It was a 20 minute hike up to the church from the ferry. It wasn't a hike by our definition as we saw some girls doing it in flip flops.These old wooden churches are known as Stave churches as the old Norwegian word for the supports were known as Staves. This one dated from 1100 AD. It looks impressive now but probably looked even more impressive when it was built. There were wood panels on the outside carved with snakes and dragons which were felt to be from the 900s. The wood carvings looked like Celtic meets Scandinavian. We ate our lunch at the museum before hiking down and catching the ferry. We were all pretty hot by the time we made it to Solvern which fortunately had a beautiful swim area with platforms for jumping and diving off. We were all tired but had a good day. My son Chris said that he would have given it a 7.5/10 which by his standards is pretty good.
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