Hornindalsvatnet restplaceJuly 25, 2017 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C
Today the landscape changed slightly. The fjord valleys became deeper, the sides of the mountains steeper. The road undulated, twisted, turned, climbed, dropped and frequently ploughed through tunnels where it had been easier to blast the rock away than to build round it.
Spotting a waterfall gushing down a verdant green hillside, we pulled into a car park to take a photo. There was a walk signed towards it and after checking the distance on Maps.Me we decided to give the 2 mile hike a go. We had more distance to travel so didn't want to get too tired doing the 16 mile trek! It was lovely to get out and explore on foot! As we climbed, we passed smaller waterfalls and looking back, a view of the valley floor gradually revealed itself to us. Since leaving Sicily in March we'd been travelling north and forestalling the progress of Spring and Summer, but since reaching Nordkapp, the most northerly point on our travels, we've been heading quickly south and summer is gladly bursting forth with all its colour and warmth. Flourishing wildflowers lined our walk up the path and there were even ripe bilberries to eat. We went a little further than a mile to reach a hillside lake, its clear, still water reflecting the blue sky and mixed greens of the forested land surrounding it.
We lunched back at the van then set off through another tunnel and arrived after a while at a ferry terminal. Normally taking a ferry accross a fjord is a good way of avoiding a long drive round it, but in the case of the the Stranda-Liabygda ferry, there was no option but to take it, or another of the ferries that crossed Storfjorden at various points. No Norwegian road linked the two shores!
After ploughing through yet more tunnels we emerged at a layby with a signed viewpoint of Geirangerfjorden and Sunnylvsfjorden, the former being one of the best known fjords in Norway and the site that inspired much of the illustration for the Disney film 'Frozen'. The mountains forming its shores are so steep that only a few small farms have been built and most of these have now been abandoned. The light reflected off the trees clinging to the towering slopes and cast an deep green hue upon the water surface. It was a gorgeous view, but its scale difficult to take in.
Further on we arrived at the town of Stryn where we found the road we needed was closed. We looked in vain for an alternative that wouldn't take us too far out of our way. After asking at a garage we were forced to accept that the best alternative route first took us back along our tracks, then on to the other end of Innvikfjorden where we could take a ferry (only about 100km out of our way!).
Never mind, our time here is all about the journey and this particular one took us to the huge Hornindalsvatnet lake, where we found a lovely restplace to stay for 2 nights. It had a view up the lake, flanked by layers of mountains whose details became gradually less clear the further the mountain was from us.
The sides were steep but we found a spot at the far end of the restplace where we could launch the canoe if we were careful. The following day we had a wonderful paddle that took us around the nearest end of the lake. (When we say nearest we reckon we travelled around 10miles, giving Vicky blisters!) The day was so warm we were comfortable in shorts and t-shirts, the water surface was smooth like a mirror and as we glided over it we were able to see clear reflections of the hillsides and the few small farmsteads we passed. What a beautiful place!Read more