Norway
Sogndal

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  • Day396

    Jostedalsbreen Glacier

    July 27, 2017 in Norway

    Leaving the wonderful lake on which we'd paddled the canoe, we completed the 100km diversion we'd had to take because of a road closure. This included a short ride accross a fjord on the Anda-Lote ferry. We are getting to actively look forward to these crossings now we've been on enough of them to know there is no need to worry about getting tickets beforehand. They have all been well organised, with the ticket sellers coming to the van when it is queuing or making themselves easily available on board if there isn't time. We like to climb up to the open deck and see as many views as we can before dashing back down to the van, ready to drive off.

    We haven't seen any launderettes as yet in Norway so instead of trying to find a big campsite with a machine, we've chosen to handwash our clothes. One of the disadvantages of this is the strain it puts on our limited water supply. We were running low but near the end of the day's drive, spotted a filling and emptying point. It was 60NOK to use the services but free if we bought diesel from the adjacent petrol station, which we did.

    Will is in charge of route planning and had been very keen to visit a particular overnight spot that would add about 40km to our journey. He'd shown it to Vicky on the digital map and having a lake nearby, she didn't think it was unusual that he wanted to go. However, Will hadn't been showing Vicky the whole picture and it was only as we drew closer and she spotted snow stacked up on top of a mountain that he told her it was the northern end of the largest glacier on the European continent! Wow! No biggie then!

    Covering an area of 487 square kilometers the Jostedalsbreen glacier had a road leading to a restplace at its southern end. This had a viewpoint within a kilometre of Bøyabreen; one of the glacier's many 'tongues' or edges. It was difficult not to get our hopes up but when we saw it, we weren't disappointed. It was obviously a lot larger than the first glacier we'd seen and while still unreachable due to its position high up on a cliffside, the gradient was shallower and the glacier stretched down further towards us. White ribbons of water streamed down the bare rock and cut between the woodland on the surrounding slopes. The light permitted to enter the valley on this overcast day was limited, but reflected off the wet stone, making the scene look like a painting.

    It was near impossible to get a grip of the scale of this immense ice flow. Only when you looked at the miniscule trees near it did you begin to get some idea. The surface was covered in varying degrees of grit but the body was a bright blue. From where we stood, the top appeared rough. The slow creep down the mountain had rucked and twisted the compacted ice so it spilt, meltwater had eroded channels and the overall result was sharp peaks and toughs, like millions of stacked sugarlumps. The edges revealed the depth of the splits, the giant crevasses looking like gills on a giant dogfish.

    We were both overawed by the sight of this fascinating frozen formation. We'd be getting on with jobs or hobbies in the van then absentmindedly glance out of the window to be mesmerised by its presence so close to us. The Norwegian rain may have stopped us canoeing on the small lake or walking up the close by forest track but the country has brought us so many of these incredible natural sights that we didn't even think about bemoaning the weather!
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  • Day16

    Der gestrige Tag war zweifellos der optische Höhepunkt der gesamten Reise. Als wir in der Overvoll Farm angekommen sind, erst mal aufs Zimmer, duschen, umziehen und dann gab's das vorbestellte 3-Gänge Menü. Lachs, Salate, lecker Dessert. Nach einer ruhigen und durgeschlafenen Nacht gab's dann noch ein hammermäßiges Frühstück 😍.
    Heute stand nicht viel auf dem Programm, nur der Brigsdalsbreen und ein paar km Fahrt. Der Gletscher war aber schon mächtig imposant...

    https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briksdalsbreen

    Kurz nachdem wir dort losgefahren sind, begann es leicht zu regnen.
    Nichts weltbewegendes, mit den richtigen Klamotten stört es nicht. Ist mir jedenfalls lieber als bei 35 ° im eigenen Saft zu schmoren... 😂.
    Also gemütlich weiter bis Sogndal, einchecken.
    Umziehen, zu Fuß in die Stadt rein, na viel is ja nicht los... 😂. Bißchen einkaufen, zurück zur Unterkunft. Den Tag in Ruhe ausklingen lassen.
    Morgen geht's zum Preikestolen, dort haben wir dann 2 Nächte. Das Wetter am Preikestolen wird der Brüller werden, Sonne satt, 22 - 24 °.
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  • Day20

    Taking it easy for a day

    July 18 in Norway

    It started raining pretty hard yesterday afternoon and kept up all night. We had planned to do another hike today but it seemed unlikely that it was going to let up. I let everyone sleep in. The kids were pretty tired after the hiking. By 10 the rain had slowed so Cheryl and I went for a Canadian stroll around town and within 30 minutes the sun was out again and shining very brightly. In Kaupanger they have 5 and 3 meters diving platforms on the water. With the rain yesterday we had to take a miss on the platforms but with the sun out they really wanted to use the window to give the platforms another go. It was low tide so the platforms were more like 6.5 metres. This is pretty high. They actually talked me into doing it. It is a long drop. I talked with a local while watching the kids. I told that at home they would never have such an unsupervised structure as someone would get hurt. She told me that no one had ever been seriously hurt. I told her that we were just a bunch of worriers at home. We had a late lunch and there were some more showers. Videl came over with his kids and took my little ones fishing again and then towed them around on inflatables behind the little boat. It was very kind of him. Just when I thought things were going to quiet down another mega yacht came into the bay. Forever one. 54 metres long and owned by billionaire Bruce Grossman who was heir to the Mexican Coca Cola bottling group. It is interesting what you can find out on line. Chris and I went to check it out in the canoe. Just a beautiful yacht.

    With some time on my hands today I have had time to reflect on one of my colleagues dilemma. My colleague owns a vintage BMW. It is a wonderful looking car but unfortunately its time is coming to an end. My colleague has enjoyed the image and prestige of a European built vehicle but may not be able to afford a new one. I think though that this vacation that I have stumbled on a solution to my colleague's problem. We have been privileged to drive a Skoda Octavia station wagon since Oslo. Skoda is a Czech build vehicle which is actually built in Europe. No Mexican content here. It drives wonderfully and is probably much cheaper then a Mexican built BMW. My colleague would be the first to own a Skoda at the RAH. It would really improve his image amongst the staff parking such a car in the Doctors car park.
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  • Day18

    Sognefjord

    July 16 in Norway

    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 from the early 70s which reminded me a lot of the Volvo my parents had bought in 1968. It looked good but was a terrible car always breaking down when on holidays and rested 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 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 smart.The water is a lot less saline the sea water 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 hotell 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. It 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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  • Day19

    Hiking in the Sognefjord

    July 17 in Norway

    We have spent three glorious days here in the Sognefjord in our little boat house. It was sunny for the first two days and much of the third. Supposedly they have had no rain for a month which is typically the daily norm. Having exhausted the museums the first day it was time to do some hiking. I have been trailing my hiking boots through Scandinavia so I thought it should be time to put them to use. My right ankle is very weak from an old volleyball injury so I am always worried that I could roll it again. Therefore I really need to wear the hiking. One of my colleagues wives broke her ankle while hiking in running shoes a few years ago which has further increased my anxiety about not having hiking boots. For our first hike I chose one called Bjorahaug outside of a small town called Hermansverk. It was described as a Norwegian stroll which I thought would be a good warm up hike. It was only 1165 metres long. What I didn't realize was that the elevation gain was 500. It was a hike up the side of a fjord. I don't think I have ever hiked so steeply. It certainly did give me an appreciation of how steeply the sides of the fjords rise from the water. There were ropes in areas to help oneself up. At one point my son Andrew told me that he thought that his mother had fallen. I quickly backtracked to check up on her but she had just lost the trail and was calling us to see where it went.The kids had no problem. They must be part billygoat. The hike was rated as 70 minutes. At the 70 minute mark we were very high up but not at the top of the fjord. The trail started to go down before I suspect it would go up again. I was absolutely drenched in perspiration. After all that work I decided that I didn't want to lose any of the elevation we had worked so hard for. We stopped for lunch. The view of the fjords was spectacular. On a sunny day I think it looks prettier then the west coast of BC.

    After our warm up day, we decided to try something a little more difficult although we had set the bar pretty high the first day. We decided to do the Mount Molden which was a small mountain looking out over an arm of the Sognefjord. The arm is known as Gaupnefjorden. One can also see the glaciers to the north from the top. It was a longer hike with an elevation of 600 metres. We reached an elevation of 1116 metres. It was a pretty hard hike although probably not as hard and definitely not as steep as the warm up hike. We were well above the tree line at the top. The view from the top was even more breathtaking. When we were at the top we realized that there was a storm system coming in from the south. We were 9/10s of the way down when we were hit with a wicked rain storm. Gale force winds, snapping branches etc. We only had to walk 15 minutes in the rain. I wouldn't have wanted to be on the top of the mountain when the storm hit.

    Last night this huge yacht maybe 60 metres long came into our bay and stayed for 24 hours. It was owned by Jade yachts so I checked it out on line. People can rent this yacht for a week for 362k Cdn. Chris and I paddled a canoe out to it to check it out. I couldn't believe just how large it was.It was bigger then my house.
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  • Day12

    Abkühlung im Fjord

    July 4 in Norway

    Tolles Badewetter, wir fahren eine schmale Serpentinenstraße runter und finden einen kleinen Sandstrand, der von einigen Familien besucht ist. Das Wasser ist nur ganz leicht salzig, kristallklar und von angenehmer Temperatur.

    Wir sind übrigens braun gebrannt, seit Beginn unserer Reise vor 12 Tagen hat es nur in Hamburg geregnet 🏖️

  • Day13

    Am Seeli

    September 19 in Norway

    Hüt morge hemmer e chliini Wanderig zumene Wasserfall und dur es schöns Wäldli gmacht. Denn simmer gfaahre und hend vieli hüpschi Örtli und Landschafte gseh, sind dur s längste Autotunell vo de Wält gfahre und hend ez es Plätzli amene Seeli gfundä.

  • Day10

    Gegen 10:00 Uhr ging es in die Spur. Doro hatte eine anspruchsvolle und deutlich längere Reise vorgeschlagen, die durch Hochebenen führen sollte und landschaftlich reizvoller sein sollte (137 km in der kürzeren Version - 254 km Doro‘s Variante).
    Zunächst die Anfahrt wie zum Gerangerfjord und zur 258, dann aber weiter über die Hochebene neben dem Fluss Otta (E15) bis nach Lom.
    Dort kurzes Füße vertreten und eine Runde um die dortige, aus dem Jahre 1160 stammende Stabkirche.
    Und dann weiter über die 55 durch‘s Bøverdalen, Leirdalen und Breiseterdalen bis ins Sognefjell auf etwa 1500 m.
    Bei der Abfahrt ab der Sognefjellshytta wurde es mir einerseits wegen der ständigen Tiefblicke, andererseits wegen der immer schlechter funktionierenden Bremskraft unseres Gespannes unheimlich.
    Selbst im zweiten Gang wurde unser Volvo immer schneller, der Wohnwagen schob was das Zeug hielt! Ich dachte nur noch: „Fading!“.
    Nach 1000 Höhenmetern rechts raus, Warnblinker an und dann der Geruch wie Asbest. Am Volvo die Felgen glühend heiß und am Wohnwagen lösen sich ganz langsam die Plaste-Radkappen (die Überreste auf dem Foto) und fallen auf die Straße. Hier haben wir wohl die Technik an Ihre Versagensgrenze getrieben, aber letztlich ist der Wohnwagen ja vor 4 Tagen 16 Jahre alt geworden.
    Dank dem „Schweden“, der uns eigentlich vor schlimmerem bewährt hat.

    Nach etwa einer halben Stunde Abkühlpause ruckelt die Bremse am Wohnwagen noch etwas, scheint aber nicht festgegangen zu sein.

    Jetzt sind sind wir Kørnes Camping ⛺️ angekommen und haben uns einen der wenigen Plätze ausgesucht. Norwegen geht weiter... jetzt mit Regen 🌧.
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  • Day11

    Wie gesagt, heute Norwegen mit reichlich Regen. Also kurzer Familienrat und ab ins Gletschermuseum bei Fjærland.
    Tolles Museum, lehrreich, multimedial top und auch für unsere pubertierenden Kinder interessant. Toll auch das Panoramakino mit einem Film über den Jostedals-Gletscher.
    Nachdenklich macht mich die Klimaerwärmung und wie unvernünftig vor allem die Regierenden mit dieser einzigen Welt, die wir haben umgehen.
    Im Anschluss noch ein kurzer Abstecher entlang des gleichnamigen Fjordes ins romantische Dörfchen Færland und dann nach einem kurzen Einkauf in Sogndal zurück zum Wohnwagen.
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  • Day12

    Während die erste Stabkirche von uns mehr durch Zufall entdeckt worden war, sollte heute, bei wieder strahlender Sonne, die Stabkirche zu Urnes besichtigt werden.
    Kurze Anfahrt mit dem Auto nach Solvorn und Überfahrt mit der Autofähre. Vom Parkplatz aus ein kleiner Anstieg die Straße entlang mit herrlichem Blick auf die Fjordlandschaft.
    Dann das Kirchlein, UNESCO-Kulturdenkmal, gebaut um 1130 und die am reichsten ausgestattete, der in Norwegen noch vorhandenen 28 Stabkirchen.
    Im Eintrittspreis war eine Führung in englisch inbegriffen, also auch Info aus bester Hand. Übrigens ist diese Kirche nicht nur Museum, nein sie lebt... die hl. Messe wird weiterhin gehalten.

    Nach einem kleinen Picknick fahren wir weiter zum Feigefossen, dem zweitgrößten Wasserfall Norwegens. Leider spielte mir meine Höhenangst wieder einmal einen Streich, so dass ich auf Bilder von Dorothee zurückgreifen muss. Das Naturschauspiel blieb mir im Original leider verwehrt!

    Zurück über ein schmales Sträßchen immer entlang am Fjordufer und jetzt Abendbrot vorbereiten...
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Sogndal

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