A double write up today as last night we didn’t have any internet and instead we had a beautiful midnight sunset.
Groundhog Day, Molde
In the morning we drove along the main road towards Molde, wondering what the day would bring now we are heading over to the coast. I wanted to head west over to Runde and see the puffins as I have always wanted to see them but Craig says it out of our way. Guess somethings have to stay on the bucket list.
The drive was long and slow through the Romsdalshorn valley with the peaks of Trolltindane rising high above. We followed the rail tracks passing many a pretty stone bridge and you guessed it, more waterfalls. Groves of trees and horse pastures over looked the river and occasionally we passed an old farmhouse with the farmers preparing their first batch of hay bales. The longer we travelled the more mountainous it became? By mid afternoon, the signs for Molde did not appear and our fever pitch of excitement was starting to wain. Where is the big billboard the size of a battleship with a huge arrow telling us to turn right left to Molde when you need it?. Then all of a sudden ‘Whats going on here.’ Craig shouted, his forehead veins stirring to life in preparation for the inevitable discovery that after several hours of driving there would be no sign for Molde. Indeed, we had gone the wrong way, we took a right rather than a left and let the TomTom reroute! Taking us several hundred kilometres around the mountains. We stopped, turned around and went back passed the farms, the hay, the river, the train and the mountains before arriving back to where we started this morning.
I found the event rather funny, as it is some thing that rarely happens but Craig didn’t. The pound signs associated with unnecessary diesel costs far out weighted any humour. On top of that we had another ferry crossing at a price of 230NOK. When eventually we arrived at Molde it proved to be rather less than the write up in the guide books, which just added to Craig’s frustration. But all is not lost, we found a nice parking spot on the waters edge with a little beach cove and fine views of the mountain peaks. Tosh went for a dig whilst Mac decided to get comfy.
We are now out the ‘main’ fjord area and on the Atlantic coast. For the first time in what seems ages, we can see the horizon. The sea and sky meet without any mountain peak. It feels good to be by the ocean and feel the breeze but at the same time, I already miss the fjords. I gaze south and smile at the long, jagged mountain range. More than 87 snow capped peaks, most of which we have wandered in and out and loved every second.
After our evening meal we took a nice stroll down the coastline. Young couples strolled hand in hand on recently mowed lawn and kids played bobbing in and out of the water. Some brave souls were out canoeing in the ice cold ocean. Beyond the shingly beach, a broad loose stone promenade overlooked the marina, vast and shimmery. We peered over the edge. The crystal waters looked clean but no cod or bass only a lonesome large jellyfish.
Our sleep spot tonight..our own little lawned area at the side of a small shingly cove.
GPS position N062.741343 and E007.225345
Route: Andalsnes to Molde
Weather: Low 8 and high 27…sunshine and blue skies.
Last night, was a noisy night. At around 2am the whole of Vin shuddered followed by a heck of a din. Little did we know of the plans to rip up the road and resurface it. After a couple of hours, the sound of road crushers, tar burners and steam rollers turned in to a loud lullaby and we slowly but surely drifted to sleep to the hum of the road repairs.
The ladies from the knitting club arrived and one by one they pulled out their deckchairs and set up their stall on the beach cove. The swimming costume and sunhat ladies at one end of the arch and the bra and knicker brigade at the other. Chitter, chatter and a bit of knitting to the sound of water lapping against the rocks, what better way to spend the day.
We opted to cycle in to Molde with Mac n Tosh in the baskets. Mac was clearly excited at the thought of taking a basket ride, whilst Tosh just took everything in his stride. Molde is relatively big in terms of a Norwegian town. It has houses with picket fences and concrete apartments on the outskirts. A very different feel than the fjord towns and villages. We cycled along the main street to the far end of the town passing nothing but houses and the odd industrial unit. Where has everything gone, the shops, the cathedral etc? Did we cycle passed it? Perplexed and confused we turned and headed down to the harbour. We weaved our way through apartment blocks and a massive processing plant to find a shell garage and a sports complex. In dock, a Costa cruise ship…surely this town must have something to attract the cruise ships? Finally, we found a handful of shops, a book store, a thai cafe and an ugly looking pebble dashed town hall. Along with us, lots of perplexed tourists wandering around aimlessly trying desperately to find an attraction. Maybe its a game of hide and seek, so we wandered down every side street and alley only to to greeted by dead ends and dustbins. One road up and behind the shops, an ‘open’ cathedral. We tootled in but within minutes we were back outside, it was bland and far from inviting. Outside we noticed a bed of rose bushes and then remembered, they call this place the town of roses. Granted the roses weren’t in bloom but still, a few boxes is hardly going to make that much of a difference. Talk about over cooking the marketing material for town!
After lunch and a quick sunbath we headed out of Molde to the fishing village of Bud. After the disappointment of Molde we were quite looking forward to a quaint fishing village but sadly, our excitement was soon dampened. A lovely inlet lined with boats and timber sheds, beautiful until some bright spark went and built a sprawling industrial plant along the one side. We parked up and went for a walk. The sun was still shining but the Atlantic breeze had picked up, so it soon felt rather chilly. We tootled over to the museum on the hill to be greeted by a coach load of bewildered tourists. The inside of the museum was closed and upon closer inspection it looked like it hadn’t been open for a long time. Or if it is, the manager needs sacking as it was a disgrace. Outside, a display of guns and cannons and bunkers complete with rubbish, broken bottles and the fragrant smell of ammonia. Shame really because the area has some interesting history from its trading routes in 17th century to its brief spell as Norway’s capital during WW2. Needless to say, it did not appeal and we moved on.
The sun was bright, the air was clear and the wind was wild. Bugs exploded colourfully against the windscreen, like we were driving through a paintball party. We weaved around the headland and pulled in to a variety of spots but non took our fancy. Eventually, we parked up on the Atlantic highway on the first of the small islands. We sat in the front seats of Vin like we were perched on a rock and watched the sunset. The ocean was beautiful and still with the odd dot of rock or tiny granite island. The long rays of the setting sun made the water shimmer. Offshore, a cruise liner sailed off towards the horizon. We watched it disappear, as we patiently waited for the sun to set and display an array of warm colours. Our first midnight sunset! Its been a while since we watched the sunset but it was worth the wait. Tomorrow we cross the infamous Atlantic Highway…bring it on!
Our sleep spot tonight..on the island of Skarvoya on the infamous Atlantic Highway.
GPS position N063.013537 and E007.330418
Route: Molde to Skarvoya
Weather: Low 12 and high 26…nice and toasty until we headed out of Molde and the Atlantic gusts hit us, chilly billy!