The Rise & Fall to Sognefjord 4 Comments

One heck of a zig zag road, Vikafjellet

One heck of a zig zag road, Vikafjellet

Its funny when we arrived in Norway, I thought we would be cut off from the world as we ventured further inland. But rather than cut off, I feel more connected here than anywhere else. This country has a way of showing you how to appreciate what is around you, so you connect back with nature and the simple things in life…In the soft morning light the lambs were jumping around full of the joys of spring. Mother stood back and watched over them to make sure they didn’t stray too far. Then one brave lamb wandered over for a nibble on our step. Mum joined her little one and nibbled too before licking Vins bumper for the morning dew with a hint of car wax.

We head down the wild and power river, swelled with snow melt and bouncing off the huge boulder. A little further upstream, it is joined by several small river veins, equally as powerful and impressive. At the base of the steep mountain pass we pulled in. A raging waterfall plummeting right alongside the hairpin bends. Wowsa. A good place to have breakfast and take the dogs for a walk.

Refuelled and refreshed we start our ascent up the zig zag pass. The road becomes slightly broken as we wind up to over 1000 metres. Closed for snow for six months of the year, this valley has only just reopened and some of the road has wilted after the long harsh winter. After all the twists and turns we climb high up in to the snow line to streams of melting snow trickling across the road before they join the mighty waterfall and tumble all the way down the valley.

Just around the corner we stop to watch a group of young adults ski down the slope in skinny trucks and bikinis. Their 12 pack a clear indication of their competitive and serious sporting spirit. We continue our journey stopping at waterfalls, frozen lakes and endless jaw dropping views. As we travel through Storehaug Tunnel all goes dark and cold and once at the other side we are greeted with amazing panoramic views of the distant mountain peaks and glaciers. Another brief leg stretch followed by a spot of lunch.

As Vin rolls down the road we follow a beautiful lush green valley to our right. The deep walls of the valley are covered in fir trees that cling to rocks and slopes like fingernails. Occasionally, a bare patch were the trees have slid down the slope and created a clearing. Vin starts to pick up speed as we head down the mountain and after a few twists and turns, the road widens to reveal The valley of Vik and our first glimpse of the Sognefjord.

As we near the village, orchards and diary farms gather in clusters. We take a sharp right and find a shaded parking spot next to the stone church. A brief walk around the church grounds to find it is closed, no surprise there then. However, the detail on the exterior manages to keep Craig occupied for half an hour whilst I chased the dogs around the adjourning field.

With Mac n Tosh completely pooped we rolled Eor out of the garage and set off for a 2 wheeled adventure around the fjords. Our little monkey bike is perfect for zipping out for an hour and reaching the places we would not normally reach. Its also very economical and good fun. As we zoomed over the the town of Vik we watched the children dive in to the cold waters as we continued to drive left, out of town. The drive was cool and exhilarating in the afternoon sun, as we weaved down the tiny lane to middle of a secluded fjord. Framfjord is hardly bulging at the seams with population of around 50 but for some reason this tiny fishing cove has a reasonably sized corner shop. Twice the size of than any of its neighbouring homes. The calm waters, mustard coloured seaweed and chittering seabirds provide the village with an air of tranquility. We stood at the mouth of the mountain stream as it flowed in to the fjord, looking out in to the deep waters. We stood for a while just lost in the moment and enjoying the simple life.

Our bread crumb route back to Vin was just as exciting especially driving under the splashing waterfall. On route we spotted the perfect overnight spot, so we chucked Eor in the garage, shut shop and headed up to the headland at Vangsnes. Now this is a perfect fjord viewing point. Located on a fertile peninsula covered in fruit trees that jut out on to the south side of the Sognefjorden. Roughly half way along Norway’s longest fjord. Over the water, the village of Balestrand lies to the northwest and the villages of Leikanger-Hermansverk lie straight east. We have amazing views both up and down the Sognefjord with its many little inlets, twists, turns and big bumps.

A wander to our rear, Vangsnes Church (closed!) but we kept the best until the last, the statue of Fridtjof. As soon as we saw the name we remember Rasmus telling us about this place. Aha, we sighed. This 34 foot statue located on a 40 foot platform…the king of Ringerike and Sogn according to Friðþjófs myth. The statue was commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany in 1913.

Our sleep spot tonight..on an elevated headland looking over several fjords, great 270 degree view. With our own personal 34 ft body guard Fridtjof.

GPS position N061.171905, and E006.640382

Route: Myrkalen to Vargsnes

Weather: Low 12 and high 31…slight dip in the temp but still cracking the flags.

Our Sleep Spot, Vargsnes

Our Sleep Spot, Vargsnes

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