Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Norwegian Map Comes Alive

Written by Karen.
We left Averøya early in the morning for one of the several ferry rides we would take on this day.  Our day-long road trip was ambitious - more than 450 driving kilometers in total - but with a car full of five adults and plenty of cakes and coffee packed in the back, we knew that we would be having a great time together.   And, we would be seeing some majestic scenery along the way.  

We planned to explore the Geiranger Fjord, drive on the Ørnevegen, or the Eagle's Road, as well as the infamous serpentine Trollstigen, or the Troll's Road.  We would also drive on the fantastically-engineered Atlanterhavsveien or the Atlantic Road, which now connected Averøya by road and not just by ferry any longer.  

These four places are but a sampling of the extraordinary and exquisite beauty that lie within the Møre and Romsdal county of northwestern Norway. Not surprisingly, this road trip goes right to the very top of extraordinary drives that one should make in their lifetime. Really. An absolute must.

On the Geiranger Fjord.  Up ahead, we'll be seeing the Seven Sisters and the Bridal Veil waterfalls.  The water was green and calm as the ferry made it's way alongside the almost impossibly steep mountain walls. You can still see farms and homes clinging to the mountain sides, and you wonder how they managed to live on such an incline and not simply slide down into the water. We heard that often people wore ropes around themselves as a safety measure.  
Getting ready to disembark and enter into the small town of Geiranger.  

The Eagle's Road - aptly named as it seemed that we were high enough to soar with the eagles.  We make extremely tight turns as we slowly make our way up to 620 meters above sea level. Hikers and other visitors stacked rock monuments at the top instead of tagging, 'I was here.'

The scenery changed with every twist and turn of the road.  We stopped at every opportunity as I tried to capture the extraordinary beauty and majesty before us with my camera.  The cool cloudy weather would suddenly shift and a ray of light would highlight another vista.  

As we continued down the Eagle's Road, we could see tiny houses with grassy roofs.  What a view they must have!  What solitude!  We found out these buildings are for the cows during the summer grazing months.  
Geiranger Fjord from the Eagle's Road 
The changing clouds and rays of sunlight changed the mood and the vistas constantly.  Each moment we saw another part of the picture that was highlighted by the shifting winds and sunlight.  Often we would just stand at the side of the road and stare at the beauty before us.
On our way to the Troll's Road 
The Troll's Road has a 9% incline and consists of 11 hairpin curves.  It is extremely dramatic to drive along the paved ribbon as it cuts through the rocky mountains.  The mountains surrounding the road are called the King, the Queen and the Bishop. 
There's a viewing deck that flies over the edge - complete with a glass floor! - that makes you feel as if you are flying, or hurtling down towards the base of the mountain!  It's not for the faint of heart, but the views and the flying sensations are amazing!
Stacked rocks.  As the sun starts to set, the "figures" of the King, Queen and the Bishop are seen in shadow to our right.  
The Atlantic Road is an engineering marvel stretching 8 kilometers from Kristiansund and Molde in the county of Møre and Romsdal.  It curves upward and over the cold Norwegian ocean waters below. The engineers took a chance to push the boundaries and create something unique and different in a dramatic setting.  
The road goes from island to island - connecting the dots - allowing you to drive along the remote coast.  The starting and ending point to a perfect road trip.


Jennifer Chase said...

Absolutely breathtaking. Wonderful photographs. Thanks so much for sharing.

Observers of Life said...

Thanks Jennifer! Take care :)