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Across the Arctic circle and over the Fjell

rain 10 °C
View Around the Baltic Sea on maxari's travel map.

Coming off the boat in Bodo we had to stock up, so we went in search of the next supermarket. As we had not had internet access in a while we had not had the opportunity to pay off our credit card bill for a while, but we just hoped we still had some left on it. But at the supermarket checkout, our credit card was refused. Great. The cashier was being very nice about it and even showed Max the way to a cash machine and placed our groceries in a refrigerator for us. While Max was walking away to get cash, a Swiss bicyclist knocked at Bruce's door asking Katie if he could trade Swiss Francs for Norwegian Kroner as he had lost his bank card. So, we went back to the cash machine and bought his Francs. He explained that the banks in Norway would not buy his Francs, so he was really stuck. There was quite a difference in his way of travelling and ours. We're glad we could help him out.

We did not hang around Bodo for too long as we would be back by boat. This night we slept by the side of a small pretty lake in the hills near Rokland.

Wednesday, 11th of September the road started climbing into the mountains and the high plateau landscapes called Fjell. We went along a wild river for a while.
There were the remains of a 1940s era car by the river quite far down from the road. What was the story there?

Eventually we reached the highest point of the plateau at 680m and soon after the Arctic Circle Centre. We could not resist the lure of the obvious tourist trap and went on a small shopping spree. Soon afterwards, we left the Arctic behind. We would soon come back, however.

A long and winding road went down at the other side of the Fjell. We left the main road and headed towards the coast again. There were several tunnels (one was 24km (15 miles) long!) and then a big suspension bridge. It was fairly windy and we crossed the bridge carefully. Bruce did not seem to feel the wind, though and we made it to the other side. We stayed in a mostly empty camp site by the fjord near Sandnessjoen with a view of the mountain range called 'the Seven Sisters'. Legend has it that one of the Norse demigods called Rider had his eye on the king's daughter and when she refused him chased her and her seven sisters across the land. The sisters eventually fell down exhausted. But the princess kept running. In anger Rider took one of his arrows and shot it after the fleeing princess. At that moment the king stepped in and threw his hat in the way of the arrow saving his daughter. Where his hat fell is now a mountain called Torghatten which features a 30m wide hole. Once a year the sun can be seen through it.
The next morning it was rainy and stormy and the Sisters hid behind the clouds. We decided to head back to the main road and make our way south. We had an appointment to keep!

We did a driving day to make some distance. All along we noticed how the landscape became greener and the hills more gentle. We had not seen fields in quite a while!

That night we stopped at a parking lot at the start of some hiking trails right by the beach. It was very clean there, probably because there were free public restrooms available.

For our next stop we decided to drive up a very windy road into another Fjell and stayed at a camp site at 1000m altitude. It was windy and very cold. Hats and gloves and several layers of clothes cold. There may have been frost at night.

The next day we drove through more Fjell country, stopping at a nice lake for lunch.

At the foot of the Fjell it started raining and it did not stop. We saw a hundred or so waterfalls. Streams coming down the mountains. Some did not make it down as the wind blew the water back up. Several tunnels later we arrived at Undredal, a small village at Aurlandsfjord that could only be reached by boat until they dug the tunnels in 1988. Its claim to fame is Norway's smallest stave church which was closed. Hmm. We found our spot on the tiny camp site in the centre of town and settled down for the night. Outside it was still raining. At night we woke up several times hearing loud noises that sounded like some giant was throwing around boulders, but muffled like he did that under water. The stream next to the camp site was almost up to its banks (Max checked at night, trying to figure out if it was still safe to stay here). And the river was clearly transporting big boulders down stream and deposited them into the fjord. The noise was going all night. In the morning of Sunday, 15th of September the water had come down, but the river looked different. On the way out of town there were two landslides across the road, but not so bad that we couldn't get past. It was still raining. All the rivers and lakes we passed on our way to Bergen were well up to their banks and often over.

We arrived at Lone Camping in Lone , a town just east of Bergen. The next morning Katie flew over to Oslo to pick up our special guest and Max did some house keeping to get Bruce into shipshape condition.

Interlude: Katie and special guest take the train from Oslo to Bergen
Next destination: MS Richard With, Bergen to Bodo

Posted by maxari 03:13 Archived in Norway

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