After spending a few days relaxing in the Rondane range, we ventured west towards the spectacular UNESCO protected Geirangerfjord. It was a fairly long drive but lucky for us the scenery on the way was stunning and there was always something to look at. Even in the peak of summer, gushing waterfalls soar down sheer cliffs, turquoise rivers snake through the deep valleys and if you look far enough you can even see snow-capped mountains reflecting in the sunshine. Photo opportunities were endless which left me hurriedly deleting photos from my full sim card as I slipped the camera out of the car window to try to get a sneaky shot.
We took the E6 from Dombas and continued onto the E136 along the scenic Raumabanen, one of Norway’s most spectacular railway lines. This is the home of the mountain massif Trolltindene “Troll Peaks” in the Romsdalen Valley where sheer rock walls stretch into the sky at dizzying heights. We couldn’t help stopping at Trollveggen “Troll Wall” where we were greeted by a massive convoy of leather clad bikers and mad mountaineers looking to scale the mountain. Trollveggen is the highest vertical rock face in Europe, also made famous by a scene in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Base jumping from Troll Wall has been illegal since 1986, shortly after Carl Boenish was killed.
Not sure if I’d fancy scaling this….
If ,like me, you don’t fancy a potential suicidal attempt of mountaineering, there is a lovely cafe near the tourist centre where you sit on the bleachers in the sunshine and ogle at the towering crags above you.
And don’t forget to say hello to the friendly troll – he won’t bite I promise 🙂
We then continued along the E136 until we reached the Rv63 . It wasn’t long until we hit the dreaded Trollstigen “Trolls Path” – a succession of gut wrenching 11 hair pin bends on a steep gradient of 9%. Eekkkkkkkk…
Apparently my niece Mia, knows best when it comes to directions.
We eventually got our courage up and joined the convoy of cars snaking their way up the steep mountain. The views are spectacular! Just make sure you don’t take your eyes off the road – it is very narrow in most areas.
The drive to the top is certainly worth it for the breathtaking views of the waterfalls, lush valleys and deep ravines below. Venture to the furthest view point for the most impressive birds’ eye view of the valley. The road is closed in winter so is best visited in summer when there is good visibility.
On the way to Geiranger make sure you stop at Valldal. Here you can enjoy strawberries at their best at Jordbaerstova. Try the svele (local pancake) served with creme fraiche and homemade strawberry jam. It’s thick and fluffy like an American pancake but folded in half in the shape of a crescent. It’s a real delicacy in western norway and has a strong tradition as a food enjoyed in the fjords and ferry travels.
After a short ferry trip, we continued towards Geiranger on the Ørnevegen (the Eagles Way) – a spectacular mountain drive which plunges deeply towards the geirangerfjord.
Finally we reached our destination! I think we all deserved a couple of glasses of akvavit at the end of it but it was definitely worth it. It was one of the world’s most beautiful drives and I would recommend it to anyone travelling to Norway. Stay tuned for my next adventure in Geirangerfjord.