Part one – Driving routes

Norway is a country that has always fascinated me, I have seen photos and always thought how beautiful it is. The photos I have seen before and taken during our trip really do not do it justice.

I’d done some research and heard about the Nasjonale Turistveger, or the Norwegian Scenic Routes. They are driving routes with areas of interest along them to stop and enjoy. After some research and working out logistics and the time we had in Norway (we were only there for a week), we decided on three of the routes: Ryfylke, Hardanger and Hardagervidda. Then we drove to Bergan and spent two nights there, then back to Stavanger for one night.

We arrived late on the Friday evening, so spent the night in a hotel just by the airport and picked the car up the next day. Neither of us had driven a left hand side car, so the first day was a bit scary. We had done some research about driving in Norway; you have to have your head lights on at all times when driving and there a lot of troll roads. We agreed with each other not to shout at each other when driving to ensure we didn’t argue and also to remind each other to drive on the other side and have our lights on.

Ryfylke

This was our first drive and would take around three hours without any stops. We first of all stopped for a walk to Pulpit Rock or Lysefjorden-Preikestolen as it is called locally. Unfortunately we were unable to reach the rock as we would not be able to make it back before dark. The walk is estimated to take around four hours in total and from what I have seen totally worth the views, so if you can, I highly recommend going. I am not an experienced hiker, more a casual walker and it was tough but doable. We also stopped at a bridge in the village of Sand know as Hose Bru, we only saw it in the day but it would look amazing at night when it lights up. After driving all day and a hike we arrived at our Airbnb in Skare. It was this beautiful cabin on the road side, up a steep incline. It was totally back to basics, with no running water and the toilet was outside but that did not bother us, it was so cosy and warm.

Hardanger

This drive was going to take us around three hours without any stops and included two ferry crossings. In Norway, ferries are considered toll roads and the prices can vary, depending on length of the crossing and the season, so make sure you have some change in the car. Being someone that has only ever been on a ferry when I small to go to Disneyland, I was amazed by them; first of all how did they get so many cars on them, the spaces are so small and we only had a small car?!

We stopped first  at Latefoss, which is a waterfall just at the side of the road. There is not loads of parking near the waterfall but people didn’t stay for long so there was always a free parking space. You were able to climb up the waterfall as much as you could, it was slippery so you needed to be careful. The waterfall went under the road, so on the other side of the road you were able to explore more. It was just beautiful, a great spot to stop and take some photos.

We continued along the road and came across and small picnic area, we stopped and ate lunch surrounded by these beautiful mountains and the fjord. This areas was famous for selling fruit at the side of the road, we had stopped earlier and brought some apples and then found a stall selling apple juice, it was the best I have ever had.

Overnight we stayed at another Airbnb in a town called Borve. This time the owners rented out the bottom apartment of their house, so it was entirely ours with its own entrance. The small garden looked over the fjord and the sunset was beautiful.

Hardangervidda

We visited Norway in September and were so lucky with the weather. It was sunny the whole time we were there, this drive saw it get a little colder because we driving higher up. On the way we stopped at Voringsfossen waterfall. There are two different areas to park, first of all started from the bottom car park. It was only a short walk through the woods to get amazing views of the waterfall. We then drove to the second car park, where there is a walk way to the top of the waterfall. We managed to get there just before a bus tour of people did so got the views without many people charging about.

We stayed in another Airbnb that night in Geilo. It was an old traditional Norwegian timber cabin and it was beautiful. It was in a small residential area, the small car did struggle to get up the hill. But we were not disappointed, inside it was perfect, very cosy, with two bedrooms and close to the town.

Part two coming soon…

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