Monday, July 15, 1996 -- Lillehammer - Åndalsnes

"Need help with your luggage Claes?"

 Getting ready to leave Lillehammer Camping


The following morning we woke up to a beautiful day, the sun was shining and it was pleasantly warm. Breakfast was bought at a nearby gas station. It wasn't the most nutritious breakfast, but at least it filled our empty stomachs. We spent a couple of hours with exploring some of Lillehammer's Olympic establishments, among them the big ski jumping hill where we for a smaller fee could get all the way up in the tower and get a great view over the town and the surroundings. Around noon we left Lillehammer and continued northwest on E6. The road from Lillehammer towards Dombås goes through the Gudbrand valley and it is a very scenic area. As we got closer to Dombås we also started to climbed higher and when we reached Dombås it was actually really cold. Vi stopped to fill up on gas and to put on warmer clothes. It was a big difference from Lillehammer earlier the same day.
This was a  very well poulated spot in the winter of 1994

 Below the Olympic ski jumping hill

To make things even worse the clouds thickened and before we were on our way again it had turned totally gray and it had started to rain. After a while it turned really bad. In Dombås we turned off E6 which here continued north towards Trondheim. Instead we drove northwest on road E136.

We had planned to do the Trollstig road (a very winding mountain road) today, but the rain storm put an end to those plans. Already around 3 pm we thought it was best to try getting somewhere to sleep for the night. It would be absolutely horrible if we had to put up our tent in this kind of weather. We tried a few places along the road, but everything was full. Of course no one wanted to camp in this bad weather, everyone wanted to stay nice and dry in a cabin. We got the advice to continue to Åndalsnes which was a bit bigger town. Even if it meant a an unplanned detour we took that advice. When we drove into Åndalsnes we followed to signs towards the tourist information, but when we came there it was packed with people all wanting the same as we: a cabin for the night. While standing in line we over heard that it would be difficult to find something vacant. When it was our turn we were first told that everything was full, but if we did not mind going even further north, they might be able to find something for us.
"The Saviour Cabin"

 Our "drying cabin" north of Åndalsnes

We did not mind at all, because we did not want to put up a tent in the middle of a rain storm and get everything soaking wet. After a few phone calls they against all odds managed to get us a cabin, the last cabin in the entire area, they told us! It was over half an hour to the north, but that was totally fine with us. We made a reservation and drove off to drier grounds. We followed the directions we got at the tourist information and first managed to drive to the wrong set of cabins, but after that little mishap we were finally where we were supposed to be. When we walked up to the reception we could hear how the people waiting in line were told that they only had one cabin left but that was reserved for someone with the name Jonsson (which were us!) With a smile we announced our presence and took the last key in possession as the people hoping we would not show up left to try elsewhere (good luck to them!). Guess if we were relieved to have found roof over our heads for the night! The cabin quickly turned into a dryer. Both Niklas and Claes were soaking wet and soon there were clothes hanging everywhere. There was an electric hot plate for cooking in the cabin, and around that we rigged up a temporary drying rack with a stool and other things we could use to hang wet thing on. After a little while it was like a sauna in there and all the windows were soon misted over. Must have looked strange from the outside. Anyway, we slept very well that night with the rain pattering the roof.