Tuesday, July 16, 1996 -- ┼ndalsnes - Stryn

Preparing to go up the serpentine road

 A short break just before the Trollstigs road

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When we woke up this day the weather had turned to the better. The rain was over and the clouds not as thick as before and the sun seemed to want to push its rays through. We ate a very simple breakfast and cleaned out the cabin before we headed off towards the Trollstigs road. The road there went through a valley and it looked like it suddenly just ended when a wall rose before us, but that is where the Trollstigs road takes over. When you drive up a serpentine road on a motorcycle it will of course be a lot quicker than with a car and a lot quicker than a bus. So it was rather typical that we would end up trailing a bus slowly making its way up the mountain. The road was steep and narrow and it was not at all easy to over take, it was actually quite impossible. We had to stay behind the bus breathing diesel fumes for a while hoping that the bus driver would eventually let us pass. Finally after a left hand hairpin turn it looked like he was going to as he seemed to slightly pull aside and slow down. So Claes who was first in line started to overtake, and so did I who was following next. Just as I was accelerating the bus started to move over to the left side of the road and the space to overtake was reduced alarmingly fast!
Getting closer...

 At the foot of the Trollstigs road

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Claes had past the bus, but for me I had two choices. Either to break as hard as I could or keep going. On one side I had a big heavy tour bus and on the other side a small railing followed by a very steep slope down the mountain. During a fraction of a second I decided to keep going, a decision that could have ended in tears. When I was almost completely past the bus I felt how I was pushed out towards the railing of the edge of the road. My bike touched the railing and then bounced back into the road again. Thankfully I has by then passed the bus so I bounced back into an empty road instead of being crushed between several tons of tour bus and the railing, or maybe a fate even worse, being pushed past the railing and down the mountain. It was a very narrow escape, but it hadn't hit me how close it actually had been so I was more worried about the bike instead. Had one of the plastic side covers broken, or had I escaped with only scratches? I looked down while still driving for a quick visual but I was surprised to see nothing.

The Trollstigs road as seen from the lookout point

  The Trollstigs road...

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After only a few more turns we had reached the Trollstigs road lookout point so we stopped, like everyone do, to enjoy the views over the winding serpentine road below. The first thing I did after parking the bike was to take a closer look at it. I knew I had bumped into the railing quite hard, so there must be some sort of damage. Claes who had come over was first to spot it. It was the side stand that had taken a blow. That was lucky! The squared end had one of the corners cut off at the impact with the railing. Relieved by that the damage was nothing to worry about, I joined the others and we walked over to the lookout point to see the magnificent views of the valley and the Trollstigs road.

Geiranger

 A view over the town of Geiranger

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After the Trollstigs road we descended down again to sea level as we had to cross one of the numerous Norwegian fjords. So we had to take a ferry, the first on this trip, from Linge to Eidsdal. Then up over another mountain, and down again on the other side via another serpentine road. Our next stop was Geiranger, a very scenic little town at the very end of the Geirangerfjord. It has been a big tourist attraction since the first tourist ships sailed in as early as 1869.

During our stop in Geiranger we called and made a reservation for a cabin further south. We continued to Dalsnibba, a mountain peak (5000 ft) with a lookout point, not far from Geiranger. We had heard that it had snowed up there the day before, and we could indeed see some if it still there on the side of the road. Most of it had melted and it had made the gravel road rather soft and even muddy here and there.
Geez it's cold!

 Up on the mountain peak Dalsnibba

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When we had reached the top it was really cold and rather windy. Just above our heads we had thick gray clouds lying like a lid on top of it all. It felt like you could just reach up and grab a hold of it. We enjoyed the views over Geiranger and the fjord and had some fun trying to see how far we could throw snow balls before they hit the mountain far below. A lot of people had gathered on the peak even a day like this one with cold and gray weather.

Our journey continued south towards Stryn where we had a cabin waiting for us. After having been on road 63 for quite a while we now turned right on to road 15 soon after Dalsnibba. This road took us through a couple rather long tunnels before we reached the campground with our cabin, a cabin that was a whole lot bigger and nicer then the one we had the previous night up in Åndalsnes. The weather was still rather cold and gray and it rained every now and then. We were hoping for a change the next morning, because we wanted to go up to Stryn Summer Ski Center for some downhill skiing in the middle of the summer. That should be fun! We ended the evening with a trip into the town of Stryn to do some shopping and to eat pizza.