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Day 7: Time to say goodbye to Bergen.
Today we left the city on our way up north. In the first part of the ride it felt like we spent more time in tunnels than outside. We guess there were around 20-30 tunnels in total today.
But after we left the E39/E16 and switched to our good old friend Rv13 everything changed (except the cloudy weather). Our first big stop was an unplanned one. Suddenly we saw a street sign pointing out a waterfall. Since we have not seen or heard of it in our planings, we didn’t expect much. But it came different. The Tvindefossen is really a nice waterfall which gets divided into 2 parts.
After the Tvindefossen the landscape and scenery were fantastic again. The road lead up high into the mountains where we drove through some very special places. The nature colors were already in deep autumn and with the cloudy sky they combined to create a dramatic scenery.
On the other side of the mountains, we drove down to a little town called Vik. This town is known for 2 churches. A stone church and one of the typical norwegian stave churches. The stave church in Vik goes by the name Hopperstad Stavkirke. A very impressive building of wooden architecture. It was built around the year 1130 and still stands at its origianl location. It is also one of the oldest stave churches still standing.
After taking the ferry to Dragsvik the road continued in many steep turns higher and higher up into the mountains. A viewpoint platform symbolized the end of that passage and we took another stop to look back down. Amazing, as you can see on the picture. Unbelievable was, that 2 farmers were collecting their sheep also up here and just walked down the road without being concerned of the cars and trucks 🙂 From the viewpoint platform you have an amazing overview of the surrounding mountains and the valley below, as well as the turns of the road up here.
This road lead us to our final destination of today. The Fossestien. Fossestien means “Path of Waterfalls”. It is a huge natural habitat where you can go hiking in different directions. The hiking path along the Gaula river follows old trails leading from Gaularfjellet to Viksdalen valley. In total it is 21km of hiking paths, you can spot 14 waterfalls and 7 lakes, it´s huge. To access the Fossestien you have the option of 4 different starting points along the Rv13 road. We decided to spend the night here, directly next to the most famous of the 14 waterfalls, the Likholefossen. As you all know, we love to hike, so when we arrived here, we quickly changed into our hiking gear and went to discover the Fossestien. In our 2.5h hike we came by 2 big waterfalls, 1 lake, many little rivers, some muddy areas but all in all enjoying the fantastic nature and impressive views.
So as you might have already thought, in such a natural habitat there are no real big hotels. Correct! We rented a tiny cabin in the woods, without linen, without a bathroom, without a restaurant…yeah, basically 4 walls and a bunk bed!! The full on camping experience! Obviously we were not prepared for something like this, so we are going to use our towels as blankets and our pullovers as pillows, very creative 🙂 But the biggest problem we encountered: Food! Where do we get something to eat? We had nothing left in the car but 2 ceral bars and some apples. We had agreed to stop at a restaurant to have a nice warm meal when we saw one, the problem was, we never saw any! At the reception we saw a map with a symbol for a restaurant nearby. We hopped in the car, drove down and stood in front of a closed building with a sign saying “only opened on saturdays and sundays”. Ooooooook… That´s the problem when its not “high season”, we knew that, its part of the experience 🙂 We were too hungry to give up yet and continued driving down the mountain. Suddenly the navigation showed a sign for a gas station. At least there we could buy some sandwiches or something. And there it was, a little shop in the middle of nowhere, our rescue! As we walked through the shop, we had the brilliant idea to have the number 1 norwegian meal in our little cabin. “Grandiosa” Pizza! We also grabbed a bag of chips, chocolate cookies (very nutritious! hahaha) some mandarines and 2 smoothies. Back at the cabin I finally could use my swiss army knife for the first time, because the Pizza was too big for the oven. In the end, we had a warm meal and a lot of fun 🙂