Posts Tagged With: fjords

Bergen and Hardangerfjord

After finally having caught the ferry, road 7 to Bergen leads us along the Hardangerfjord, with 180km Norway’s second longest fjord which is not only popular for its sheer beauty but also for the many fruit trees along the shores. We drive past many pretty villages before eventually arriving in Bergen.

Hardangerfjord

We spend the night at a car park near the port as parking is free from 8pm. In the morning we desperately look for a free car park around town but it seems that you have to pay everywhere. Suddenly we come across a car park in a street called Klosteret 6-17, very close to the centre. We can’t seem to find any signs nor a parking meter so just freely park up. We hear someone say that the car park may be for residents only but shouldn’t there be a sign then? We give this one a try anyway as there are also other cars, including one other mobile home, parked up with foreign number plates. (So far we have been standing here for 2 days and haven’t received a parking ticket – touch wood)

When leaving to explore the city, we realise how much our waste water pipe is actually leaking. Since we are parked on an angle, water is running down over the car park and into a gutter. Logan tries to fix it but instead a much larger volume of water bursts out before he can attach it back on. Oops, I guess we need to buy some sealant.

Parking in Bergen

In Bergen our first destination is the Floibanen (www.Floibanen.com) which takes us up a hill from which we get to see all of Bergen city including the surrounding fjords. The price one way up per person is 40NOK (4,50EUR or $6,50).


We choose to walk back down, a good decision as we come across a real troll forest!

Troll Forest Bergen

Back down in the city, we walk along the hanseatic Brygge which is part of the UNESCO world heritage sites. We are sitting down for lunch and a drink at one of the beer garden-type restaurants outside and enjoy the sunny summer weather overlooking the port.

Nearby are the Bergenhus Fortress, the Mariakirke (church), shops, fish markets and also tourist market stalls. Eventually we get to the city centre and to the lake Lille Lungegardsvannet and this beautiful flower pavilion. Some students seem to have their graduation today and we keep seeing themed groups of young people running around in the streets, cheering and dancing everywhere.

Bergen

 

 

I also finally register my Telenor SIM card, only to find out afterwards that Telenor has changed prices and I’m strongly being recommended not to use internet with this sim card, as it is too expensive. What a waste of money, don’t buy Telenor! I stick with my German Vodafone sim and the 2EUR for 25MB packages per day for the rest of our trip.

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Kjerag Bolten, Norway

After Logan’s 40k(!) run yesterday, we are off on the big Kjerag Bolten adventure (pronunciation: Sherag). The Bolten is a boulder trapped inbetween two rock walls; it is suspended over 1000m above the Lysefjord.
To get to the Bolten, you start the walk from a restaurant up the serpentine road from Lysebotn.
Whether you get there with your own car, book a bus from the camp site in Lysebotn or hope for a hitch hike from the cars on the ferry.
We got here via the long southern road along the fjord. For photos please see previous blog post.

The parking fee for the day is 100NOK which is over 10€ or $16. You can pay in the restaurant. There are toilets and showers provided but at the end of the walk I have to find out that the showers (which are an extra 10NOK) don’t even work. I’m very disappointed about that looking at the overpriced parking fee that is “supposed to help maintain the car park and facilities”.

The walk is rated “very difficult”. After a few meters we have to make our way up a steep and sometimes slippery mountain. There is a chain fixated to the ground so hikers can hold on for safety. I like treks like these with a bit of a challenge. Red T-markers sprayed on rocks lead the way but there is no actual track. The views are fantastic from the first mountain. The end of the fjord, the town of Lysebotn and the mountains are visible from here.

(Bottem left photo)

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After the first mountain the T-markers lead us into a valley (upper left photo) where we need to cross a creek via a wooden bridge. There is so much mud around, it doesn’t take long until I step in a puddle (to Logan’s delight) and have a wet foot. Oops.
Proper trekking shoes would do a better job in this kind of terrain.

To be honest, I was hoping that there was only one mountain to climb but standing on top, we could see there was a second mountain behind the green valley.
Again the chains are helping the steep and treacherous way up but I’m getting exhausted and slow down Logan (who really should be more exhausted than me after his long run yesterday). He get’s a bit impatient with me, trying to hurry me because he thinks we may not make the ferry in the evening. But hey, I’m not THAT slow!
So on top of the next mountain, I realise there is a valley with a river and ANOTHER even much bigger mountain! It’s still so far away that the people climbing up, look like an ant colony to me. I’m uncertain about my abilities, especially because I can’t keep up with Logan anymore. He’s always about 50-100m infront of me, impatiently tapping his foot from time to time until I get closer again.
So down again, crossing the river aaaand up again! The monster mountain! Step by step, with aching legs, I’m climbing meter by meter
until we finally reach the top. It’s gotta be the end! We must be at the Kjerag Bolten finally. And then I see ant-sized people again! Oh no!!! It’s not a mountain this time, just a long way to walk over a rocky surface with crevasses and even some meter thick snow in parts. Tourist-made rock piles are decorating the landscape and a sign post is pointing the way to Kjerag Bolten.

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From the sign post it’s only a stone’s throw to the Bolten but the way down is precarious! A thin line of hard-packed snow leads through a crevasse towards the platform and the Kjerag Bolten. Right and left are big bolders below and falling or sliding off the thin snow track, wouldn’t be pretty. Walking very slowly over the very slippery snow, we make the crossing and get a first sight of the Kjerag Bolten. I immediately get an adrenaline rush thinking about going on the rock, as anyone here does, for a spectacular photo.
Logan is first and coming back, he re-assures me, it’s not all that bad. There actually is a line up of about 5 people before its my turn. A young women gets dizzy and goes right down on her knees, leaning backwards onto another bolder. A young man reached for her hand to pull her back on the main platform. Right infront of me is a dad with his maybe 5 year old daughter who is slightly freaked out. I can’t blame her, I’m scared too! Looking down the 1000m chasm didn’t help much either.
Now it’s my turn. “don’t look down and keep smiling for the video camera” I keep telling myself. I can feel my legs shake from the strainiousness of climbing for three hours and now the adrenaline adds to it. Logan seems
to keep filming for aaaaages. Finally he is done and I try to communicate to him to also quickly take a photo. He makes hand signs: “with what?” Then it seems
come to him that I gave him my phone.
“Click”!

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..Ok back to safety!!!
Wow that was exciting. We unpack our lunch and enjoy the view while eating.
Logan again asks for the time and I can proudly say: we made it in 2 hours and 30minutes. 3 hours is what it is supposed to take! I’m NOT slow Logan. 😉
A few more photos and we are making our way back over all three mountains which takes approximately the same time or a bit less. My legs start to get weaker and I slip a few times, adding some more mud to my shoes and pants.

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Exhausted we arrive back at the car park and I check whether the showers are working but as already mentioned they aren’t! So we have to make do with the sink and warm water tab in the disabled toilet.

Back down in Lysebotn, we are lining up for the tourist ferry to Forsand. The ferry is 640NOK = about 88€/$105 one way for two people and car/mobile home.
The trip takes 2 hours and we get to see the steep rock cliffs of the fjord, a seal baking in the sun, the Kjerag Bolten from below (see in photo), several waterfalls and hear stories about the locals here at the fjord.

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Arriving in Forsand, we find a perfect little spot to camp right at the fjord. Tomorrow we’ll try our luck fishing again!

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Norway Fishing Dramas

It’s so warm! Half asleep I throw down my blanket and turn around one more time, but it is so warm up here in the campervan bed. Then I open my eyes and see sun rays peaking through the small openings of the windows. Sun!!! Finally after days we have sunshine!
We pull out chairs and table and have breakfast outside, overlooking the Listafjord.
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After passing through Flekkefjord, the street gets narrow, sometimes only 3m wide, and very curvy. Going past deep chasms, cliffs, fjords and up to 400m-high and grey weather-beaten mountain scenery.
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I also tried to capture the beautiful and very unique architecture: from houses hidden below an overhanging rock wall (picture above), wooden churches or the typical idyllic Norwegian-style houses surrounded by large bolders, lakes and grazing sheep.
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Arriving in Egersund, we stop at a
sports store to buy some bait that may attract Norwegian fish better than our little neon yellow fish-bait. Logan also suggests we should buy more fishing line, as ours isn’t long enough. We go for the cheapest one which is still about 20€ and some stingsilda 28g bait for 10€. I read that one does the trick here in Norway.

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The landscape after Egersund is less mountainous, but instead a beautiful sandy beach borders onto hilly fields and forests.
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From Sandnes, near Stavanger, we drive east along the fjord, which I believe is still part of the Hillefjord and at the very end of the street we find a small village called Dale. We are basically across the fjord from Stavanger. Here we discover a small grassy spot right at the fjord to park on. As soon as the engine stops, we excitedly jump in the back and unpack the fishing accessories. Logan is first in and within 10 seconds he has a fish on the hook!!! (This is no exaggeration!) I couldn’t believe it! He throws it in a second time and within another 30 seconds he’s got another one but this time the fish is putting up a fight and … The fishing line tears!!!
I already had a feeling that the line was too thin when we reeled it onto the rod. Now this really is a problem. We lost one of the good bait and we don’t really want to loose the second one. Nor do we want the poor fish swimming around with hooks in their mouths.
How very frustrating!
The second problem is, that even the front part of the fishing rod itself broke off too!

Back at the Intersport store in Sandnes, we buy not just fishing line (this time the second strongest they have!) and more bait, we also buy (what we think are) floaties and even a new fishing rod. Over a hundred euros poorer we quickly get back to the same place… We better make up for this now by fishing every day and actually catching some too!

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Back at Dale with two rods, a stronger line and more bait, we keep fishing for an hour but pull nothing out but seagrass.
Also the floaties dont seem to stay afloat and sink with the bait.
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I wonder whether we’ll ever have any luck fishing???
We change location one last time to a spot only just south of Dale and try fishing from a jetty this time.
No fish.. An hour later, still no fish! My fishing rod keeps getting tangled and knotted up. During my last attempt I can’t seem to reel it in anymore as there are knots everywhere. I patiently de-knot what I can, while the hook with the bait is dangling at the bottom of the sea.
Finally I seem to be able to pull it out, obviously with a lot of seaweed on it as it is quite heavy.
I can’t believe my eyes what I then see emerging out of the water while I’m reeling it in: a crab! The first “fish” I ever caught is a CRAB?!?! I’m not all that happy about it, more so shocked! But Logan yells at me: “Pull it out!!!!!!”
Eeeew so we’re having crab for dinner, are we??

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Logan puts up a little fight with the crab, he’s a strong little creature! Then we take him up and throw him in boiling water. Poor thing, threw off one of his claws in stress.
Logan seemingly enjoys his crab dinner, while I only have a few small bites of his fish he caught earlier.

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Funny enough he hooked himself later that evening crying out for help, hahaha!

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