We enter the land of the fjords and get introduced to Geiranger, the king of all fjords, they say. It is quite impressive and very majestic with its tall slopes and its aquamarine waters and its pretty waterfalls, it is a geological masterpiece for sure, but has not really made it to be our favourite. We tried a number of view points above the fjord, like Flydalsjuvet or the Dalsnibba lookout, high up in the mountains and spent a couple of days there hoping for the bad weather to pass and give us the chance to see the fjord in all of its glorious splendour. Even if the sun just very rarely shines in these three days.
Finally we embark ourselves in a ferry to experience it from close by.
Afterwards we take Aurlandsfjellet scenic road. The thing in Norway is, when you think you have driven the narrowest road in the world, there’s always another one which is narrower, but after this one, at least the 10 Km stretch that takes you up to the view point at Vedahaugane, I cannot anticipate that there will be anything narrower anywhere else. Worth it though, since the view point is quite amazing.
The Hardanger fjord will stay closer to our hearts, with softer slopes and rolling hills carpeted with apple, pear and plum trees and idyllic little towns, sitting quietly on its shores.
And if it´s waterfalls that you like, here there are aplenty. Just to mention two:
Steindalsfossen is quite neat, because you can walk on the back of the water curtain and see the surrounding landscape distorted by the liquid glass.
Then there’s Voringsfoss, which is utterly spectacular, with an impressive 182 meter plunge into a narrow canyon that carves its way into the horizon. Equally epic is the road to get there from the town of Eidfjord, which consists pretty much on a succession of spiralling tunnels that feel like travelling through a giant corkscrew sunk in the body of the mountains. The feeling is somehow hard to describe. Chapeau to the engineers that designed such a twisted thing.
Another engineering feat is the Hardanger bridge, that made it to the book of notoriety for being the longest suspension bridge between two tunnels in the world. If you have to be special for something it may as well be that.
Next stop is the Preikestolen, one of the most famous and spectacular hikes in Norway, that culminates in a flat cliff, plunging more than 600 straight down into the Lysefjord. I skipped this hike, but Christian tells me that is was amazing, and the photos speak for themselves, I guess.
Heading back out to the coast again, we find the pretty city of Stavanger, which is well worth a stroll to enjoy the waterfront and the old part of town, with its white wooden houses and steep cobbled streets.
But maybe the best of Stavanger are its surroundings, which are like the untouched scenery of a pastoral painting of the 19th century. An example is the island of Foloy, where we spend the night next a small lighthouse, surrounded by secluded beaches and green pastures, dotted with cows and sheeps that come curious to visit our camper van. The only sounds of the night are the sea and the cowbells.
Same goes for Karmoy, another island a bit more to the north, where white wooden towns are also the norm and we have a sandy beach practically for ourselves.
Another town to point out in the Southwest coast of Norway is Songdalstrand, with picturesque houses from the 17th and 18th centuries.
This is how we make it to Lindesnes, with a lighthouse marking the most southern point of continental Norway, some 2814 Km away, from Slettnes, the most northern lighthouse, which was one of our earliest stops in Norway. It feels like it was a long time ago.