Here is a follow-up on my trip to Trondheim, which took us cross country, over the mountain areas of Filefjell and Dovre. Dovre, a huge nature reserve and very popular with bird watchers, also features as part of the oath made back in 1814 by the men who signed Norway’s constitution, so that’s what I associate with the name. Why Dovre? It is the mountain range that is most closely associated with Norwegian identity and lore (which Ibsen made use of in “Peer Gynt”).
I took few photos from day 1 – Bergen to Dombås. The bus kept speeding past everything worth photographing. (I did comment to the tour guide that, in future, they should stop for photo ops. It is a beautiful and photogenic country. Oddly, the Norwegians in the group didn’t see the point. Come to think of it, I was the only one with a camera around her neck every time we stepped off the bus.)
We made a stop in Voss, a large town built on the wealth of its surrounding farms. Though we go up and over mountains from Bergen to get to Voss, it is only 50 meters above sea level (so’s my street). From there we headed for Gudvangen and Flåm (and that means the UNESCO heritage-listed fjord of Nærøy) and into the Lærdal tunnel. I had been looking forward to that because I’d heard so much about it. It was a let-down, and I’ll return to it at some other time, because it got me thinking about roads and that’s a rant for another post.
Voss church. I’ve been inside because the first funeral I ever attended took place in it. Nice church, sad funeral.
The plateaus of Norway roll off into mountainsides that are quite easy to climb. Every single mountain top in Norway has been scaled, and many are labeled as easy hikes, especially in the area we drove through. The mountains of Norway are old, and like other beings that are old, tend to be stooped in shape, bald and gray. Lower down, they are cluttered with trees. The sides of the roads are cluttered with trees. If our views aren’t interrupted by a tunnel, they’re interrupted by a bunch of *$#%& trees. Save the rainforest! Come to Norway and chop our trees! (Please!) OK, so that’s one frustration of driving in Norway. At least in a bus you can see over a bit of stuff better than from a car.
Another frustration traveling in Norway, well, make it two: If you are a vegetarian, bring your own food. Everything’s meat or fish, and I saw no ready-made salads or salad bars except in the hotel. The second frustration was the heat. There is no air conditioning in Norway, and we were unfortunate our first day that the bus’s air conditioning wasn’t working right. (Our driver got it fixed by the next day, the good man.) So we barreled into our lunch stop for the day and wiped them out of sandwiches. Nobody wanted the hot meals of meat and potatoes; a salad bar would have been perfect. The place, in Tyin, did offer my one chance at photographing a moose. (We later saw one, but sped by too fast for photos; yes, we all went “Moose!” because we don’t have those critters on the western side of the mountains. Yet.)