Though rain splattered on our fly early this morning, by the time it we were packed up and ready to go, things had dried out a bit. We aimed our bikes north, left Voss, and got to pedaling up a series of river valleys with a gentle incline.
The canyons were thick with forest and the rivers almost glowed an emerald blue green, clear all the way to the bottom. Though the clouds sulked low above us, we never experienced more than a smattering of mist. Still, dampness of the air was heavy. Despite the fact that I was working hard and even a little sweaty, I just couldn’t seem to outrun the chill of the morning.
After a couple of hours, we arrived at the edge of a blue lake and then began descending down toward Gudvangen. A bit bewildered, I was convinced our ride couldn’t possibly be that easy, and right about then, a tunnel detour sign showed up (bikes can’t go through most tunnels) and we had to head uphill toward a hotel precariously perched on the side of the steep valley cliffs.
We’d heard rumors that the steepest road in Norway led to this hotel, so I braced for the worst, but when we reached the hotel, it had been nothing more than a fairly easy uphill roll. It was then that I realized we’d need to go down the steep road to get into town. Elated that for once we’d enjoy a downhill coast on a super steep road without pedaling up an equivalently steep incline, we headed down the switchbacks.
Every fifteen feet we’d stop to marvel at the insane steepness of the corkscrewing road. I can’t imagine who endeavored to build such a ridiculous road. This morning, we’d met some German cycle tourists who reported they’d come down from Gudvangen yesterday one one had said she’d ridden uphill through the tunnel to avoid this road. Now I understood why!
We soaked up the incredible fjord views, switchback by switchback until finally we reached the bottom. We had a powerful tailwind and the rest of our ride was downhill, but the ride was markedly uncomfortable because I was so cold. By the time we reached our campsite and Ben set up the tent, I burrowed myself inside in all our bedding and fell fast alseep. The cold day really took it out of me!
Later, Ben headed into town to explore a bit, taking a jaunt down an interesting side trail and checking out the waterfront. Tomorrow, we plan to hike around the area a little bit before taking the tourist ferry to Flam