Naerofjord

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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10 Responses

  1. Kim says:

    Wow! The switchbacks remind me of Lombard Street in San Francisco. Is that boat in weeds or in a marsh?

  2. Leslie says:

    Crazy Roads! What are the pictures at the end of your post?(The white tent with several people and the boy and man)

    • Breeanne says:

      I think they are of the Viking Market, but I don’t really know. All these people were dressed up in period costume, sewing and jousting and stuff, but there were no tourists around to watch them. It was just me, staring awkwardly from the gas station parking lot.

  3. Kirk says:

    Seriously, those roads and your bikes are not a match! Now is the time to throw the souvenirs from Greece in the nearest round file and anything else that’s non essential.

  4. Peter says:

    All I can say is WOW! Finally got a chance to catch up on reading/looking and comment. Bree, this is fantastic! I know how much work it is to document and you’re creating an art masterpiece! Photos are stunning and the writing totally captures the experience (my hip is hurting and I’m feeling the cycle grinding leg pain–but I’m also immersed in landscape beauty, riding thrill and exploration spirit). You’re both great writers and photographers-thanks for the virtual vacation! Looking forward to more details when you return.

    Peter

    BTW…what kind of camera are you using?

    • bnjmnmrtn says:

      Peter, thank you, you are kind! I don’t know if we’ll have left anything unshared by the time we get home. 🙂

      We shoot with a travel worn Nikon D90 and occasionally a Nikon point and shoot (I think the model is P310).

  5. Miara says:

    These pictures are beautiful! Everything is so green. Yesterday Colton and I went to the library amidst a giant thunder and lightening storm (which we’ve had a lot of and your lawn is doing great) and checked out literally 20 travel books on Britain, and all the pictures look as green as where you guys are. I’m jealous.

    • Breeanne says:

      Haha, it is super green here because it freaking never stops raining! I’m going to be wet for a straight month I’m afraid! Are you guys going to Britain?

      • Miara says:

        Haha that’s okay, it’s hot enough here to dry you out in five seconds. I think if we go anywhere I want it to be Scotland/Ireland first. I’ve always wanted to go there. So we’ll see haha. Not anytime soon though, maybe next year.

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