Wednesday: Aug 20, 2008

(cesta na sever od Sognefjordu podel ledovce Jostedalsbreen, vylet na ostrov Vågsøy)

On Wednesday, we first followed road E16 to Lærdal and Borgund, there we turned north, took the ferry to Kaupanger, then road 5 to Sogndal, then 625 and 1 to Skei and Byrkjelo, followed by road 60 to Olden and Stryn, where we joined road 15 west and drove first to Nordfjordeid, where we booked a hotel and then followed road 15 west all the way to Vågsøy island.

The Sognefjord area is pretty mountainous. After we left Aurland, we first went through two long tunnels to Lærdal (the longer one was an amazing 25 km) and from there we took a little detour to visit one of Norway's most famous stave churches in Borgund. This one was built at the end of the 12th century and hasn't had a major reconstruction since.


Then we turned around and crossed the Sognefjord on a ferry. The mountain sides around it were so steep again that the moment we left the ferry, another tunnel was waiting for us (you can see it gaping at the bottom). In Norway, you better enjoy scenery while you can, because you never know where another tunnel lurks and how long it would be.


The mountains to the north of Sognefjord are quite high and they are home to Europe's largest glacier Jostedalsbreen. When we emerged from the tunnel we caught our first glimpse of it.


A bit later, we made a short stop at the Glacier Museum in Fjærdal.


Every now and then, the Jostedalsbreen would stick its icy tongue at us.


At one point we were separated from the glacier only by a 2 hour hike.


In summer, glaciers don't have much to do except for a bit of water shedding, which drains into numerous cascading waterfalls...


...which coalesce into wild rivers that carry the waters into the nearest lake or fjord.


Glacial lakes have almost surreal colors.


As we continued our journey north from Sognefjord to Nordfjord, we encountered a herd of pretty relaxed goats, which didn't mind sharing the road with motorists.


Horses were a different story though, and you had to bribe them...


...before they let you take a picture of them.


As we were passing the mountain range that separated us from Innvikfjord, the vegetation became sparse and we spotted lots of old sheds and barns.


And then we started our descent to Innvikfjord, the Easternmost branch of Nordfjord, which we stayed close to for the rest of the day.


The journey alongside Nordfjord was full of picturesque landscapes - mountains and fjords playing their usual tug-of-war.


At the end, we drove all the way to the Atlantic coast and the island Vågsøy, which was connected to the mainland through a proudly arched bridge...


...from which we could take a photo of the island's largest city: Måløy.


From there we first circled the island clockwise and arrived at a little settlement on its western coast.


The ocean surge there was so strong that it eroded the rocky shore into bizarre shapes...


...of which the most prominent was a stone known as "Kannesteinen".


It looked even better with the Atlantic ocean in the background.


At "Kannesteinen" the road ended, so we returned to Måløy and took a different road leading to the northern tip of the island.


We passed several farms...


...but once we climbed a bit, the character of the vegetation changed again.


Since we were directly exposed to the Atlantic ocean, the wind in this part of the island was pretty strong and Norwegians made good use of it.


The road then descended back into lower elevations and its last stretch lead through a pretty lush countryside again.


Finally, we arrived at a little fishermen's settlement...


...where we left our car in the parking lot and took a short hike to the Kråkenes lighthouse.


The lighthouse was squeezed on a tight rocky promontory, and the only way for us to take a picture of it was ... climb into the opposite slope.


And then, as the sun was completing its daily journey, we returned to our car and drove back to Nordfjordeid, where we had previously booked a hotel.

Next --- Index