For search, I am a Google fan. But I definitely visit Bing once a day…to check out the beautiful home page. They do pick up the most tempting pictures!!! The Trollstigen Mountain Road was added to our Norway itinerary thanks to Bing…it had the most awesome picture, coincidentally when I was planning this trip!
Hurtigruten cruises are another very popular way to experience the Norway fjords. They have a several day cruise from Bergen in the South all the way up to Kirkenes in the North. Though we didn’t have the time (and money!) for that, there is an option to join the cruise for a day in between.
So the plan was to get from Molde to Geiranger via the Trollstigen, from where we could join the cruise and experience the Geirangerfjord, which is famous for ‘The seven sisters’ waterfalls and the fact that is is on UNESCO’s world heritage sites list. From there cruise goes to Ålesund and back to Molde.
What is Trollstigen and what is so special about it. You have to see it to believe it… its steep…very steep with an incline of 9% and 11 hair pin bends up a mountain side!!! And encircling this are the mountains I mentioned earlier also -The King(Kongen), the Queen(Dronningen) and the Bishop(Bispen), now easier to recognize from the bus. The road winds all the way up to Stigrøra (858 metres above sea level).
At the top of the mountain, there is a viewpoint. On the way to the viewpoint and all over in Norway we noticed these piles of stone…(even in my earlier trip to Nordkapp I had noticed and wondered what they were). It seems that this is Local Graffiti….’WE WERE HERE!!!’. Honestly we didn’t make one of our own…there were already so many and some were really artistic!
There is a wired mesh…strong one on which can walk above a gushing Stigfossen waterfall. As you stand on it and look below, it feels you are going to get swept with the water, Nice effect!
From there the bus goes through Valldal, know as the strawberry village. Strawberry farms on both sides of the road and it was peak season so we caught many people picking strawberries. At several places, children were selling these fresh strawberries and cherries.
Children will be the same all over the world. They love getting their snap clicked, whether they get the snap in the end or not. So as I was about to click a snap of one boy selling the berries, and suddenly a girl from the other site, just dumped her basket and came charging to get into the snap!
A wild river runs through the Valldal valley creating several nice waterfalls, many of which are next to the road, so that we could stop and see them close. Though small, the force of the water was too much and it’s a very quiet place, so that one can actually enjoy the sound of water.
We follow the Eagle road, which has the most awesome views of the Geirangerfjord before we reach Geiranger and get on to the Hurtigruten.
We had just settled down and the cruise people were announcing some names…when we said, “what if our names are announced?”. And next thing…’Ms Daxini and Ms Nurpuri….please report to the reception immediately!’.
:-) False alarm…they just wanted to give us the boarding cards.
The Seven Sisters was a bit of a let down. It seemed not enough rainfall this year and so there were not the 7 distinguishable waterfalls. But the overall beauty of the fjord more than made up for it.