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“Day 2…Gran to Gjendesheim along Sognefjellet Road, a scenic drive…”


We left around 10am on Friday, not particularly knowing where we were headed, but sort of in the direction of Jotunheimen National Park. First stop was at Rema 1000 to pick up some snacks and drinks, then we continued. The roads were windy but there was so much to see!We stopped at a fuel station at lunch time, tried to figure out how to fill up as everything was in Norwegian. I don’t mean we didn’t know how to actually fill the car, what I mean is we didn’t know if we paid before we fill up or after. I the end we just lifted the nozzle and filled up before heading in to pay and treating ourselves to a bacon wrapped hotdog. It was delicious.All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the rain pelted down on us. It was literally like a monsoon for about five minutes, then stopped and we were back to blue sky and sunshine. In the distance we could see snow capped mountains and that was the direction we were headed.We passed by stunning blue lakes surrounded by luscious green hills and then we started climbing. The tunnels pass through the hills into pitch black and then back out again. Our headlights and full beam did nothing to aid our vision in these tunnels and very nearly resulted in a couple of collisions! Soon enough the temperature dropped from a very hot 29 degrees, to a cold 15 degrees. Whilst I know 15 isn’t exactly cold, it was more like stepping off a plane from Africa, into Antarctica, or that’s how it felt anyway. Still, was we had stumbled upon was beautiful.It was a stunning semi frozen lake at the bottom of the mountains which housed crystal clear turquoise water. I have no idea where we were at this point nor what road we were on either but it was spectacular. I think at this point we had ventured onto route 53 which is another scenic drive but don’t quote me on it!At about half three we had entered Songefjorden and a town below us called Øvre Årdal. The road up to where we were was windy, steep in places and full of tunnels through the hills. In the distance you could see a stunning turquoise lake but sadly we couldn’t stop to take photos. That is the only thing Norway is lacking currently, the pull ins on the scenic drives so you can stop and admire the stunning beauty around you. We continued to a cute little town called Fortun along the Tindervegen, before heading up and incredible road full of the tightest hairpin bends we have encountered and the most incredible views back over the mountains.As you can see, the roads just kept winding up and up into the mountains. We stopped at a viewpoint to take a few pictures then continued on our way. All of a sudden we had gone from slightly snowy mountains, to full blown snow.Here we were in Korpen. A little further along the road took us past Bøverdalen where we saw Norwegian Cross Country Ski Team practicing on the looooong trail.You could clearly see the trail marked out ahead of us and pools of stunning turquoise water breaking through the snow. Everywhere we looked was just beautiful.The snow did start to disappear after a while but the views still remained just as wonderful. We’ve been lucky enough to undertake some fantastic drives on our many travels, but I think this one definitely ranks up near the top.We passed waterfalls cascading down the hilltops breaking through the snow in parts, passing Nufshaug and Dumdalen before reaching more stunning turquoise water.I can honestly tell you that no photos I have taken of the parts we have seen of this beautiful country, do it justice. It is just breathtakingly beautiful everywhere you look! I have fallen in love with Norway. The houses out where we were had grass roofs, they were in the middle of nowhere pretty much and just looked like such a great place to live! We then went hunting for Galdhøppigen, Northern Europe’s Highway peak towering at 2469m. Inside Jotunheimen National Park there are over 250 summits teaching above 2000m! We did find a road that lead to Galdhøppigen (another toll road), and when we reached the top of the road we thought led us to the mountain, or as close as it would take us, there was a barrier so we decided to turn around and head to Lom. By this time, as you could probably imagine (being SO thoroughly prepared like usual), we had nowhere to stay, no actual food and were running low on drinks. So we stopped in Lom, swung into a coop to pick up a map and use the WiFi to find somewhere to stay. Turned out the only place to stay cost £130 for one night! That room better have been made of gold. Feeling like this was an unsuccessful place to stay for us, despite it being pretty and feeling a bit like a ski town, we persevered and continued along Route 15 and back down Route 51 (another beautiful drive) until we hit Randsverk. At least they had toilets!Still stumped on our plan, we eventually reached a sign for Gjendesheim, which was where we had planned to park and start our hike over the Besseggen Ridge on the Saturday (first day of the year the boat runs to Memurubu). In the end we decided to drive until we found the next ‘town,’ which was over a plateau of snowy mountains and lakes. We reached a cute, what I would call ski town, that sort of reminded us of a very small Banff, called Beitostølen.Feeling the hunger, we sought out Peppe’s Pizza, treated ourselves to a ham pizza, which was DELICIOUS!!!!! Then proceeded to head back the way we’d come and find a lay-by to sleep in.Not a bad view from our bed/car I must say! Still, the sun set, (ish), we got comfortable (not) and set about falling asleep (for an hour…)The most we had to block out the light was a towel (not sure where we were planning on swimming to) and Nathan’s hoody (mine was too heavy). The photos above are taken at 1130pm and again at 240am, as you can see, the sun never quite got to sleep. Neither did we…….

Until next time…

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