Let the Jaw-dropping scenery begin!!!
Trip Start Jul 14, 2012
17Trip End Jul 29, 2012
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The transition from Oslo to the countryside happens quickly and we soon found ourselves in rolling hills, cute villages, lakes, and farms. The roadtrip today involved a series of mountain roads and ferries across the fjords in order to reach our hotel in Balestrand. The drive from Oslo to Laerdal to catch the first ferry was largely uneventful, with intermittent rain showers. The highlight was all of the waterfalls we saw along the way
We arrived in Laerdal with plenty of time to spare for our ferry, so we just enjoyed the break and had a little food and drink. Before we knew it, the van was on the ferry and we were on deck enjoying our cruise on the fjords. Our trip would take us from Laerdal to Gudvangen in about three hours. We were just in awe of the scenery. The fjords are so beautiful, the landacape seems to be on such a large scale, and there is something to see in every direction. I'm not sure how many pictures were taken, but I know if was more than a few.
Upon arriving in Gudvangen we drove the van off the ferry and started the ride to Vangsnes, where we would catch the next ferry to Dragsvik. The drive between Gudvangen and Vangsnes includes a large stretch across what feels like the top of the world. It is very sparsely populated, has very narrow roads (a one lane road that actually has two-way traffic). SteveB did a great job driving us through all parts of the trip today, handling all the steep switchbacks and hairpins very well. Along this stretch of road, we came across a large flock of sheep along the road
After driving a bit further, we came to the town of Vik (very picturesque) and then on to Vangsnes to get on the next ferry. After the ferry pulled up, we were waved forward by the ferry guy. As we approached, SteveB pulled up alongside the guy for further instructions. The gentleman said something to SteveB in Norwegian. At first, SteveB thought he knew what he was told and started to pull forward onto the ferry. A split second later, he realized he was just given instructions in Norwegian, stopped the van, and said to the guy "Do what?"
The ferry ride to Dragsvik was only about 30 minutes. Once off the ferry, we only had a ten-minute drive to the hotel in Balestrand. We were staying at the Kviknes Hotel, a very historic hotel in Balestrand. By the time we checked in, it was around 9:30pm. We hadn't had any dinner yet, so we grabbed a table in the lobby lounge and ordered some food. Everyone was a bit tired, as it had been a long journey from Oslo to Balestrand. Dad was certainly exhausted, as at one point he tried to pour some Coke from his bottle, into a glass, and completely missed the glass!
Time for some sleep!