The Hardanger Roundtrip...
Trip Start Aug 10, 2010
4Trip End Aug 15, 2010
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Where I stayed
The Norwegian Government has designated several roads in Norway as National Tourist Routes. What this means is that they are building new view points and rest stops as well as other tourist facilities in order to draw more people to the various regions.
One such route is in the Hardanger region and we decided to give that a try.
This meant our day started with taking a ferry from Kinsarvik to Utne. The ferry goes to multiple destinations and to make loading and unloading easier (and quicker) the passengers for Utne had to back their cars onto the boat
Being told to 'Just back your car onto the ferry.' did allow us to see quite a few interesting facial expressions. Particularly the people driving campers were rather 'surprised' at the request.
We won't bother you with every little detail of the drive as practically all of it was on bendy roads with the occasional dodging of oncoming campers and trucks. While there ARE upgrades being made to the routes by adding viewing platforms and whatnot, the roads themselves are largely left alone as they are considered part of the whole 'experience'. Or as Martijn likes to call it: 'A bloody deathtrap!'. The roads are listed as having a speedlimit of 80 km/h, but we barely went faster than 50 km/h and would probably have been in for some serious off-roading if we had taken the myriad of bends at more than 40 km/h.
One of the places along the route that we were most surprised about was the view of the town of Herand. There was no viewing platform, but we thought it was one of the prettiest areas of the entire region. So we found a small pocket on the side of the road and went guard rail climbing again!
An easier spot to stop at was further along at Hereiane
Many narrow bends later we encountered a bridge that we thought looked rather interestingly situated in the landscape and took a small break to photograph it. It was during this brief interlude that a tourist bus decided to not notice us and back into our car. Luckily the damage was very minor and after some sharing of insurance information we were off again.
If the other National Tourist Routes are anything like this one was then we have another 17 holiday options close to home. We were not able to stop at all the places where we wanted to take a picture or two, but that was to be expected. Then again, we find the weirdest things picturesque and we can't expect people to always cater to our unique tastes.