You might want to begin your tour today by reading this introduction.
And to fully appreciate this particular adventure, go to www.mapcrunch.com and at the bottom of the home page picture, click to find the “view of the day” for the following emboldened date.
Open the picture in one tab, and the article below in another, perhaps a reduced size, tab; then simply click back and forth to follow the discussion and the tour in proper order (Clear as mud right?).
December 4th, and we are on another one lane road, but this time in Norway, or, as we are learning what the natives call their lands as we go, we are in Norge. If you’re like me you first assumed you were standing above one of the famous Norwegian fjords, but no, this is just a big fjord-shaped lake called Roldalsvatnet(Of course, if such a lake simply found a connection with the ocean, it would be a Fjord).
The city up there at the head of the lake is call Reidal, but we can’t get there to check it out. One of the drawbacks of this touring system is that we can ONLY go where man (or the GoogleEarth mobile) HAS gone before. I’ve already ‘driven’ all the way down the one laned hwy 520 to where it meets E134. A simple right hand turn would take us through Hara, to Reidal, but no, we must turn left.
Where we stand, the road to our left points straight north. Oslo, Norway’s capital, is straight east of here, and Bergen is west northwest (BTW, this can be read; west of northwest) on the deeply fjorded coastline.
If you’re up for it, the long drive down to E134 is neat. As a geologist, I enjoyed the many rock outcrops along the way. It’s all a one lane road, except where it bumps out for scenic overlooks or passing. We, of course, can actually stop without pulling off the road, and look up and down the fj…sorry, lake. It is a very beautiful location.
At the intersection, stop and look around. Water is flowing down the steep slopes at various locations. Would you call these waterfalls, or steep rivers? Perhaps the locals have an in between name for this phenomenon. I’ll call it a riverfall.
I see a backhoe working just off the road and a few hairpin turns up the road there are some big two story buildings with living grass roofs! Modern apartments or condos, but with the age old roofing of this northern world growing green and protecting families as readily as ever. As we wind generally north, we will see many more roofs that were ‘green’ way ahead of their time. Not every house is shingle less, but it looks funny to see the grass growing on roofs of even the newer homes.
All of a sudden the road up here disappears into a big hole! Yes, a tunnel. But before we enter the tunnel tell me what you think of the guy in the leather jacket. I think he parked his motorcycle, and walked back up the road to take some pictures of the sheep feeding on the shoulder of the road. I stopped and looked closely at the guy, but could not see a camera in his hands. Any other theories?
This tunnel is LONG! I was finally getting tired of the long dark episode when I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel (hey, somebody should use that phrase as an idiom some day!). Of course, I was only out in the light for a few hundred yards (I mean meters) when we were immediately consumed again by another tunnel.
Being in Norway is exciting to me. One of my favorite children’s books, Snow Treasure, tells the story of heroic kids who saved the nation’s gold from the Nazis. I wonder if that biker we saw was one of my heroes!