Hardangervidda, Norway

From Pitch black to stark white behind a truck.

After a night at the very neat and tidy Oslo Hostel Central it was time to get a first taste of real Norwegian roads. The travel mug filled to the brim with coffee sat between the front seats as I steered out of town. I sipped the coffee under the rays of the sun and really enjoyed leaving the rush hour traffic behind. However it did not last long. By Kongsberg it was raining and did not look any better along E134 my chosen route.

First stop in the rain was the “cathedral in wood” the Heddal stavkirke an 800 year old wooden church with three towers. It is the largest stavkirke (stave church) in Norway surrounded by a cemetery covered in lush green grass. Unfortunately the weather put a bit of a damper on the visit and soon I was back on the road again.

By Edland orange lights were flashing and a road sign proclaimed that the road ahead over was closed. Filled up at Esso “the last gas station before the mountain” and did lunch whilst waiting. Over the delicious boiled salmon I contemplated the two alternatives. Spending the next three-and-a-half hour to drive around the mountain would make me very late to my hotel or wait and hope for the best. This was not the first time the road was closed in June I was told. Opted for the wait and was lucky as soon after downing the salmon I sat behind a truck on the way up the mountain. I felt victorious over the elements and was in for a treat.

Down the mountain it became evident where snow goes after melting. The force of the Langfoss waterfall roared down the mountain side and threw itself under the road and into the waiting fjord. Umbrellas around were for more than the rain as mist was thrown up in the air as falling water transverse over the polished rocks.

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