Hurtigruten MS Polarlys

Hurtigruten ms polarlys bergen geiranger norwegian photography liss myraas

Yeah! Finally back in Norway again! After just 2 days at home I again packed my bags and headed for Norway. When asked to work at the power and avalanche center in Tafjord again I did not hesitate – of course I would!

First I had to fly over for a short visit/stopover at my  family’s place on the Norwegian west coast to get my bicycle along, as I would need it where I work for transport through the tunnels.  To bring the bicycle and luggage with my as smoothly as possible (without having to fly again) I this time choose to travel with Hurtigruten from Bergen as my family lives just a couple of hours from this city.

Every single soul with a camera on the ship was out shooting this beautiful sunset in the Norwegian skerrieshurtigruten sunset landscape photo liss myraas

 

So, with a student discount the price from Bergen to Geiranger (1 night w/bicycle) was actually reasonable. I also got the last (and very nice) cabin available for a good price too for a place to crash and store my stuff (thank’s mom!).

MS Polarlys is one of the more modern ships and very comfortable to sail with – and after stressful days it was absolutely lovely to just relax on deck in the most beautiful sunset, knowing my bicycle was safely secured with ropes down at the car deck where the  serviceminded crew looked after it very well.

Childish or not… pretty cool to enjoy passing landscapes even if it’s way past bed time ..ha..ha.. hurtigruten cabin view selfie

 

I guess it’s difficult to describe the beauty of gliding into Geirangerfjorden on the ship among the massive mountains, waterfalls and old mountain pastures, but you can just imagine. Disembarking the ship was done with an smaller pick-up boat that brought us to the pier.

From Geiranger I started the sweaty ascent upwards Ørnevegen (where I euphoric wheeled downwards last year) before xx hours later arriving Tafjord …and my cosy room for this summer.

Leaving the ship MS Polarlys in this pick-upboat – with a nice view to the serpentine road Ørnevegen (Eagle Road) with its 11 hairpin bends  that I soon would start ascending together with the bicycle and luggage.. sweaty…DCIM100GOPROG0300051.

Well…it’s kind of obligatory to stop at Ørnesvingen to enjoy and shoot this scenic view alrightDCIM100GOPROG0450075.

 

On the road again.. for the day.. passing this mountain ridge Skorene once again – a very impressive sight indeed…feels really good to be back!DCIM100GOPROG0700109.

 

During this summer I will certainly serve you some outdoor activities I’m planning to do this summer in this blog and my Instagram account – so don’t you go too far away 😉

Norway Bike Hike (Part 3): Sognefjellsvegen and Krossbu

Bicycling along Sognefjellsvegen Route 55 was nothing less but spectacular! If I had stopped for everything I considered “picturesk” – I would still be up there!

Norway jotunheimen hike bike tour adventure landscape photoliss myraas

 

So, after a couple of days in wonderful Lom I packed up my tent, saddled my bicycle and continued towards Sognefjellet. In glittering sunshine I started on the famous Sognefjellsvegen road ((National Tourist Route)) wich eventually would lead me up the highest mountain pass road in Norway and Northern Europe.

 

View of the mighty peak of Store Smørstabbtinden ((7,244 ft)) from the glacier pond – I was up there somewhere having lunch while enjoying a spectacular mountain scenery

Store smorstabbtinden krossbu glacier sand jotunheimen photo liss myras

 

Needless to say that most of the road up to Krossbu was mostly ascending. My key was to take short breaks whenever I found a beautiful view spot (happened a lot), drink lots of water in the heat and take pics. And of course this road through Jotunheimen mountain world  was stuffed with awesome landscapes – all the time – exhausting..ha..ha..

About 1700 m.a.s.l on an “plateu” near Leirvatnet – just look at this fabulous view towards the famous Hurrungane (incl Skagastølstindane, Styggedalstindane, Dyrhaugstindane, Maradalstindane, Austanbottstindane, Soleibotntindane)Smorstabbreen Krossbu Sognefjellet Jotunheimen Norway landscape photo liss myras

 

Arriving Krossbu (1267 masl) I realized I was in paradise – and quickly decided to stay a couple of nights, because here you will have direct access to great hiking trails, clacier courses and climb a bunch of mountain peaks above 2000 masl. 

They also have a nice camper place both for tenting and caravan’s, but I wanted to dry my tent again and got a very simple “on budget” private room in the old “side annex”. I really appreciated the cosy old-fashioned style and nice mood at this mountain station, good nourishing breakfast, the helpful and friendly staff and visitors.

One of my highlights on this bike tour for sure!

On my way down again I took the path along the glacier pond, much easier.  So make sure you actually follow the river upwards if you are heading for Store Smørstabbtinden – I took the hard way up.. ouch!   

Smorstabbreen glacier Krossbu Sognefjellet Jotunheimen Norway landscape photo liss myras selfie

 

I had a “lonesome wolf” day where I hiked up to about 1800 meters on Store Smørstabbtinden. Up there I decided not to go all the way (2203 m.a.s.l) to the top because of strong gust of winds.. not alone… and then walked along the arm lake of Leirbrean (a glacier arm of Smørstabbreen which the largest glacier in Jotunheimen) on my way down. It is one of the most peaceful days I ever had, only interrupted/bombed with awesome views.

Having a nice view towards the road I would continue bicycle on to cross the highest mountain pass in Northern Europe. Imaging sitting here again just listening to the flowing river again. (Krossbu mountain station is placed right below that serpentine road here.)  

visit norway Krossbu Sognefjellet Sonefjellsvegen hiking national bicycle tour landscape photo liss myras

 

After a decent brandy with my new mountain fellows I next morning had to say good-bye and saddle up to cross Sognefjellet. I knew some light rain and hard gust of winds was waiting that day, but the sun can’t shine every day!

The narrow road combined with hard unexpected gust of winds from the sides was a bit too exciting when cars where passing, but a moderate biking tempo and well-balanced packing got me through the day up there! I think I like a bit rough weather now and then – after all, I am a Norwegian viking ..moaha..ha! 😉

Crossing Sognefjellet mountain – a bit grey and wind-blown weather that day for sure…but not at all boring! Recognize this view?

Norway bike trip travel adventure sognefjellet mountain photo liss myraas

 

 

And as always … the good thing you always keep in mind when you’re up there tramping the pedals upwards…. soon enough you will get the chance to roll downwards again – big time! Now I just have 1 more post to go about this bike tour for you – cuz new adventures are already on – so stay tuned my dear readers!  🙂 

Norway Bike Hike (Part 2): Galdhøpiggen and Jotunheimen

So the bike tour continued to roll. I fully enjoyed this feeling of freedom with no obligations, no time to keep and no strict plan. I made a lot of stops, mostly because I was not able to shut down my always observing “photoeye” – everything is interesting! Just like during my warmup bikehike-tour to Åndalsnes and Romsdalseggen 

The hospitality I met most places was really a joy.. so welcoming and helpful people, but still not pushing. Most of the time I didn’t at all feel alone as most people are very curious about what you’re up to, especially when you are “solotripp’n” I believe, and as a solo traveller you will pretty soon connect with other solo travellers from all over the world – awesome!

Billingen in Skjåk: Did a morning stopover here and was served a supertasty local produced breakfast by the lovely owner – afterwards I went out to do a spontaneous “poem-track” upwards the frothing river Tora before I continued my bike ride – such a cool experience and some wise words richer! This is also a gateway into beautiful Breheimen Nationalpark and Reinheimen NationalparkNorway Billingen Tora foss Breheimen Nasjonalpark diktarstig Jan Magnus Bruheim skjak photo liss myrås

 

Along RV15 you will have a 360 degrees of magnificent landscape views … but by the time I passed Grotli Høyfjellshotell the traffic had increased with more heavy traffic, however, as long as the road could offer me a shoulder it worked very well (see tip below). And fortunately (with a few exceptions) most drivers DO make allowance for cyclists. After bargaining a night in a cosy cabin along the way to dry up my equipment, a lil’ morning trek and tasty breakfast stopover at Billingen, I continued towards Lom national park village in Bøverdalen and Jotunheimen

Reaching Lom I decided to stay a couple of nights. so I set up my tent pretty near the always roaring river Bøvra at a camp site – of course with a beautiful view to the surrounding mountains, but please bear in mind that you may need ear plugs if you want to sleep near this river  😉

After a massive burger & fries dinner together with a chilled cider I decided to take an evening walk to check out the famous Lom Stave Church for some historical inspiration and design admiration – dated back to the 12th century! Lom stavkirke stave church Norwegian attraction history oppland photo liss myrås

 

The very next day I actually had a lil’ plan – to climb Galdhøpiggen – the roof of Norway also the highest mountain in Scandinavia and Northern Europe at a hight of 2,469 m (8,100 ft) – we just call it Piggen in Norwegian.

The rising sun was promising and the morning bus brought a nice bunch of mountain hikers & climbers up the serpentine road and into the Jotunheimen National Park. Since we had to cross the glacier Styggebreen we needed harness and safety ropes, but otherwise this is a not a hard climb and suites most healthy people,families .. and dogs.

Packet with mountain lovers at the end of Styggebreen clacier: After an exceptionally grey summer the sun finally glitters and illicit hordes of people to enjoy this fun and beautiful day – not exactly a day for those who seeks silence and tranquility – but for a change I actually loved to be among all these smiling faces    Norway mountaineering Galdhøpiggen styggebreen juvasshytta jotunheimen photo Liss Myras

 

NOTE! On our way down we met two tourists not wearing any equipment crossing the glacier Styggebreen, and they did not care at all that a guide warned them. This annoys me a lot, as I see it as lack of respect for nature and to use common sense in the mountains. And what kind of signals does this send out to others? It is really cheap to join a guided tour with necessary equipment at Juvasshytta! (It will only cost you 175 NOK)

 

In our “rope lane” we were accompanied by this absolutely charming and adorable samoyed dog – very energetic and also very photogenic …and of course posing like a king on the roof of Norway! 🙂Galdhopiggen jotunheimen Norway mountain lom samoyed mountaineering photo liss myaas

 

This day was 1 of only 5 sunny days on Piggen during the whole summer a guy told us – so we where lucky! The Norwegian army paid us a flyby-visit at the top of Galdhøpiggen with one of their hercules ..to celebrate an awesome day. Many of us screamed when the air plane passed, it sure did look like it would crash right into the top hut ..ha…ha whohaaa!piggen herkules mountains

A flying view 

 

Back at the Juvasshytta we where a little bunch of very pleased people just sitting outside relaxing in the wonderful weather with some hot chocolate and candy, waiting for the experienced and kind bus driver to take us back down. I only have one important reminder/advice for days like this..to save you a lot of pain: PLEASE …bring your highest sun protection!

 

Morning glory trek somewhere in Skjåk before hitting the road ….Norway Oppland Skjak Nysætervattnet water landscape photo liss myrås

 

To be continued…..

l

Some trip advice for travellers in Norway:

Travelling solo? Ask for a discount:

Now and then (especially if you’re bike touring) you want to rent a cabin to rearrange, fix and dry all your stuff (clothes, tent, sleeping bag, shoes etc) – mention that you travel alone and you may get a discount, very appreciated since renting cabins in Norway usually isn`t a cheap experience.

 

Local produced food, poems and national parks:

Billingen Seterpensjonat in Skjåk will serve you local produced products, breakfast and room. Also a gate to Breheimen Nasjonalpark, Reinheimen Nasjonalpark and the “Diktarstigen” where you can trek along the Tora river and read poems by Jan Magne Bruheim.  View their Facebook-page. 

 

Plenty of outdoor activities and adventures to do in Lom:

Make sure you spend enough time in the Lom (preferably at a decent price at one of the camping sites or Bøverdalen hostel if you’re on budget like me). There is so much to do in this area both for sports and mountain lovers or nature seekers that 2 days are far from enough…try out zip-lining across Prestefossen, climb a bunch of 2000-meter mountains, go into the ice world at the Climate Park (Klimaparken) or visit Norsk Fjellmusem.

 

Along road 63 and RV15 from Djupvasshytta to Lom you have 3 great national parks around (Right before you enter the RV15 from63 you can choose to take off and bike most of this stretch on a parallel road with much less traffic! – unfortunately I am not sure about conditions for this “cabins road”)

Jotunheimen Nasjonalpark

Reinheimen Nationalpark

Breheimen Nationalpark

 

l

Map of Part 2 from Djupvasshytta to Lom + the 3 surrounding national parks

Norway bike map djupvasshytta lom bicicyle tour part 2 breheimen jotunheimen reinheimen liss myras