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…..

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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

 

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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

Norway Bike Hike (Part 1): Geiranger and Norddal

The goal was neither to go highest, deepest, fastest, furthest or toughest – I would bike, hike and rest whenever and wherever I wanted – no stress – just be!  Finally the time had come for my very own “10-day-moment” and my trek bike was packed and ready to roll on a roadtrip. The Norwegian highway was waiting with its amazing mountains, fjords and solid people – once again I would curiously explore my own country.

Selfie: My very last mountain trek in Trafjordfjella before hitting the road, where I discovered this beautiful panoramic pearl that very day. Well, what a view to be leaving, but new one’s where waitingnorwegian mountain tafjordfjella fjelltur natur panorama liss myrås 

The bike trip plan had been yeasting somewhere in the back of my head all summer when I worked at the  power and avalance center in Tafjord, but it was not before I got my hands on a very cheap but solid Polish trek bike that I knew I would be biking home to visit my momma before heading back to Sweden where I live now.

A panoramic break at Eidsvatnet (Norddal) to enjoy this awesome mountain ridge named Skorene – it’s hhest point is Søre Skora wich is 1829 meters a.s.l Norway Skorene Norddal mountain ridge foto Liss Myrås

 

I collected the most essential bicycle equipment a little bit from here and there, something new, old and borrowed, and briefly planned possible bicycle routes and tent camps online … the rest would probably solve itself gradually on-the-road. I would say: Plan your trip to death = stress and disappointments! But one thing is important to plan when you bike in Norway – know where your tunnels are! (see link below)

So, what could be seen, done or enjoyd these 10 days I had for my very own disposal before going back to daily routines, duties and tasks piling in the horizon? Nature, nature and nature… and awesome wonderful people!! ♥

Looking back to Geiranger somewhere between those mountains – you will never get tired of the view!Norway bicycle ride Geiranger road landscape photo liss myrås

I did’t have a clue that my total bike luggage weighed well over 25 kilos! I had two filled waterproof sidebags, a handlebar bag and my tent roped on the handlebars, a waterproof stuff sack containing my sleeping bag on the luggage carrier, and finally a backpack containing my laptop and camera etc Not to forget new led lights, reflections in many forms… and of course my nice cool reflex pennant! 😉 It’s so goddamn important to be seen on the roads and in tunnels!

First aimed stopover was the famous Geiranger, so that day in August I finally rolled on my bike down the first hill away from my hired summer residence – a bit worried that the bike would violently puncture or collapse after a few meters, but it worked like a charm – all the way actually!

First through the scary Heggurdtunnelen for the very last time that summer …. passing Valldal and then taking the ferry across the fjord to Eidsdal and started the mild ascent up to Eagle Road (Ørnevegen).

From Ørnevegen everything went downwards the awesome serpentine roads only interrupted by a short obligatory photo shoot break at the famous Ørnesvingen. The nice thing about biking is that you also can stop on tricky places where cars can’t to get a great shot!

Shot on my way down Eagle Road (Ørnevegen) towards GeirangerNorway Geiranger Ørnevegen bike trip photo liss myrås

 

I did not feel for stopping when I passed the little town in Geiranger because it was just packed with lots of tourists, noicy aggressive buses and cars – this is not how I remember Geiranger from my younger days. I talked to a local that was pretty tired of this circus, tourists come into thei’r private garden and stare at them through the windows while they are having breakfast…  ha..ha ..so visitors, please behave! 😀

Geiranger tent camping bike tour sunset photo liss myrås

 

So, I continued up the narrow and steeper sperpentine road that eventually would lead me to Djupvasshytta the day after. Halfway ascending I decided to spend the night at a cosy and peaceful camping. After a beautifulsunsetit rained all night, but my very cheap and light tent actually did not leak! Greatful for that indeed I am! The sun finally showed up at noon next day so I could dry my tent in the wind at no-time and continue up the panoramic road ascent up to Djupvasshytta where gale wind was waiting.

Welcomed by gale wind and rain when I finally reached the plateau close to Djupvasshytta (where I enjoyed a massive waffle-dinner.) From now the roads would slightly incline downwards – very nice after two ascents.  

Oppe på fjellet mot Djupvasshytta

 

The tunnel map for bikers below was indeed very helpful – in this way I could see when, where and how to prepare for every tunnel and readabout other bikers experiences. Especially useful when you bicycle along the Norwegian coast (I will find time to contribute the map with my own experience since one of the byroads was a bit dangeours):

Norwegian tunnel map

 

To be continued… 😉

Ålesund

Jag skall inte ens forsöka förklara hur årets första del har varit – nestan lite obeskrivligt. Kan bara konstatera att mina närmsta och jag varit genom mer än man trodde man skulle klara av… men just detta är inget jag tänker skriva om här.

Iallafall, nu äntligen börjar vår förtvivlan, chocken och rädslan så smått ersättas med hopp, stor tacksamhet och nya framtidsutsikter... och det känns nog alldeles underbart för alla involverade!

Starkare, klokare och piggare än någonsin…ja energien har börjat fylla upp kropp & knopp igen..  och lite av detta skvalpar ju såklart ut i bloggen ..ho..hoo…

En av de första kvällarna i Ålesund blev det en tur upp på Signalen med vy  över det kringliggande havet och de vitklädda bergstopparna åt alla håll – en “selfie jag ju inte kunde låta bli att ta signalen Aalesund norway photo liss myrås

 

En annan underbar sak är att jag sedan maj månad har befunnit mig i hemlandet Norge igen – men inte på min lilla ö ute i havet, utan innerst inn i ändan på en fjordarm kring 6 mil från Ålesund, bor och arbetar jag för tiden  … och här inne bland Norges faligaste fjäll stortrivs jag ju förstår ni väl! 🙂

Att få vara själv med sina tankar ute i naturen ger ett sunt perspektiv på saker och ting – här är jag nere vid sjön  på Skjongholmen en fin kväll med mot bl a Godøya (till höger) …spänd på hur den här sommaren kommer bli…Norway aalesund photo liss myrås landscape

 

Jag skall förstås berätta mer om mitt arbete här snart – och självklart ta er med ut i detta fascinerande landskap… ja ni kanske rent av blir sugna på att komma och hälsa på här i sommar blant alla stupbranta berg och blickstilla fjordar när ni får veta lite mer om detta fantastiska unika området… ohört vackert vet ni… och även lite faligt ja… ha..ha.. jaddet e Norge det.. hoppas ni blev nyfikna nu då!

Ses & hörs ganska snart.. untill then… behave! 😉

 

Next adventure: Mount Elbrus i Kaukasusbergen

Det finns små upplevelser och det finns stora upplevelser, båda lika viktiga – men det här kommer nog bli årets megastora upplevelse för mig; att få åka till Ryssland i 14 dagar. Äntligen skall man få uppleva lite av människorna, kulturen och den storslagna naturen där.

Det är nestan så jag måste nypa mig hårt i armen.. ja alldrig har det väl pirrat värre i magen än när jag tänker på denna adventure-resan som väntar mig i sommar.  Nesta levande vulkanberg-resa får vänta en stund till … nu är det den här inaktiva vulkanen nedan som gäller 😉

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Mt. Elbrus (5642 m.o.h.) i Kaukasusbergen – täckt av stora glaciärermt elbrus

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Alla flygresorna samt själva resan har jag redan bookat klart – så nu återstår det “bara” att börja förbereda sig med bl a 2 sidor låång utrustningslista, visumansökan, extra försäkringar etc som måste fixas – för som ni kanske vet så åker jag inte längre så ofta på semester för att bara släcka på stranden – åter igen skall jag upp i bergen – till Europas högsta berg Mount Elbrus ...whiihiii!

Jag kommer åka ensam till Moskva, sova över där och ta flyget vidare till Mineralnye Vody i Ryssland (vilken festlig kombination med flygrädsla och Aeroflot..hi..hi) där jag skall träffa de andra som skall ta sig upp i bergen samt våra guider. Vi åker tillsammans till foten av Kaukasusbergen där vi bl a kommer gå igenom utrustningen etc. Därifrån kommer det väl mestadels att gå uppåt!

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Mt. Elbrus by Nightmt ELBRUS BY NIGHT

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Det är ju alldrig 100% spikad att man tar sig till topps på ett såpass högt berg (5642 m.o.h.) …  och särskilt vädret kan börja jävlas rejält på Mt. Elbrus, men också en eventuell höjdsjuka kan sticka käppar i hjulet.

Så om/när toppbestigningsdagen inträffar kommer det garanterat bli en riktigt strabasiös dag eftersom man får ta sig upp branta sluttningar med både stegjärn och isyxa – en dag man verkligen får känna på hur det egentligen står till med konditionen *ler*.  I snitt dör ca 25 människor årligen på MT. Elbrus (mestadels pga vädret)  – jag vill nog göra mitt yttersta för att inte bli en i statistiken – har ju planerat in quicky-sightseeing in Moscow på väg hem igen 😉

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Liiiite mer comfy än att ligga direkt i snön blir det väl på Mt. Elbrus:s campar DCIM102MEDIA

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Well.. så har man packat på sig ännu mer att träna mot och förbereda sig inför, men galet skönt att min träning mestadelen handlar om att klara mina utmaningar och inte bara “se snygg ut naken”..ho..ho...  det blir nog att uppdatera er här ibland om hur dessa förberedelser rullar på…

Önskar er en superbra start på nya veckan – let’s roll!

До скорого!