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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Norway - 29 July, 2004



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Tveiten (Tveiten Camping) N59º11.492' E007º31.807' 375 meters .
Lysefjord Road . . . .
Lysebotn . . . .
Gloppedalsura . . . .
Lauvvik to Oanes across the Høgsfjord aboard the M/S Høgsfjord . . . 5 km (by car ferry)
Finish Jørpeland (Preikestolen Camping) N58º59.874' E006º05.859' 113 meters 368 km

Total (BMW 330CiC)

14,035 km

Total (other):

5,210 km


19,245 km


Weather: In the morning clear, sunny and cool/warm (between 15-20°C).  In the afternoon partly cloudy, sunny and hot (around 23°C).  In the evening overcast for a short while, then mostly clear and sunny and cool.



What an exciting day of driving this is going to be - we have lots of ground to cover, including some very crazy roads.  We have an early start - later this afternoon and evening we want to go for a hike out to the Pulpit Rock overlooking the Lysefjord.  We have breakfast, get ready and pack up the car and are well on our way before 10 AM.


We have some beautiful road today.  We drive down valleys and along rivers and lakes.  We stop at one rest stop for a break and we find wild raspberries to pick and eat.  There is just one hitch in our drive today - we miss one turn off and waste almost two hours getting back to the right turn off.  The only good thing is that the drive was stunning and we greatly enjoyed the wild scenery.


Once back at the turnoff, we make our way up along the mountain passage that links Setesdal and Sirdal that was only opened in late 1990.  In the summer, the road shortened the distance between Oslo and Stavanger by 110 km.  We take advantage of this exciting road that takes us across the bare highland.  The road is narrow and crosses the tracks of hikers, reindeer and sheep.


At Ådneram we turn off of route 45 (which we joined yesterday near Eidsborg), and begin our drive along the Lysefjord Road.  It is hard to describe how stunning and fun this exciting road is - it is a pure joy to drive.  It is 26 km long and winds, initially through a rocky plateau before dropping off the edge of a cliff to reach the valley 932 meters below.  To give an indication of the type of road - do not attempt to tackle it in a caravan.


We zip along the narrow, winding road testing out the road hugging capabilities of our little car.  It has great stability and our only fear is coming face-to-face with another car as we zoom around the countless blind corners and bends and ridges.  We pass among cliffs and along lakes that dot the Sirdal highlands.  There are no straight stretches to this road.


Then at Andersvatn, the fun really starts.  We have reached the end of the plateau and will begin the 932 meter drop to Lysebotn.  At first, the turns and curves are wide and regular, but at 800 meters, Norway's most unbelievable serpentine road comes into action.  Depending on how you count them, we have between 27 and 36 curves to wind down the almost vertical rock mountain face to the bottom far below.  The road is only three meters wide, with sporadic half mater shoulders and the occasional passing bay.


We make our way down the 1:9 gradient.  About two-thirds of the way down we enter a downward sloping tunnel that goes parallel to the cliff face.  The surprise comes after a while in the dark tunnel - we execute a 180+ degree hairpin turn while in the tunnel, now heading back the way we came still inside the tunnel going parallel to the cliff face.  At the next bend, we emerge from the tunnel.  After a few more hairpin turns, we arrive at the bottom of the valley and make our way to the end of the road at the edge of fjord.


We now have a choice - drive back up and along the plateau or to take the ferry to the other end of the fjord.  After checking out the timetable (and the cost), we decide to drive back up.  But first we stop at a small cafe for a quick lunch.  Then it is time to drive back up - we just made one mistake, we had waited to long.  The ferry had come in and lots of cars and buses had disembarked and they are making their up the road.  What we had thought was going to be a fun, exhilarating drive up the winding road, turned into a crawl.  Oh, well - what to do.


We slowly make our way to the top.  Once we reach the viewpoint, all the buses and cars pull off and we can once again open her up and have some fun.  We have a great time making our way back to Ådneram, where we re-join route 45 heading west.  There area is desolate and even a bit wild.


At Byrkjedal, we decide to make a brief detour out to the Gloppedalsura, which is set amongst steep cliffs bounding a rocky valley.  This is Norway's most remarkable stone scree and the road meanders for more than one kilometer between the huge, house size boulders.  The massive rock fall, legend has it, buried a farm.  It blocked the lake and diverted a rive.  During the Second World War, it served as a natural fortress allowing one captain with an old-fashioned machine gun to stop a German advance through the valley.


After checking out this scree field, we make our way back down to route 45 and head to Lauvvik where we have a short wait for the ferry to Oanes on the other side of the fjord.  Well, the weather has started to change, with a thick layer of clouds rolling in.  Maybe, in the end, the detour this morning worked out for us.  We have come here too late to go off on our hike.  Maybe tomorrow the weather will be better.


Near Jørpeland we take the turn off to the trailhead for Preikestolen.  After a short drive we arrive at the trailhead where a hut is located.  Our plan was to stay here, but it turns out that it is full.  So, we need to drive the short distance back to the campsite near the turnoff and stay there for the night.  They have no huts, so we will stay in our tent.  It is now 6 PM - one of our earlier stops.  After getting our camp set up, we head off to the bath stalls for a shower and wash.


After we have scrubbed ourselves clean, we decide to have some dinner at the cafe attached to the campsite.  We have nothing to cook with.  During this time, the weather is slowly beginning to change and some sun shines through the clouds.  We sit outside and enjoy our simple dinner.  We then decide to get ready for bed - we have an early start in the morning.


But we do not have an uneventful night nor good nights sleep.  One of the groups staying at the campsite has decided to have a party and is being very loud and obnoxious.  Music is blaring from their camper van and they are yelling and shouting.  Finally, at 2 AM Lars has had enough and goes and tells them to shut up.  They do not take it too well, but they do stop.  As they are very drunk we do have some concerns they may try to retaliate in some way, but luckily they just go off to sleep.


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