Tunnels and Ferries

Dublin, July 2022

In July 2022 we travelled the fjords and mountains of southwestern Norway. We went from Bergen in the south through tunnels and crossed fjords on ferries to Trondheim in central Norway. Check out the Google Map here to follow our route.

After Norway, we flew to the Faroe Islands and went around some of the 18 islands that make up the Faroe archipelago. That trip is covered by part 2.

Click each photo to enlarge

Part 1: Tunnels and Ferries.

Part 2: The Faroe Islands.

Part 1: Tunnels and Ferries

Dublin, May 2022

Due to the raging Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021, our humans had had a good few holidays cancelled. Now, it was 2022 and we were allowed to travel. So now it was time to use up all the saved holidays in order not to let anything go to waste.
This wasn't our humans' only worry: two weeks prior to departure, the pilots in SAS went on strike! Our humans had booked 6 flights with SAS for the next 2 weeks, and if we couldn't go, all hotel bookings would have to be cancelled. But then the strike was over, and we could go to Dublin Airport...

Bergen, July 2022

We arrived Copenhagen, stayed at the Bella Sky near the airport and next day flew with SAS to Bergen. Having checked in at the Zander K Hotel in Bergen's city centre, we went around down town Bergen. Here we are at the central station. Bergen at nearly 300,000 citizens is the second largest of Norwegian cities.

Dale, July 2022

The next day we headed off for the day. We soon learned that the south western part of Norway has lots of mountains - and a ton of tunnels and ferry lines.
We stopped at Dale for coffee, however, our first sip of Norwegian roadside coffee left some of us unimpressed.
"Yuk," said Roger. "How did you find the coffee?"
"Well, eh... sort of drinkable," McBear replied.
But then again, McBear was used to drinking non-drinkable coffee, so his word as a judge didn't really count.

Tvinde, Voss, July 2022

We followed the E16 main road and stopped to have a selfie at the Tvindefossen waterfall. Foss means river, or perhaps more like a rapid. Angus was with us. He enjoyed seeing Norway.

Vik, July 2022

From Vinje we headed north. We went over the mountains and found patches of snow still lying around, even though it was late summer. The day had started with a cloudy sky, however, as we approached Vikøyri, the sky cleared and we had blue skies. In the north, across the fjord, we could see the snow capped mountains.

Hopperstad Stave Church, Vikøyri, July 2022

Before the trip, McBear had proposed we'd go and see some of the famous Norwegian stave churches. There are only 28 stave churches left. The oldest parts of the Hopperstad stave church dates back to the mid 1100s - that's just after the age of the vikings.
"Those thingies sticking out from the roof make it look very vikingish," Roger believed.

Hopperstad Stave Church, Vikøyri, July 2022

The stave churches were made of wood and put together without the use of metal nails. Instead, pins of wood were used to keep the trunks and planks together.
"Quite impressive. What do you think?" Roger asked Tom.
"I agree. Wonder if they were drinking mjöd back then. That reminds me: I wouldn't mind a pint..."

Sogndal, July 2022

From Bergen we followed the main road east. We went through more tunnels, one longer than the other.
"Will it ever end?" asked Roger as we were driving through a particular long tunnel - 11 kilometers. When we finally came out, Roger felt relieved - only to realize that the next tunnel was 24 kilometers long - the longest in the world!
At Fodnes we took the ferry across the Sogne Fjord. It's one of the longest fjords in the world, strechting more than 200 kilometers. We arrived the Hofslund Fjord Hotel and enjoyed the surroundings.

Jostedalsbræen, July 2022

From Sogndal we followed the main road through one beautiful landscape after the other.
We reached the Jostedal Icecap. It looked like the ice of one glacier was sliding down the mountain side. Well, we couldn't see it actually sliding because the speed of the ice was about a foot a day. Jostedal is the largest ice cap in mainland Europe, but due to global warming it is fast retreating.

Stryn, July 2022

We arrived Stryn in the afternoon. Our humans had booked a room at the Visnes Hotel. It's an old building and now protected. Many of the electric switches looked old, very old indeed. You really got an impression of how it was to live in a building like this a hundred years ago. The ensuite bathroom was large, almost the size of the bedroom.
"I'm impressed," said Angus. "I didn't know they had such accommodating facilities".
"Well, a hundred years ago they might have had a bath in the middle of the room - and very likely a "latrine" in a shelter in the garden..." McBear explained.

Stryn, July 2022

Across the road was a large motor company. Years ago the company, West Karosseri, used to customize busses like this fine Scania Vabis built in Stryn in 1967.

Hellesylt, July 2022

Next morning after breakfast we left Stryn with more tunnels and a ferry ahead of us. We arrived Hellesylt and queued up just as a ferry was about to dock. That meant there was no time for coffee.
"Thank God for that!" Roger said to himself.

Geiranger Fjord, July 2022

Many of the ferry crossings only took 10 to 20 minutes. The ferry to Geiranger however took about 45 minutes and there was a lot of sight seeing on the way, especially waterfalls. Here's the waterfall called The Seven Sisters.
"I can count six waterfalls," said Angus.
"Well, there are probably more waterfalls just after a heavy rain fall," McBear replied.

Geiranger, July 2022

We arrived Geiranger and went uphill along hairpin roads to our hotel. The weather was getting better and better and the landscape was incredibly beautiful.
"If it wasn't for the coffee, Norway would definitely rank among the most beautiful countries in the world!" Roger said with conviction.

Geiranger, May 2022

We stayed at the Hotel Utsikten and we had a fantastic view - actually, Utsikten means exactly that: The View,.
At a viewing platform at the road side was a tall stone monument to commemorate the visits of the emperor Wilhelm II. He started visiting Geiranger and the Utsikten in 1894 and returned for holidays another 10 times.
"We must make sure the Norwegians will commemorate the visit of the Travelling Bears in 2022," said Roger.
"Yeah," McBear agreed. "We could start out by adding another page to our website..."

Geiranger, July 2022

To get around we had rented a Renault Captur. It was a great car - once our humans managed to get it started. There were several places where the car seemed unwilling to drive, and it caused one of our humans great concern - this thing of getting used to hybrid, electric cars...

Linge, July 2022

We left Geiranger and went up the mountains and down and waited a short while for another ferry, this time from Eidsdal to Linge. The Norwegians have a very efficient ferry system. You don't need to book tickets; you simply drive on to the next ferry. And the ferries come in frequently. The license plate is automatically recorded and the bill is sent to you. Easy peasy.

Andalsvatnet, July 2022

After Linge, the landscape got more barren with no vegetation. But it was beautiful and prestine.

Trollstigen, July 2022

Suddenly, there was a sheer cliff with a long road with hairpin u-turns climbing upwards. No wonder it was called the Trollstigen - The Troll Ladder. It looked scary. What a trafic bottleneck.

Trollstigen, July 2022

We stopped at the visitor centre. There were some models of Norwegian trolls for sale.
"How are you?" asked McBear. "Are you being well treated... and well paid?".
"We're good, thank you, both as for being well treated and well paid."
"So, Norwegian trolls don't need a strong, national union?"
"A national union? Naaah, if anybody treats us with disrespect, we'll show them our true troll character.
"You don't look like the scary, giant trolls we see in the fairy tales and the postcards" Roger noticed.
"Well, we don't look ugly because that wouldn't sell. Tourist kids would get scared."
"Don't look ugly, how d'ya mean?" Roger asked.
"Roger, I think the others are calling on us..." McBear interrupted.
As we were leaving the visitor centre, Roger pointed out:
"I just wanted him to clarify..."
"Yes, I know," McBear replied, "and I didn't want to risk the discussion escalating into an international dispute between Ireland and Norway. Can you image an army of small Leprechauns up against an army of giant Norwegian trolls?"

Trollveggen, July 2022

We made a small detour to see the famous Trollveggen - the Troll Wall. The cliff at the left hand side was in fact a vertical wall, one kilometer tall, the tallest in Europe! Until the 1980s, it was allowed for skydivers to jump from the cliff.
"It looks scary," Roger said.

Sundefjord, July 2022

We arrived the Sunde Fjord Hotel near Ålesund. All around there were islets in the fjord, small harbours and we spotted an eagle circling high above.

Sundefjord, July 2022

We had a large and very comfortable room. And at least we could make tea. Even the coffee at breakfast was nice, so everything was great. The only drawback was the large window under the ceiling; it had no curtain, and with the bright nights, it was impossible to darken the room.

Atlanterhavsvegen, July 2022

One of the things we had put on the list of things we really wished to see in Norway, was the Atlantic Road. This stretch of road touches the Atlantic Ocean and its bridge seems to fly high, especially when a storm creates huge, splashing waves. The road features in the James Bond film, No Time to Die.

Kanestraum - Halsa Ferry, July 2022

From Kanestraum we took the ferry to Halsa. There was even time for a cup of coffee.
"Do we know how the coffee is? If we buy any, will we get paid to endure the taste?" Tom asked.
"Perhaps we should pick tea, it might be safer..." Angus proposed.

Liabøen, Trøndelag, July 2022

On the way Roger had noticed that many bus stops were hard to spot because of grass and flowers growing on top. It was almost like one had to be born in the nature to be able to find a bus stop.
"McBear, why do the Norwegians camouflage their bus stops?" he asked.
"Camouflage? How do you mean?"
"Could it be that they simply don't want passengers on busses?"
"What? No..."
"Or perhaps they only want Norwegian trolls born in the nature to be able to find bus stops?"
"Roger, stop! No, I don't know is the answer. Boy, your ability to ask questions is unbelieveable."

Trondheim, July 2022

Finally, we arrived our last hotel of our Norwegain tour, the Clarion Hotel Trondheim. Roger wanted to sum up our trip.
"So, what have we seen and learned about Norway?"
"That's a very good question," Tom pondered. "What is it that makes the Norwegians repeatedly rank among the happiest people in the world?"
"Well... it's hardly the coffee!" Roger concluded.

Trondheim, July 2022

There are many things to see in Trondheim. McBear in particular wanted to see the statue of Tordenskjold - in English: Thundershield. Born in Trondheim, Tordenskjold travelled to Denmark to become the greatest admiral in the Danish Navy in early 1700s. Every kid born in Denmark in the mid and late 1900s would know Tordenskjold because his face was printed on just about every matchbox - this of course was before the time of lighters.

Part 1: Tunnels and Ferries.

Part 2: The Faroe Islands.

Check out Norway on the Google Map below.

#Teddy Bears
#Toy Animals

© 2024 Travelling Bears - Finglas East, Dublin, Ireland -    Rev. Aug 24, 2022

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