When a good friend from Bergen phoned me monday and told me that he had 4 days off job and children and wanted to know if I was ready to go on a aventure with him and his motorhome, I guess I answered Yes ! within 3 seconds !
Plan : none !
Destination : no idea !
Clothes to bring : no idea either !!
If you want to know where the wind has taken us places, it’s hereafter !
First of all, I had to find a cheap way to go to Bergen from Stavanger : the best possibility was the bus….5h trip but only 960 NOK return…sometimes you can find very good flight offers with Norwegians, check the both ! bus : https://kystbussen.no
The good thing by travelling with a motorhome is that you don’t have to worry about the time or where you’re going to sleep : in Norway, it’s allowed to stay everywhere (except if there is a sign of course!). But norwegians are so respectful of the nature that they will let the place as clean as when they arrived. My friend gave me the choice between beach and mountain : I decided to experiment the winter roads and ski centers ! Whereas it was snowing (a lot), we took the road in direction of Voss. But on the road, we made a stop to a very nice grocery shop offering local delicatessen, beers and ciders. This place is in the middle of warehouse and if you don’t know about it, sure you’ll not look for it in such a place. Find all the details on their FB pages and do not hesitate to stop for some shopping ! https://www.facebook.com/5700evanger/
We have bought amazing juices (strawberry/apple, raspberry, no sugar added !), a really good cider from Hardanger (check their products here : http://hakastadsider.no ), and a kind of ham made of head sheep ” sylte”. (a bit salt and fat, but actually really good on a slice of bread!).
Before heading up to the mountain (the plan is to sleep at Myrkdalen), we had to drive through Voss and we took the chance to stop at the wind tunnel to see if, by chance, someone was flying. We have been really lucky this time, a young lady was training for the European championship (which will take place in Voss in April 2018!). We have been really warm welcomed by the people there, who has explained us everything about the place even if we told them that we were not there to try (prices are a bit crazy). Have a look to the website and if you’re cruising in the area, make a stop, and try ! https://www.vossvind.no/
This is the movie I made, quite impressive !
We finally decided to go back to our road trip and reached Myrkdalen to spend the night.
We found a place to park without problem…actually we were the only one !
While my friend had fun by doing off road and extreme skiing, I had a walk all around the place to discover the ski resort and found some informations about skiing there !
Of course, you’ll find all the prices on their website https://www.myrkdalen.no, as well as the piste map !
But to sum up : it costs around 45euros to ski an entire day, for a grown up. You can rent all the equipment (ski/shoes/poles) for 40euros/day. Everybody in Norway is skiing with an helmet. It’s not a law but it’s probably just a question of common sens. There is a nice hotel, few bars and a lot, really a lot, of cabines to rent. There is a project to build a real town over there, so my advice will be to enjoy it before it becomes too big and too busy ! Of course, in the middle of the week, not a lot of people there…not all the ski centers in Norway are open all week longs, most of them are open only the weekend !
I guess, nothing better than showing you some pictures I have taken there
After the lunch, we made the choice to reach Sogndal by crossing the longest road tunnel of the world : 24,5km.
But first, few amazing pictures I had the luck to take on the way to Lærdal tunnel.
In the way to Lærdal, you will find on the left the direction of Undredal. It’s a small detour but if you like goat cheese, you have to go there ! You ll find tasty cheeses in a small village, and in season, you can do kayaking in the fjord or enjoy pancake with brunost (this typical norwegian cheese, with a taste of caramel) and jam in the terrace. The brunost there has not the same taste than the one you will buy in supermarket. Less sweet and with a real taste of goat cheese, it’s a experience to have !
Then you’re ready to drive the 24,5km of Lærdal tunnel. For information, the tunnel is free. This is how it works in Norway : the roads, tunnels, bridges have a fee as long as their construction price is not covered. After, it’s free ! Well, for a french like me, it’s quite surprising ! You’ll find in the tunnel 3 big caves with colors just to break the monotony of the tunnel. It’s a safe, big tunnel, with a speed limit at 70km/h…be patient !
When you (finally) go out the tunnel, and your plan is to go to Sogndal like us, you should definitely take the time to go to Borgund to see the Stave church. It’s the best preserved of Norway !! Don’t miss it
Then, we went back to our route and took the ferry from Mannheller to Fodnes (30 min to cross) and we followed the road 5 to Sogndal. We decided to go to the cinema and to the restaurant. Sogndal is a nice town with everything you need (shops, entertainment, restaurant and bar). We had a nice evening there (Go to Malin there are all different kinds of food, very good sushis and desserts http://www.restauranthusetmalin.no/meny/ ) We found a nice place to spend the night close to the ferry terminal of Hella.
The very nice thing by travelling in a motorhome is that you have a room with a view for cheap. I guess I could wake up each morning with this kind of view without struggling too much
As I have to take my bus back home early on friday, we decided to drive back to Bergen following Sognefjorden. The road is amazing, along the fjord and the beauty of the landscapes left us speechless more than one time. Balestrand is a nice little town with a nice old yellow church. There is an aquarium there as well (but I’m not a big fan of aquarium, zoo, so no idea how does it look). There are several nice houses with carved beams and balcony. Everything which makes Balestrand a really typic norwegian village.
And to finish our roadtrip, we reached the E39 road which goes back to Bergen. There was snowing a lot and in this case, when the conditions are really bad and you can’t really see the road any more, norwegians organise kind of traffic regulation. They call it “Kolonne”. There are vehicles which guide cars through the tempest. You have to follow the lights of the car in front of you. It’s a bit scary because you don’t exactly know where you’re going but it’s also reassuring as there is also a car at the end of the queue and you know that you can’t be stuck up in terrible weather. After this improving (for me, not for my norwegian driver ^^), we arrived in Bergen where we went to restaurant and bars…but you will soon find all my tips to enjoy Bergen in this website !
I just have to thank you so much my friend who drove me everywhere and who has as much pleasure as I have driving this trip. Even if it’s not that easy to become friend with norwegian people, you can be sure that when you have friend, you have a real one. And he’s alway proud to show you his country and to make you taste typical foods ! I can’t wait for the next adventure !
details of our road trip on google map :