Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Backpack in Hardangervidda National Park and Gaustatoppen, Norway

We were planning on doing some hut to hut hiking in Norway, but only accomplished one overnight. Time got away from us and the weather was not co-operative. Our one overnight was in Hardangervidda National Park. We hiked to a mountain hut called Hein. The trail was difficult, but the scenery was beautiful. Next we went to Rjukan, Norway and took Gaustabannen (a funicular inside the mountain) to Gaustatoppen. The views were amazing. They say you can see 1/6 of Norway on a sunny day and our weather was excellent.
View on our overnight hike in Hardangervidda National Park.

The trail was rocky. If it wasn't rocky, we were hopping from rock to rock crossing water or mud, both were everywhere. If water, mud, and rocks were missing, then the brush was attacking us. Thru it all, the bugs were everywhere. At least they didn't bite. Everyone we met on the trail (they were all Norwegian) said this was an excellent trail. I wonder what is a bad trail?

Hein Mountain Hut in the distance. A welcome sight.

A bridge to the hut. Why didn't we have more of these?

Hein Mountain Hut - It is a private hut. They call themselves a B&B. We had a full 3 course dinner and a full Norwegian breakfast buffet with a warm clean room. Not what you expect in the middle of no where. We enjoyed our stay.

End of the day view.

Rjukan, Norway town square. Rjukan is in the valley below Gaustatoppen.

Looking down on Rjukan from the road up to the high country.


The map of the tram and funicular inside of Gaustatoppen.

The tram tunnel goes 860 meters inside the mountain.

The funicular climbs 1040 meters at a 40 degree angle. Water was rushing down the tracks. It was creepy.

The funicular was bult to have year round access to a radio tower.

Gaustahytte - A mountain hut cafe.

View looking south west from the top of the mountain.

View looking south from the top.

View looking east from the top. Rjukan is in the valley in the left of the photo.

 Sherpas from Nepal built stairs from the top of the funicular to the base of the radio tower. They were still building while we were there.

View of Gaustatoppen.

Roadside view of the Norwegian high country.

That is all of Norway! Next post will be Denmark. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Oslo, Norway

It has been about a month since we have been in a capital city, Helsinki being the last one.
There is so much to see and so little time to do it. The weather forecast was for a lot of rain, so we decided museums was a good idea, we visited five different ones, all good. We also walked around the city between rain showers. The second day the weather cleared, lucky us. Walking around the city was great. Oslo is full of wonderful architecture and fabulous sculptures. There was tons to see.

The Royal Palace

Barcode area of the Bjorvika, Oslo.

 The area know as Tjuvholmen. This is a new area that reflects current trends in architecture.

Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.

The Oslo Opera House - designed to look like an iceberg.

View of the opera house from the roof. The building was designed so you can walk up and onto the roof.

Inside of the opera house. The wave wall is made of strips of oak.

The Thinker by Rodin.

Nobel Peace Center

Street musician - The music was very good.

Fountain in a flower market.

Polar bear sculpture

Poodles -Part of a temporary sculpture display in the Akershus Fortress.

Bill and a scuba diver.

Red Hat sculpture in Aker Brygge, Oslo

Vigeland Park has more than 200 sculptures by Gustov Vigeland. He also designed the park. We lucked out on our second day in Oslo, the weather cleared so we were able to enjoy walking around this large park.
The Monolith, 1934

Two men sitting back to back, 1934

Sitting man and woman, their foreheads touching, 1916

Two young men, 1925

Boy and girl riding on woman's back, 1916

Group of children, 1920

Man running, 1930

Angry boy, 1928

Friday, August 26, 2016

Trollstigen, Route 63, Norway

Trollstigen or Troll's Ladder is a spectacular National Tourist Route. The climb from Andalsnes to the top has 11 hairpin turns on a very narrow and steep road. From there the road travels across a high mountainous area to drop steeply back to sea level at Valldal. At Linge you cross Norddalsfjorden on a ferry to Eidsal.  You again climb high up in the mountains to drop down to sea level on an even steeper and narrower section of the road called Ornevegen or the Eagle Road. From Geiranger on Geirangerfjorden you once again climb steeply into the mountains with fabulous views in every direction. This was the most scenic drive we have done in Norway.

The very scenic Romsdalen (E136), the road from Dombas to Andalsnes, Norway.

Trollveggen or Troll Wall - The highest vertical mountain wall in Europe

Norsk Tindesenter - the mountaineering museum in Andalsnes, Norway.

Looking up at Bispen, Kongen and Dronninga mountains from the valley floor just outside of Andalsnes.

Kongen and Dronninga mountains.

Looking up at Trollstigen.

Looking down on Trollstigen.

The visitor's center at the top of Trollstigen.

 Viewing platforms that jut out over the abyss. The views are breath taking.

These guys are everywhere.
 Views along Road 63 at the top of Trollstigen.

 Valldal, Norway on Norddalsfjorden.

Another view of Norddalsfjorden.

 The ferry crossing from Linge to Eidsdal.

View of a lake above Eidsdal.

Geirangerfjorden looking back at Ornevegen or Eagles Road.

Looking down on Geirangerfjorden.

 View of the mountains and our road from a pass we hiked to. The view was amazing.