Peaks and Troughs
28th July 2018
Where are we? Gerainger, Norway
After a few days of rolling by the river and enjoying our very basic campsite we were excited to be getting on the road again this morning, even if it did mean getting back on the tourist trail. Will we ever learn? To be fair, the first part of our day was spectacular as we were driving the Trollstigen Road. This is a road that twists its way up the side of a mountain with 11 hairpin bends and a continual climb on quite a narrow road with very minimal barriers. So a big test for my cojones. The problem with driving it is that I have to be so focussed on the road I can’t take time to enjoy the view. This is obviously a plus and a minus when on such a hair-raising drive, looking at the waterfalls is OK because they are on the mountain side of the van but looking at the view down to the valley gets me immediately focussed on the road again. It is very slow going but eventually we reach the top and it is quite a relief that we can get out of the van and check out the tourist centre and enjoy the views from the safety provided by barriers on the viewing decks. After a short stop, including a cake break, we continued on with our drive which was over the top of the mountains and was incredibly scenic, we even had a quick stop for some photos next to some solid ice that obviously just never melts, even in this summer of global warning. Our next stop was at a waterfall by the name of Gudbrandsjuvet. I love waterfalls. There is something about the power of the water gushing with such force and the noise it makes that I find inspiring. In most countries, at least where I have been, there are waterfalls about here and there so when you come across one it is an event. This is backwards in the fjords of Norway where it seems like when there is not a waterfall in sight that this is unusual. So I am getting my fill while we are here, this one was very impressive so we sat and had a cracker snack for a bit. Then some shopping and a ferry crossing before driving on to our campsite which was at Gerainger. Geraingerfjord is the big daddy of the fjords here in Norway and our campsite was at one end and to get there we had to drive a road that was not dissimilar to the Trollstigen Road but this time we were descending, and the road seemed to be even narrower. Once again, the drive was spectacular, but even more concentration is required when going down such a hill so I didn’t see much of it. And to make it worse, about half way down we started to notice a smell coming from the tyres or brakes, we’re not really sure which. This made us worry on top of the already nervous feeling of driving down and so when we arrived at Gerainger we were not in the happiest of moods. And what can I say about Gerainger? Well, if the name Hell was not already taken then I think this would have been an appropriate alternative. The campsite was basically a very large field sitting at the end of the fjord and it was absolutely rammed. We did manage to get a space but it just felt like it was full because Geraingerfjord is a beautiful place and people (like us) were ticking it off their lists, there was literally nothing that was appealing to us and if we hadn’t of been completely knackered (the adrenalin rush of the incredible drive makes you very tired when it wears off) and a bit worried about the state of Sven then we would have found somewhere else to stay. So it was not a happy end to what had started out as an exciting day.
What have we learned? I’m not sure if we have learned because we keep making the same mistakes but don’t become one of the crowd, you will just contribute to the destruction of beauty.