After our stay in Lom we drove back a bit and further in the direction of Åndalsnes. Just before we find the impressive Trollveggen campsite. Here we can place ourselves freely on a large meadow. At the reception we are pointed out, but please be careful and not damage the meadow - ok. The meadow is slightly uphill, but we assumed that it would be fine. But as soon as our Dumbo rolls off the path onto the meadow, it happens. It growls loudly once, the wheels spin and grass flies away. The meadow is probably too muddy and the wheels don’t grip strong enough to move Dumbo’s 3.5t upwards. Luckily we can get down in reverse gear and drive a little further back onto the meadow. It’s much easier here because there are no inclines in the way. But in the end we have a fantastic parking space directly on a large meadow in front of the Trollwand. The reward is the warmest weather so far. After our dinner - there was pasta again - and yes, three plates again… - we sit outside until half past 11 and edit and upload the next travel videos. Here we are still quite good in the WLAN reception area.
The next morning we are excited to see how we can get down from the meadow again. The announced rain had already started in the evening. So the meadow is now even wetter and in places muddy than yesterday. But the super mom and off-road expert knows no pain, gets behind the wheel and Dumbo rolls light-footedly across the meadow back to the gravel path with his elephant weight.
The next stop is actually just behind us, so we drive back almost a kilometer and arrive at the Trollveggen Besøkscenter. There is a cafe and a souvenir shop here. The mouse is now the proud owner of a snuggly Norwegian hat and we’re paying an outrageous €9 for a children’s plate of Kjöttkaker: 2 small potatoes and a small meatball, plus half a spoonful of mushy peas and some sauce. It’s good that the mouse isn’t too hungry. In the evening we would have needed 3 plates to fill them up.
Other than that, honestly, there is nothing going on in this visitor center. So we continue to the Trollstigen.
That is, almost. After about 10 minutes of driving, we realize that we have once again stolen a key. This time the one to the family room at Trollveggen campsite. So it’s time to turn around again, back to the place and hand over the key. The mouse fell asleep long ago and luckily doesn’t notice her stupid parents.
But now it’s finally up the Trollstigen. The approach leads over a very narrow country road. Here it is difficult to get past each other with two mobile homes. At the same time, numerous coaches also run here. Luckily there are no cruise ships here at the moment. Their masses must absolutely clog the streets here. The ascent takes quite a while, as we have to wait again and again at the wider points to allow the passage of other large vehicles. But the view is no less impressive.
When we got to the top, we were slightly overwhelmed by the crowd of people on the viewing platform. We weren’t used to that on this trip so far. In the meanwhile continuous rain we go to the viewing platform and admire the view of … the fog. Ok, we’ll try that again tomorrow morning in the better announced weather.
So we set off before breakfast and can still admire the great view of the Trollstigen in small gaps in the clouds and almost alone.
Then we dare a hike to the Bispenvatnet, a lake fed by a glacier about 300m above us. The path begins quite spectacularly with stone paths through river courses. But later it will turn out that this is actually not so great. There are two routes marked on our map. One dashed, the other a solid line. We assume that as always, solid=easier and follow this path. But already after 50m the path is already overgrown and difficult to see. Well, hardly anyone walks here for long, we think, and just push the overgrown path to little public traffic. But after about 20 minutes we have to climb up through the bed of a well-fed stream. About wet and loose stones. This is neither easy nor easy with our luggage and the carrying frame on our back. The sweat flows, although it is actually quite cool. The mouse sleeps most of the way, which to be honest is quite helpful. A happily hopping back and forth on the back of over 10kg would certainly not have made this steep stone path any easier.
At the top we are relieved that we still made it all the way to Bispenvatnet and are rewarded with a fantastic view of the glacial lake and surrounding snowfields. We all like the short break there, the mouse grins happily to itself and eats rusks and smoked sausages with us. It’s a good thing that we stocked up on groceries in Lübeck beforehand.
For the descent we decide this time for the alternative way. It is also marked in color up here - maybe an indication that this way is easier after all? In the end we are convinced: It would have been much easier here and we would have found the way much more easily. While this side is no less steep, it is definitely easier to walk and not partially flooded by a creek. So if you do this hike, take the red marked path, the other one is overgrown and certainly not easier.
After this hike we had promised the mouse her favorite snack. And at the Gudbandsjuvet car park we found what we were looking for: a strawberry stand! The Gudbandsjuvet is an imposing waterfall that can be explored from a few bridges. The whole walk takes less than 15 minutes and we’re back on the road. The actual strawberry highlight of the day is still pending.
A promise is a promise, so next we stop at Jordbærstova, the strawberry shop! With a huge glass of fresh strawberries and two pieces of strawberry cake and coffee we let our tired legs rest a bit. It is noteworthy that in Norway the strawberry season is still in full swing in August. Since we are further north here, we have traveled back in time, so to speak, seasonally. So there are still fresh strawberries in the strawberry valley, the Valdal.
In the evening, after a short stop at the supermarket, we spend the night at the campsite in Solvang. Here, too, the ground is very muddy and in the end we don’t even dare to go to the drinking water supply. The road to get there doesn’t look particularly promising. But it doesn’t matter, for this evening we still have enough water and the next evening we will probably be back at a campsite. So there is no need to panic. In general, one can say that Norway is really designed for campers and mobile homes. There are plenty of campsites, and no advance booking is usually necessary. In addition, there are always supply and disposal stations along the road, which are always clearly signposted. It’s really a masterly solution here.
This is also where our clothesline has its premiere. Our trousers and socks are so wet from the hike that they urgently need drying.
When we make our first stop for a photo the next morning after only 5km at a vantage point, we unfortunately have to realize that even such a clothesline has potential for mistakes. In any case, we dismantle the clothesline before we continue from this vantage point. 5km road test must be enough. But good quality, has held up perfectly!
Today’s destination is already reached for lunch, the Geiranger Feriesenter. We arrived at our campsite at the Geirangerfjord, just in time for the first week on the road. The only thing on the agenda here today is lazing around, enjoying the view, playing and romping around. You don’t have to sit in the car all day every day. So while the mouse catches up on its nap in the pram, we can enjoy the view of the fjord with tea. Oh well. At least parts of it. It’s pretty cold and foggy, but the weather is supposed to improve tomorrow. One more reason to put your feet up here today and relax.
Boat tour Geirangerfjord
The next day, when the weather is fantastic again, we set off on the Geiranger Fjord with our borrowed boat. We have two hours. There would also have been a ferry that we could have just taken there and back. You would see roughly the same thing. But deciding for yourself where to slow down and what isn’t really worth seeing is definitely more fun. So we ride sometimes faster sometimes slower the fjord to its mouth in the next fjord, the Sunnylvsfjord, and back again. Unfortunately, it took a while for our mouse to come to terms with this trip. She has always loved boat trips, enjoying the wind in her hair and the view. Today, however, one shows oneself rather grumpy, until at some point she falls asleep and again sleeps through three quarters of this highlight. She only wakes up shortly before our landing stage and is enthusiastic about how much fun it is to go boating after a good night’s sleep.
Then it goes further up to Dalsnibba. This is the highest road-accessible viewing platform over Europe’s fjords. The toll road costs the equivalent of around €27. Not a bargain, but we intend to stay the night with this view and it’s worth it to us. So in the evening we enjoy the beautiful sunset with a view down to the Geiranger Fjord and the surrounding mountains and glaciers.