Norway is an enchanting country. Everything that surrounds you is breathtaking keeping you awake till late into the night; high mountains with steep cliffs that look like falling over you, glaciers hanged in the sky, waterfalls pouring down from everywhere surrounding you with their majesty and sound, a nature that exults power and freshness. And the summer light helps you. Even if you do not cross the Artic Circle the light is enough at midnight to be able to read. Till around 10:30 – 11:30pm is light like during the day so you do not want to go to sleep. The entire tour we walked or drove every evening till 10:30 – 11pm and got a hotel around 11pm usually being the last people to check in. The next morning we rushed to get up to start all over again so we had in general around 5-6 hours of sleep per night. And you still feel that you miss so much. Wherever you drive or walk is so beautiful that you feel that you don’t have to hand pick routes to enjoy the day just go where your eyes carry you. No matter how much ground you covered you have the feeling that you barely scratched the surface and determines you even more to return.
After an early breakfast we parked the car at the harbor and we got on the 9:30 am cruise on the Geiranger Fjord, a 1.5 hour trip every two hours. The boat ride is spectacular, the UNESCO listed Geiranger Fjord being a very narrow with steep climbing cliffs. During the ride back people were getting off and going for hikes or were picked up from hikes but I did not investigate to see how this can be arranged. This cruise is one of the best in Norway’s fjord and should not be missed. When we returned after some phone calls and shopping in the harbor and many pictures from vantage points, we checked out the very nice hotel room and we drove all the way to Dalsniba, a 1500 meter mountain peak with fantastic views over the fjord and the surrounding mountains. The peak is covered in snow and when the sun goes in the clouds it is chilly.
We spent there way too much time and we continued on the way to Grotli from where we turn right on the old Styrn route, Strynefjell, a narrow one lane road not properly maintained that goes deep inside a plateau valley in a moonlike landscape. Tourist buses use the road coming from Styrn and you have to stop and go on the side or drive back to an area where they can pass you. Fortunately they drive in flocks and after they passed the entire road was ours with some occasionally cars coming from Styrn. the road is one of the most spectacular roads we drove in Norway. After about an hour we reached Stryn summer ski resort but that looked closed. I read that you can ski here till late in the summer and seeing the amount of snow still left in the middle of July was no surprise. The road improves from the resort till it meets the new road from Grotli to Styrn.
On the we stopped and had lunch in a bucolic valley surrounded by waterfalls, wild rivers and snowed capped peaks. This road is a treat not matter that is not easy to navigate on its first portion. From Styrn, the main town in Nordfjord, we drove to the closest glacier, Kendelsbreen, where we got info regarding the glacier walks in the local restaurant where the guides were eating. The glacier walks start at 10 am and is a whole day affair ending around 5pm with about 3 hours on the ice. Unfortunately our schedule could not afford this so we decided to have dinner on the terrace with a view of the lake and glacier in front. After dinner we drove to Briksdalebreen, the second glacier where we started the hike toward the glacier around 8:30 pm. It takes about 40 minutes to hike to the glacier. During the day there is a trolley that for NK100 takes you there also. After admiring the glacier and watching an avalanche of ice coming down, we backtracked our route reaching the base hotel around 11pm where we were able to catch the manager right when he was closing to go to sleep, got a room and slept over night in Briksdal and the base of the glacier.