We left Ålesund, ready for a long day on the road. First we past by the tourist magnet Geirangerfjord, that is to say, the entry end of it (Hellesylt), not the fantastic inner end that is usually featured on postcards.
Not long after we past Hellesylt, we entered the county of Sogn og Fjordane, which is broken up by several fjords. The "Fjordane" (Fjords) part consists of Nordfjord and Sunnfjord (North Fjord and South Fjord) which are made up of several fjords each. The landscape is especially dramatic in Nordfjord, with Stryn, a popular ski resort area, at the heart of the area. Other tourist attractions, like the Briksdal glacier which was a favorite of mine when I was a child, lie along this stretch, like a string of pearls. But you have to drive on a road like this:
After having seen some roads first-hand, I came home to a series in the local newspaper about the road standard in Norway. The headline under the photo above reads, "This is a major highway in western Norway". I used to walk on such a road to school, but there was less traffic then.
I have a soft spot for Sunnfjord because a dear friend came from that region. They also have a charming accent with wonderfully rolling R's, and the best rømmegrøt (sour cream porridge). I first discovered the kind of rømmegrøt I like because a childhood friend's mother was from Sunnfjord. We had lunch in Skei, as we entered the Sunnfjord region, and there I had the excellent meal of meatballs with cream of peas. Others in our group had "raspeballer" or dumplings, served with sausage and mashed turnips. And some had rømmegrøt.
And just to give you a chance to feel like a tourist, some instructions intended only for the traveler:
Read this: Your drink is not ready until the machine says "Klar til bruk".
Be grateful for the stuff that doesn't need translating. ;-)
After a beautiful drive, with weather, fjords and traffic all on their best behavior, we arrived back in Bergen just before 7 pm, having been traveling since 8:30 am. I had one more bus to take: The bus home. And by the bus stop before mine, a gorgeous buck stood tall and proud between the apartment buildings, drawn by the beautiful and probably tasty lawn. Another missed photo opportunity, but a wonderful end to my trip.