Day 24 – Bergen to Orsta

imageImmediately after breakfast Ben and I took the dogs for a walk in the hill above Bergen just a few minutes walk from the guest house where we were staying. There was a mother camping with her two young children next to a lake, nearby was a well-stocked supply of firewood, a free utility for campers, presumably to deter them from damaging other trees.

We set off in bright sunshine at 9.30 for Trondheim via the Atlantic Ocean Highway, not knowing how far we would get or where we would stay. The boys are pretty good in the car, but it is they who determine the time we spend driving. The dogs are exceptionally good.

We had two significant emails en route. The first was to me from sesam sesam, a car park charging company. I had emailed them the previous day to tell them that I couldn’t pay the parking fee for our visit to Vilvite. Apparently their cameras had misread my number plate, they had now corrected this and I could pay now. I tried again and failed. Tough luck sesam sesam, you won’t get my money now!

The second significant message was to Clare from a former neighbour of hers now living in Trondheim. She and her family are away from home on a years’ sabbatical and are in Paris, but would we like to stay in their home in Trondheim? What an amazingly generous offer and one we would be mad not to accept.

We had three fairly short ferry crossings today. Fjords can stretch for many tens of miles inland, going around at least doubles the distance, being glacial they are very deep, so tunnelling is not a viable option, and a bridge would need a single span, and not a reasonable choice for the traffic levels. As Jack’s favourite book says: “we can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, we gotta go through it.” It does slow the journey somewhat, but does produce several natural breaks.

We found a nice spot for a picnic by a river, and here too the Scandinavians have thought of everything – at one end of the picnic bench was a raised seat, just right for a 2 and 3 year old to sit level with their parents. Unfortunately, Jack leant back on his backless seat and thumped head first onto a concrete slab. Nothing that a hug and a cuddle couldn’t fix, but a worrying moment.

Adaptive cruise control really is perfect for this type of driving. I simply set the maximum speed at 80kph, the separation distance to maximum so as not to harass the driver ahead, and the van’s radar tracks the leading vehicle leaving a sensible speed dependent gap. All I need to do is steer.

After our third ferry crossing at about 3 the boys were starting to get a bit moany so we decided now was the time to stop. We’d already decided not to camp if at all possible, so were looking for chalets. We soon found the perfect place: a four bed chalet, with cooking facilities but no bathroom for 400 NOK, at the head of a Fjord, surrounded by snow capped mountains. We ate the remains of yesterday’s spaghetti bolognese, then took the dogs for a walk by the Fjord, watched the sun drop behind the mountains and went to bed.

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