Jostedalsbreen National Park – Norway

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27th June 2019 – 2nd July 2019

Well Norway keeps producing the most amazing sights and our next stop did just that. We had just left the turquoise lake with the Briksdal glacier in the distance but there was a glacier that we could drive to and see close up and this we wanted to see (well me mainly). After a short drive, we arrived and there were quite afew tourists buses with us, we assume it must be on the cruise ship itinerary. With a walk of 10 minutes you are at the foot of the mighty glacier. As you look around you the mountains are flowing with waterfalls and finally pooling into the lovely turquoise meltwater lake. Oh it is such a beautiful sight. The Boyabreen glacier in the Fjærland area is located in the Jostedalsbreen National Park and forms part of the huge Jostedalsbreen Glacier, the largest in Europe and this glacier is the fastest moving glacier in Norway, moving two metres a day towards the glacier front. The steep and short shape of Boyabreen gives a quicker response to the changes in weather and climate than most glaciers in Norway. Heavy snow at the glacier one winter will result in an increase in ice at the glacier front after only three years. Looking up close the glacier with it’s captivating hues of blue and white it is an astounding sight. I stood and just gazed in awe at nature, totally memorised by it. David had had enough and had gone back to the van, but I just stood there not really believing my eyes. Japanese tourists ran passed me, posed with their hands in the air and then disappeared into their coaches and then in the evening we had the glacier to ourselves. I went back down again with Chloe, who dipped her paws into the lake. I think she was keen to get in, but I didn’t think that was a good idea. The next morning, we were surrounded by the local cows which grazed in the nearby pastures, Chloe’s early morning walk was cut short and a hasty retreat to the van, as they seemed to take a great interest in her. We also found a natural swimming lake which looked so inviting, if only it was as warm as the water in Greece, I might have gone in. We took one last walk down to see the glacier and left before too many more tourists arrived for the day. (I know, we are tourists ourselves !) We drove for afew hours and parked in a small village, bought some more delicious strawberries and chilled out for the rest of the day, with David fishing of course. (No fish caught !) The next day we caught our last ferry in Norway, a total of 13. They were like catching buses and Chloe never got up from her bed in the end as we boarded them. The weekend was approaching and we decided to spend a couple of days hunkered down, we chose a little place called Borgaholmane. It had lovely views out to sea and perfect for you know what ! After spending many hours fishing David came in for dinner without having had a nibble of a fish. I go out after dinner and only land my first Mackerel, OMG how happy was I ! There was a small VW van parked near us and they had the all singing all dancing kayak and David hears him telling his girlfriend as he is coming back to shore that he has caught the biggest fish in his life and it took him 20 minutes to land it. If only we had a Kayak ! The next day David catches a huge mackerel, the biggest I have ever seen. But this is where the competition starts, we weigh both the fish we had caught and David’s is far larger than mine, so now what do I go and do, I go out fishing at 9 o’clock at night trying to catch a larger mackerel. However, the cold wind get the better of me and after an hour I retreat to the van, empty handed.

We departed the next day, David with a full heart after landing the biggest mackerel we have ever seen and me, just hoping that my time would come. We were hoping to visit Bergen and this was the reason why we had taken this route from the North of Norway. However, the weather was awful, wind and rain and we decided to save Bergen for another trip. It turned out to be an expensive day though as we crossed the Harmanger Bridge, 1380 metres long and one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. It cost us £60 for a one way drive. The bridge crosses the Hardangerfjorden and replaced the ferry connection and to be honest it is very impressive. What is more impressive though is the Villavik tunnel 7,510 metres long and it has a roundabout in it, that was put in when the Harmanger Bridge was constructed. Lit up in bright blue lights, the roundabout is a great piece of engineering I must say. Mind you, they must be racking it in, with the tariffs. The bridge has a viewing area and this again is frequented by the tourist coaches. You can also walk along the bridge, but we decided against it, far too much exercise !. It was time now to start crossing over to the east of Norway to Oslo. We had mainly hugged the coast roads coming down through the west coast of Norway but now we needed to cross over. The 40 route took us up to the highest of vistas and a dramatic new view of Norway to what we had seen to date. Our van did us proud as we climbed up and over mountains, the scenery took on a completely different view. Along the roads there were poles on each side which must in the winter be indicators of where the roads are to clear them of snow. We imagined that at this height though that the roads would be impassable. We passed the town of Geilo which had the most ski runs we have seen in Norway and through the Hallindskarvet National Park. It looks more like moorland, no trees at all as far as the eye could see. The weather wasn’t great and although it was still stunning it must look amazing on a clear bright day. We passed hard core cyclists which we are in awe of, carrying all their belongings and with calves of steel to ride these roads. There were still pockets of snow, which at this height we assume never melt. This was a truly memorable ride, one for the memory book.

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