Driving heaven in the fjords of Norway
Monday, 14th July 2014
There was a time when it had never even crossed my mind to drive through the fjords of Norway. Fast forward to today and I’ll happily talk for as long as I can about my incredible experience! Leaving Flam, and guided dually by my colleagues and our GPS, I embarked on a jaw-droppingly beautiful journey through the fjords and mountains of Norway on a week’s self-drive itinerary.
“A moment I will always remember was discovering that we were literally on top of a mountain.”
The first issue to overcome was remembering to drive on the right side of the road and to go the other way around the roundabouts. But actually this, of all the things I was most concerned about, came naturally. By the end of the day I had also managed to become a specialist in navigating our large VW Passat onto the seemingly small vessels at car ferries. I also discovered that handbrakes can be tiny buttons on the left hand side of the wheel!
One particular thing to take note of when embarking on such a stunning journey is that, although Norway is beautiful, there are very rarely any signs to guide you to spots where you can pull over to take photos. Always ask your co-driver to keep an eye out!
The best bit
A moment I will always remember was discovering that, after a good forty minutes of winding up narrow roads, avoiding sheep and goats and negotiating long tunnels, we were literally on top of a mountain. The sun was reflecting off an enormous glacial lagoon and there was a huge sense of achievement of tackling such an epic drive. And that was before the long and winding road down to our hotel for that evening! A well deserved apres-drive drink at the bar helped calm down the adrenaline I had pumping through me after such an action packed drive.
The following day I handed over the driving responsibility to my colleague as we tackled the famous Trollstigen road. I was relieved to be the one taking photos and looking out for any cars on the sharp bends! I gripped tightly onto the car handle and gazed through the window in absolute awe.
Who should do this trip?
To people who enjoy driving, Norway is heaven – Jeremy Clarkson style. But everyone will enjoy scenery awash with waterfalls, studded with glaciers, walled with green trees and dominated by a dreamscape of magnificent fjords. The landscape, is simply, breath-taking. And once you’ve driven through it, it will stay with you forever, especially when having to tackle your commute on a Monday morning.
There can’t be anything much more satisfying than looking up to the mountain as you park your car at your hotel for the evening and saying: “I’ve just driven through all of that”.