Norway has about 149 big waterfalls, the one bigger than the other. A waterfall is formed when water flows over a vertical drop in the course of a stream or river. But a waterfall can also occur where meltwater drops over the edge of ice shelves. We’d run into a waterfall every corner we turned in Norway. There were slimmer ones, lively cascading ones and huge falls where the water would plunge down. This post will feature a couple of the first waterfalls that we encountered. After Preikestolen and Lysejord, we continued our trip through the National Tourist Route of Ryfylke. The route passed through constantly changing sceneries of verdant fjords and stark mountains. This first photo (featured above) is proof of that. One minute we were driving through the green countryside. Suddenly, we were in the mountain area, surrounded by snow fields white as, well, snow.
1. Near Svandalsfossen The first waterfall we encountered was Svandalsfossen, one of the biggest plunge waterfalls in Ryfylke. You could not get near without getting wet so I didn’t risk it with my camera. But you’ll see footage of Svandalsfossen of some sort in another post soon. This little waterfall is a smaller tiered waterfall next to Svandalsfossen. The photo was taken with a Neutral Density filter. I’ve never really used filters before, but hey, there’s a first for everything.
2. Røldal What makes wild camping so exciting is the fact that you can roam the country freely and set up camp wherever you want to. In Norway, it’s called the allemannsrett, literally a man’s right to access and passage through uncultivated land in the countryside. As long as you show consideration for farmers and landowners, you are free to stand and land wherever you want. For us, it meant that, wherever we would find a beautiful view (which was practically everywhere), we’d make a rest stop and enjoy the moment. This is the view of the first night we set up camp, somewhere in Røldal. The waterfall is a small loosely segmented waterfall. This is the last thing we saw before going to sleep and the first thing the minute we woke up. Not too shabby right?
3. Hardangerfjord We set forth to the North the next day where we took the National Tourist Routes of Hardanger. The route passes through scenic areas with mountains, fjords, waterfalls and glaciers. Hardanger is also a fruit-growing region. The soil along the fjords is said to impart a characteristically fresh and tangy flavour to fruit. Seasonal fruits like wild berries (e.g. cloudberries) are on sale in stalls along the road. A small box will set you back about 50 NOK (approximately EUR 6/7).
4. Hardangervidda A stroll in the Hardangervidda will make you fall in love with the deep and verdant valleys that Norway has to offer. The Hardangervidda plateau is Norway’s largest national park and a key habitat for Europe’s largest stock of wild reindeer. We wanted to set up camp here but were afraid it would be a bit too cold to survive. If Lord of the Rings wasn’t filmed in New Zealand, I could have sworn it was filmed in Norway.
5. Chasing Waterfalls, Again Vøringsfossen (left) and Steinsdalsfossen (right), two plunge waterfalls. At the Vøringsfossen waterfall, go behind the veil by taking the steps up to the waterfall.
6. On the Road I can’t stop repeating how breathtaking the Norwegian scenery is. This is where you want to drive off in the horizon with Nancy Sinatra playing on the background.
7. No. 49 Even though Norway is the land of reindeers, we did not see one. At one point, it had become a search for the holy grail. We wanted to spot one so badly yet it was nowhere to be seen. A unicorn, in the wild, nowhere. What we did see, a lot of in fact, were sheep. One night when we were driving around with our head lights on, we saw a lamb sitting in the middle of the road. Luckily when we approached, the lamb stood up and walked away like a true gentleman. These sheep we saw on our way back from Hardangervidda. When we stopped, the sheep looked at us peculiarly. Especially sheep no. 49.
8. Eidfjord I’m trying to manage my DSLR, GoPro and iPhone photos. I hope the photos are giving you some kind of idea of the idyllic views of the country. No camera however is able to capture the real beauty of the landscapes. Even now editing my photos, I realise the then and there was so much more than what you see in the photos. So if you are slightly intrigued after seeing the photos, I definitely recommend planning a road trip in Norway yourself. So this picture shows Eidfjord. Again, the freedom you have on a road trip is obviously immense. We drove passed this scene and decided to make a pit stop.
9. Penne Bolognese No pit stop is complete without food. We packed the car with two boxes of pastas, soups, noodles, snacks, cookies, drinks and whatnots. We bought a camping gas stove which we were able to use during our whole trip. We ate Penne Bolognese and paired with the view, the sun and soft breeze, this was definitely one of my highlights of the trip.
10. BLue Hues As we drive along the Hardangerfjord on our way to Bergen, we are once again met by blue fjords in the horizon. Nearing Bergen, we quickly see a change in the landscapes. We’re almost back in the city again, where we will once again encounter hordes of people. Not that that’s a bad thing. But at this point, we had become so used to the peaceful and tranquil surroundings that getting back in the city was not our priority. In no time though, we booked our first night at a hotel after only one night of wild camping. We swore never to tell anyone. You don’t mind keeping a secret do you?
Thank you for reading and tune in for more this weekend when we will continue our road to the city of Bergen.