Driving the tunnel of Lærdal

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The weather has become slightly better this morning – at least it isn’t raining heavily as we leave our hotel. But the weather is still very cloudy and on all the hill tops there are some low hanging clouds which make it pretty questionable to drive up the mountains.

The small harbor outside Auerlandvangen

It is a shame since we were supposed to drive up the road called Auerlandsfjellet which is supposed to be one of the most scenic mountains roads in Norway. But with the low hanging clouds it doesn’t seem like a great idea to go up in the mountains and just get stuck in the fog. Instead we take a never road – the Norwegian seems to have spent a significant part of their oil revenue building expensive roads. And right here is one of those roads.

The old road across the mountain has been replaced by a tunnel through the mountains. And this tunnel isn’t just an average tunnel. When the Lærdal tunnel was finally finished in 2000 it replaced the St. Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland as the longest in the world. and the Lærdal tunnel didn’t just take the record by a little bit – no it smashed the old record beating the record by 7½ kilometers or almost 5 miles. Since 2000 3 more tunnels have been finished which is longer than the St. Gotthard tunnel but the longest of these are still 6.3 kilometer shorter than the Lærdal tunnel. And unlike the St. Gotthard tunnel it is actually free to go through this tunnel.

Mist on the mountains

We start driving through the tunnel and as we go in it takes a long time before we get through. Actually there are markers for each kilometer and when we finally reach the marker for 13 kilometers we have gone more than half way through this 25 kilometer long tunnel. It is a bit strange driving through the long tunnel which is a bit dark despite the light they have put up inside.

The tunnel might be on the main highway between Oslo and Bergen – but there is still only fairly light traffic through the tunnel so it is an easy drive through the tunnel.

The fjord in the questionable weather

Finally we get to the other side and arrive at the small village Auerlandsvangen. It is located right down at the bottom of the Auerland mountain and down at the fjord. It is a nice place to see for a little while after we finally made it out the dark tunnel.

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