We drive from the ferry port at the edge of Sognefjorden to our hotel which is a bit away from the fjord in a valley called Myrkdalen. To reach the valley we have to cross a fairly high mountain which starts at the edge of the fjord and end at around 1,000 meters of elevation at the top.
A mountain of 1,000 meters may not sound like a lot and in many countries you might expect lush vegetation all the way to the top. But this is Norway and we are only a few degrees south of the Arctic Circle. The vegetation doesn’t make it far up the hill of the mountain and soon the mountain is completely bare except for a little grass and other vegetation which can handle the harsh climate.
A bit further up the road the temperature drops a bit and there is more and more snow next to the road. It is a very pretty landscape though it appears not very welcoming for people trying to make a living in the area.
Surprisingly there are a lot of small cabins up in the area – the Norwegians like to have a hytte (the Norwegian name of small cabin) and it seems like this area in the mountain is pretty popular despite the cold climate and the snow just outside the door in the middle of the summer. The area is pretty but I do wonder what people will do for a longer period of time up here it seems just a tad too cold to be comfortable to go on longer hikes in the area and swimming is clearly out of the question considering there is still ice and snow on some of the lakes.
We finally reach the top of the mountain. And in typical Norwegian style they have decided to put a tunnel through the top bit of the mountain so we don’t get to the top instead we drive straight under the top. I am not sure why they put a fairly short tunnel here at the top considering the road had been steep and twisted on the way to the tunnel. The only reason we could think of was to reduce the risk of the road being covered by snow – but I think lower parts of the road would be impassable as well.
We drive down to the valley below and the last bit of the road is possibly the most scenic. The road is very steep and there is a great view of the valley. The road head down to the valley with several hairpins and in one of the hairpins there is a pretty big waterfall. It really isnt safe to stop at the hairpin so we continue down to the valley.
Safely down at the valley we have a great view of the waterfall and the hairpins on the road. The road isnt one of the famous scenic roads in Norway but the road was very scenic to drive nevertheless. We enjoyed the last bit of drive for the day and after we reach the valley it is only a couple of kilometers drive to the hotel.