So, are you all sick of Norway yet? Impossible!
After three attempts to get through the impenetrable fog that rolled in on our second day, we finally made it through the mountain pass of Trollstiegen- or "Trolls Path". I'll give you a cookie if you can tell me who designed the awesome walkway and facilities there...any guesses? Yep, Jensen & Skodvin! I told you, these guys are all over the National Tourist Route of Norway, and are making it a series of architecturally gorgeous stops, rather than shabby gift shops and shoddy pavements.
Trollstiegen is reached by 11 hairpin bends of death barely wide enough for our rental car, so basically by the time your car reaches the top, stinking of burnt rubber and overheated gearbox, you appreciate the view (and precious, precious life) even more. Especially when two massive tour buses of Japanese tourists have eked past you somehow without going off the cliff.
Of all the places we visited, we both decided this was our favourite. There is something wonderful about driving through the sun, in the lush green forest, and climbing up the mountain path as it gets darker and more foreboding and finally becomes snowy and mysterious. We took to calling this area "Mordor" since we can totally see how Tolkien ripped off everything from Norway, and where we were staying was like the Shire. Geiranger Fjord, which I'll post a bit later, was definitely Rivendell, all waterfalls and rocky crags emerging from mist. I can totally understand it though, how can you look at such beautiful surroundings and NOT be moved to write a bunch of really long, rambling books describing them?
One thing we noticed a lot on our travels were these little piles of rocks. I know in England they used to be used to mark the path, if I remember correctly, and I assume this is the same thing. Unless lots of people died falling off this cliff and these are little gravestones? Which is understandable, it's a sheer drop to the rocks below. I decided they were a way to mark that travellers had been there, so we climbed onto a rock and made our own little pile. I wonder how long it will stay before the elements/humans reconfigure it?