with camper
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Trollstigen and Geirangerfjord

The rain has finally stopped. After the coffee we continue a dozen kilometers further to Lillehammer, the town that became world-famous after the winter Olympic Games in 1994. We park in the center of the town, next to the church. As we'll find out in various small cities in Norway, usually in the center of a town there's a church, and right next to it, the cemetery. We stroll around the church. It's Sunday and the town is completely empty. We continue the drive on the road E6, which leads through the valley Gudbrandsdalen. On one side of the road there's a lake, on the other side there are forest covered hills and pastures with numerous cows. In villages we pass through, fixed speed radars are very common. Usually there's a warning sign before the radar location, and there we slow down additionally (we're driving slowly anyway). We cross over the hill to the valley in which the village Dombas is located. In Dombas the road E6 continues to Trondheim, the third largest city in Norway. We don't go to Trondheim, but rather turn on the road E136, which leads through the valley Romsdalen to Andalsnes. The weather now is much better, sunny with a few white clouds on the sky. In Norway, the weather changes very quickly - a little bit of rain, a little bit of sun, some wind, and so on. Romsdalen Valley is especially beautiful, as evidenced by numerous roadside parked campers. On the road we occasionally overtake big tractors (we won't see any small tractors in Norway!). On the left side of the road we see the gray mountain Trollveggen ("Wall of trolls"), the highest vertical cliffs in Europe (about 1100 meters high). After Trollveggen, a little before Andalsnes, we turn on the narrow road 63, which leads through the woods to the base of the waterfall Stigfossen, where the road continues on a sharp serpentine climb to the top of the waterfall. This section of road 63 is known as Trollstigen ("Troll Ladder") and is a big tourist attraction, so the road is quite crowded with cars, campers and buses. As the road is so narrow and crowded, driving on it with a camper is quite demanding. We park the camper on the top and go for a short walk to the viewpoint, which offers a breathtaking view of the waterfall, serpentine road and the valley below us. Unfortunately, after just fifteen minutes the clouds obscured the sky and it began to rain. We didn't care a lot as long as it was just dripping, but when it started to pour heavily we returned quickly back to the camper. We have waterproof jackets in the camper, but as it was sunny when we got out we didn't take them with us... While it rains we prepare lunch in the camper. After the lunch we continue along the road, through a mountain plateau. On some places near the road there's plenty of snow (the road 63 is open to traffic only during the summer, the remaining part of the year it's covered in snow). We pass near numerous small mountain lakes, and then descend in a forest-covered valley. We drive near a river, then stop and get out for a walk. The sun is back on the sky. We cross a wooden bridge over the river and a have a short walk before returning to the camper. In village Sylte the road descends to the coast of Norddalsfjord, our first Norwegian fjord! A few kilometers away, in Linge, we stop in a small ferry dock and wait for the ferry to take us to the other side of the fjord.

Local ferries in Norway are an integral part of the road system – a particular road can contain one or more ferry routes between its beginning and end. Ferry prices depend on the length of the vehicle and the length of the ferry route, and are determined at the state level. On busy crossings spots ferries sail from 5:00 to around midnight, with 20-40 voyages in each direction. On ferry terminals everything functions swiftly. Sometimes the ticket for the ferry is bought on board, sometimes there is a vendor walking from vehicle to vehicle in the port and selling tickets before boarding, and sometimes there are toll booths at the entrance to the port. On arrival of the ferry we board quickly and after about ten minutes of sailing we arrive in Eidsdal, on the southern coast of Norddalsfjord.

From Eidsdal the road keeps climbing into the hills. We make a stop next to a beautiful lake and a wander a little bit along the coast. After the walk we keep driving, until we spot several campers parked on a paved parking lot near the road. From here one can already see a tiny bit of Geirangerfjord, one of most beautiful Norwegian fjords. Several hiking trails start from this parking lot, so we put on our trekking shoes and take the 4 km path to the lake Grandevatnet. The track starts as an ordinary gravel road, and we progress without much effort. After about half an hour of walking the gravel road ends and continues as an extremely muddy path. It quickly becomes very difficult to walk on it, and moreover we lose sight of trail markings. It doesn't make much sense to continue the track, so we walk back to the camper. We drive down the road, descending towards Geirangerfjord. We stop at a well-positioned lookout post and enjoy the view of this truly impressive fjord. Wherever one looks – there's a waterfall. We descend numerous serpentines to the coast of the fjord. It's time for dinner... After the dinner we drive through the village Geiranger, located at the very end of the fjord, and then up into the hills. There are several hotels in Geiranger and numerous tourists are roaming on the road. We drive carefully, so that we don't accidentally run over one of many Koreans we see around. We drive through a mountainous area with two lakes, almost completely frozen. Alongside the road there's again a lot of snow. The rain is falling relentlessly. We pass the spot where a private toll road to Dalsnibba separates. Dalsnibba is a lookout point with supposedly excellent views (at least when it's not so cloudy as today). We're not going to Dalsnibba, but drive with caution due to the uneven surface of the road. A road sign prohibits stopping during the next 3 kilometers, because of falling rocks... We descend from the mountain and the snow disappears. We pass the village Grotli and continue along the road 15, next to a wild river with many rapids. We stop at a rest area. With the sound of the river will soon fall asleep...

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Norway with camper: Norwegian fjords
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