Sognefjord is the longest and deepest fjord in Norway at 204km and 1308m respectively. It has many other fjords veering off it like branches of a tree. We spent a couple of days driving around the fjord and sleeping in idyllic spots next to the calm waters with the occasional seal visitor. I’ve realised Norway is very similar to a wrinkly old ladies face, full of character, crevices and deep valleys. It’s been non stop impressive scenery and just seems to get better and better round every corner.
Its been scorching the past three days with 28degree heat and energy zapping humidity. When we drove through the many tunnels we spread our arms and leaned forward to cool ourselves down. It’s quite amazing how bitterly cold it is inside the dark tunnels. It’s like when you leave the air conditioned airport in Bangkok and step outside, your immediately hit with a wall of heat and humidity.
We visited a couple of glaciers in the Jostedalsbreen National Park which is home to Europes largest ice cap. The drive through this area was phenomenal; sharp mountains piercing the sky, emerald colour fjords, blue rivers from the glacial melt and glaciers sweeping down the valleys. The first one we visited was Supphellebreen which we got to by driving along a small valley with bright green pastures and steep mountain walls. No one else was around so we walked alongside the milky blue river for a better view. At the top of the steep mountain was the blue glacier, somehow holding onto the mountainside, and below it was sheer walls and gushing waterfalls. At the bottom was another huge glacier which was more like a giant area of ice, it had rubble on it and didn’t glow blue. We wanted to get closer and this involved wading our feet through the shallow sections of the river and streams. I think it’s officially the coldest water I’ve ever felt, one thin stream we walked through had what looked like gravelly mud at the end, but was infact muddy ice and snow melting right into the water. We were in our flip flops and my feet were burning, it was unbelievably painful I could barely handle it. Luckily the final stretch was rock hopping and we made it to the mass of melting ice.
While there, we saw two separate crashes from the glacier and chunks of ice broke off and fell down leaving a white spray behind them.
Next stop was Boyabreen Glacier, much more popular, but that’s understandable as it creeped a lot lower into the valley and sat above a lake. It was a vibrant blue colour and looked like a frozen ocean covered in snow. Apparently in 1972 a plane crashed into the glacier, the pilot died but was rescued, the plane however was left there to become part of the glacier and is expected to come into view at some point in the future as the glacier shifts and recedes.
We were so hot afterwards that we desperately wanted a swim, but ideally not in a sea fjord as I hate being salty. Thankfully a fresh water lake was en route so we pulled off at Skei where there was a nice wooden decking on the waterfront, mountain views, rocks to jump off and clear water. Boy was it refreshing! There was a local family also swimming, they said it isn’t normally this hot and that two winters ago the lake froze 58cm thick, and was used for ice skating and cross country skiing. This year however, there was no snow or ice at all.
We’ve now driven about a quarter of the way up Norway, the final goal being Lofoten islands which look unbelievably far away, and east to Finland. Cranking up the diesel bill at an alarming rate.