Norway: Nordic Cities VI – In the Land of the Trolls
The town of Hamar is situated on the coast of the lake. The town is known for its Vikingskipet (a Viking ship) which is a multipurpose hall. The building looks like a reevrsed ship hull. And it is important for the Czech Republic as the speed skater Martina Sablikova broke record on a 5000m track. We reach the camp at night. We have to wait until morning to begin our adventure there.
The sun wakes us up. First, we ride through Gudbrandsdale valley, the very same valley we entered a day before. Beautiful vally is surrounded by green hills and wild rivers. The most important of them is the Lågen. Her beautiful rapids are along our way. There is still something nice to look at. Then we get to Romsdalen valley. There is Trollveggen mountain (1740 m). It is our goal of the day. Its northern slope is kown as the rock of the trolls. It is considered the highest rock wall in Europe. Atmospheric conditions and its overhang makes it one of the most difficult.
Romsdalen valley and the surrounding peaks constitute the oldest national park in Norway – Romsdal. It is the home to beasts of the Nordic mythology - trolls. A troll is quite an ugly creature. It is either a descent of giants or a troll is a giant. It has a long, pointy noes and long hair. This creature is quite dumm and malicious. It harms its surroundings. However, folk believe that there are also good elves in the mountains who help people. So, it is almost a must to buy a little troll and believe it is a good one.
Meanwhile, we are approaching one of the best known scenic roads in northern Norway - the Trollstigen road. Before we begin with our attempt to ride its erpentines, we take a short break at the resting area. Who goes bit further down the road to the left can find drinking water in a small well. Our break is short so we plan another one. Well, if we are lucky and manage to fit within a small parking space near Stigfoss waterfall. Our wish comes eventually true. Thanks to that we can make beautiful pictures of the waterfall.
Now we have to ride up the serpentines of the Road 63 until we reach the scenic points. We are looking forward to see the views over Åndalsnesfjorden Fjord, Isterdalen valley, and Bishop, King, and Queen rock formations and also the largest vertical rock wall of Trolltindane. All these beautiful and sharp peaks rise up from the fjord to 2000 meters above sea level.
We stop our vehicle on the peak of the road. Then we set off to the scenic points. There is a lot to see. Waterfalls fall down into the valley. The road we used goes along them. We record everything and move on.
Today, we visit the northernmost point of our adventure - the town of Ålesund. The very first important inhabitnat there was Rollo, one of important Viking leaders. Another important note about the town comes from 1027. In this year, St Olaf arrived at the town to preach Christianity. The most important and most painful date is 1904. Then a sever storm hit the town and left 10 thousand people homeless. It was a miracle that nobody died. Still, there was some good in this catastrophy. German Kaiser Wilhelm II urged fast renovation. Many inhabitants voluntarily and strenously put their effort into the rebuilding of this town. Thus, the town emerged anew this time in Art Nouveau style. Its look has remained ever since and it makes it true gem in northern Norway.
From the Aksla scenic point, you can enjoy beautiful vistas. The scenic point is about 190 meters above the city. 418 steps lead to it from downtown. The weather is good so we can enjoy the view over beautiful buildings and the surrounding lanscape including Runde island. The island is the home to unique bird colony which includes puffin, Northern gannet, and Black-legged kittiwake. The town is beautiful. We enjoyed the walk in its streets.
Next week we take you up to the Bessegen mountain ridge.
Text and photos: Magdaléna Radostová
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