FORESTIA ROUTES Tristan Bogaard & Belén Castello

CYLING NORWAY’S COAST – ÅLESUND TO BERGEN

Starting Point: Ålesund, Norway
Difficulty level: Challenging

We thought we had seen the best of Norway already but we were proven wrong, the best was yet to come.

Even though in Ålesund we were just 400km away from Bergen, it took us another 800km to get there as we tried to take as many detours a possible, and I must say they were very worth it.   It’s on every tourist’s list to visit the Geirangerfjord when travelling to southern Norway, but what they won’t tell you is how overcharged everything there is and how crowded the roads are in the area. Instead, we took the neighbouring Hjørundfjorden, a very quiet and beautifully narrow fjord with a fine amount of opportunities for hiking. And guess what? We had it almost for ourselves. A nice (but slightly challenging) hike in the area is to climb up Saksa, which is approximately 1073 metres, from up there you get to see a full 360 view of all the surrounding mountains. Unbelievable.

The highlight of this last stretch of the journey was the area of Utladalen, one fantastic and unexplored valley full of the most incredible waterfalls. On a very moody day, we walked to the top of Vettisfossen, a waterfall tipping to a 275 metre vertical drop ending almost in the abysm. You can pop your head over the edge to try and see the bottom but I can assure you; your heartbeat will increase heavily. It was definitely the most impressive experience of the whole journey. And once again… you’ll barely see a soul. Autumn starts early in Norway and when we arrived here by the beginning of September the trees were already turning yellow and red, making the whole place look even better.

In comparison to northern Norway, finding food, water, gas, clothes or anything else, becomes way easier as towns are bigger and closer to each other in the south. We enjoyed most of our Forestia meals and bars on our hikes as a reward when reaching the top in order to gain some energy before descending – which, believe me – in Norway is as difficult (if not harder) as going up. It’s just important to remember to bring all your rubbish back with you as we found it heart breaking to see loads of abandoned trash and toilet paper on the most trafficked hikes. We should appreciate the amazing landscapes we are gifted with and therefore we must preserve them for future generations and others to enjoy. Clean up after yourself, leave no trace!

It has taken us 2725km and four months to complete our bicycle tour around Norway and on the way we’ve learned how important it is to have the time to enjoy every single place you visit. For us, this experience wasn’t only about getting to Bergen as quick as possible but to get to know a country we have both admired for a long time. Next on our list are the Alps. We want to chase the mountains as these are the kind of scenery that bring the most astonishing views, and although winter is coming closer, I’m sure what we’ll see will make us forget about the cold temperatures. See you on the road!

Credits:

Images © Tristan Bogaard & Belén Castello Words by both of us

 

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Instagram: @tristanbogaard
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