Report 20
MIDSUMMER NIGHTS Week 16+17:from June 17 till June 22

Dear reader,

In Norway the road between heaven and hell is long and winding – that’s what I experience on my first night ride. I leave Jorpeland to arrive after a mere 251 km at Kinsarvik.

On the road I have reason to celebrate: today I ride my 10.000th kilometre. In anticipation of something stronger and more suitable to the occasion I take a few gulps of fresh water and drink to my health.

Contrary to what I had anticipated I don’t meet hordes of reindeer but have to call myself lucky when occasionally one of them ventures across the road – luckily not the moment I come careering past the bend! The advantage of driving at night is that I don’t have to worry about oncoming traffic in the dark, unlit and at times 4-km long tunnels.

My second night ride will stay an unforgettable adventure. The program, enough to keep an average tourist busy for a complete week, looks very promising. I start at the Hardangerfjord and immediately notice what local people live on. Countless fruit trees on the slopes along the shores profit from the prosperous climate. Innumerable waterfalls compel my admiration – the majestic game between sunlight, water and mountains is indisputably breathtaking.

Via the Gudvanger height I descent to the largest and most famous fjord of Norway; the Sognjefjord. It’s 250 km long and more than 1700 metre deep. Who would not be tempted to simply ferry across it? This deepest and longest fjord used to be the arterial road for the entire region. Without any ferries one would be lost in Norway. There are about 200 of them to take you across the uncountable fjords.

My " breakfast" today is the climb of the highest North-European pass, the Jotunheimen " or "the Giant’s house". My poor legs which have been cycling for more than 200 km today protest a little when I demand they bridge another 1427 metre difference in height and this alongside walls of snow and ice.
"The 37 km long climb from almost zero till 1440 metre will only be successful if your car’s engine is in top condition" this is what I read in my guidebook. Hmm, I think my "engine" is as fit as a fiddle!

On the camping-side in Lom I benefit from a much-needed siesta. With the schedule for the next days at the back of my mind I continue the rest of my fjord journey. The Geirangerfjord, the most photographed fjord in the world, is the Mecca for the cruise ships and more than once you hear words of admiration!
Eleven hairpin curves bring me to a magnificent "utsikt" –view- on the Trollstigvei – meaning nothing less than "the troll’s path". Here I put an end to my fjord travels, ready to take up the biggest challenge of the week!

The spaghetti is being cooked, my legs rubbed with oil on and my poor bottom armed against saddle-soreness: I’m ready to have a go in the cycling classic Trondheim-Oslo. For me though – fully loaded with all my globetrotter gear - this means "only" joining in for the 340-km long ride Dombas-Oslo.

My Koga is packed and I strategically take my stand to allow myself to take some photographs of the fastest among the participants. Along comes the third group and I take my chance and join them. After about a hundred km I decide to slow down a bit in order to arrive in Oslo not only safe and sound but still in possession of all my stuff. I meet a Flemish group and join them.

And then the thought that in Oslo I have a date with Anni, my lovely companion in Norway gives me renewed energy and I put on a burst of speed! … Who wouldn’t?


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