June 6-6, 2024 – The Destination

June 5-6, 2024 – The Destination

Road trips are usually about the final destination, but the last two days it has not been about the destination but the path we took to get to our destinations. Leaving early from Stavanger we set off for Odda, a small town near the base of Trolltunga hike. Trolltunga in Norway – Official site: Enjoy a spectacular hike to The Trolls tounge | trolltunga.com  This hike was the next hike on “our” itinerary.  We say “our itinerary” loosely, as it is highly unlikely that Kathy will do the ten hour hike over Norway’s rocky terrain, but we will see once Thursday morning arrives. Along the way to Odda we were treated to more tunnels. Norway seems to have an inordinate amount of driving tunnels, through mountains, under the sea, and under rocky outcroppings to avoid waterfalls or falling rocks. Driving along, we were left speechless upon rounding a corner when we saw a magnificent waterfall with water that poured furiously down the mountain, rushing over jutting rocks, and crashing just inches away from the road before disappearing under the road.  It then reappeared on the other side where it rushed to meet the fjord at the bottom.  We had to stop! No “ifs”, no “maybes”, no “we have a timetable”, we just had to stop. Some things are worth it and this waterfall definitely was. Apparently CNN rated Langfoss as one of the top 10 waterfalls in the world, Langfoss Waterfall – Fjord Norway .  We would agree! We took some amazing photos and then wandered below to see the lively action of the falls from the viewpoint of standing next to the fjord. Not a single view disappointed us and we were glad to have stopped.  After having our fill of this natural delight, we were back on our way to find our final destination of the day, our Airbnb in Odda. The place, a charming apartment, was a nice change of pace as it was tucked in a neighborhood and out of the hustle and bustle of being in a crowded or busy hotel and city. We soon were off to buy some staples for breakfast and lunch to tide us over for the next couple of days.  First, though, was dinner where we chatted up a young man from the US who works for an accounting firm in Charlotte, NC. He had just completed the Trolltunga hike where he had actually hiked up the night before with a guided group.  Instead of relaxing by a campfire and watching the sun set with a group of new friends, he spent the night in a tent due to a blizzard!  When morning arrive, the group hiked back down to Odda. Apparently blizzard conditions with intermittent rain and snow forced the group he was with to huddle in the tents. Upon discussing it with him we made the decision that both of us would opt out of the Trolltunga hike. While it would be great to see the view from the top and get that iconic photo from atop “The Troll’s Tongue”, we were skeptical that there would be a view. (As we drove by the area where Trolltunga was the next morning, there was very low cloud cover.  We also saw fresh snow on the rocky mountaintops.  Hiking on snowy rocks to see a view obscured by clouds was not a good balance of risk versus reward in our opinion.  Especially when we would have had to catch the shuttle bus at 0545 hours!)

Phew, next day already. Today is the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion and it is interesting to remember it in a European country. Having recently visited Hiroshima and now being in a country that was occupied by the Nazis, our travels have given us a broad view of how others saw the events of WWII. We watched a show on TV while here in Norway that gave the European view of the landing by the British and Canadians on D-Day and it was quite interesting. Both Dave and Kathy were fascinated by learning information that we never knew before.   After waking up refreshed and enjoying a leisurely breakfast, we discussed what we wanted to do, where we wanted to go, and at what time. We are grateful for all those men and women who fought oppression, especially those who gave their lives and suffered so many years ago so that we can travel freely in the EU.

Feeling thankful, full, and ready to go, we headed out the door to find the Hardangervidda National Park, which supposedly has reindeer – something Dave desperately wants to see. We soon set off, only to figure out that the park was so huge and the visitor center was more than two hours away. Instead, we opted for a quieter section of the park where we found ourselves driving up the tiniest, cliff-faced, zig-zaggy dirt road ever invented. Whoever put this road in needs to have his/her road building license revoked. Thankfully we found – after a very long way up – a parking area where we got out finding a less arduous hike than Trolltunga.  Dave chatted up an English gent from Oxford who luckily had a map of the area. After a brief discussion we were off to hike to a waterfall, the almost two miles in and two miles out, while not easy, were way more to Kathy’s liking.  While she struggled here and there, she managed to make it out and back. Like many things these the last two days, it was not about the final destination, but the journey.  Along the hike, we found fresh reindeer poop, met a local farmer with his two dogs out for a hike who explained that the reindeer poop was actually moose poop, saw a big waterfall cascading down, had lunch on a charming plateau, and got a few chuckles in as Kathy got sucked into some mud that had her captured both times almost to her knees. Luckily, handy dandy Dave was to the rescue and managed to drag her out of the sucking morass that was trying to claim her – and she managed to keep her boot in the process. Soon we were headed back to Odda to dry out and wash some clothes, but it is not just about getting back. Sometimes it is about the path you take.  And in this case, it included a roundabout in the middle of a tunnel which we made sure to get video of on our return trip!  Tomorrow sees us head to Bergen where we have nothing planned but to enjoy the culture of Norway.

One thought on “June 6-6, 2024 – The Destination”

  1. Beautiful scenes. Loved all the pictures. I hope Kathy’s ankle is doing better
    Keep yourselves well and safe. Love you both

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