Sognefjord- Flam area lost track of the number of road tunnels, often several km long, we went through on the way to our next stop. It often felt like you were in tunnels more than out of them on the open road- when you think about how much fuss is made in NZ about a short tunnel that takes several years to complete eg the Johnston Hill tunnel going north … . We saw a tunnel 2 km long built to give access to a village of 30 people – it cost $4.5 million about 20 years ago. Most of the tunnels are toll free except around the cities. 

We ended up staying at the village of Flam which is really just a destination for tourists with cruise ships and tour buses coming in as well as the usual fjord tours but it has a picturesque setting at the head of the fjord. The campground looked nice unlike a couple we passed in the place we were going to stay at. We ended up with another great view from our campsite. However we are having to take the trailer and Twiggy off quite often in Norway- doesn’t take long. We had managed to avoid doing it most of the time until now. 

Our first day there we took a Fjord Safari trip into Naeroyfjord ( actually pronounced like “narrow” which it is) in a rigid hull inflatable which was a fun way to see the fjord. We were all rugged up in one piece suits, hats etc as it can be cold at speed even in summer.  The fjord has UNESCO Natural Heritage status and is largely protected from development. There are small settlements along its length which do not have road access and it is only 250m wide at one point. 

The larger village in the photos is famous for its caramelised brown goats cheese which is one of the standard fillings for the famous svele which are a popular snack on the car ferry crossings. They are so yummy I just had to buy some of the cheese but it doesn’t taste nearly as good on its own. 
The second day we did a road trip in Twiggy over the old main road through to Oslo. It has been replaced by a 25 km tunnel- the longest in the world. The road runs between Aurland and Laerdal and has to be one of the most amazing scenic routes we have ever driven – definitely a road for Twiggy although we did encounter a fair few camper vans on it. Sometimes the road was barely wide enough for one vehicle and we found ourselves having to reverse to let others past. 

As we climbed up out of the fjord we had stupendous views over Sognefjord and into Naeroyfjord. Once at the top it was like a mountainous plateau with lakes that were still half frozen and snow banks alongside the road. 

We decided to go for a bit of a hike but after half an hour ….

From Laerdal we travelled up the valley to the village of Borgund which is famous for its wooden stave church. It was built around 1180 and is the most original of any stave church in Norway. It is amazing that a wooden structure has survived that long. The word “stave” refers to the method of construction using wooden staves to create the central supporting structure. 

After 3 nights at Flam we decided we had better keep moving – our goal of reaching Nordkapp seems rather daunting at times when we look at the map and see how far we have to go. So the next day we went through the longest road tunnel in the world at 24.5 kilometres. It even has pull in bays every 6 km with coloured lights to imitate the Northern Lights to prevent drivers from getting zonked out driving in the tunnel. 

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