We are definitely over the tunnels now. While they are great feats of engineering they get boring after a while especially when the distance driven in them can equal the distance on ordinary roads. We would much rather appreciate the magnificent views all around us in Norway. We are even getting blasé about car ferry crossings. On the most recent one we decided it was a good time to make lunch in the van and didn’t even get out to look at our route.
We decided to drive to Molde via an overnight stop in Alesund. The attraction of Molde is that it is close to the Atlantic Ocean Road which is rated as an outstanding scenic drive. Unfortunately we arrived in Alesund about 6 pm the evening before before their annual Boat Show was due to start. There is only one campground close to Alesund and you guessed it- it was packed out. The campground manager kindly let us stay in the car park for no charge as we didn’t need electricity for one night. Alesund is an interesting town as it was largely rebuilt in art nouveau style after it was largely destroyed by fire in 1904. The town council definitely had great foresight as it is very attractive for the most part.
Our campground in Molde is right by the water with a beautiful view – and the end of the airport runway a few hundred metres away. The guide book said that there were only about 3 flights a day! We counted 3 in the first 2 hours and they have flights in the wee hours of the morning too. But it hasn’t been a problem. Molde itself is nothing special but today we drove out to the sleepy fishing village of Bud – so sleepy that neither of the 2 restaurants seemed to be opening for lunch. However it was very photogenic.
We then drove along the coast towards the Atlanic Ocean Road hoping something would be open for lunch and wishing we had packed a picnic. Mind you it can be a bit chilly for a picnic. The average day temperatures seem to be 14-16 degrees and often overcast, but we didn’t come here for the weather. Luckily we found something down a small side road where the menu consisted of fiskesuppe (fish soup) and bacalao, a dish made of salted dried cod with potatoes, onions and tomatoes. Richard was a bit dubious but it was delicious.
The Atlantic Ocean Road has become a well known scenic route. The Guardian newspaper once proclaimed it the world’s best road trip at 8km long! It is a series of graceful road bridges and causeways connecting 17 islets. While I wouldn’t agree with the ranking it was certainly worth doing. There are hundreds of small rocky islets. Very difficult to photograph though and definitely compromised by the man made structures.
We ran into our first Kiwis at our campsite in Molde since the beginning of our trip in France- they are heading to Nordkapp too … But on bicycles!!!!!! We couldn’t believe it when they told us. We felt like total softees doing it in comfort. They started in Amsterdam in May and will finish on October in Amsterdam after coming down through Sweden and Finland . Apparently even the Norwegians think that is quite a feat- they were featured in the local paper today.
Heading north today to Trondheim. Already it barely gets dark here. It is still quite light at 11.30 pm and the nights are not fully dark. We find we end up going to bed late and still get up early.