Bike Tour (almost)
So firstly to hold my hands up, this trip was never meant to be a cycling trip. In fact this was a family holiday but I couldn’t resist the temptation. For those of you unfamiliar with Norway then, like me, up to the past few weeks you have been missing out. The areas we were lucky enough to visit are amongst the most beautiful I can remember but in this entry I’m going to focus on Olden where the stunning Floen Lake (pictured above) can be found and Flåm.
Our first stop was Olden and from the hotel you are blown away by the picturesque surroundings. From Innvikfjorden that leads in to the incredible hills and mountains that wouldn’t look out of place in Middle Earth, every direction you look takes your breath away.
I hired a bike from a local firm and after discussing potential routes with them I set off towards Jostedalsbreen National Park and the glacier. Now a warning for those tempted the roads in Norway are narrow! On the flip side there is such a low population that you rarely see another vehicle and if you do, they are always respectful and give you plenty of space so bare it in mind but don’t let it put you off. The road took in amazing sights from quiet little farms and scattered houses to the waterfalls and streams feeding the lake. This route had some moderate climbs and plenty of twists and turns on the flat but the highlight and running theme of this trip were the views. Fresh air was in abundence as I made my way along roads which, considering the population and harsh weather experienced in the area, were in fantastic condition. Just before I made the final climb towards the glacier, I was able to stop at a little lakeside cafe for some hard earned waffles and a chat with the extremely friendly and welcoming locals. From there a steady climb led me to the carpark under the glacier and I was able to hike a few hundred yards to get a closer look at what I’m told is the largest glacier in Europe. Even though the ride back down to Olden was retracing my route up, it was no less spectacular and I arrived back at the bike shop with a huge smile on my face ready for whatever Norway had to throw at me next.
Another beautiful little town sat at the end of Aurlandsfjord once again we could see very little other than nature in every direction. I was again able to pickup a bike easily with some rough directions. I chose to follow the fjord round to Aurlandsvangen which was a relatively flat and uneventful ride other than the mindblowing scenery I was surrounded by. I returned with time to spare (a wife imposed time limit) so decided to head out through the town into the surrounding hills and I wasn’t disappointed. Much like Olden above, the roads are narrow and winding but you see very few cars and those you do are very happy to see you and give you plenty of respect when passing. Heading up out of the town you pass a variety of lovely houses from quaint old farm houses to newer schools and houses. Without intention I ended up completing a loop back into the town and reluctantly returned the bike before meeting back up with my family.
A Bike tour of Norway was never something I’d considered even though I’d heard how beautiful it was meant to be and how friendly the locals were. However it took this trip to fully drive it home to me just what I’d been missing out on. Now I’m not going to go into much more detail as nothing I can say from here can do justice to just how stunning this country is and how much I enjoyed my time here cycling.