Living in the middle of the city in a small apartment, surrounded by buildings, roads and cars, its easy to forget what Norway can look like. Today I took the train from Skien to Bergen and got to sit and watch the landscape pass by. There is something so beautifully serene about Norway seen from a train, I can highly recommend it.
Because of a fire on the tracks last week, parts of the railway is closed, and we are shuttled from Ål to
Voss by bus. I overheard someone (someone American that is) describe the situation this way:
Pros: its a double-decker bus
Cons: the A/C is off (as an experienced bus rider I know the A/C will come on as soon as we start driving, but I didnt tell them that)
Pros: it is a double decker bus
Cons: the ride is three hours long, not twenty minutes (I have no idea where they got that idea though)
As we leave the small town Ål, our driver informs us that the toilet spoils (Norwegians might understand this) and that we will see stunning scenery. I don't know about the first part, but I can testify to the latter. We drove through mountain landscape crossing a plateau with sheep, small cabins, rivers and green grass, and all the normal country side stuff you would expect, but then suddenly the landscape changes. The whole bus, filled with American, Indian and other tourists, plus the occasional Norwegian going home for their summer holiday, gasps: The bus slowly turns a corner and the road seem to plunge into the water far below.
In awe, and it is like we all hold our breath, we descend down the mountain side to the water. Even I, born and raised under some of these majestic hillsides, wonder if this can be safe. Cameras click in between dark and narrow tunnels as we all try to capture the moment.
When we drive by Vassbygdivatnet a few minutes later we can finally breathe again, after surviving a little different type of roller coaster, and there is only 1,5 hours left of the bus ride. But when you get to see something like this, and when the sun is shining on the longest day of the year, it is worth it to take the long and slow way across the mountains.
For pictures: you had to be there. Or have a much better seat and camera than I had.
Oh, and happy summer! Apparently, it officially started today :)