valldal day 1



wow.
Originally uploaded by mikefranklin.

Woke up to a bright nearly sunny day at 4C; Karl Otto prepared enough oatmeal for a … team of hungry volleyball players? Today’s event was a bit of hiking in Muldalen, up to a waterfall along a moderately steep path.

One of his parent’s car was sent off to the shop (for the handbrake to be repaired), so we borrowed the other can, a Honda CRV with the mapping information set up in French, for some reason. The roads are narrow, and the tunnels are long and dark; the longest was 5km/3mi long, and the most interesting was in a spiral.

The path up was estimated at a 10% grade “or more,” and all the switch-backs reminded me of Yosemite. Thankfully, my friend the mountain goat was kind enough to stop when I needed a break (which seemed far too often), and while my heart rate reached 150 or so, his stayed a somewhat more reasonable 120 or lower. Ah, the joys of being in shape.

The scenery kept getting better and better, but since the path had trees along side, the best view of the fjord was from the top, and it was simply outstandingly amazingly awesome. There were several houses at the top of the waterfall, but they’re only open in the summer, when there are more people wandering through.

Across the small river and past the houses the path continued again, but going down. I’ve never liked going down in the middle of an “up” hike, since it means more up when you really want down, on the way back. But it was the way to the best view of the falls, so I kept going. There were railings in random places, but not in others which looked as – or more – dangerous down this rather steep path. We finally reached the viewing place (no rails, just a drop), oohed and aaahed, took some pictures, hiked back up, found some bugs to shoot, then wandered back down to the car … without stopping, since we were both hungry (we’d eaten breakfast around 10, and it was nearing 3pm; we’d not had lunch).

Off we went to Sakarias, a large dam not far away, first stopping in a very small town (village? pitstop?) for some snacks… since a heavy dinner of potetball (potato balls – dumplings) was not far away. The roads were built and maintained by the electric company which had built the dam, and were rather narrow (1.25 cars wide), and very twisty. There were little pull-offs periodically long the sides so cars could pass, but we didn’t run into any on the way up.

The dam itself was quite large (relative speaking) at about 90m (200 ft), but the water level was apparently lower than normal: there was a brown ring of dirt between the vegetation and the water. The walkway had a nice thick safe-looking concrete wall; the other side had just a metal railing. I’m not particularly fond of heights, so mostly stayed towards the concrete side. The walkway was slightly angled towards the metal gate, and I was ever careful not to drop any lens caps.

Back down the road, we almost ran into a small truck coming up, and had to back up a bit to let it pass. The drive was otherwise uneventful to the school in Valldal where his mother works. We picked her up, drove down to the Lupine Café where Karl Otto works, and she drove off, leaving us to the potetball meal. They’re dense cannonball like dumpling-things, which have a bit of flavor from the beef broth they’re cooked in. Also had some sheep-meat, boiled and boiled turnips. All things considered, they were pretty reasonable, though not something I’d want to eat every day. Or every week for that matter. Actually, once a month might just be fine.

From there we walked back to Karl Otto’s apartment, stopping by a rescue helicopter that was there for rescue practice, and was making noise well into the evening, unfortunately. We processed photos, watched a bit of Eurovision, and a bit of 24 (“season premier” here) and had the meal-after-dinner: baked sandwiches of ham, cheese, tomatoes and dressing. Pretty tasty.

And this morning we’re apparently off to “the most tourist place in Norway,” and hoping there’s somewhere open for lunch, since it’s not quite tourist season 🙂

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One Response to valldal day 1

  1. Thomas says:

    I realy like reading about you and my brothers. Hope you have a nice stay in Norway. 🙂

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