The Beauty of Traveling Slow along the National Tourist Routes of Norway

by Satu Vänskä-Westgarth on September 24, 2013 · 6 comments

tourist-routes-thumb

There’s only one way to travel in Norway, and that is slow.

S – L – O – W

E6, the main road running through the country is still largely just one lane, forcing the speed to drop down to 40 or 50 km/h (yes, kilometers, not miles!), when passing by small towns and villages. In the west coast the fjords determine the pace of travel as the roads wind up and down small narrow roads leading to yet another ferry transferring vehicles across to the other side, where the road continues on as if nothing had happened.

So most of the time traveling slow in Norway is not by choice, but on this particular day, it was.

First the scenery was kind of unassuming. Pretty, for sure in its autumnal colours, but not quite postcard material.

As we came to the intersection at Grotli Høyfjellshotell, a mountain hotel, we hesitated only for moment when we took the left turn onto the Gamle Strynefjellsvegen, the old and no doubt slower road towards Stryn.

We left the asphalted road behind as we started driving along one of Norway’s eighteen National Tourist Routes. “Caravans not recommended”, said the signpost, and I wondered what our Mercedes Sprinter would be classified as. Caravan, for sure not, but by size it was definitely in the same ballpark as campers, if not caravans.

As we came to the first sharp blind corner leading to right, the road got even narrower. Now only one vehicle at a time could pass.

And once we got around the corner.

BANG!

This was the reason the old road had been chosen as one of the National Tourist Routes, routes that “are beautiful drives with that little bit extra”.

Gamle Strynefjellsvegen I @SatuVW I To Destination Unknown

Gamle Strynefjellsvegen I @SatuVW I To Destination Unknown

Gamle Strynefjellsvegen I @SatuVW I To Destination Unknown

Gamle Strynefjellsvegen I @SatuVW I To Destination Unknown

Along the route we passed the Stryn Summer Ski Centre, which in the start of the autumn and after almost unnaturally hot summer, was nothing but a mass of grey gravel leading to the lonely, out of place looking ski lift. We took a stop at the Hotel Videseter, abandoned looking place which should have been open in the summer season, but looked like it had been closed for a while. And we had a quick look at the Videfossen waterfall, me staying as far as I could from the edge, far enough not to get any images of the mass of water plunging down the rock face of the mountain. The views though, were nothing to complain about.

Gamle Strynefjellsvegen I @SatuVW I To Destination Unknown

As my husband freewheeled the hairpin road down on his bike, I followed slowly behind him on the sprinter with our little passengers. This road definitely was slow, not only because of its numerous bends, but due to the numerous photo stops we ended up taking along the way!

If you want to know more about Norway’s National Tourist Routes and what you can find along these scenic routes, have a look at the Nasjonale Turistveger website. I still have sixteen more routes to explore, plenty of options and ideas for future road trips!!

Related posts:

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Margaret Hogan September 25, 2013 at 12:20 AM

Lovely little snapshot of # 1 Satu. Look forward to the other 16. I can imagine those little roads to the ski fields would be hairy in winter!
Have a look! Margaret Hogan recently posted..Aghhhh! Don’t look down! I’m giving birth to a book!My Profile

Reply

Satu Vänskä-Westgarth September 26, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Thanks Margaret! This particular road stays closed during the winter actually, the ski centre is only open in the summer :) But there are plenty of hairy roads here, that are bit sketchy both in the winter and summer!
Have a look! Satu Vänskä-Westgarth recently posted..Revisiting Norway’s National Tourist Routes, already!My Profile

Reply

Jess September 28, 2013 at 3:01 AM

I love the scenery! It does remind me of the roads through Alaska and the Yukon – looking on the map it seems like a drive should be 2 hours, but on the tiny, one lane dirt ‘highways’ it’s more like 6.

Reply

Satu Vänskä-Westgarth October 5, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Ha ha, that’s EXACTLY how it is! And I think I might enjoy Alaska & Yukon… :)
Have a look! Satu Vänskä-Westgarth recently posted..Revisiting Norway’s National Tourist Routes, already!My Profile

Reply

Beyond my Front Door October 2, 2013 at 3:46 AM

Oh My how incredibly beautiful. I was last in Norway in 2009 and while I couldn’t pronounce any of the names of places, I was certainly in love with them. I love that road!
Have a look! Beyond my Front Door recently posted..Friday Photo: Time and London NightsMy Profile

Reply

Satu Vänskä-Westgarth October 5, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Hope you come back one day, shopping in Ikea is a great way to practice bit of Swedish (check the product names), which is not that far from Norwegian… :)
Have a look! Satu Vänskä-Westgarth recently posted..Revisiting Norway’s National Tourist Routes, already!My Profile

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge