Venture Norway 13 - page 11

meticulously crafted by hand and long rows of guard stones define
the character of the road leading across the mountain plateau. In
the olden days, many routes through the mountains were used for
transport on foot and on horseback, but the journey was invariably
strenuous and demanding.
On this journey along a route that for centuries has connected
Norway’s east and west, you travel through Northern Europe’s
highest mountain pass, at 1 434 metres above sea level. The
Sognefjell road starts in the lush cultural landscape of Bøverdalen
valley in the east and runs across the mountain plateau with
panoramic views of glaciers and towering mountains before
descending through valleys to the inner reaches of the Sognefjord
with their tranquil hamlets in the west.
A serene journey passing protected rivers, waterfalls and a tranquil
fjord. The road runs along an arm of the world’s longest fjord, the
Sognefjord, before curving up the steep slopes to the mountain.
Further on, the road follows the protected Gaula river system, which
is famous for its many waterfalls, but also has white-water rapids and
tranquil mountain lakes.
The road across the Valdresflye plateau provides expansive views
of mountains and plains, from which it seems to swoop into the
Jotunheimen massif like the beginning of an endless journey. To the
north, you can catch a view of the Jotunheimen National Park, where
the mountains are steeper and wilder than to the south, where the
landscape widens into serene, rolling hills.
The route runs from fjord to fjord across high mountains where snow
remains most of the summer. The viewing platform at Stegastein is
a natural place to make a stop and offers a dizzying view over the
fjord landscape. The Nærøyfjord, included on the World Heritage List,
offers breathtaking scenery.
National Tourist Route Hardangervidda across the largest mountain
plateau in Northern Europe offers a contrast-filled journey from wide
expanses and towering peaks, through deep and verdant valleys to
turquoise fjords. The Hardangervidda plateau is Norway’s largest
national park and a key habitat for Europe’s largest stock of wild
reindeer. Experience the spectacular Måbødalen valley with its rare
and precious plant life.
National Tourist RouteHardanger passes througha scenicarea steeped in
culture and tradition, where for more than a century travellers have
come to experience mountains, fjords, waterfalls and glaciers.
Hardanger has been a fruit-growing region since the 14th century.
The soil along the fjords imparts a characteristically fresh and tangy
flavour to the fruit, and in the growing season fruit is on sale from small
stalls along the road.
This route passes through constantly changing scenery of verdant
fjords and stark mountains. The drive through the Ryfylke region is a
varied one, and the motorist encounters small hamlets and towns with
active agriculture and a multitude of industries.
This is a journey through an open cultural landscape along the edge
of the North Sea. Here, the sky is high, the horizon is wide and the
sea is endless. The route passes through well-tended agricultural land.
The dry stone walls are part of the cultural heritage, but have kept
their function.
Photo: Jarle Wæhler
Photo: Helge Stikbakke
Photo: Hege Lysholm
Photo: Helge Stikbakke
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