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Norway Touring Center (NTC1301)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Manuel Marabese | Europe

The Norway Touring Center has its basecamp in the pretty town of Ålesund, reconstructed in art nuveau style after a big fire happened in 1904. Most of the wooden houses were burnt and German architects and carpenters helped to recreate the town, giving its unique flair. The sun shines and it is warm... that must be the best summer week of the year!

For five days we will tour on our new motorcycles in the region of Møre og Romsdal, visitingsome of the finest spots that this beautifyl Scandinavian country has to offer. After spending the first day as a warm up in the nearby island of Runde (famous for being a bird sanctuary were every year over 700.000 birds come to spend the summer - counting them must have been a challenging task) we head towards Geiranger, the most famous of the Norwegian fjords (i.e. long and usually narrow inlet with cliffs on the side, formed by glacial erosion).

Arrived in Hellesylt we board the 1 hour long ferry cruise along the fjord. The sky is blue and the scenery  breathtaking... The sundeck is a great vantage point for admiring the sheer cliffs and the abandoned old farms situated in perilous spots.

 At the end of the bay appears the small town Geiranger that gives its name to the whole area, and each summer is visited by more than 100 cruise ships.

A platform on one of the hairpins of the "Eagles Road" offers the classical view over this majestic wonder of nature...

After Geiranger the road goes up again, leading us to a glacial lake and to one of the most spectacular roads of Norway: the old mountain road of Stryn, better known by locals as Gamle Srynefjellsvegen.

Another day starts, and we are getting onto more ferries! Today it is time to discover the Atlantic Road, a scenic ride on the ocean. An. we mean, literally, ON the ocean, as the road connects 17 islands and islets with a series of well designed bridges.

The sunset up here is astonishing. It is about 11pm and the sky is.. well, just have a look at the next photo...

In our forth day we ride south, along not one or two.. but around a dozen of fjords! The roads are pure fun, no traffic and very good asphalt, what more can we ask? Oh yes, we know what! Some action! We found a girl that has slightly missed the parking lot, letting the car slide down into the forests with a couple of children on the back seat. Our rescue team of five russian guys gets her and the children out of the car... while Stan is about to pull the car our of the ditch!

The week is about to finish but another big highlight is on its way. Trollstigen (the Troll's ladder) is the most famous road in Norway and every year can count 500.000 visitors, including hikers, climbers, base jumpers (forbidden since 1986, though), cyclists, cars, caravans, motorhomes, busses up to 13.1 meters (don't ask why 13.1 and not 13... sometimes every cm counts) and, of course, motorcyclists.

The road consists mainly of 11 hairpins, connecting the valley that ends in Åndalsnes with the mountain pass at 850m. It does not sound much, but when you are at this latitude north the altitude plays a different role than on the Alps, for instance.

And it's warm... no kiding! 24°C (75°F) up here is unbelievable.

The tour has reached an end... after 1500km of magnificent scenery and great roads it is time to say goodbye to this country "Powered by Nature", as the slogan from Visit Norway says...

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