Through Voss - Fjords and the Midnight Sun - CycleBlaze

June 27, 2009

Through Voss

It's the weekend and I wake at six but don't get out of bed until nine, when I use Skype. 

It's sunny again. How lucky is that?

Yesterday, on the way here, the U-valley looked so bloody good I want to see it again and so after my hotel breakfast I ride up the sloping road for a few kilometers. 

Heart 1 Comment 0

Everything is different now. The shadows and dim light are history; the sky is a much deeper blue and it feels hot. I was in a rush last night and didn't take any pictures - it was also a bit dim to do that. No problem now. Snap. 

A cyclist rolls up as I adjust my tripod. He's from Hong Kong. We chat and I give him some maps (A4 copies I'd had laminated) of the area north and he's very a happy chappy. I point ahead and he sees the road wiggling up the wall of rock at the far head of the valley and seems a bit dejected. I tell him about the super-waterfall he'll pass that's out of sight in the left corner of that same rockface and assure him he'll have a great descent once he's up there.

Heart 1 Comment 0

I freewheel down, back past the hotel along the route to Voss that follows a meltwater stream which is whitewater in many places. 

Lower down, there are lots of canoeists participating in what seems to be a contest. Another waterfall is back from the road and I ride to it and get off to get a close look. It would be nice to stand under it and get drenched but reckon that that could be a little dangerous. It looks like an advertisement for something clean and fresh.

Voss is busy with weekenders. There's a watersport show being held on the fjord and people are sat on the grass watching. 

It's so hot now that I stand in the shade. My lunch is in a trendy cafe and after eating I visit the tourism office, where I women gives me a pamphlet subtitled Bicycling In Norwegian Mountains about the Bergensbanen 'Rallarvegen' when I ask about a good way to ride south. She writes down the names of the local places to head for to get there: Bømoen > Raundalen > Mjølfjell

There's a Youth Hostel at the last one. It's six o'clock as I ride out of Voss, calling at a supermarket as I do so - don't want the bonk.

Rallarvegen. I had never heard of this cycle path, but she tells me its famous, maybe the country's most famous. 

Many people who visit Voss go to Bergen. Not me. It's the Rallarvegen for me.

It's just as well she wrote down Bømoen > Raundalen > Mjølfjell. I get lost, but a woman motorist points me in the right direction. 

It's mainly up and up, not too steep but I feel it's hard work. The road is just a lane through farmland and is very tranquil. The sun is going down.

Near the Youth Hostel
Heart 2 Comment 0

The Youth Hostel isn't actually in Mjølfjell, it's more uphill to get there and I arrive at nine feeling hungry. This is Norway's first purpose-built hostel - constructed back in 1939 - and is big. 

I've ridden 86 kilometers and the assistant gets me something to eat even though its late but I have to wait to see if they can find me a bed as there's a school group of Scottish teens on the way and they won't arrive until midnight. 

Things work out; I get a bed and sleep well after enjoying a couple of cold beers sat outside on the hostel's balcony, chatting with a Norwegian Liverpool fan and a retired police officer, who retreats here to his wood cabin whenever he can. He's renovating it, he tells me.

Today's ride: 86 km (53 miles)
Total: 1,058 km (657 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 0
Comment on this entry Comment 0