Today our tour, Romsdal and the Troll Path, began at 12:50pm. At 6.5 hours, this was the longest tour of the day. Our tour guide Stain noted this tour normally runs 8 hours and he thought the shorter allotment of time rushed the itinerary a bit. As it turned out, this tour required quite a lot of driving with little time out of the bus.
This was our exact itinerary:
12:45 Depart from Pier
14:45 Photostop Gudbrandsjuvet
15:05 Depart Gudbrandsjuvet
15:35 Photostop Stigfossen
16:15 Depart Stigfossen
16:50 Photostop Trollveggen
17:10 Depart Trollveggen
19:15 Return to Pier
With all this driving we mainly heard narrative from the tour guide while trying intently to take photos out the windows. As an example, we learned that the surrounding area has 46,000 inhabitants and that most all business related to the Norwegians here involve the sea in one way or another. We passed through several towns like Skode and Sharholt. In Stordal we made an extra stop to take pictures and eat a boxed lunch that was provided to us by the ship. The description for this tour said lunch was not included.
At Gudbrandsjuvet, we stopped to admire the fast running waters of a small waterfall in a ravine beneath us. It was a picturesque spot and the stop involved walking across the ravine on interweaving platforms of about 250 feet. The bus met us on the other side.
Our next stop was Stigfossen, a waterfall running 1,050 feet down the mountainside. This area has several viewing platforms that can easily be walked or hiked. Unfortunately for us, there was heavy fog in the area and we could not see down the run of the falls. We walked to two of the higher area’s but each one became progressively worse with visibility.
Back on the bus we have now began our decent of Trollstigen which is a serpentine mountain road inclining at ten percent and containing eleven hairpin turns. This immediately reminded us of the tour in Kotor Montenegro that had thirty hairpin turns. It turned out to be an exhilarating ride down the steep mountain terrain with one 5 minute stop for photos along the way.
Once at the bottom of the mountain trail, we quickly arrived at Trollveggen or The Troll Wall which is the tallest vertical rock face in Europe. At 3,600 feet it is frequented by base jumpers even though this has been prohibited by the local government since 1986. Again, due to heavy fog, we were not able to view or photograph the summit of the Troll Wall.
Now we began our nearly two-hour drive back to the ship. On the way there were several picture taking opportunities and we did pass through a 6.6 kilometer tunnel the third largest in Norway. We also passed the picturesque town of Alden with its 22,800 inhabitants.
All in all, it was a long day which probably would have been better with clearer skies.
Cruise Port: Alesund, Norway