Sometimes Plan B works out better than Plan A. I have a feeling that this was the case for this mini-vacation. Instead of doing Galdhøpiggen (bad weather), I did some last minute research and found a route that includes the Aursjøveien (Aursjøvegen) mountain road, Norway’s highest waterfall Mardalsfossen, the spectacular Romsdalseggen hike in Åndalsnes, and the Atlantic Ocean Road. And with a little luck, maybe there’s time to visit the Trollstigen road as well.
We left early so we were in no hurry to get through Aursjøveien. We attempted to stop for lunch a couple of times, but up there the wind was hard and cold and when I had my coffee granules blown out of the cup before I poured water, we gave up. But the Norwegians have these mountain cabins everywhere, so we stopped at the Aursjøhyttan cabin instead and it was nice.
There are no dramatic mountains up here, it’s more like a plateau where the road goes just above 900m at the highest. But after Aursjøhyttan where the road starts going down towards Eikesdalen, you drive next to this deep canyon. And while you’re here, the obvious place to stop is at Aurstupet where you can stand on a cliff overhang with hundreds of metres down to the valley below. Basejumpers love this place!
On the way down, there’s a tunnel where the road makes a hairpin turn inside the mountain. Another interesting experience!
When we got down to the valley, it was much warmer and the wind wasn’t an issue either. It was also very humid, so when we were hiking up to the Mardalsfossen waterfall, it was t-shirt weather. The funny thing with this waterfall (which is one of the highest in the world at 297 meters free fall and a total of 655 meters, but if you google it, you will find other measurements as well) is that it doesn’t look all that high when you’re at the foot of it. The upper fall has the highest free fall but of course you can’t see the whole fall when you’re close to it. You can however see the whole fall when you drive along the lake to/from Eikesdalen, but we were a bit tired at that point and didn’t stop. It had been a long day already and it took us a couple of hours to get to Åndalsnes and finally settle down in the cabin and eat a long overdue dinner. Another exciting day ahead!