Our next stop on day three was Trollstigen which is a crazy road winding up a steep mountainside with 11 crazy hairpin bends! Before our trip, J had entertained dreams of speeding up Trollstigen in a Jaguar or a Lamborghini – unfortunately, he had to settle for our little Prius! It turned out just as well at the end, with the narrow road and a few buses and cars coming up and down the Trollstigen, I don’t think that a fast drive in a sports car would have ended well for us!
I was snapping away as we drove through the countryside though most of the time we were moving too quickly to catch a good picture of anything. I did, however, manage to take a picture of this lush waterfall.
En route to Trollstigen, it was definitely colder and mistier up here than anywhere else we had been in Norway so far so I was really glad I had decided to pack my Columbia Sportswear winter jacket. It kept me warm and comfortable!
J looking cool with his NY sunnies in Norway.
We could see the Trollstigen road (otherwise known as Troll Ladder) in the distance and it looked just like it had in the pictures off the Internet!
We could also see the Trollstigen viewing platform and tourist centre in the distance.
Our destination was way up there!
The Trollstigen visitors centre and viewing platform is another Norwegian architecture feat both J and I were eager to see in person and it didn’t disappoint. Sleek and modern and slightly futuristic, it perched alongside tranquil pools that reflected the steely blue-gray Norwegian sky above, every now and then half-hidden in the wet mists.
We had fun walking along the viewing platform (it was good to stretch our legs after driving in the car for so long) and taking pictures of the Trollstigen road winding snake-like below us. Occasionally, there was a little glass panel in the floor which provided an added thrill of the height we were at.
Along the viewing platform walkway, you could see many little piles of rocks. I was really intrigued by the rocks and couldn’t figure out what they were. Later I went on Google and found out that people who visited Trollstigen built these little ‘troll cairns’. I’m still not sure of the reason behind the cairns – I think it might have something to do with the fact that trolls are reputed to turn stone when they encounter sunlight – but I wish we had built one too to leave behind a little memory of our trip there!
Trolls are a key feature of Norway (which is no wonder, as Norway has so many bridges and tunnels!) and throughout our trip we saw many troll statues as well as troll dolls for sale.
We left Trollstigen and drove on through some very special and magical Norwegian scenery. We saw dozens of crystal green and smoky blue fjords, rocky mountain landscapes covered in mist, some of them covered with orange-yellow brush, others lush and green with lots of pine trees. You could almost imagine the old Viking stories and see fur-clad Vikings with their horned helmets and axes traipsing across the rocky, brush-covered landscapes, surrounded by mountains and fjords.
We also stopped to hike down to a fresh spring to fill up J’s water bottle. It was a treat drinking icy cold fresh spring water that had come straight from the mountain top glaciers!
As the road took us further down away from the mountains and closer to civilisation, we also pulled over to the side of the road to take some pictures of a fjord that just left us totally in awe.
How clear and majestic were these waters? I swear I felt as if at any moment, we would see a great, ancient Viking ship come sailing around the corner!