Winter fun

Traveled: 73 miles


... If we place one atomic clock at the foot of the "Empire state building", and the second at the top, everyone will be able to ensure that the upper go faster.
Staying at the bottom, it is possible for one human life to save a few thousandths of a second.
The one who sits at the top, will be a little older than we are.....

"What a wonderful village Sogndal is!
We examined it from different points, and everywhere he is beautiful and picturesque, creating an excellent contrast of a snowy mountain on the far side of the fjord.
The river that flows through the valley, with its beautiful waterfalls and small groups of Islands, gives the picture a wonderful effect.
The coastline is similar to a shopping market with rows of buildings."

So a long time ago in 1823, wrote Bishop John.Neumann, driving via Sogndal.

From the hill where we spent the night, he was at a glance.
Now it is the largest city in this part of Norway after Bergen.

To our delight the weather was improving.
The bright sun was rising on the horizon, illuminating the gentle pink light and our refuge far all around.
Vilesse out of the tent immediately rushed to dry our wet clothes and shoes.
Side probably looked horrible spreading tree decorated with socks, shoes , shirts and other damp rags.
Fortunately to contemplate the still life was nobody.
The kindergarten building was still deserted. And no one took it into his head to come in here strictly to ask what the hell we're doing here.
According to the sticky piece of a brochure taken in Balestrand, we had enough time before the ferry coming in Legal.
On the eve of Ilya and decided to go to Flåm via the famous pass - Aurlandsvegen (snow road).
And she began to Lærdal.

Because slowly had Breakfast and waited until dry out our belongings.
I still managed to noteskins unripe wild cherries that grew on the slope.

Finally backpacks were Packed and the cavalcade at a good pace went down the hill and through the centre of Sogndal went to the bridge across the Sogndal fjord.

The road to Kaupanger ferry goes along the fjord then up the hill again and is already down to the Sognefjord area.

Along the way we met a couple from Germany on a tandem.
Tandem generally rare. It is quite difficult to go.
Should be a full mutual understanding between people and coordination of efforts, if they don't want to fill up the bike.
But where you can achieve this - of course married.
Rudolph and Karen was the name of our new acquaintances.
Said more Rudolph - living fun-loving Joker.
He told us his point of view on our future path.
Pass Aurlandsvegen was not according to their strength and they were going to go on the ferry to Gudvangen and only ooted in Flåm.
And on the ferries. It was the most calm easy, but expensive way.
Expensive by our miserable standards of course.

Wait for a sweet couple we did not and pulled forward because I thought that late for a flight.
And as it turned out nothing. For some mysterious reason, I again messed up the schedule.
Kaupanger (Kaupanger) was not the end point, and intermediate.
Ferries operate between Gudvangen (Gudvangen) and Lardalen(Laerdal) with a stop in Kaupanger.

The bulk of the people goes to Gudvangen for two reasons.
Firstly it is undoubtedly a breathtaking trip through Naeroyfjord (Neroyfjord) - narrow and stunningly scenic offshoot of the Sognefjord.
There the ship sails so close to the cliffs that it seems you can reach out and touch them.
In the second there boats in Flåm (Flam).

But we are not looking for easy ways.
Besides Ilya indignantly rejected as an unnecessary cash expenses and the inability to ride a Bicycle.
Because of the Gudvangen we could get in Flam only by ferry or, after two a very long tunnel (one of which Gudvangentonnel length of 11.4 km), So the alternatives we have.
We're going to Legal.

But the ferry as there was left a half hour ago.
And the next one in three hours a day.
We had four hours unexpectedly fallen travelers.
The weather was quite wonderful. The sun was hot.
We settled down at a wooden table on the beach and had Breakfast the second time.
Ilya, taking the opportunity, grabbed his rod and went to portray the fisherman.
Every time when faced with such maniacal enthusiasm I internally marveled at such attractive force of the fish.
It was like a conditioned reflex like Pavlov's dogs.
And many unimportant was the result just to hold the rod and stare at the bobber or lure.

Unfortunately, the efficiency and the actions of my friend were traditionally low.
Pisces I'm so in Norway enough and ate.
This time Ilya in two hours came back with nothing.
Dissatisfied with the gathered gear and replaced me on watch, lounging on the bench to his full height.

Meanwhile, I visited the Museum located immediately on the waterfront nearby.
There were gathered the ancient ships and boats of Norwegians, utensils and various accessories for life.
On the posters was told as lived by ordinary people in ancient times.
Pretty nice log house. And all for free as always.
At the entrance a small bar. When I went the guy behind the counter made omelets for older women-tourists.
Thick aroma of fried eggs mixed with the smell of wood hit the nose, contributing to the abundant flow of saliva.
In Norway, the appetite has always been provided.

Finally appeared in the distance our ferry.
Near the pier, to our surprise there were very few cars.
A sign at the pier says Gudvangen.
About our Legal word.
Ilya a little worried.

From the womb spilled out of the machine and the human flow.
From our side, from the shore no one came on Board.
Well, we are waiting for someone else to signal something.
Almost took place.
The sailors raised the ramp and the ferry whistled when we finally realized that we were, no one was going to take.
Only the heart-rending cry of two tinned Nordic winds gulp stopped the ship from sailing.
Again lowered the ramp and we with a sigh of relief, stepped out on the deck.
Yeah here it is better not to yawn.

In Legal sailed quite a few people. Two people from Gudvangen we are.
It in General is clear.
By cars to cross makes no sense - there is a lovely road with an underwater tunnel across the Sognefjord, just East of Kaupanger.

And then from Lerdala in Flam - local tourist Mecca just two ways - one else worse (or more beautiful as anyone)
Or through the pass on a Snowy road as we are gathered, either through the world's longest road tunnel with a length of 24.5 km.

Razduharilsya after crossing Hoyanger tunnel, Ilya has suggested that coasting to take this one.
Probably an achievement that would be - I think anybody on a bike is still not passed.
But reason still prevailed.
If it is for motorists there is a place for stops, different lighting, and similar chips to keep from going crazy along the way, about the poor bikers and say nothing.

Tunnel in Norway for about 500.
But this certainly stands out as one of the most modern and unique.
It was built only 5 years (compared to the North Muya tunnel of the Baikal-Amur mainline with a length of 15 km was built 17 years) and vbuhali million NOK.
But it certainly was worth it. When Norway became rich oil the state one of the first queue is attended to roads to citizens was comfortable and to move quickly (and why in Russia everything it does not understand - we do not need to bite into the rocks for the most part)
And since the country is mountainous then there was no choice.
Only the tunnels and even the bridges have solved the problem of locomotion.

Laerdal tunnel passes through the mountains, reaching altitudes of 1 400 to 1 600 m, which creates tremendous pressure on its walls.
To strengthen them and redistribute the load was hammered 200 thousand bolts with a length of 2.55 m and filled 45 thousand m3 of cement.
Its diameter is about 7.5 meters.

Ventilation is done by two powerful fans for 17 meters each plus more filters.
All this is able to cope with the flow of four cars per hour.
Well, that drivers are not tired with monotonous drive on the miles of tunnel ,together with psychologists have developed unique lighting changing during the movement.
It along with rotations, pockets , transmitters of cellular communications does not allow the drivers to lose a sense of reality , the speed of movement is accompanied by hallucinations.

Four special grooves (grotto) with dimensions of 30x20 meters, where trucks and buses can turn around in one go.
Four huge, brightly lit Parking, neon orange bottom and blue top.
This lighting highlights the rough terrain of the cave and tightly attracts attention.
Fantastic facility what to say.
There is not the slightest doubt that before the entrance hangs a sign prohibiting Cycling (although we never saw)

Our ferry almost silently gliding through the blue-turquoise water, slowly but surely moved deeper into LegalsoRDA (Laerdalsfjord) another offshoot of the Sognefjord.
It's a pity that not so many we have had such visits.
Steam in this case is 45 minutes, but this is not enough to enjoy nature, silence and wind.

Here the fjord like lake.
The wind on the deck is quite strong, but on the water only a small ripple.
Ilya looks forward eagerly leaning over the handrails. I think I know what he dreams.
I even think that I can see is his eyes fishtails.

Legal very much. Cozy little town with an old quarter and a beautiful beach.
On the river of the same name and is extraordinarily rich salmon, you can not only try your luck at fishing, but to visit the "Norwegian Wild Salmon Centre", a Museum dedicated to the life and history of wild Atlantic salmon.
Inside is a huge 20 metre long aquarium where the fish swims.

Though we were not on the way but we've traveled through the streets a bit and stocked up on products in your favorite KIWI.

On time, but it was gone.
Four hours of the day and heavy the pass at 1300 meters ahead.
We turned back and went to the beginning of the Aurlandsvegen.
The main stream of cars heading in the opposite direction to the entrance of Legalcounsel.
This is simple and fast.
But they do not know how many lose thus.

Snow road is so called due to the fact that there is year-round snow on the pass.
In winter, it is closed to traffic. There is at a certain height there are two barriers to this.
It lies at first in a huge wooded valley, with numerous waterfalls and river.
Lovely paved road, but certainly very narrow for one car.
By the way there is quite a bit.
I stop a little bit to take pictures and ago.
Rarely gets to the top.
It's pretty deserted places. Very few cyclists.

The whole way we met only one extravagant an elderly German in syrokomli hat
His bike was literally covered with all sorts of bags.
But from the front it was topped with real antler. Umeeyut same people to show off.
He complained to us that he suffers from cervical osteochondrosis and no one him miserable to massage the withers in the way
Of course neither I nor Ilya massage is not wanted and we tactfully said nothing in response.

To go especially at first, was hard enough. The angle of elevation was rather big.
We often stopped to take a breath and eat the strawberries growing right on the roadside.
In Russia, I would never do let.
And there seemed to be squeaky clean just could not be any dirt.

Gradually moving up the lush vegetation was replaced by more sparse.
Until finally, the trees just disappeared.
There were pastures with a few houses and clean the goats and lambs.
It seemed to have just emerged from zoopartners.
The muffled jingle of the bells tied to the necks of animals coming here and there, acted soothingly.
Why then I remembered the story "Dinner in the Circassian village".

Norwegian sheep are released to mountain pastures where they have no supervision grazing from spring to late summer, when they returned to the farm.
In the mountains sheep breathing pure air and eating natural food.
Norwegian lamb is one of the best in the world, and sheep, grazing near the sea are the best, because food and the environment in their meat a little more salt.

It was getting dark. In the shadows of the mountains became too cold.
The frosty air chilled him to the bone.
If not for the constant movement it would have to get a jacket. Already heaps lay still not melted snow. It crystallized grains macho was silvery in the rays of the sunset.
r /> And then came up with a mischievous idea.
Spaniels that in Lærdal was purchased on the occasion of a bag of fresh carrots.
What is the Association of a normal Soviet person occurs when the phrase snow and carrots.
It - snow.

No sooner said than done.
And after a couple of minutes Alpine snow woman wore on one of the slopes.
The fingers do not bend from the cold, when the last final srijem I put a carrot in its proper place.
It is a pity that this camera cannot charge the cool digital Ilya gave oak at this time and part of interesting pictures showing the antics longing for the female body travelers, lost forever.
Especially Ilya grieving for the sheep whom lifted the in incredible numbers.
When I left the vegetable took.
As does the food.
The sculpture will obviously now become a local landmark.

It seemed we had already reached the top . But time and again, the road almost went down once again began to climb to the top.
But somewhere deep below us in black and long, like a worm tunnel scurried about cars not seeing all this extraordinary beauty.

Finally, the inflection point was reached. This was symbolized by a pyramid of stones built by someone close to the highway.
Here the altitude was about 1306 meters above the sea level.
Unfortunately, he disappeared and a photo where we izobrazil of the monuments on these pyramids.
And thus visual confirmation of the capture of the pass left.

Nearby stood unchanged the Norwegian table with benches.
There we had a bite Laerdal food.
The bike computer was showing 30 km passed us from the beginning of the Snowy roads.
It was the longest tiahun in my life.
In winter, there is certainly absolutely nothing to do. Yes, even in spring until the snow melted the road are approximately like this.

Lifeless silence, the cold wind and the van standing away on the site.
Come here perhaps to break away from the hustle and bustle of the world, to meditate, to be alone with themselves and God.
The best places to realize the vanity of all things and not to think.
No wonder all the sages and centenarians live in the mountains.
Here time slows down, extending the life and modificeres mortal body.
Only the consciousness of a mighty stream is carried away in an unimaginable way and there forever.

Had pyatnadtsatikilometrovaya descent.
Jacket and raised the hood was not excessive.
Otherwise, cold air vortex burst inside the skull, valoragua brain.
Well that was sure something!
The descent on the South side was much steeper.
The speed gained in a matter of seconds.
And the road was winding serpentine grasslands and had furiously slamming on the brakes not to fly on the turns in a ditch.
Elijah sped far ahead, despite my parting wish to see it to the end of the path unharmed.
It was still fresh in the memories of his fall in the Crimea.

Half way through with terrible cotton I had a flat tire.
Well this time the speed was minor and I managed to brake until the bike is completely out of control.
From the constant braking rim front wheel has reached such stepeni what few minutes I could not touch it with his hand and hissed with spit like iron.
And then there's some angry flies began to nibble my tender flesh.

When finally I got the replacement camera and continued on his way, he saw rose meet concerned about Ilya.
He lost me, believing that something has happened.

Finally we went to the viewpoint where we could see the eyes a breathtaking view of Aurlandfjord (Aurlandsfjord) and the village of Aurland.
The Playground had a wooden cantilever platform made cash cliff. Handrails in a semicircle went down.
The Board was so fresh that it seemed it was built of letterscially the night before.
With the end of the platform would be covered with a thick security glass, completely obscuring the view and giving the zesty trembling knees when you stand at the very edge.
As it turned out later, the area has really opened up recently, about a half moon ago.

This building, erected by the company Saunders Architecture, was named the Aurland Lookout.

Wooden "bridge" made without visible seams, originates at the edge of the road and "shoots" at 30 meters from it.
Located at the altitude of 640 m above the picturesque waters of the fjord, suddenly makes a sharp turn, but not the right and not the left, and down to earth.
Most importantly, what we sought to achieve this form, the architects, is to cause the viewer stranded on the edge of the platform, the feeling of flying over the mountains.
And they achieved this effect. Despite the fact that the slope is not so far under the edge of the platform, it seems that down to the waters edge, nothing more.
"Instead impose the picnic tables and to cut down the observation deck trees, we did the opposite way," — said the head of the firm.

If you look at the picture observation deck can be seen that its construction is completed.
Will be a hatch through which the stairs you can go down the slope from the top of the serpentine loop to the next, below.

The setting sun hung just above the top of the mountain, tumana all around and illuminating the water hollow, Mars red orange.
From this place the descent is endless serpentine loop after loop down into the valley.
I lost count at the twentieth turn.
Hmm and to podimata on this side of the Snowy road is much harder and more painful.

By the end of the descent my hands were shaking from the constant tension and on the palms stood out distinctly dents from brake.

Night was falling and we had to hurry.
Processess on all pairs via Aurland we drove to Flame.
There and hoped to find a place to sleep.
Flåm is located at the very end of the Aurland fjord and is one of the most popular attractions in Norway.

A bullet having flown a distance of 7 km we crossed without stopping Flam and went to shore.
On the map there was shown a beach.

It successfully found and hunker down in the very end, past the barn with the boat and closed the gate.
In fact on the road was not only steep rock.
For the tent there was enough room for Elijah and a walkway for fishing.
Here we dumped their bones until the next morning, setting the tent when it got dark, just in case.