One of our day trips in Norway can be boiled down to “bus–boat–bike–boat–bus”. Obviously, this doesn’t completely capture the breathtaking experience of the day, so allow me to continue.
We jumped a bus to Norheimsund in order to catch the boat. Traveling by bus gave us yet another view of Norway’s emerald pine countryside, as well as a taste for a few of the whimsical smaller towns.
Norheimsund greeted us with cobblestone streets dotted with brightly colored flower pots.
We quickly transferred to a ferry boat.
As we cruised, the power of the fjords calmed my mind. Calm was the perfect mood for the next leg of our excursion–biking the fjord.
We land in the small town of Utne, and it’s a quick stop. The ferry operator walked the bikes onto the dock, waved us goodbye, and turned back to the boat.
At that point, I was expecting some advice or at least a map. Since the ferry operator shared nothing, I asked wide-eyed and wondering, “which way?” He flicked his hand to the right and that was it. We were on our own. Thankfully, Bob always does his homework, so we had a good idea what was to come. The fact that there was only one road from Utne to Herand helped too.
After a few false starts to find that “one road” to Herand, we hit the road and we’re on our 5 hour/15 mile bike ride.
Actually, yes. Five hours was excessive time to bike 15 miles, but I’m so appreciative the of time. There was so much to savor.
The road winds through farms and countryside, all with the mighty fjord on our right.
The first thing we noticed was the quiet. The birds chirping, the wind in my ear, the quiet and peace of nature. It didn’t feel right to talk, only to listen. We traveled through a few tiny towns, but even then, no noise. There were very few cars or people, only us and nature and the road.
The Norwegians have mastered “bench placement.” You can be assured that a bench offers an amazing view, so we stopped at most of them simply to devour the sapphire sky, the mountains and pristine water, and eat our lunch. Food on a hike or ride always tastes so much better. The sweetness of an apple is multiplied. The views captivated us, and it would’ve been just “wrong” to not stop and soak it in.
Sometimes the hills were so crazy steep that my granny gear failed me. Or was it my untrained biking legs that failed me? No matter, walking up a few hills was just part of the day.
The plus side of the hills was the down side of the hills. (Get it?) Much of this ride required little peddling and the last hill entering Herand felt like skiing down a mountain side. I was grateful for the well maintained brakes on my bike.
We arrived in the sleepy town of Herand and rested in the sun while waiting for the ferry boat to pick us up. Another boat and bus ride and we’re back in Bergen. The bus–boat–bike–boat–bus day adds another wonderful experience to our memories, and proves the magic of Norway.