Cruising Norway's Fjords


The Gaularfjellet (Gaular Mountains) rise between Jxlster and Sognefjord and constitute an ancient ridge of brooding hills strewn with lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. Even through you're just passing through, take the time to scout out some good spots, because you'll be back for at least one day trip.

Gaularfjellvegen (Gaular Mountain Road) ranks among the more pleasant scenic drives in Western Norway; it's a narrow road that meanders through valleys, runs along rivers, and hugs the slopes of mountains. Well-marked trails beckon frequently, so you might as well drive with your hiking boots on.

There's also plenty of picturesque water along the way for a lakeside picnic and a couple of quick casts after lunch. Trout are to Norway what sunfish are to America—they're everywhere. Toss your fly on any river or lake here, and chances are good you'll hook up with a beautiful fjellxrret (mountain trout).

Gaularfjellvegen saves the best for last. The eastern end of the road snakes high above a mountain lake of luminous blue. Emerald carpets ring the shoreline before giving way to sheer walls of granite whose snow-splattered slopes look like they snagged a few passing clouds.

Pull over and wander down to the water's edge for some quality time. If the sun is shining, the skies are blue, and the clouds are out, prepare for Nirvana.

Once you return to earth, head through the narrow pass and pull over at the scenic overlook thousands of feet above the valley below. That thin ribbon looping its way back and forth down the side of the mountain is the only way out.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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