25th of July, 2013.
Click on the image to see map
I drove to Laerdal in the morning. I had to, I didn’t have many days left. But I’ll be back in this area and cycle this route, because it was spectacular!! The only but were the cars (there were quite a few). But Laerdal to Aurland is definitively a route that you (or at least I) must cycle!! It’s hard, fair enough, but that only makes it prettier.
From Ovre Ardal to Laerdal is a nice drive, but it will possibly be a hellish ride! There’re lots of tunnels, and even though they’re not signposted as “cyclists forbidden”, cycling through them can’t be nice. DON’T CYCLE HERE IF YOU CAN.
After I waited for the rain to go away in Laerdal, and once I got the right road (yes, I did some unnecessary 20 kilometers; well, that’s something else I have seen now), the route to Aurland started. Initially by the fjord (superb!!! Great place, great feelings, great everything!!), and then uphill.
The initial part is the hardest. The road is not very nice (still, according to Norwegian standards; that’s still nicer than 80% of the roads in this world), and is hard. Once you reach a flat part (it only lasts for 500 meters or so), the views get better. The climbing is not that steep neither. Maybe it was just my feeling. It’s long and steep. 1200 meters, and some 12 kilometers. But it’s not as hard as it was in my head.
The climbing ends in a lake. Once you reach that lake, the fun starts. That lake itself is wonderful (I’d definitively recommend you to camp there – which I did), and every single spot from there onwards is marvelous. I’m not going to write a lot about this part. Just take a look at the pictures. Not much more can be said.
The downhill is also great. I’d definitively recommend you to stop in the car park halfway through and to walk up to a hill from where you can see the fjord. It’s just spectacular. You’ll have many other options to stop as you go down, and they all will be increadibly nice, but I think this one is the best one.
And, of course, don’t go down fast. I don’t think this one is one of those places. I didn’t at least. You must enjoy the view!!
Laerdal is anice town. Shops, restaurants, a beach and everything. Makes a great stop. Continuing to Fam is also a nice and easy option, which I did.
I returned to Laerdal by bus. Again, no more time for me.
But I’d definitively recommend you to cycle to Gol, and from there return to Laerdal. There’s a very nice old road that takes you trough some historical places, nice towns and great churches.
That’s what I’ll do next time I go there!!