A week in the Fjord area and we were ready for some wide, open spaces. So, we headed east to the Hardangervidda and Telemark regions.
The Hardangervidda is the largest mountain plateau in Europe with a cold, alpine climate and an average height of around 3,500ft. It also has mosquitoes the size of helicopters. Luckily, as soon as a breeze gets up (and there was a breeze for most of the time we were there), they pretty much all disappear. One of Norway’s largest glaciers is here too, as well as around 15,000 wild reindeer. And you’d think that with numbers like that we’d have at least come across one wouldn’t you? But, no such luck.
It was an amazing place though. We found some wonderful spots for wild camping with the van and there were more hiking trails than you could shake a stick at. Of course, you can just walk where you want anyway – which we frequently did – and the dogs had a great time without any sheep to worry about.
We were also keen to see the hydro plant where the Norwegian Resistance did very brave things in World War II, sabotaging the place so that the Germans couldn’t make nuclear bombs. The Vemork Norsk Hydro plant is in the town of Rjukan and has now been turned into a museum, with a new hydro electric plant having been built some years back. Having never actually seen the Hollywood movie, ‘The Heroes of Telemark’ (although I did watch Ray Mears’ series about them a few years ago), I’ve just ordered a copy of the dvd. It is apparently supposed to be quite faithful to the real events and was in fact filmed in Norway. We’ll have to see if we can spot any places we recognise when we watch it!
Anyway, here’s a bit of a slideshow of the area – and I know the music has nothing to do with Norway, it just happened to be one of the CDs we had in the van and listened to a lot while we were away……