This is a tale of two driving routes, one extremely well known and the other not known at all, well not known very much. One is described by The Guardian as ‘the best drive in the world’ the other was built for a HEP project high in the Norwegian hinterland. In between all of this high-jinkery we sourced a small farm in the middle of nowhere that just happens to make the best cheese in the world; this is true and not gibberish made-up by myself.
Day 1 The Atlantic Road.
Up at a reasonable time from our Fjordside base for a once around the shore and onto the ferry at Afarnes. This being a Sunday is time to put a developing theory of mine into practice regarding ferry pricing. If the theory works after a few more experiments I will let you know. Anyway, ten minutes later we were off and left with a short drive to our first stop of the day, the city of Molde.
This is the home of Jo Nesbo, him of warped and trashy crime novels that I can best describe as comic book and also the former Norweigian Prime Minister who used to bore the pants of visiting statesmen by taking them to Molde to see the view. This included our very own Gordon Brown who set a precedent by being the first person to bore the pants off the Norwegian prime Minister on said visit.
Having said that Molde is indeed a fine city with a pleasing waterside and well laid out suburbs. It even has small but pleasing Football Stadium with some sort of sail next to it. Your last piece of Molde trivia is that it is famous for Jazz, legendary in fact. You could write a credible history of modern jazz based on the musicians who have played here. Our knowledge of Jazz expired after coming up with Kenny Ball and his Paramount Jazzmen. Perhaps you could do better.
For us though we headed up the gravel track for the view. It is said you can see 222 Mountain peaks from the top and here they are.
Molde Panorama left
Olde Molde Person & Tracy’s Tophead
Views over, it was now time for the main event. The Atlanterhasvegan, or more simply: The Atlantic Road was narrowly tipped into second place by the Trolls Ladder as the best road to drive in Norway. Forget what the bloke in The Guardian wrote, he had just seen a car advert on the telly once and thought that looks nice. The start of this ‘masterpiece’ is the town of Bud. Years ago Bud was the largest trading post between Bergen and Trondheim – today it is known for its seafood restaurants and cultural history. If it is then we missed it because to us it looks like a dump. The next part of the journey towards Vevang is also uninspiring, it is like pootling around Walton-on-the-Naze or some other marshland in the East of England.
Finally you arrive at the bit you all know where the road goes over a humpy bridge and crosses a few linked islands on causeways. It is a bit like a supermodel, looks all right in photographs but in reality it is a bit of a minger. There is only about 6Km of minor interest. So just do that and then do a U’y and come straight back. Do not carry on through the exorbitantly priced tunnel to go to the dreadful town of Kristiansund. Spend your money on beer good people, or a fruit-based beverage for the ladies.
Supermodel shot number 1
There’s our homie
However, Tracy did get back up on the roof and made another movie with the GoPro which you can see HERE.
After all that excitement we puledl over for the night where we had a lovely BBQ on a lovely summers evening overlooking the nature reserve of Gaustadvagen. We also spotted some cranes with young’uns. Too far away for a photo-op
Day 2 Cheese and Gravel.
First destination today is the town of Tingvoll, centre of the Norwegian Cheese industry. Here you find a dairy making and selling cheese and another shop in the next valley selling the same cheese albeit with the added delight of it being by its sell by date. It is hard to think that you would find the world’s best cheese at the end of an unmade road in a remote part of Norway. But you do; Vismann Cheese, a blue cheese made from the milk of the cows on this farm has been voted best Cheese in the world for about the last seven years. And people it is that good. It is easily the best cheese you will ever taste.
Makers of the Finest Cheese
We also bought some chutney’s to go with it. Next for us was a half-circuit of the Sunndalsfjorden before making our way via Langfjorden and Eresfjord to Bikesdalen. A somewhat scenic route as you can see from these pictures.
We are going over those – but we didn’t know it.
Putting your credit card into a machine and authorising 100Kr (about 9 quid) lifts the barrier to one of the scariest rides in your life. Our 8m long, 4.5 tonne motorhome with bald tyres is probably not the best vehicle to drive over a gravel track with 1:3 gradient and a rise in elevation of over 3,000 feet through the Norwegian outback but we did and we survived. Just. This is far higher on the heart-thumpingometer than anything man-made I might have experienced in theme parks around the world. With wheels spinning and the homie deciding if it was to go forwards or drift backwards over a 1,000m drop is not something I want to do again. Nah, I would. It was brilliant, it is the best drive in Norway, it has the best view we have seen in Norway and on the tricky bits they have tarmacked it. Yep it is a bit daunting at first but after the first couple of hairpins taken you sit back and enjoy this most wonderful of roller-coaster rides. Because of the lack of safety Rail Tracy refused to lie on the roof and work the GoPro.
Here are some pictures though.
A perfect View
From the valley to here in about 2Km
The Road up
No safety Rail
Mountain Top Lake
The best cheese, the best drive, the best views. Probably the best day out in Norway. We think so.
Love to All