We already pushed the good old A-Klasse to its limits when we went to Jotunheimen, where I really thought this might be it. But it got even worse, when we tortured it all the way up the famous Trollstigen.
The popular mountain pass is less than an hour drive away from Åndalsnes and is one of the greater tourist attractions in the area. From above the path looks like a giant snake, lurking its way onto the mountians. The highest rise is 12% and you are flanked by majestic waterfalls all the time.
As I mentioned in the beginning, we really asked a lot from the A-Klasse once again in order to conquer the pass. Once again it began to make funny noises and to smell a bit odd, but apart from that it proved itself a loyal fellow.
We parked the car at the newly constructed visitor centre, ignored the crowded viewing platforms and marshed dircetly into the boondocks. Just after a few minutes we discover a beautiful lake, which he have completely for ourselves. In the next hours we wouldn’t meet more people than we have fingers on our hands.
The finish of our tour was a stone formation called „Mannen“, which means man (you could probably translate that without getting your degree in scandinavian studies, couldn’t you?). We had planned to walk five to six hours, so we would be back at the visitor centre at dusk.
The first part of the trail looked rather greenish, but soon the landscape became harsher and less colourful. We spotted the first stone- and icefields, on which you really had to be concentrated in terms where you place your foot. Now and then we crossed tiny icy rivers. Those rivers were a perfect source for getting fresh water for our bottles.
After a while I got a little hungry, but Sergeant Matti didn’t show no mercy. No food before we reach the top. Apparently I am like Kung Fu Panda, since the promise of something to eat seems to be the best way to motivate me. In full speed we left ice and stone fields behind us aaaand done! What a view, and what a.. man? The stone didn’t really look like a man. Laughing we agreed that it looks much more like a Tigerente (some sort of duck), from a 90s german tv show.
The bread (and break) didn’t last long, because there seemed to be a serious chance of a rockfall (they had sirens and everything for an early warning system in a worst case scenario), so we got a little nervous and headed back to where we came from. Plus we hoped for an opportunity to give Alfons, the plastic crocodile, a little swim.
The inflatable crocodile was a birthday present from Matti and me to Robin, which he recieved before we started the Norway adventure. We got the idea from the Dodo’s Delight crew, whose movie we saw on the European Outdoor Film Tour. In case that you have no clue what I am talking about, watch this video and thank me later.
Luckily we rediscovered the little icy lake, that looked like the perfect spot for a little swim. It was embedded in ice and stone, completely calm, just a tiny sheet of ice in the middle floating around. We inflated Alfons and took of our clothes a bit hesitant if I’m honest with you. Matti was the first one to step into the icecold water. Temperature: Around two degrees celsius or so. I didn’t want to get an extra invitation, so I was the next one who gets under the water. Twice. Accidentically. The following scream was a mix of pure joy and frozen testicles. Last man dipping is Robin.. what a pleasing bathing time this was!
Afterwards the only part of my body that actually felt frozen were my feet, because they were in the icy water all the time. Overall I felt really refreshed and we got warm again through walking in a minute. On the way back we discovered a few campers, who settled in beautiful sites for the night.
When we arrived at the visitor’s centre again, most of the tourist were gone. Finally we could enjoy the view over the Trollstigen and the valley without being disrupted by selfiesticks and stuff. Robin again used the chance to do something good for his mistreated feet as he walked through the river terracces besides the centre. Alfons wasn’t brought out again though. Not yet.