On the Way...
We took the RV 7 from Bergen to Eidfjord. Near Norheimsund there is a nice waterfall that makes for a short break in the journey - Steinsdalfossen. It's only 50m high, and coach trips also make this stop, but there is a path that takes you behind the water plume!
Eidfjord has recently become more accessible as they have built a new bridge across the it - although they do charge a fairly steep toll to cross it. It is a really small town but absolutely gorgeous.
We used Eidfjord as a base to explore the surrounding areas, and began our stay with a hair raising white water rafting trip in Voss. The company we used were Voss active (vossactive.no) and were brilliant. We were given a full safety brief and our instructor was really fun. You had to complete a swimming test at the start by jumping in and swim as hard as you could across to the other side - the water was absolutely freezing, and knocked the breath out of me, but I guess it is glacier water! We have done white water rafting before and enjoyed it, but this was something else, it was wild, and we loved it! There were instructions that got shouted out and you really had to work as team. We got soaking wet - but didn't fall in! There was one point were the rapids were deemed unsafe so we have to climb up the rocks and walk around - and then jump in again. At the end they let you drift along in the river. They also cook you a hot meal for when you get back as an added bonus. I would really recommend this trip, it was fantastic!
Afterwards we drove back to Eidfjord and paid a visit to Kjeasen Farm - it seems an impossible location for a farm but apparently it has been there for the last 400 years, and for the last 40 years a woman has lived there alone. The road up to farm has a one way system - you can drive up on the hour and down on the half hour. It's a really remote location and offers lovely views across Eidfjord.
Following our lonely planet book we went in search of Skytefossen - waterfalls plunging 300m off the Hardangervidda Plateau, however, the view has been somewhat dampened by power lines and is regulated by a hydroelectric company. It was nice, but not really worth visiting.
rolltunga translates as 'Troll's Toungue' and is a rock that sticks out of the cliff 700m above the lake below. Trolltunga is a 22km retrun walk and should take around 8 hours. Although as I will mention later, factor in a lot of time to stop at the top! Our alarms were set early for the 1 hour drive to the start of the Trolltunga trail head. Unfortunately, the only road that led there was closed for a full hour and we had to wait. Since we arrived at the car park late, it was full so were were in the overflow and had to take a taxi from there to the start of the trail.
We didn't manage to start the walk until 11.45 - more than 2 hours after we had planned! As seems to be the habit in Norway the trail started with a really hard ascent. The first 1km is up very steep steps and in fact the whole first 4km is up a really steep trail. Research had told us this was the hardest section of the walk so this made us feel a bit better.
After the 4km point, the walk seems a bit easier. The path undulates and you start to get some pretty impressive views. As well as regular sign posts showing your progress! At 9km you get your first sneak peak of Trolltunga from across the other side of the valley - pointing out, you've still got some way to go!
The last part of the walk is much easier, it is basically flat round the top of the valley, clambering on some rocks and dodging mud puddles. When we reached Trolltunga, the first thing that surprised us was a queue snaking from the rock of people waiting to get their photograph. I waited over an HOUR! Some people took absolutely ages, basically having a photo shoot. After I had been, Tom then had to wait and was another 40 minutes. But since you had walked 11km to get there, you could hardly not have your picture taken! And it is definitely worth waiting for. It's a special view - it somewhat spoiled by tourist hoards.
It was after 6.30pm when we decided be better start making the return journey. Lots of people were camping overnight nearby but we needed to get back down and to our car. We did some impressively quick hiking back and it only took us 2 hours to complete. Despite being impeded by aching feet at this point. When we reached the bottom and looked at our hiking stats the total elevation was 1580m - not bad! Since we were home late - and everything in Norway seems to shut at 9pm - we had to go to bed without anything to eat... torture after such a long hike!
We couldn't visit Eidfjord without a visit to see Voringsfossen - 182m high and made up of numerous waterfalls dropping 145m into the canyon below. We drove to the Fossli Hotel - as we had heard this had the best views. They were in the middle of building more viewing platforms, so the view will soon be even better. I think we were lucky to arrive when there weren't any tour buses and it was fairly quiet, providing us with excellent views.